Pastor Dan: (Transcription)
“We are finishing a final week in a 3-week series on the topic of LOVE; and we’re doing all these sermons from a place in the Bible known as 1st Corinthians 13… and we looked at a couple of verses two weeks ago and a few different verses last week and now we’re ending this section of Scripture together this week.
And two weeks ago we introduced this idea that LOVE MUST… and we said that what’s being introduced in the first part of this passage is THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVE. We looked at an early church that was incredibly gifted; they were able to do all kinds of wonderful things, even other things for each other; but somewhere along the line they had begun to substitute those things for really loving each other and Paul, the author of the book, is sort of calling them back saying to them, “Look… NONE of those things have any value of any kind at all if you don’t actually love each other.
And then last week we said, OK, well look, now let’s say you’re convinced of the IMPORTANCE OF LOVE and you actually DO want to love someone and do the MOST LOVING THING… BUT YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS.
I mean sometimes we’re in situations where we genuinely want to do the most loving thing, but the dilemma is WHAT IS THE MOST LOVING THING?
And one of the sources of seeking that answer is to know the TRUE DEFINITION of LOVE. So we looked a verses 4 through 7 and we looked at God’s definition of LOVE, and we challenged you guys who were here with us last week and we invited you to say “Look, if you’re interested in truly being a 1st Corinthians 13 loving person, take this definition of LOVE… anybody do this? … give it to 3 people, and tell them to tell you the 3 things in that definition that you’re the BEST at, and the 3 things in that definition that you are the WORST at.
Listen or Readto 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.
The Significance and Importance of Love – “Love MUST be infused into all situations, and a part of how we treat other people… because to have a so-called VERTICAL relationship with God without a loving HORIZONTAL relationship with other people is nothing at all.”
“If I _____ , but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Sermon AUDIO – Follow along as you read TRANSCRIPTION below)
Pastor Dan Borgelt:
“Thank you choir (clapping)… appreciate it (clapping continues.. must’ve been good. 🙂 )
“Some of you might have heard by now that I have two older sisters… one named AMY and one named CONNIE… my older sister Amy lives up in Toledo, Ohio and I remember when she first got married to my brother-in-law LEE, they made sort of a pact together that whenever they would get stopped at a red light they would take the time to turn and kiss each other at the traffic light… how sweet is that, at the traffic light. Anybody else.. no, yeah (LAUGHTER).
Well anyway, they would do that, and so one day they were out driving, stopped at a light, and there they were, they were kissing each other and the light turned GREEN. And apparently because they were kissing each other they weren’t as quick to respond to the green light.. and this lady behind them she apparently had seen enough PDA ya know.. and she slammed on the horn and was honking at them… and my brother-in-law’s response was… to.. to.. show her a symbol in the rear view mirror (LAUGHTER)… you get the idea [his hand was raised as a fist missing his projected MIDDLE finger].
And so he makes a gesture back to her… and they go on and continue sort of bantering on and my brother-in-law and sister were having bad thoughts about this lady, I’m sure.. and she was having some bad thoughts about them.
It turns out that they were stopped at a traffic light driving on a Sunday morning and that my sister and brother-in-law were on their way to church. And this lady was on her way to church also… the same church. (LAUGHTER). So she follows them all the way into the parking lot… they think they’re going to get confronted by this mad lady and it turns out they’re both just going to church.
And they both were awkward and had this embarrassing experience of having had this interaction between each other on_the_way_to_church.