LOVE IS…

Listen or Read to find more about ***  (excerpted quotes from message):

*** How can we be certain that when we say “I love you” to our spouse, our children, our parents, our friends that it’s a SELFLESS love and not a selfish love?  DO YOU FEEL like you’re loving people SELFISHLY or SELFLESSLY?

*** We live in what we call a “Culture of Tolerance”. What is the relationship between LOVE and TOLERANCE?

*** If you go to a church, or listen to a pastor long enough and nothing they ever say upsets you or corrects, or rebukes any of your current behaviors or beliefs, then you’re at the wrong place.

*** How can we have a divided culture where some people are arguing FOR something in the name of LOVE, and other people are arguing AGAINST it in the name of love.  It has to come down to the fact that we don’t have the SAME WORKING DEFINITION OF “LOVE“.

*** One of the things we need to embrace is that the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross is the most selfless act of love that’s ever happened. Jesus had absolutely NOTHING to gain from leaving heaven and coming down and dying on a Cross for you and I — IT WAS ALL ABOUT US  !!!  That is why Jesus is able to look at you and I with a STRAIGHT FACE and say with all seriousness, “I expect you, I command you to love even your enemies”.

*** It doesn’t do any good to talk about loving other people until we embrace the Love of God because we will never muster the ability to LOVE people beyond the level of which we embrace the Love of God in our own life.

*** Yes, we should be patient, we should be kind, but the more profound understanding of the 1st Corinthian’s passage is that GOD is PATIENT, GOD is KIND.

*** Some of you don’t need to hear any-thing this morning about WHO YOU SHOULD BE… you don’t need to hear anything about how LOVING you should be, or how much more loving of a person you should be… you only need to embrace that God has this kind of love for you… because someone, somewhere along the line messed it up for you. You had some pastor or some Sunday School teacher or some parent, or some sibling or some someone who gave you the wrong understanding of the character of God and all you need to hear this morning is not all the things should be, but hear WHO GOD IS… that GOD IS LOVE, that He is PATIENT, that He is KIND… take this whole definition of 1st Corinthians 13 and apply it to your Creator and celebrate that reality.

*** What I’m asking you to do is look at 1st Corinthians 13 and the definition of LOVE, and to ask yourself, “Does love ALWAYS or SOMETIMES equal TOLERANCE?”

*** The first thing that jumped out to me when I read God’s definition of LOVE is how SELFLESS God’s understanding of love is. It’s most clearly stated in the expression, “Love is not self-seeking” but it’s found throughout MANY of these other descriptions of love… it’s so important that He has this understanding of love, because I believe it’s in STARK contrast to what most people mean when they say “I LOVE YOU”.  You see I think what most people mean when they say “I love you” is “I LOVE THE WAY THAT YOU MAKE ME FEEL” and what’s implied in that is “And I will continue to love you as long as you make me FEEL that way“.

*** TOLERANCE SAYS that ‘you must approve of what I do’. LOVE RESPONDS, ‘I must do something harder than that, I will love you even when your behavior offends me’.
– TOLERANCE SAYS, ‘you must agree with me’; LOVE RESPONDS, ‘I must do something harder than that; I will tell you the truth because I am convince the TRUTH will set you FREE.’
 – TOLERANCE SAYS, ‘you must allow me to have my way’; LOVE RESPONDS, ‘I must do something harder than that, I will plead with you to follow the right way because I believe you are worth the risk’.
 – TOLERANCE seeks to be inoffensive; LOVE takes risks.
 – TOLERANCE glorifies division; LOVE seeks unity.
 – TOLERANCE costs nothing; but LOVE costs everything.

Pastor Dan (audio transcription):
“Well as we continue in our sermon series about LOVE… “love” is a funny little English word isn’t it? Perhaps no word is as powerful as the word LOVE. But perhaps no word is as overused as the word LOVE.  I mean here we have these 4 little letters L_O_V_E being used almost 4000 different ways.

I want to invite you to think of all the things that you’ve said you LOVED in life: a new BIKE as a kid; or a slice of PIZZA. Ya know when I came up with my list of all the things I loved I was embarrassed by how many of them were FOOD items.

