Love Does...

Sermon Summary

This message speaks of some of the things that love does. It is the next to the last message in a series on Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians, known as the love chapter. This sermon explores some of the things that genuine, God-like love does when it comes to relationships, both human and our relationship with God. It is a challenging message with some difficult topics, but very important for Christians to understand.

Community Group Discussion Guide (To be completed by Monday Morning)

1. How much has God's love endured when it comes to your relationship with Him? Why is it hard to exercise the same kind of endurance in our human relationships? Maybe we should do our utmost to protect one another even if it means laying down our wants and wishes to help them achieve their God-given best in life! Discuss.

2. Why is it so hard to hate sin, but still find a way to love the person and to find a way to lovingly share God's truth with them? You may not understand another person's struggles and temptations, because you struggle with different things. Discuss.

Gal 6:1  Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
Gal 6:2  Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

3. How has God's love provided protection for you when you faced life's difficulties? Read what God said to Israel and apply those words to yourself.

Isa 41:9  I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
Isa 41:10  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

4. Why is trust such an integral part of genuine love? Why is it sometimes hard to trust God during the difficult times in life? The Psalmist struggled with this as well. The following verses will help this discussion...

Psa 13:1  For the director of music. A psalm of David. How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
Psa 13:2  How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Psa 13:3  Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
Psa 13:4  my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
Psa 13:5  But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
Psa 13:6  I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.

Love Does...

Full Sermon Notes

Do you know why we call God's grace amazing? It's because we don't deserve it and because He gives it because He loves us with a love that can't be compared or even imagined! Those of us who've accepted and experienced that love have been eternally transformed and it is our desire for you to know and experience the same love and change of life. Once you do, you will be inspired, energized, motivated, moved, and propelled into a life fired up by a passion to share that love with others! We're going to pray and then some of our folks who where compelled by that love to go on a mission trip to the poorest nation in the western hemisphere will share a few moments about what love does!! Pray!!

Haiti Mission Team speaks while slides show in background. Tell us your name, what group you worked with (Ag, med, construction) and what led you to consider going on an NSC mission trip to Haiti.
Paul, Lindsey, Johnny

As you think about the trip there are probably several great experiences or memories that come to mind. 

Can you share one significant experience that was especially relevant or impactful for you personally?

What would you say to someone who is sitting here today and considering going on the trip?

That's so powerful!! Now let's look at our text, 1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:1-7 and unpack what love does…

1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:1-7...And now I will show you the most excellent way.

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.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

So we've talked about love's motivation, what love is, what love is not, what love does not do and today we talk about what love does. It's ironic that Paul starts off his list of what love does with one more love does not!! But it's really a love does! I'll explain! Check it out...

1 Corinthians 13:6 Love does not delight in evil...

What is he saying here?

Love Does...Hate Evil!

When Paul says love does not delight in evil, he's saying that love actually hates what is evil! Love doesn't hate evil people, it hates the nasty, ugly, hurtful, wickedness that makes people do evil things! Love, Godly love hates the things that would harm, hurt, and hinder a person from knowing true love. Godly love hates anything that stands in the way of a lost sinner coming to know a loving Savior! In fact, you've probably heard it put this way…God hates the sin, but loves the sinner! Why does God hate sin, and why should we hate sin? Because sin separates and destroys!!

Isaiah 59:1-3 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things.

The New Testament puts it this way...

Ephesians 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God
because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality
so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

But Paul then says this in the next verse of Ephesians...

Ephesians 4:20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.
Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

And this leads us to our next point...

Love Does…Rejoice in the Truth!

1 Corinthians 13:6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

You see, true, genuine, God-like love never delights in the mis-fortune of others, even its enemies. You see true, genuine, God-like love wants good for others and rejoices when they come to understand and know the truth of God's love, mercy and forgiveness. Now let me just say something and it may be a bit controversial, I'm not trying to be, but here's the deal...

One of the biggest lies out there today, and our government's add council, supported by your tax dollars, is pushing the lie. It basically says that in order to love someone, for it to be real love, you must agree and fully accept  that person's lifestyle choice, their culture, their religion, unless of course, if it's Christian, and if you disagree in anyway, you are not being loving and are in fact being intolerant!
Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is this, there are good reasons God gave us the moral and spiritual guidance of the Bible. It's so we could live life to the fullest of our God-given potentials. Another truth is this…Christians have not always been loving or kind in the way they have shared this truth We are not to be judgmental or condescending, or mean spirited!

Paul put it this way in the book of Romans...

Romans 12:9-12 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Wanna know the truth? What I just read to you is not so easy to do! Do you find it easy to always be sincere in your interactions with others? Do you always hate what is evil, or does it sometimes seem tempting to have just a little sweet revenge? Is it always easy to cling to what is good even when the world is laughing at you and calling you weak? And sometimes, even when you share truth in the most loving and nonjudgmental way, you may still be labeled unfairly.

