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October 6, 2020 1:00 am
For the Apostle Paul, love is the glue that binds together the body of Christ and makes it a place of mutual service. Without love, our best efforts are without true purpose. In this message, we turn to a famous Bible chapter to learn why love is the highest motivator of all.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
One with endurance the race before looking to Jesus, founder and perfecter of our love is the glue that binds the body of Christ together and make a place of mutual service, without love, our best efforts without true purpose today.
Turn with first Corinthians chapter 13 we learn why love is the highest failure of all church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Erwin Sir was clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line after Luther give us a preview of one of the best-loved passages in the Bible you know Dave, the best way to do that preview is to simply open the Bible and read it first Corinthians chapter 13 is such an incredible chapter about love that I insisted that our grandchildren memorize it, and I hope that they remember it for the rest of their lives in a moment I'm going to be expounding on this passage of Scripture that has gripped my heart many times let me ask you a different question.
Have you ever wondered about the silence of God in the midst of disaster are we able to continue to trust his love.
When we see pandemics, plagues, natural disasters, when we see earthquakes take place throughout the world and people suffering what is God's relationship to these kinds of events that have been so destructive. Those are the kinds of questions I answer in the book, pandemics, plagues and natural disasters. What is God saying to us, it's a new book and we are offering it to anyone today for a gift of any amount here is what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and now let's go to the pulpit of Moody church. Let's open those Bibles as we expound this beautiful passage of God's holy word. What is it that should distinguish us from the world question is it that we should have more money than the world now we don't and we shouldn't is it that we are more content than the world what we should be.
But that's not the distinguishing characteristic. Jesus made an amazing statement when he said by this shall all men know that you are my disciples, by the love that you have for one another. The kind of love that is visible enough for the people of the world to see. It is so countercultural that people pick up on it now. The minute we begin to speak about love. Many of us become a little bit nervous were nervous because we know that in church history. Oftentimes, love has become everything and therefore truth has been swallowed up in the presence of love.
So you have all these people to say what doesn't matter what you believe.
Doesn't matter how you live because after all, God says, just to love one another and love covers all kinds of things, including truth, for example, in the early centuries, there was a big debate on what to do with people who during persecution lapsed and denied the faith when the persecution was over they wanted to be welcomed back into the church and people wondered whether they should be on the one hand, you had those who said of course we should welcome them back as long as they confess and repent. After all of the man upon whom, supposedly, the church was built. Peter, whom some believed to be the first pope.
He he denied Christ under pressure. So who are we to deny forgiveness and restoration to those who do other said wait a moment.
If we allow these people back into the church we will be dishonoring martyrdom and furthermore what what witness what testimony to young people who say well when persecution breaks out.
I can deny the faith and they'll have me back big deal. The truth people and you had the love people and it basically put tension in the churches almost split the churches truth versus love. The Bible says that there must be both the truth must be spoken in love. The balance is difficult.
Well today the pendulum is going to swing in the direction of love. Love first Corinthians chapter 13 is the chapter and with your Bibles open as I know all of yours will be. We want to begin the chapter by looking at the last part of chapter 12 of first Corinthians the apostle Paul.
At the end of the chapter lists the various gifts in order of importance, said he puts tongues last. By the way next message in the series is first Corinthians 14 Sunday doctrine of tongue, so if you wonder what all that is about show up next time so the apostle Paul says that ended he asks in verse 30 of chapter 12. Do all possess gifts of healing do all speak with tongues. The obvious answer is no. Do all interpret no but earnestly desire the higher gifts and I will show you still a more excellent way.
Paul says that what is going to right now in first Corinthians 13 is greater really than all the gifts it's more excellent than being a good profit or being a good teacher, or even the supernatural gift of tongues that we shall talk about it is more wonderful than that. It is the way of love so because this is a chapter on love, would you let me take your hand today and let us lovingly take a tour through this very famous and wonderful chapter in verses 1 to 3. The apostle Paul says that love is necessary. Love is necessary. He says if I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, I don't think anybody's ever spoken with the tongues of angels. Paul is just speaking hypothetically says even if you could speak with the tongues of angels and you have not love, he doesn't say I sound like a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.
He says I am a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal. That's what I am. If I exercise as supernatural gift without love and then he continues and if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, I want to stop there for a moment because as I was looking at this I thought what if we here at the Moody church were able to hire someone on the staff who had prophetic powers and understood all mysteries and had all knowledge. Could you imagine how busy his counseling sessions would be people would sign-up from all over the country. At last, somebody will understand all mysteries somebody who has all knowledge is the gift of knowledge. He would know exactly what to say in this situation, wouldn't he be wonderful, awesome, and then if he came also with the gift of faith, so as to remove mountains.