So, a new bike or a slice of pizza, that BOY or that GIRL in Junior High; or the first CAR you got when you were a teenager you just loved that; or maybe your favorite SPORTS TEAM, you just loved that team; or you love the dress you got to wear on your wedding day, or the new home you bought, your first house; you LOVED your new JOB, or you loved your VACATION from your job… or whatever it might be; think about all the things you said you loved in life.

Then of course you also love your husband and love your wife and you love your kids as well. I mean, WIVES, how does it feel to have your husband use the same word to describe how he feels about you as how he feels about TACOS.

Or husbands, how does it feel to have your wife use the same word to describe how she feels about you as how she feels about the first time she got to wear makeup.

Or KIDS, how does it feel to have your parents use the same word to describe how they feel about you and how they feel about their new KITCHEN CABINETS.  I mean our culture has bombarded us with all kinds of different understandings of what the word LOVE means.

And when I think about it I think of MUSIC and the whole music world; and when I think of the music world and the word LOVE I can’t help but think of the 90’s. There were so many songs written about love in the 90’s. So I want to invite you to just think about some of those songs with me… love songs from the 90’s:

ELTON JOHN came around and he wrote “Can you feel the love tonight” … so maybe love is a FEELING, maybe that’s what it is.  UB40, another group came around and they wrote “I can’t help but falling in love”... so maybe love is something we FALL into; then the boy group, a men’s boy band came along, BOYZ II MEN and they wrote, “I’ll make love to you’... I think you get the idea behind that one. And then MEAT LOAF… did anybody ever actually listen to Meat Loaf? .. anybody have Meat Loaf CD’s.. OK, a few people listened to Meat Loaf before; they came around and they wrote, “And I’ll Do Anything For Love”… so maybe love is something we’re supposed to be desperate for.

But I think the most intriguing love song from the 90’s had to have come from Brian Adams, “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?”  That’s a good question… how do you know with so many different understandings and definitions of the word LOVE, how do you really know if you’ve ever actually LOVED a woman.  I mean, HOW CAN WE BE SURE, when two people say “I love you” to each other, they actually mean the same thing?

Ya know, the word LOVE is being used like crazy in our culture; that’s one of the reasons we started this series. Because right now, the word love is being thrown around all over the place and people are defending certain behaviors in the name of LOVE and other people are coming around and criticizing those behaviors IN THE NAME OF LOVE.

I mean how can we have a divided culture where some people are arguing FOR something in the name of love, and other people are coming around and arguing AGAINST things in the name of love.  It has to come down to the fact that we don’t have the SAME WORKING DEFINITION OF LOVE.

– – – – – – –
And so we come to our 2nd week in our 1st Corinthians, Chapter 13 series on “THE MOST EXCELLENT WAY” and we come to the definition of LOVE.  I want to invite you to turn there with me, if you’ve got a Bible or you wanna grab one from the pew, it’ll be on the screen as well; 1st Corinthians, chapter 13.

Last week we looked at the first few verses in this passage and we looked at the IMPORTANCE OF LOVE; and in case you’re visiting with us, or you happened to miss last week; what we essentially said last week was, look, LOVE IS SO IMPORTANT… the Scripture is telling us it’s so important, that even if God (this is the first 3 verses of the chapter),

“even if God has gifted you ABUNDANTLY from on HIGH, and you are USING those gifts… IF you are NOT doing them with LOVE for your neighbor, then you are essentially of no use in any way at all”.

And now he gets into the definition of LOVE.  OK… so we convinced you last week that love is important, now we move on to WHAT IS TRUE BIBLICAL GODLY LOVE? 

And as we read the definition, I want to invite you to TEST yourselves; I want to invite you to test yourselves and say, HOW LOVING OF A PERSON AM I? … I thought it might be nice, if you all RAISE your hands, and then when we get to a description of love that you’re NOT good at, go ahead and put your hand down… and we’ll see who is bold enough to keep their hand up the whole time (LAUGHTER).

“Love is patient how many of you would’ve had to put your hands down there? (LAUGHTER), love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude (does not dishonor others), it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and it always perseveres.”

