All You Need is Love

1/30/2022

Message Title:  All You Need is Love
Theme
: “Here Is the Church” 1 Corinthians series
Season: Epiphany
Main Text: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13;
Scripture Reading: Luke 4:21-30
RCL Scripture: Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71:1-6; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 4:21-30
Focus: Paul instructs the Corinthians to use their gifts through LOVE.
Function:
 To filter our thoughts and actions through God’s love.
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 4:21-30 21 He began to explain to them, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.” 22 Everyone was raving about Jesus, so impressed were they by the gracious words flowing from his lips. They said, “This is Joseph’s son, isn’t it?” 23 Then Jesus said to them, “Undoubtedly, you will quote this saying to me: ‘Doctor, heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we’ve heard you did in Capernaum.’” 24 He said, “I assure you that no prophet is welcome in the prophet’s hometown. 25 And I can assure you that there were many widows in Israel during Elijah’s time, when it didn’t rain for three and a half years and there was a great food shortage in the land. 26 Yet Elijah was sent to none of them but only to a widow in the city of Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 There were also many persons with skin diseases in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha, but none of them were cleansed. Instead, Naaman the Syrian was cleansed.” 28 When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was filled with anger. 29 They rose up and ran him out of town. They led him to the crest of the hill on which their town had been built so that they could throw him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the crowd and went on his way.

INTRODUCTION:

  1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: What is your favorite valentine’s day treat?
    1. What is your favorite way to say “I love you”?
    2. Tiktok – “Women don’t want chocolate for valentine’s day they want….”
  2. It’s important to know how to communicate love to your friends, family, and romantic partners.
    1. Tiktok- Love languages— “I’m gonna need you to say thank you….”
    2. Love languages- Gifts, Touch, Service, Words, Time

TRANSITION:  Communicating love, especially in the way people hear, is extremely important. In our text for today, Paul is going to link our Spiritual Gifts with Love. Could Love change the way a gift is used?

As we read, consider: Why is love significant? What does it look like?

MAIN TEXT: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever. Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. Love never fails. As for prophecies, they will be brought to an end. As for tongues, they will stop. As for knowledge, it will be brought to an end. We know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, what is partial will be brought to an end. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child. But now that I have become a man, I’ve put an end to childish things. 12 Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known. 13 Now faith, hope, and love remain—these three things—and the greatest of these is love.

EXPLAINATION:

  1. 1 Corinthians 13 is frequently paired with wedding talk. It is no surprise since 1 Cor 13 is full of talk about love.
    1. But What’s Love Got to Do with It? … I know I’m funny…. Why does Paul wedge in a conversation about love around the topic of gifts and the operation of the church?
    2. This love isn’t about romance. This love is the Divine form: full, strong, and powerful.
  2. Paul shifts the conversations from gifts and unity to an attitude that should be carried while using those gifts.
    1. Paul makes it very clear that gifts mean nothing if we don’t have love.
  3. Paul then get’s super specific about what Love is, so that no one gets confused.
    1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: Let’s list of the do’s and don’ts of love. Focus on vs 4-7

INTERPRETATION:

  1. SAUL MISSED LOVE: These words are rich coming from Paul—the man who was so obsessed with the Torah that he completely missed the point.
    1. Saul of Tarsus was Pharisee trained under one of the best rabbis: Rabbi Gamaliel. But his zeal for the law made him hyper focused on his own righteousness and the condemnation of others.
      1. We learn from the book of Acts that Saul stood by holding coats while the disciple Stephen was stoned to death.
      2. His conversion story in Acts 9 starts with him marching on the Damascus Road, holding a decree that enabled him to execute blasphemers. He was so convinced that his perspective of God’s word was right that he was willing to kill others to prove his point.
  2. Youth Group Lesson: As a youth pastor, I would lead group activities or competitions: beach volley ball, eating contests, dodgeball, human hungry hippos. kickball, etc. Frequently. I was called in to referee a disagreement over a particular rule.
    1. Was the ball in-bounds (and gave the other team a point) or out of bounds (and it’s time to switch sides)?
    2. Does catching the ball after it bounces off the wall mean the runner is out?
    3. Can you use your elbows to hold extra balls under your basket as a hippo? – things you never have to say as a Senior Pastor that Youth Pastors have to say all the time.
    4. The disagreements are always filled with passion from both sides, especially the most competitive team mates. They would argue over who was right and the tension would build until a fight was brewing.
      1. These exact circumstances lead me to coin a phrase: “When you are so determined to be right that you cease to show love, you are no longer right.”
      2. Even if a side was “correct” – if they acted un-sportsman-like I would favor the other team.

APPLICATION: Christians aren’t supposed to be A-holes about their beliefs.

  1. As adults, it’s easy to look at children and see when they have lost their logic or reason… ironically enough, we aren’t the best at seeing that within ourselves.
  2. Adult Christians can behave like competitive children or even Self-Righteous Paul. We can lose sight of the Gospel when we are convinced that we are exactly right.
  3. Our beliefs and actions as Christians don’t matter if we don’t demonstrate love.
    1. In the last 4 years, American Christians have struggled with this line—politics, COVID, and other current events have led us to form opinions that bubble and brew until we’re convinced that our recipe is perfect and everyone else is wrong.
  4. I’m not perfect either—I’ve been in that same place of being convinced that everyone else is an idiot and I’m right-eous with God!
  5. Keeping ourselves humble and loving.
    1. “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
      1. This IS leaving condemnation to God and only doing love.
      2. This is leaving the transformation of a life up to the Spirit’s guidance.
    2. “I’m just speaking in love”
      1. This is having a relationship with someone who expresses they want to grow in their Christian faith before you give commentary on their lifestyle.

CONCLUSION:  How could love transform your life?

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