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Spiritual Gifts 8: Gifts in Love

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Reading: 1Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 1Corinthians 13:1 (NIV)

I.   Gifts without love are Pointless

     A.  Without love, my talking is Just Noise

           1.  Paul puts this in the 1st person singular.

                 a.  If I... identifying with these tendencies!

           2.  If I speak human language . . .

                 a.  The tongues of men...

                 b.  Talk is cheap–Do I love those I talk to?

                 c.  Eloquence is just making nicer noise!

           3.  If I speak “in tongues” . . .

                 a.  A gift of spiritual ecstacy.

                 b.  Without love–it’s just making noise!

     B.  Without love, my insight is Nothing

           1.  If I prophecy without love I am nothing

                 a.  Not the prophecy–I am a nobody!

                 b.  I have no status with you or b/4 God

           2.  If I understand everything w/o love...

                 a.  To understand but not understand...

           3.  If I have deep & powerful faith w/o love...

                 a.  Who cares about moving mountains!

     C.  Without love, my serving does No Good

           1.  Yes we can serve w/o love.

                 a.  For show, out of guilt, because I couldn’t say “No thanks.”

                 b.  To impress others/God (?)

                 c.  This sort of service gets me nowhere.

           2.  If I give w/o love I get no benefit/blessing

                 a.  Even if I give everything to the poor . . .

           3.  If I sacrifice myself w/o love I gain nothing

                 a.  If I die for my faith w/o love, it’s nothing

                 b.  If I do all those things a radical Christian would do, w/o love–it’s worthless

           4.  W/o love everything means nothing.

II.  What love Really is

     A.  Love is Patient and Kind

           1.  Patient=long suffering

                 a.  Yes, “True love waits!”

                 b.  Patient with the immaturity of others

           2.  Kind=gentle

                 a.  No drill-sergeant disciplers please!

                 b.  “If you can’t say/do nothin’ nice . . .

     B.  Love isn’t Selfish or Hurtful

           1.  Doesn’t envy–get jealous of others

                 a.  “I wish I had your gift(s).” / sour grapes

           2.  Doesn’t brag; “Doesn’t strut” (The Message)

                 a.  “Too bad you don’t have my gift(s).”

           3.  Doesn’t behave badly/shamefully

                 a.  “Shut up and listen to/watch me.

           4.  Doesn’t “look out for #1”

                 a.  “If it would help me, I’d do it.”

           5.  Isn’t irritable

                 a.  “Why are you always so . . .”

           6.  Doesn’t keep statistics on fouls.

                 a.  “I remember back in ‘62 when you . . .”

           7.  Isn’t happy about wrong-doing/injustice

                 a.  “Well, he/she deserved it.”

     C.  Love stays on Their Side

           1.  It’s happy when things go right

                 a.  “Isn’t it great what happened to . . .”

           2.  It’s always quiet about another’s faults

                 a.  “I’ve always liked this about him/her”

           3.  It always gives the benefit of the doubt

                 a.  “I’m sure s/he didn’t mean it that way.”

           4.  It always expects something better

                 a.  “They’ll come around, you just watch.”

           5.  It always sticks with him/her

                 a.  “We’ll love him/her, no matter what.”

III. Love will Outlast spiritual gifts

     A.  The best gifts are only Temporary

           1.  Gifts are wonderful and necessary!

                 a.  How else could we accomplish anything!

           2.  But they’re just for now.

                 a.  They’re only for this life.

                 b.  They’re only for when we have the time/place to use them.

     B.  It’s time to Grow Up!

           1.  Just because you didn’t get what your brother/sister got, don’t get in a tizzy!

                 a.  Don’t be childish!

                 b.  Fair the same.

                 c.  Don’t pout and run off angry because you didn’t get your way.

           2.  Don’t lose perspective.

                 a.  What’s the main thing here?

                 b.  It’s so easy to get distracted.

                 c.  Minor things become major things.

           3.  It’s about the one thing: Love God & others

                 a.  If it’s not about love, don’t do it!

                 b.  If love is the reason for it, be bold!

                 c.  Only use your gifts out of your love for God and your neighbors.

     C.  Let love govern us Completely

           1.  As we use our gifts in service

                 a.  We will serve each other because we love each other.

                 b.  We will lead and teach and speak only when love is the main motivator.

           2.  Let’s not play church. Let’s be church!

                 a.  Let’s not just do the work.

                 b.  Let’s let the work be our way of loving.

                 c.  Forget going through the motions!

                 d.  Move to the heart-beat of love.

           3.  Let love be the driving force for everything!

                 a.  Real love now!

                 b.  Decisive, devoted love.

                 c.  Express your love for God and each other in all you say and do.

The Bottom Line:

All we Do or Say will be an Expression of our love for God and each other

I will respond to God today by: ____________________
________________________________________________

R#544 We Are One in the Bond of Love

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