Ya know… a sermon on this passage is tempting of course to just walk through each aspect of LOVE; but the truth of the matter is that’s DIFFICULT to do… I mean you could write a whole sermon on “LOVE IS PATIENT”… I mean you could write a whole sermon on each aspect of this description.

What I want to do is just share a few highlights from here that I think encompass the whole group of these adjectives, this description of love.

The first observation, the first thing that jumped out to me when I read God’s definition of LOVE is how SELFLESS God’s understanding of love is. It’s most clearly stated in the expression, “Love is not self-seeking” but it’s found throughout MANY of these other descriptions of love.

How incredibly SELFLESS God’s understanding of love is; and it’s so important that He has this understanding of love, because I believe it’s in STARK contrast to what most people mean when they say “I LOVE YOU”.  You see I think what most people mean when they say “I love you” is “I LOVE THE WAY THAT YOU MAKE ME FEEL” and what’s implied in that is “And I will continue to love you as long as you make me FEEL that way“.

It’s no wonder than there’s so many couples, so many relationships that don’t last with that understanding of love… that’s not selfless love… is it? … what is it Church?  It’s SELFISHNESS, it’s the opposite of love.

I want to challenge you this morning: if you consider yourself to be a follower of Christ.. or maybe you’re just here and you want to know WHAT IS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST? .. what are they after, what are they aspiring to?  This Scripture is challenging us, God is challenging us in His Word, that if you consider yourself to be a “Follower of Christ” you are called to LOVE–your SPOUSE and your KIDS, your SIBLINGS, the WORLD around you in way that_is_completely_SELFLESS.

And Jesus is the one who sets the bar, He’s the one who shows the example; He sets the standard for TRUE_SELFLESS_LOVE.

The Scripture says in Philippians 2:3-8, that’s exactly who Jesus was. The Scripture says this,

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others better than yourselves, each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of the others.

This is sort of reiterating what we’re talking about so far… that we should be selfless people; but HERE’S THE FOUNDATION for that selflessness, for that selfless love:

“In your relationships with one another, your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped (used to his own advantage); rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

And in Matthew 20:26-28 we see a similar thing… a little more concise, but here it is; you see, this is now JESUS SPEAKING and He says,

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

You see one of the things we need to embrace is that the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross is the most selfless act of love that’s ever happened. Jesus had absolutely NOTHING to gain from leaving heaven and coming down and dying on a Cross for you and I — IT WAS ALL ABOUT US  !!!

There was nothing selfish in any way at all, it THE BEST example of TRUE GODLY SELFLESS LOVE that has ever happened.  He EMPTIED Himself in the act; He GAVE of Himself and came not to be served but TO SERVE for you and I.  It was to meet NOT His needs but to meet OUR needs.

That is why Jesus, having done that, that is why Jesus is able to look at you and I with a STRAIGHT FACE and say with all seriousness, “I expect you, I command you to love even your enemies”.

– – – – – –
Friends I want to give you two warning signs that you are someone who loves SELFISHLY, not selflessly; two warning signs that you might be someone who loves selfishly, not selflessly:

  1. The first one is our attitudes toward COMPLETE STRANGERS and people whom we don’t know. If we are unable to muster up COMPASSION and care for people who are strangers who we don’t know… that might be a great sign that we’re someone who LOVES SELFISHLY, not selflessly; because those people, often in broken or hurting circumstances, are unable to give back to us because not only do we not KNOW them, but they’re not in a situation to give anything BACK to us.And if you’re one of those people who can’t give them any care or any compassion, it might be a sign that you’re the kind of person who ONLY LOVES PEOPLE, only CARES for people, only has COMPASSION for people who have something to offer you back.
  2. Another sign that you might be someone who loves SELFISHLY and not selflessly is in relationship to the people who are CLOSEST to you in your life. If your attitude towards your wife or your husband or your children or your parents or whomever it might be… if your relationship with them is CONSTANTLY up and down… I mean at both extremes like a Roller Coaster relationship… you love ’em and hate ’em and LOVE ’em and HATE ’em… it might be great sign that your love is not a SELFLESS UNCONDITIONAL STABLE LOVE, your EMOTION for them is so dependent for what they are offering you in the relationship that your love for them is constantly fluctuating based on their behavior.

