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Summary: "Transforming Love" looks at 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 for practical principles for applying God’s love in my family relationships.

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The Crossing Community Church

“Transforming Love”

Pastor Jim Botts

June 16th, 2002

-1 Corinthians 13:13 There are three things that will endure--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love (NLT).

Love is a very popular word in our society. Amazon.com lists 2,652 book titles regarding “Heaven,” 10,304 for “Money,” 16,765 for “Sex,” 18,818 for “God,” and 30,066 for “Love.” Love is one of the deepest human needs of all, yet it is also a very misunderstood and misused concept.

Consider the following love letter:

Dearest Jimmy,

No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking off our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you!

Yours Forever, Marie

P.S. And congratulations on winning the state lottery!!!

Genuine love is a powerful reality, a biblical reality, and a family transformation reality. The Bible has a lot to say about love, the word occurs at least 650 times. Scripture extols the transforming power of love, what it can do for broken marriage, a severed relationship or a struggling family.

BIBLICAL LOVE = UB4ME

We will be looking into one of the most beautiful sections of God’s Word, the great love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. It must be understood in its context as a portion of letter written by the Apostle Paul to help a church in Corinth Greece to keep on track with God. The chapters before and after it are about God’s family using their spiritual gifts to build up the church family. Paul’s main point is that our becoming more loving people is more important than being spiritual busy and active people.

Goal for today: To maintain God’s on-going work in my home by practicing the principles of God’s transforming love in my family relationships.

**READ 1 Corinthians 13:1-8**

My family can access on-going transformation as I…

1. MAKE LOVE A TOP PRIORITY IN MY LIFE (v1-3)

When it comes to family life, we try many other things to affect change than love.

But God says that love is the greatest thing! Greater than…

**Talk (v1): Many people think that talk will change their family; rely on words like, “We need to talk, you don’t appreciate me, why are you late again?”

I’m all for communication, but it doesn’t matter how eloquent you are. It doesn’t matter how clear you can make the issues, if there is no love.

If my communication is not backed up by love, I’M A NOISEMAKER! Talk without love is not only useless but counter productive to the real transformation that God longs to bring into my family.

**Knowledge (v2a): Some people try to reason their way out of family problems. We are a truth church: committed to live it, share it, experience it.

Jesus said the truth will set you free…for what? Free to love God, free to love others and especially free to love my family.

Some of the most unloving Christians are veritable storehouses of Biblical knowledge, notebooks full, but lives devoid of God’s love. If the truth doesn’t yield a greater love harvest in my life and in my family than my knowledge is useless.

**Faith (v2b): Faith is big time on God’s agenda – without it you cant please God. But you can have all of the faith in the world and still not have love.

Think of the families that shove God down their kid’s throat sideways, but did not have love – these kids are far from God as a result. If I have knowledge and faith without love, I’M A NOTHING!

**Service (v3a): There are families that generously meet other people’s needs, but at home there are scores of unmet needs to those who are the closest.

If your family fed people at the soup kitchen, or gave up ALL possessions, but lacked love – at home - it doesn’t count.

**Sacrifice (v3b): Here is a reference to martyrdom in the early church. Some families try to sacrifice their way to better days. “Do you know how many hours I work, how much effort I’ve put into this family, do you realize what I’m giving!” If I literally gave me life for my family, and they did not know my love I GAIN NOTHING!

In God’s mind, love is the greatest thing!

Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied, "’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ (38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (39) A second is equally important: ’Love your neighbor as yourself’ (NLT).

Priority #1: Love God! The first four commandments drive us to put God first!

God made you and me. He has given us life and has set His love on us. This vertical relationship is the most important since we will stand before Him an give an account for our lives.

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