1) What is the most important topic we should preach about?
1 Corinthians 13: 1 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. 2 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.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Galatians 5:14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you
will be destroyed by each other.
2) Do you love me?
1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
What love is / what love is not
Rejoices with the truth
Does not envy
Does not boast
Not self-seeking (manipulative)
Not easily angered
Keeps no record of wrongs
Does not delight in evil
Rejoices with truth
“Gossip would do little harm if they have so many eager listeners.” John MacArthur
I find it interesting that this is the only aspect of love in 1 Corinthians 13 where Paul offers the negative and the positive definition together. It is as if he is saying, “listen up people, this is important.” And as I heard an in depth discussion of it, I realized why. Pastor John MacArthur says that verse 6 can apply to rejoicing in one’s own sin, or worse yet, rejoicing in another’s sin. He defines the latter as gossip. Who has not been touched by the damaging affects of gossip in baseball, or in life for that matter?
On the topic, MacArthur says, “First Corinthians 13:6a also addresses the issue of gossip, because love doesn't even recount evil things. I have often wondered how much of our conversation would be silenced if we never gossiped about the faults and sins of others. You see, love isn't looking to parade everybody's evil. Love doesn't laugh and make scorn. Love hides those kinds of things gently. Love rejoices not in iniquity. I like the definition of gossip that says this: ‘Gossip is vice enjoyed vicariously.’ But love doesn't do that. Love hates the sin, the way it hurts God, and the way it hurts the sinner.” He goes on to say, “Love never rejoices in iniquity. It never rejoices in what offends God or in what harms the sinner. Therefore, it never likes to hear it or pass it on.”
The heart of gossip is rejoicing in evil. And we must be careful because gossip that is true is still gossip. It is the way unfavorable truth is passed on. It is gloating over the sins and shortcomings of others, and I will never help/ love a person by spreading the news of his/ her sin. Let’s be honest, I do not truly love someone if I gossip about him/ her. And if I do not love as God defines it, I am quenching the Holy Spirit in my life and am walking out of God’s will and in my flesh. There are rare, if any, valid reasons to share unfavorable information about another person, so we would do well to flee from it all together. If you have to stop and question whether you should say something, then that is your indication to zip your lips!!
General Idea: What is love not? It is not rash nor is it boastful! When God tells us that love does not boast, He means we are not to go around bragging about our accomplishments and abilities. When this love is working, we will have no desire to impress others. Thinking that we are important is foolish and distracting to our call and purpose in life. We are not to go around showing off our possessions. In so doing, we are patronizing to those who do not have such things. We are not to be so full of our accomplishments that we fail to see what others have accomplished. Because God loves us so much, we should have no need to impress another. We are not to condescend to our spouse, or anyone, for that matter, with pride, criticism, or contempt, nor are we to withdraw from them when we think they do not meet our approval.
Love does not Boast!
We must allow God to impress us with His greatness, because He is God and we are not. We can so relax and enjoy who we are in Christ, and that we are approved by Him, that we do not have to be in control or be the life of the party to feel secure. Nor, do we need the say-so of others since we have the approval of God, the Creator of the universe. Love is the security we have in Christ that needs nothing else for fulfillment.
3) Are your prayers being answered?
1 John 3:21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not
condemn us, we have
confidence before God
22 and receive from him
anything we ask, because
we obey his commands
and do what pleases him.
23 And this is his command:
to believe in the name of
his Son, Jesus Christ, and
to love one another as he
1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.