But God is calling us to a HIGHER standard, an UNconditional, selfLESS love that shouldn’t fluctuate with such extremes with regards to those people who we are closest to.

– – – – – – – – –
I want to reread this definition, as we will with each point and ask you to just listen to it in relationship to this point. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE LOVING PEOPLE SELFISHLY OR SELFLESSLY?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude (does not dishonor others), it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

– – – – – – – –

The 2nd observation that I can’t help think of when I hear that definition of love, is the relationship between LOVE and TOLERANCE.  That is the real thing that really motivated us to do this series is the relationship between LOVE and TOLERANCE.

We live in what we call a “Culture of Tolerance”.  If that’s an expression you’re not familiar with, what we mean is, by TOLERANCE in our culture today, we’re living in an age where were saying,
“You do what you want to do, and I’ll do what I want to do, and who am I to tell you what you should do, and who are you to tell me what I should do”.

So the concept of RIGHT and WRONG is disappearing and almost any behavior is starting to become acceptable and that’s in the spirit of TOLERANCE. And the main underlying DRIVING force behind that spirit of tolerance is often the word LOVE… “IF YOU LOVED ME, YOU WOULDN’T TRY TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO”… “If you loved me you wouldn’t try to tell me that what I’m doing is wrong; if you LOVED me you would be tolerant of my BEHAVIOR” — THAT is the common motto of our culture.

And what I’m asking you to do is look at 1st Corinthians 13 and the definition of LOVE, and to ask yourself, “Does Love ALWAYS or SOMETIMES equal TOLERANCE?”  What’s the relationship between the two?

Think about how we raise our children… does LOVE = TOLERANCE with our kids sometimes? … Yeah absolutely. We should be tolerant of our children sometimes because of our love for them. That’s one of the reasons why parents are sometimes unable to see some of the flaws of their own kids… because naturally out of our love for them we tolerate some things.

If we didn’t tolerate any of our children’s behavior that they did wrong, we would just exasperate them and exhaust ourselves by constantly disciplining them and rebuking them and correcting them. LOVE for our CHILDREN ought to produce a certain level of tolerance for them.

BUT, because we love them do we tolerate ALL BEHAVIOR from our kids?  Of course not; in fact it’s intuitive, it makes sense that because we love our kids we at times will discipline our children and use the word “NO” sometimes.

I remember my wife nannied for a family in Boston when we were there in Seminary… and she was rebuked by the family at one time because she had used the word “No” to their children and they didn’t want their kids to hear the word “No” in their house… they thought that was too negative.  And some of you are like, “THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT’S WRONG WITH OUR COUNTRY” (laughter).

Ya know at my household I feel like I experienced a pretty good balance between the two: my mom leaned towards the side of TOLERANCE; my dad toward the side of NO and DISCIPLINE… but between the two of them I think I grew up with a pretty healthy balance between how LOVE should produce a certain level of tolerance but not a toleration of ALL of my behavior.

That’s in line with the Scripture… in Hebrews 12:6 the Scripture tells us this,

“because the Lord disciplines those he loves… discipline is an aspect of LOVE, and he chastens/punishes everyone he accepts_as_his_child.”

In Proverbs 3:12, in a very similar Spirit the Scripture says this,

“because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

And then in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we find the TRUTH of the Scripture and what’s it’s supposed to do for our lives; it says that,

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

So the Scripture, the truth of God’s Word… we’re supposed to READ it, we’re supposed to HEAR it and it’s supposed to TEACH and REBUKE and CORRECT certain parts about how we’re living our lives.

If you go to a church, or listen to a pastor long enough and nothing they ever say upsets you or corrects, or rebukes any of your current behaviors or beliefs, then you’re at the wrong place (he laughs). I always tell people in my church if they don’t like something I said, “Well, if you did like everything I said, if I only ever told you things you already believed, wouldn’t that be a little disappointing.

Don’t ya like to come to church every once in a while and think, “Well… let me think about that one”.

The Scripture is supposed to TEACH and REBUKE and CORRECT, and we’re supposed to take that… I want you to think about how we as the Church can take that TRUTH and LOVINGLY apply it to our culture. Should we LEAD with REBUKING and CORRECTING.. no.. that’s not very loving, that’s not very kind.. right?

