(1Co 13:8 AMP) Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].
If something has been superseded it means that is has been set aside, displaced, replaced, or removed; all because the issue/item has become obsolete, inferior, or antiquated.
- This gives us a better understanding of out text.
- The text connotes that the gifts of prophecy and tongues have had and continue to have their role in the Kingdom of God, but there will come a time where they will become obsolete.
- When Jesus returns (ultimately) or when a believer dies (more directly) the role of prophecy and tongues ceases; but love will continue to operate, because God is love (1stJohn 4:8).
- Love is an eternal requirement so we might as well come to grips with it.
Love will never lose its relevancy, never become outdated, and never be replaced by some “higher” characteristic.
- Most importantly, love will never become inferior to anything else.
- Love is God’s highest calling.
- You can’t get around it, over it, or under it.
1. God requires us to operate in love today and forever.
2. There will be no hatred in heaven, so we might as well prepare ourselves now (in time) for eternity.
3. Create a checklist of these 20 characteristics of love and seek to perfect them in your life.
4. If you want to know if you are growing in Christ, then simply measure whether or not you are growing in love.
(1 Cor 13:6 AMP) It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
To rejoice: simply put, is to experience joy; an intense feeling of happiness.
- Love does not break out into this intense feeling of happiness over the misfortune of another.
- Have you every met someone who loved to see others fail or hurt?
- These people are simply not walking in the love of God.
- Christians should not take the opportunity to celebrate the fact that others are going through tough times. As a matter of fact, we should sympathize with and show compassion towards those who are “going through.”
- We should seek to be a blessing and not a burden.
Jesus had an intense meeting with a family that he loved in John chapter 11. Mary and Martha were crying because their brother (Lazarus) was dead and he had been dead for four days. They sent word to Jesus while Lazarus was still alive. Jesus got there and would later raise Lazarus from the dead, but before He did, He encountered a hurting family. What did He do when He met with the family that was grieving? What did He do when He saw their tears? Did He break out into a dance and celebrate the fact that they were hurting? Of course not! The Bible says, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
- He cried with them.
- He shared their feelings.
- He shared their pain.
- Why? Because He was operating in the love of God.
(Romans 12:4,5 CEV) A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another.
(1 Corinthians 12:26 CEV) If one part of our body hurts, we hurt all over. If one part of our body is honored, the whole body will be happy.
(Romans 12:15 AMP) Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others' joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others' grief].
1. Be considerate. Put yourself in their situation.
2. Celebrate with others when they are celebrating, but also be compassionate towards those who are hurting.
3. Never take pleasure in other’s pain; but rather seek to be a blessing while they are down.
(1Co 13:5 AMP) It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own.
- The modern day translations for the word rude tell us that being rude is: to act in an offensive manner; to be abruptly and unpleasantly forceful; to be discourteous, coarse, or vulgar.
- In the original language of our text, to be rude means to become easily provoked or irritated.
- Love is not these things.
Love is not rude. The Message Bible says that it “doesn’t fly off the handle.” Love doesn’t seek to offend, but rather to reconcile. Love doesn’t seek to cause offense, but rather to share with others while operating in harmony.
When you develop in God’s Love you:
#1: Share the Gospel without offending others
- spirituality is not a license to offend
- winning the argument without winning a soul
#2: Communicate possibly contentious thoughts without causing offense
- you learn how to confront in love and harmony
#3: Take control of your emotions and you don’t allow them to control you
- high tolerance for people
Are you rude towards others? Are you easily provoked or irritated? Do you cause others to be offended? If so, then repent this morning and ask God to allow His love and His light to be perfected in you this day and this week.
Two major points I want to make this week:
- You can’t do any of what we have taught this month if you don’t know who you are.
- You won’t know who you are until you know who Jesus is!
(Mat 16:13-19 KJV) When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Simon discerned Jesus’ true identity:
- Jesus asked who others identified Him to be
- Other misidentified Jesus to be either: John the Baptist, Jeremiah, Isaiah, or one of the prophets
- He then wanted to know is His disciples could properly identify Him
- The question was posed to all 12
- Only one (Simon) received the answer
- The answer came by revelation (not flesh and blood)
By identifying Jesus’ true identity, Simon found his own (Peter):
- You ID’d me, so let me now ID you
- Simon, You are Peter
- When you find Jesus you are able to find yourself
- When you find yourself you will be able to discover your purpose
- You don’t come up with your purpose, you discover it
- When you discover your purpose you will receive incremental vision
- When you walk in accordance with God-given vision you will experience divine provision and favor
We live in a world where everything is constantly changing. The economy changes (we are all aware of that right now), the weather changes, people change, we change, everyone changes… but through it all God is the only constant. Sure, we are all busy, but have you slowed down long enough to realize that God is still trying to get your attention and that He can still make a difference in your life.
After 2,000 years, JESUS is STILL the ANSWER!
(John 14:24b NIV) These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Jesus said, “These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.“ Basically, Jesus was explaining how He was a conduit through which the Father spoke. He was the container, but the Father was the content. Jesus was our ultimate example and He was used on the earth to manifest the Glory of God.
So what does this mean to you? Alot, but let’s just look at two things:
1. Manufacturer vs. Distributor: Just as Jesus did not manufacturer His words, neither are we required to, as it relates to ministry. Have you ever come in contact with someone who really needed Jesus, but you did not know what to say? Have you ever seen someone you really needed encouragement, but you could not find the words? The blessing is in the fact that you don’t have to come up with the words to say. God has given us, as Born-Again believers, His precious Holy Spirit. We can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to use us as He used Jesus – to bless others through us. We are not the Manufacturers, but rather the Distributors of God’s Word and God’s Grace. Is there someone in your office today that needs a few words from God? Is there someone in your family that’s needs a word of encouragement? Pray and ask God to manufacture a blessing so you can distribute it to them!
2. Author vs. Orator: When you pray and God manufacturers the words to say and you distribute them to His people for His glory, leave it at that. If they don’t receive it, they are not denying you, they are denying Christ. You are not the Author, but rather just the Orator. They are not your words and you don’t have a heaven or hell to put anyone in anyway. Simple say what God told you to say and move on. Allow God, who is the Author, to do the Work, behind His Words! So don’t be afraid to be used as the Orator for the Author, if they reject the Words, they are rejecting God.
Finally, this is the “The Power of the Pipe!” Picture yourself as a pipe connected to God. He is the source of water. Water in this illustration is the blessing. As you allow God to use you, He wets the people through YOU! God has the water, but He needs the pipes to channel His blessing on the earth. Are you willing to be used as a Pipe today? Oh Yeah! One last thing about this pipe. The Power of the Pipe is that the water cannot pass through the Pipe, without the Pipe getting wet! When God blesses others through you, you also get blessed. Are you ready to get wet?
Because I have a heart for multiracial and multicultural ministry, I love songs that are able cross the boundaries that normally divide. This is one of those songs. Listen to it as you prepare for worship this morning and always remember to TELL THE WORLD that after 2,000 years, Jesus the Christ is STILL the answer!!!!! Jesus LIVES!