Text: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
ETS: The Apostle Paul discusses the need for real love in the believer’s life.
ESS: Walking in the pathway of real love is an absolute necessity for each and every believer in Jesus Christ.
OSS: Believers will repent of not walking in the pathway of real love.
PQ: What must I do in order to walk in the pathway of real love?
TITLE: "Following The Pathway Of Real Love"
The subject of love reminds me of some stories I’ve heard….
- That’s the one!
Two little boys were playing marbles when a pretty little girl walked by. "I'll tell you," said Jake to J.D., "when I stop hating girls, that's the one I'm going to stop hating first."
One day Adam is talking to God, and he asks, "God, I've been wondering. Why did you make Eve so pretty?"
God replies, "Because I wanted you to love her."
Then Adam asks, "But why did you make her so stupid?"
God answers, "Because I wanted her to love you."
- You came home drunk!
Tony attended the men's prayer breakfast and heard a visiting psychologist speak on the topic of showing appreciation to the important people in one's life. Tony decided to start with his wife, so after work that night, he went to the shopping mall, where he bought a dozen long-stemmed roses, a box of chocolates, and a pair of earrings. He chortled with self-satisfaction as he contemplated surprising his wife, showing her how much he appreciated her.
He stood at the front door with the roses in his right hand, the gaily wrapped box of candy under his arm, and an open jewelry box displaying the earrings in his left hand. With an elbow he rang the doorbell. His wife came to the door, opened it, and stared at him for a long minute. Suddenly she burst into tears.
"Sweetheart, what's wrong?" asked the bewildered husband.
"It's been the worst day of my life," she answered. "First, Jimmy tried to flush his diaper down the toilet. Then Eric melted his plastic airplane in the oven. Then the dishwasher got clogged and overflowed all over the kitchen floor. Then Brittany came home from school with a note from the teacher saying that she beat up a boy in her class. And now you come home drunk!"
I. I MUST RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF WALKING IN TRUE LOVE (VS. 1-3).
A. Without love, talk becomes empty (VS. 1).
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”
1. What kind of talk?
a. Worldly talk (Men)
b. Heavenly talk (Angels)
2. The analogy:
a. “Sounding brass”= hcew calkov = brass, money
b. “Clanging cymbal” = alalzw kumbalon = a cymbal, (a hollow basin of brass, producing when struck together a musical sound)
B. Without love, life becomes worthless (VS. 2).
” And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
1. Great ability or giftedness does not produce a worthwhile life.
a. Note the giftedness discussed:
1) Prophecy: the ability to communicate the message of God.
2) Understanding of great mysteries
3) Great knowledge (knowing all things)
“Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” (1 Cor. 8:1)
4) Ultimate faith
b. Note the verdict:
1) “ouyen eimi”= “I am nothing”
C. Without love, good works avail nothing (VS. 3).
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
1. Self-sacrifice, by itself accomplishes nothing.
a. Notice the self sacrificial acts discussed:
1) Expending all possessions to feed the poor.
2) Sacrifice of own life for religion
II. I MUST REMEMBER THE CHARACTERISTICS OF REAL LOVE
(VS. 4-8). ” Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never fails…And now abide faith, hope, love…”
A. I must seek to live out the seven positive characteristics
of real love.
· Motivating with compliments
A pastor was preaching on Proverbs 16:24: "Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." The minister then added, "You know, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar."
A man’s wife leaned over, put her head on his shoulder and whispered in his ear, "I just love to watch your muscles ripple when you take out the garbage."
4. BELIEVES AND COMMITS
B. I must seek to avoid the eight negative characteristics of
A woman accompanied her husband to the doctor's office for a checkup. Afterwards, the doctor took the wife aside and said, "Unless you do the following things, your husband will surely die. Every morning make sure he gets a good healthy breakfast. Have him come home for lunch each day so you can feed him a well-balanced meal. Make sure you feed him a good, hot dinner every night. Don't overburden him with any household chores. Also, keep the house spotless and clean so he doesn't get exposed to any unnecessary germs." On the way home, the husband asked his wife what the doctor said. She replied, "You're going to die."
· American Health, March 1992, p. 73
1. NOT ENVIOUS
2. NOT SELF-CENTERED
3. NOT CONCEITED
4. NOT RUDE
5. NOT SELFISH
6. NOT QUICK TEMPERED
7. NOT SUSPICIOUS
8. DOES NOT GIVE AFFIRMATION TO EVIL
III. I MUST SEEK TO GROW TOWARD MATURITY IN THE PRACTICE OF TRUE LOVE (VS. 9-13)(FOCUS ON VS. 11).
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
A. If I am to have a maturing love, I must recognize the problems of emotional and spiritual immaturity.
1. Speaking like a child.
a. How does a child speak?
1) He says whatever comes to mind.
2) He is the center of his conversations.
2. Thinking (fronew = to feel, to think) like a child.
a. What does a child think about?
1) What he wants.
2) How to get what he wants.
3. Reasoning (logizomai = to reckon or account) like a child.
a. How does a child reason things out?
1) Simple Cause-Effect Reasoning:
a) If I cry loud enough I will get what I want.
2) Simple feelings-Based Morality:
a) If it makes me feel good- It is good; If it does not, it is not.
3) Simple Selfish Desire Fulfillment:
a) I will only play with you if you do what I want.
B. If I am to have a maturing love, I must repent of following the path of immaturity.
1. Accept the fact that I am no longer to behave in childish ways.
a. Behaving in childishly has devastating consequences:
1) It destroys relationships.
2) It disrupts spiritual effectiveness.
2. Turn away from childishness and behave in a mature fashion.
“Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.” (1 Cor. 14:20).
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people
but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2I fed you with milk and
not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive
it, and even now you are still not able” (1 Cor. 3:1-2)
Audio Illustration: Legacy 5: “Vessel of Mercy”