Should we correct and teach in a RUDE way? No… one of the definitions of love is, “Love is not rude”.. right?

So we have to somehow take the TRUTH of the Scripture and APPLY it to our culture in a way that allows us to maintain a loving demeanor and make it actually a LOVING ACT.

But if we refuse to take to take the truth of Scripture to the world around us, are we really doing the world JUSTICE?  Are we really helping them out?  If we just open up our doors and never talk about anything controversial, and never preach on any passage that might rebuke people’s lifestyles, we might be inviting them into a FALSE CHURCH, into a false relationship with God, one that really doesn’t exist and CAN’T EXIST.

And ultimately, when we make light… when we embrace COMPLETE TOLERANCE and make light of all moral issues what we’re ultimately doing is making light of the CROSS OF JESUS CHRIST… because Jesus Christ DIED on the Cross not because everything we do is OK and acceptable to Him.. but He died on the Cross because many of the things that ALL of us do are NOT acceptable to Him.

And we cannot make light of the Cross and to nullify the work` of Jesus on the Cross; we have to find a loving way to bring the truth of God’s Word to people to let them know that we too have been rebuked by the Scripture as they ought as well… and THAT’S WHY WE NEED JESUS… that’s why we need a SAVIOR… that’s why we need someone to rescue us.

– – – – – – –
Josh McDowell, some of you know that name, he’s a pretty well-known author and speaker and he writes this on the subject of TOLERANCE and LOVE… he says these words,

“TOLERANCE says that ‘you must approve of what I do’.  LOVE responds, ‘I must do something harder than that, I will love you even when your behavior offends me’. 

TOLERANCE  says, ‘you must agree with me’;  LOVE responds, ‘I must do something harder than that; I will tell you the truth because I am convince the TRUTH will set you FREE.’

TOLERANCE says, ‘you must allow me to have my way’; LOVE responds, ‘I must do something harder than that, I will plead with you to follow the right way because I believe you are worth the risk’.

TOLERANCE seeks to be in-offensive; LOVE takes risks.

TOLERANCE glorifies division; LOVE seeks unity.

TOLERANCE costs nothing; but LOVE costs everything.

– – – – – – –
We should look back at this definition and invite God to speak to you as to, “Are you taking the subject and the true definition of love and finding the right balance between being tolerant and not being tolerant.

The Church should not be the most INTOLERANT group of people out there, but it also should not be the most TOLERANT group of people out there either.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude (does not dishonor others), it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

– – – – – – – – 

And finally friends, the last observation I want to share with you from this passage is the idea that GOD_IS_LOVE.

Ya know when we think of LOVE, we think of OURSELVES… we think of what we should BE or something we should DO or something we should FEEL… but what about GOD?  What about the reality that the Scripture says that GOD IS LOVE.

And when you combine that reality that GOD IS LOVE plus what 1st Corinthians 13 says, when it says, “Love is … this”… that becomes a pretty full definition of WHO GOD IS.

In 1st John 4:8 the Scripture tells us this,

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

In 1st John 4:16 the Scripture says this,

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.”

And then in John 3:16… and the passage that’s familiar to many folks, the Scripture tells us,

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

So when you take the reality that GOD IS LOVE with what we’re looking at in 1st Corinthians 13 that “LOVE IS… all these things… we need to pause and instead of only looking at this passage in light of all the things that we should BE, and we should be LIKE and we should we be DOING… we need to pause and to celebrate this is a description of who God, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth is!

That GOD IS… patient… YES, you should be patient, but the more profound understanding to the passage is that GOD IS PATIENT, that GOD IS KIND. Yes, you should be kind as well, but the more profound understanding of the passage is that the Scripture is telling us that GOD IS KIND.

Some of you don’t need to hear any-thing this morning about WHO YOU SHOULD BE… you don’t need to hear anything about how LOVING you should be, or how much more loving of a person you should be… you only need to embrace that God_has_this_kind_of_love_for_you… because someone, somewhere along the line messed it up for you. You had some pastor or some Sunday School teacher or some parent, or some sibling or some someone who gave you the wrong understanding of the character of God and all you need to hear this morning is not all the things should be, but hear WHO GOD IS… that GOD IS LOVE, that He is PATIENT, that He is KIND… take this whole definition of 1st Corinthians 13 and apply it to your Creator and celebrate that reality.

