Celebrating 76 Years Of Ministry
To God Be The Glory
Current Sermon Series:
“The Miracles of Christ in the Gospel of John”
August 3rd: “Raising Lazarus From the Dead”
Read John 11:1-44. Please join us at 10:45 AM.
Each Sunday there is a children's program for children K through 5th grade. It is from 6 to 7 PM.
Senior's Exercise Class on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM. For men and women of all ages. Handicapped accessible.
Each Saturday - Men's Bible Study at 9:00 AM
Third Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - The Food Pantry is open to all who are in need.
Fourth Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - Our Clothes Closet is open to the community.
Love is one of the most abused words in the English language. We use it in so many different contexts that it’s hard to know what it actually means. We love pizza, we love sports, we love our family, we love our dog, we love America, and we love God. How can we love all of these or love them all in the same way? It’s important that we go to Scripture to understand what true love actually is. A great place to turn is 1 Corinthians 13, which is often referred to as the “love” chapter. This is a chapter often read at weddings. Other than maybe 1 John 4, Paul’s chapter in 1 Corinthians contains the greatest recorded words on the subject of love. This chapter falls within a discussion on spiritual gifts, particularly a discussion on how to correct the abuse of tongues (chaps. 12-14). Paul’s point is that spiritual gifts are nothing unless they are expressed with an attitude of love. Three points flow out of this chapter on love: love is essential (vv. 1-3), love is explained (vv. 4-7), and love is enduring (vv. 8-13).
Love is essential. Paul says that without love it does not matter how spiritually gifted we are; it counts for nothing. We may have the gift of tongues or prophecy or knowledge or faith or generosity or even martyrdom, yet if love is missing these gifts profit us nothing. Spiritual gifts are important, but in comparison to love they are secondary. What is essential is love—love for God and our neighbor. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” He then added, “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12.30-31). Being spiritually gifted is important and we want to be effective in ministry, but this takes a back seat to loving God and caring for our neighbor.
Love is explained. In verses 4-7 Paul provides an explanation or definition of love. Notice how different his inspired idea of love is compared to our contemporary, sentimental view of love. He states, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (NLT). Do you and I really possess this kind of love? We should, and the only way we can is through the power of the Holy Spirit in our life. Remember the fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal 5.22).
Love is enduring. Verse 8 says, “Love never fails.” In this context it means that love never comes to an end. It endures throughout eternity. Prophecies, tongues, and knowledge will all pass away, but love remains forever. That is why love is the greatest of the Christian virtues. Paul says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (v. 13). Love is the greatest because only love endures forever. Hope is fulfilled when Christ returns, and at that time faith will also end in sight. We will no longer need hope or faith in heaven, but we will continue to have love. Thus, love is to be the chief characteristic of our life, both now and for all eternity.
For more devotions by Pastor Mark, visit his blog at drmarkjackson.wordpress.com.