by Duane Maust
1 Cor 13
January 28, 2007

I love talking about these verses in 1 Cor. 13. That chapter Paul does a wonderful job of explaining what love is. This is coming just weeks ahead of Valentines Day. This can remind some of us of that day so we can get a head start on getting something special for the one that is special to us.

I have a deal with you today. We are talking about love today. I will give this box of candy to the person that gives me the best example of a person showing love. Then I will give this heart shaped box of candy to you to give to that person. This is for anyone. If you could write just a sentence or two or have an adult write it for you. Then give your sentence or two to me after church and I will give the winner the box to give away. I will make sure you get it before Valentines Day.

Some 4-8 years olds were asked, “what does love mean?” The answers that they gave were broader and deeper than anyone could imagine. See what you think.

“Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way.”

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That is love.”

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their month.”

“Love is what makes you smile when you are tired.”

“Love is when your mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.”

“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.”

“Love is what’s in the room at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”

“When you tell someone something bad about yourself and you’re scared they won’t love you anymore. But then you get surprised because not only do they still love you, they love you even more.”

“There are two kinds of love, Our Love. God’s love. But God makes both kinds of them.”

One of the kids said this: “People forget. God could have said a magic word to make the nails fall off the cross, but He didn’t.”

Ask your children what love is. See what they can teach you. Would they, like the last child, realize what Jesus did on the cross? Love is to do whatever is absolutely the best for the other person, and being willing to pay the cost of that.

Agape and Eros are just two of the Greek words for love.

As we look at 1 Cor. 13 please remember that the love described here is “agape” love, the supreme love of God for us, and the kind of love Our Father wants us to have for our spouses and our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Eros love is not what we will be talking about today. That is a sensual, impulsive, spontaneous kind of love.

Agape love is more than a feeling. It’s a way of living. Agape love isn’t just the warm fuzzy feeling that comes when we are together. It’s more. It is more than saying “I love you,” it is living it.

Agape love gives itself, completely. It becomes vulnerable. When we love we are willing to get hurt. This love is gentle. Love is something people enjoy having around.

In verses 4-7 Paul list 15 different characteristics of Christian love. 7 positves and 8 negatives.

Read 1Cor 13 4-7

Love is patient

Love is the word used of a person who is wronged and who has it easily in his power to get even and yet will not do it. It describes the person who is slow to anger and it is used to explain God’s relationship to man. We must practice the same patience that God exercises with us. Such patience is not the sign of weakness but sign of strength.

Love is kind

Someone has said that love is “sweet to all.” It is to easy for us Christians to do good but be unkind. Are our actions really kind? So many good church people would have sided with the rulers and not with Jesus if they had to deal with the woman in adultery. Jesus spoke to her kindly even though she was in the wrong. “The one without fault, throw the first stone.” Jesus knew how to defuse a hot situation.

Love knows no envy

It has been said that there are really only two classes of people in the world.- “those who are millionaires and those who would like to be.” It is easy for us to get caught up in this circle of coveting.

To covet the possessions of other people; and such envy is very difficult to avoid because it is a very human thing. We must be content.

Love does not boast

True love will always be far more impressed with its own unworthiness than its own merit. Love is kept humble by being aware that we can never offer our loved ones a gift that is good enough. When I am doing an job interview at the wood shop, I wonder about the person if they can just do everything but not know what names of tools and the different types of wood. But they know it all??

Love is not proud

The really great person never thinks of his own importance. William Carey, who began his life as a cobbler, was one of the greatest missionaries and certainly one of the greatest linguists the world has ever seen. He translated at least parts of the Bible into about 34 Indian languages. When he came to India, he was not respected. At a dinner party a person with the idea to make him look bad and humiliate him, said in a tone that everyone could hear, “I suppose, Mr. Carey, you once worked as a shoemaker.” “No, your lordship,” answered Carey, “not a shoe-maker, only a cobbler.” He didn’t even claim to make shoes – only to mend them. No one likes the “important” person.

Love is not rude

We must remember that the Christian love never forgets that courtesy and tact and politeness are lovely things. God intends us to use good manners.

Love is not self-seeking

Love does not insist upon having our own privileges or our rights. We have an attitude that says, “Life owe us a free ride.” It would be the key to almost all the problems for us today is we would think less about our rights and more about what we are responsible for. When we start think too much about ourselves, we start drifting away from Christian love.

Love is not easily angered

Exasperation is a sign of defeat. When we lose our tempers, we lose everything. To test this, see if you can keep your head straight when someone else loses theirs and they are blaming you. Barclay Commentary says that a man who is a master of his temper can be master of anything.

Love keeps no records of wrongs

Love doesn’t keep a ledger book of the wrongs committed. The law in California, “3 strikes and you’re out” does not apply to Christian love. Christian love has learned the great lesson of forgetting.

Love does not delight in evil

Love finds no pleasure in anything that is wrong. We are sad when we hear bad reports. Even for people that we like less.

Love rejoices in the truth

Christian love is glad when truth is out. We are glad when honesty exists. We need to help our children just say the truth, it is easier in the long run.

Love protects

It is likely this means that love can bear any insult, any injury, and any disappointment. It describes the kind of love that was in the heart of Jesus.

Love trusts

In our relationship to God, that love takes God at his word, and can take every promise that he made to us. In our relationship to our neighbors, that means that love always believes the best about other people. If we show people that we trust them, we make them trustworthy.

Love hopes

Jesus believed that no man was hopeless. People need to hear words of hope from you and I. Words of encouragement are important. This is a good one for me to work some more on.

Love perseveres

Love just hangs in there. Love just does not know when to stop. It just keeps on going on.

All this can be a little blurry like the mirrors at rest areas. But we will keep working at learn this love stuff.

Read John 15:12-14, 17.

Jesus makes it pretty clear. Our lives must have love. Jesus gave us a good example in his life and he will help us live that way. Do you have the greatest, the highest, the best? That is love.

Pray-Help me love.

Love is patient
Love is kind
Love knows no envy
Love doesn’t boast
Love is not proud
Love is not rude
Love is not self-seeking
Love is not easily angered
Love keeps not records of wrongs
Love does not delight in evil
Love rejoices in truth
Love protects
Love trust
Love hopes
Love perseveres

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