It doesn’t do any good to talk about loving other people until we embrace the Love of God because we never will muster up the ability to LOVE people beyond the level of which we embrace the Love of God in our own life.

We’re not talking about in this series you mustering up the inner strength to be a more loving husband or a better wife… the foundation to being a more loving person is embracing the real love of God in your life… and that is the beauty of this passage.

– – – – – – – – –
The rest of us have to embrace this reality,
that if we are ever going to show anyone REAL LOVE… it must first come from the real love of God in our life.

Ephesians 3:16-19 is part of what we read in the beginning; it says,

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Saints (the Lord’s holy people), to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”

Now friends, if you’re not quite with me enough, not quite alert enough that you could grasp what that passage was saying.. here’s what it’s saying, that ” God’s love for you is so PROFOUND and so WIDE, so HIGH, so DEEP, that we cannot naturally grasp it. That’s why Paul is saying to the Church, “I AM PRAYING FOR YOU THAT YOU MIGHT SUPERNATURALLY HAVE THE ABILITY TO REALIZE HOW MUCH GOD LOVES YOU”… which means we don’t naturally have the ability to realize how much God loves us.. THAT’S how much HE LOVES US.

And that is a significant and wonderful thing… it is the FOUNDATION of our ability to love anyone else–to embrace the incredible LOVE OF GOD.

– – – – – – – –
Ya know most people are interested in doing the most loving thing, aren’t they?  I mean when’s the last time you had a dialogue with someone and you said, “Ya know I think the most loving thing would be..”  and they said, “Ya know, I don’t really care what the most loving thing is” (Laughter).

I mean there are SOME people like that.. but I mean for the most part we have this incredible disagreement in our culture and in our society even though we’re both using the word LOVE. One group thinks this is the most loving thing; another group thinks THIS is the most loving thing.”

[Transcriber Note: this is a powerfully important ending]

“And I want to challenge you today, if you are interested in being amongst those who are followers of Christ, you’re going to have to decide, is the culture’s understanding of love just further away from 1st Corinthians 13, WHICH definition of LOVE are you going to embrace in your life?

If you’re interested in being a 1st Corinthians 13 follower, then I want to give you this challenge as leave here this morning: to take this list, the list from verses 4 through 7 that we’ve read… and take it and to send it to 3 people in your life; 3 people who you TRUST and who you RESPECT and who you value their feedback, and I want you to ask them to tell you the 3 things in this list that they think you do BEST; and what are the 3 things in this list that you do WORST.

You may or may or may not want to choose your spouse… that’s up to you…  I’m going to UP my Marriage Counseling Rates (laughter).. you get the idea… to take this list, to pass it on, to challenge them.

And what we’re going to do now… we’re going to PRAY, and then when we get done praying we’ll finish by re-reading this list again. We’re going to pray and just ask God one final time to show us as we read this list anything that He might want to say to us.

LET’S PRAY:
“So God before we read this passage one last time, we open our hearts and our minds to You and the TRUTH of your Word; and we invite you to encourage us and the understanding of Your Love… we need to start there. If there’s people here this morning who are just having a hard time grasping how you could love them… that they would hear this definition in that light.

For others who maybe feel like maybe they have grasped that and are thankful for that and are celebrating that this morning… but it’s not resulted in them being as loving as a person to others that they would want, I pray that you would show them the areas of this definition that you would have them work on and concentrate on.

We thank you that YOU are PATIENT with us… that Your Holy Spirit is patient as it works in us; but we pray now that You would speed up the process; that You would work on us in a might way and make us more like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… in His name we pray… AMEN.

– – – – — –

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude (does not dishonor others), it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

 – – – – – – – – –

Pastor Dan Borgelt
Kirkmont Presbyterian Church
Beavercreek, Ohio 45434
http://www.kirkmont.com/

Direct Link to all his Kirkmont Sermons:
http://www.kirkmont.com/sermons.htm

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