Wow, we'd say that is really really an important staff member and shouldn't he be honored. Paul says if he can do all that and has not love that he is nothing he is at zero and then Paul continues and something that really almost confuses me, and it is difficult to get your mind around.
He says now he says something else. Verse three.
If I give away all that I have and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. If I give away everything I have and if I'm willing to be a martyr. I thought that that was the quintessential example of what love is. Love does love give and love sacrifices during the days in France during persecution whenever I travel to Europe always like to go to the places where the Persecutions Pl. in England this past summer, I wanted to go to Smithfield I wanted to go to the prisons where the Christians were There. Something about that that fascinates me. The fact that there were so many hundreds and hundreds and hundreds in England, not to mention other countries that were willing to give their lives for the gospel in the Bible in France during times of persecution. When Christians were being martyred. Sometimes they saying courses so loudly that the authorities hired a band to drown out the singing of the martyrs on their way to the stake pulses, you know, even if you did, in fact, and had no motive of love, you would be a nothing and I want to say Paul, this is tough to take but it's God's word. You and I might be able to say this, though I sing in the choir. Though I volunteer for Sunday school, though I am willing to be on the parking committee and missed some Sunday services. Though I am a greeter, though I am an archer, though I am involved. Though I am generous.
Paul says if you do it all and the motivation isn't love and you don't know anything about the love of God shed abroad in our hearts. It amounts to zero. Love pulses is necessary. Could that be any clearer. Second, the impossible says love is special.
It really is very special talk about.
Contrary to human nature. Now Paul doesn't define it.
I want to say Paul, give us a definition of love. And Paul is saying no, I'm not going to give you definition of love. I'm going to describe it to you and maybe that's the only way that love can really be defined is through a description and so he gives us two positives eight negatives and then he picks up some positives again.
Look at what he says. He says love is patient is able to endure without retaliation. It is patient, love is kind. It pays back hurt with kindness. It's not this kind of a response that says you do this to me and I'll show you a thing or two and I'll do that to you to get even. Love doesn't have to get it is irrational, then the negatives, it is not MBS it delights in the success of others. Love is not jealous.
Love doesn't say you know somebody else's more successful than I and you resented or they have more money than you do, or they have a better family than you do know know know you rejoice when there are those who are above you and those blessed more than you do. That's what love does and also it does not boast, or Brad a never met a braggart can't stop talking about themselves. Maybe you heard the story of a man who just spoke about himself talked about himself. All during the meal and it was almost to the end and he said to his friend. Well enough about me.
Let's talk about you.
What you think about me you met the kind of hope he didn't marry the kind but they're out there love is like that love isn't a braggart. Love is not removed, it is not arrogant. It is not rude and that word route is used elsewhere in first Corinthians, to refer to someone who leads a woman along. He pretends that he loves her. He gives her ideas in terms of their future and then he just drops her heat he acts in an unbecoming way. Let love isn't like that love doesn't do those sorts of things. Love does not insist on its own way of love can enable a man to go along with his wife's idea even if he believes deep in his heart, she may be wrong and like most men think that they are right… I don't need my own way. Love is not irritable doesn't lose its temper in heavy traffic and by the way, don't you ever lose your temper in heavy traffic. If you have a I love Jesus bumpers better that nobody knows you know Jesus love is irritable. Love can let somebody and in your lane even though you have a right to continue going because you're not irritated. Love is not resentful. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs. No private file of personal grievances that is stacked up for years that can be accessed with the click of a mouse does not rejoice in wrongdoing.
Doesn't get on the phone and say, you won't believe what so-and-so did, but it's just like them is and it did you hear about this love does not slander. Love does not does not does spread stories even if they are true. If they are negative about people of praise. Love endures.
Love protects love does not rejoice in wrongdoing. Therefore, never spreads wrongdoing or talks about wrongdoing unless it's to people who are part of the problem is now the positive qualities.
Again, it bears all things in the leave all things, always giving people the benefit of the doubt. It hopes all things, and hopes for the best.
It endures all things. Let that sink into your soul. It endures all things. Now I do want to put apprentices there and say that if you are being abused, then go for help but love has a way of enduring beyond natural rational expectation and then you know of course that is Paul ends this.
It is very clear that this is not the kind of atmosphere that you have in the offices in the loop ever noticed that this is not the kind of atmosphere that is in most homes, though it should be a part of Christian homes. This is a supernatural kind of love that runs counter to every fiber of our natural born nature, supernatural love. Paul then says also that love is eternal, it's eternal, you'll notice it says in verse eight, and following up. Love never ends.