Devotion to someone is really hard when that devotion is not rewarded or encouraged. Honoring others above ourselves is not easy either, but God will bless you when you put others above yourself! Once again, I'm not talking about allowing yourself to be abused or repeatedly taken advantage of, but to be willing to give love even when the love is not returned.

Loving the unloving is what Jesus did and let's never forget that He reached many lost people with that love!
Oh, and Paul said...

Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Seriously? Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor! Is it possible to always be excited in your walk with the Lord? Well, let me remind you that we walk by faith and not by our feelings, but, as you've heard me say before, if we continue to walk by faith even when we don't feel like it, God will bless our faithfulness and His love will surround us and the feelings will return!

In fact, Paul said...

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

How is that a Christian can be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer? Well it's all because of what genuine, God-like love does...

Love Does...Always Protect!

1 Corinthians 13:7 It always protects...

Some of your translations may say, "Love bears all things" or "never gives up." What this means is that true love does all it can to protect the relationship. When you truly love someone you want to protect the relationship. You'll fight for the relationship, you'll nurture the relationship, you'll be willing to carry the load, bear the burdens, endure the hardships.

And remember what Paul said in Romans 12:12?

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

We can be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer, because we know God's loves always protects! He cares for you and wants what's best for you and He deeply cares for the relationship He has with you. He want's it to flourish and grow! How many times has God's love protected you from an unloving world? How many times has His love carried you when you couldn't go on?

Dr. Raymond Brown, in the Broadman Commentary said it beautifully...

Love "holds out in spite of everything. It outlives sorrow, disappointment, cruelty, distortion of truth, indifference."

It keeps going in the face of all the foes that threaten to undo it. Love never waivers; it never ceases!"

The Psalmist certainly found himself in a place of needing the faithful protection of this kind of love after he had failed miserably in his relationship with The Lord...

Psalm 31:7-16 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.
Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.
Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors;
I am a dread to my friends—those who see me on the street flee from me.
I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.
For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side; they conspire against me and plot to take my life.
But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.

Did you hear those words? But I trust in You! My times are in Your hands! This leads us to our next point...

Love Does…Always Trust!

1 Corinthians 13:7 It always protects, always trusts...

Trust is such an important part of a loving relationship. You see, if you love someone with all of your heart, but you can't trust them, then the relationship is going to be harmed in a significant way. Real, genuine, God-like love desires to trust! It needs to trust! Love gives the benefit of the doubt! Love trust until such a time that it is absolutely proven that the trust is misplaced, but it will still love and it will do all that it can to be trustworthy and to encourage trustworthiness in the other person. Some translations say, "love believes all things!" Genuine love will always believe the very best and work for the very best in it's relationships! Once again I quote Dr. Brown...

"Love makes allowances for the weakness of others!"

"It does not create distrust by manifesting distrust!"

"Love prefers to be overgenerous rather than over-suspicious!"

That's powerful and requires us to be vulnerable and to take some chances! You will get burned sometimes. It's inevitable, but as Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the son of a clergyman in England once said…"better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all!" Now let me explain something to you about my using this statement. There are times when you will build a friendship with someone and you hope that as that friendship grows you will have the opportunity to share Christ with them. Notice I said you build a genuine friendship with them. Not just so you can share the gospel with them, but to really be their friend. They may never allow you to share your faith with them. Love them anyway, and don't shut them out of your life because they refuse to accept your faith. You may never know, and you may not live to see the day, and it may never come, but it could be that way down the road somewhere, because of your genuine love and concern for them, it could even be on their death bed, that they remember your loving witness and friendship and decide to cry out to the Lord for salvation. It's risky when you build these kinds of friendships, but...

Have you ever thought about the huge risk God took when He chose to create us and then set us free by giving us a free will to choose whether or not we would love Him and trust Him? You see, God wants us to love Him, but He will not force us to accept or receive His love. I believe that He will do everything within His power to give everyone at least one good chance to hear His offer!

Paul told Timothy this...

1 Timothy 2:1-8 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—
for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.
And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth,
I am not lying —and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

You see, God wants everyone to trust Him and be saved. Not everyone will, but He sure wants everyone to know His love and He did an amazing thing in order to allow everyone a chance at salvation! Next week we're going to rap up our series on love with the most amazing, incredible act of love that this world has ever witnessed. We're going to see how Agape, God's love, defeated evil, brought us truth, bore all things to offer us protection, trusted us with an eternal decision, had an undying hope we would choose well, perseveres where all others would give up, and never fails!

Let's Pray!!