The What or the Who?
You hear stories of people going west for gold, moving to a town where they don’t know anybody for a good job, or going on a vacation alone because no wants to go to the place they want to go to.
That’s being motivated by the ‘what’. Others stay someplace because that’s where they know people or, like me, going to college because it’s the same one my best friend went to. That’s being motivated by the ‘who’.
What am I motivated by?
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
What matters to us? Hopefully LOVE.
Example: Astrid’s video of the lady coming back from heaven.
Astrid’s video. 3 stages of love. Reconciliation, coexisting in relative harmony, caring about others more than yourself. (true love)
Intro to 3 part series: Why not love?
Without Love, we have nothing.
What is love? (…and what isn’t it?)
Where love takes us. (Love is a journey of faith)
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have 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 do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Without love… it doesn’t matter what I do.
I gain nothing
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
Speaking in tongues. Impressive. Preaching like a boss.
Example: National Geographic article about what annoys us.
Intermittent and unpredictable.
1. eloquent speech is empty noise.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge…
Imagine being a prophet.
Example: reading Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel. God’s guys.
Daniel not only told the meaning of the dream but the dream itself.
Imagine being able to understand all mysteries and all knowledge.
Example: Germans in KC ‘i don’t understand why God would do that.’ Why would God allow bad things to happen to good people.
Example: Global warming. When will the world end? Finding a cure for cancer?
but do not have love, I am nothing.
2. extreme intelligence is a liability.
and if I have a faith that can move mountains…
Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.
Fathers of the Faith from Hebrews 11
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. Hebrews 11:17-19
but do not have love, I am nothing
3. powerful faith accomplishes nothing
If I give all I possess to the poor…
Generosity to the extreme.
George Muller renounced his regular salary, believing that the practice could lead to church members giving out of duty, not desire
“The greatness of the sum required affords me a kind of secret joy; for the greater the difficulty to be overcome, the more it will be seen to the glory of God, how much can be done by prayer and faith; and also, because when God himself overcomes our difficulties for us, we have, in this very fact, the assurance that we are engaged in His work and not in our own.”
~ George Muller
…and give over my body to hardship that I may boast
Example: Iron Man. Navy seals, football training, Physical training.
Spiritual training, fasting.
A HALO jump has SEALs fall until they reach terminal velocity, then they try not to break their neck as their parachute opens at a mere 3,000 feet.
Summarize the super-Christian described in this passage.
If I speak, if I prophecy, if I understand, if I have faith, if I am radically generous, and have the utmost self-discipline and control…
4. radical self-denial gains nothing.
To truly gain, we must be motivated by love.
Godliness with contentment is great gain.
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
What is lost by loving someone in this life is never truly lost.
Example: The lady who died and returned talked about how God wasn’t concerned at all with what she accomplished. It was how well she loved people.
Application: How well am I loving people?
Make 2020 the year you practice love.
5. All endeavors amount to nothing.
Why would we not love then?
1. To gain things only for this life.
2. Fear of getting hurt.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Is love really that scary?
This is the case for LOVE OVER EVERYTHING, but what is it?
Next week: What is love? (…and what isn’t it?)