As for prophecies, they will pass away all those wonderful sermons all the cassette tapes all the CDs will be gone. Thank you very much.
As for tongues, they will cease the gift that everyone in Corinth wanted the one that we will talk about next time. As for tongues, they will cease.
As for knowledge, that is the gift of knowledge, it will pass away. Why, because we know in part and we prophesy in part.
But when the perfect comes when we are in the presence of Jesus.
These things will not be necessary. They are only glimmers we see through a mirror dimly, he says when I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child but when I became a man I gave up childish ways.
I began to understand the value of things and the things that I consider to be important as a child. No longer are as important to me as an adult and I now begin to see more clearly what reality is and when the perfect is come, we will finally know even as we have been known verse 12 for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
This gives us hope that when we get to heaven. We are going to find an answer to many of our questions, and the knowledge that we have in our hearts the desire, the desire that we have to be able to understand. Indeed God may grant it to us. I also believe that when we get to heaven we won't have to wear name tags will know each other intuitively, just like Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration where they I don't think they had to be formally introduced. Now this is Moses and of Moses and this is Elijah, and be sure to keep them straight.
I don't think because at that time work. I have knowledge that we do not have today and noticed that the text says I am in verse 13. So now faith, hope and love abide, these three but the greatest of these is love. Because the day is going to come when faith is going to be unnecessary. Faith is going to give way to cite hope is going to be unnecessary because hope will be reality. But what's going to buy forever is love. That's what God says is the more excellent way.
Love is at the heart of it all. Now as you look at this you have, you are aware, of course, that you were talking about a supernatural kind of love. That's why it is so important to realize that love is the distinguishing mark of the church because we don't have this kind of love naturally there's a big difference and you must contrast human love and divine love. Human love is dependent upon the one who is love. I love you because you are lovable. I love you because of what you can do for me. I love you because the way in which you make me feel I love you because I think that you can help my career. I love you because of what you do for me that is human love and there two things that attract us to other people.
The first is appearance. If you are born beautiful and I'm looking over the congregation right now to see that indeed there some of you fit into that category you had all kinds of advantages when you're a little child your mother got stopped in the supermarket because people wanted to look at you and to see you smile. Where's the rest of us just had to keep on going shopping beauty is a tremendous advantage. It is also in our culture at from this curse, particularly young women get lured into relationships because of their beauty.
One time I was speaking at a college and I was explaining this in more detail and I said beauty is a curse explain what I meant and I'm told that later.
One of the young women went into her room looked into the mirror and said oh God, if beauty is a curse. Would you smite me with it and may I never recover know it so easy in this world for us to forget that there's more to love simply attraction because of beauty. That's why first Corinthians chapter 13 is so significant because what God is saying there is there is a kind of love that in doers. Even if you aren't pretty, even if you have changed. It is an unconditional kind of love. Let me ask you a question.
Would you consider helping us with your prayers and with your gifts. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner you running to win is heard in more than 20 different countries of the world in Arabic it is heard throughout many Middle East countries. Thank you in advance for helping us. If you want to know how to become an endurance partner.
Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer, call 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 time now for another chance for you to ask certain question about the Bible or the Christian life.
The Bible warns us often about the perils of mixing light with darkness and Stephen Pennsylvania is concerned about someone he thinks maybe trying to do just that. He asks, I have a friend who claims to be a Christian, yet he takes spiritual advice from a fortuneteller is this occultism.
What does the Bible say about this was Steve. The Bible is very clear about this. Let me give you. Deuteronomy chapter 18 it lists there. The kind of occult practices that we should avoid to go to a fortuneteller is wrong.
Fortuneteller's often times are fakes. They have ways in which they tend to predict the future and they are incorrectly wrong, and sometimes you can see that what you need to do is to buy a magazine on January 1 with all of the predictions that will come to pass that coming year and then pull it out a year or two later and see how many of come to pass, but also there's some fortunetellers were plugged into the spirit world. They may be receiving information from a cultic spirit, powers, evil spirits, and even they cannot predict the future with absolute accuracy because the devil doesn't know the future. The way in which God does. He is a good hunch.
He knows more than we do. But the bottom line is this, that spiritism is wrong and you need to encourage your friend to stay away and to trust God.
God judges those who go to the occult.
For information Steve, thank you for your concern for your friend.
And thank you Dr. Blitzer for your helpful answer if you'd like to hear your question answered. You can just go to our firstname.lastname@example.org and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life.
Our motivation for service in the body of Christ and for serving our marriage partners must be found in what the Bible calls agape love. The love that comes from God. Only then can we endure life's tough time and remain faithful to our commitments next time we learn more about being motivated by love and discern the difference between human and divine love. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church