Love is ...

 

I.       Many passages are used for needlepoint samplers. A popular choices is I Cor. 13:1-8

          A.      Today we will look at the meaning of the many phrases

          B.      The passage is talking about the love between brethren. However, it can be applied to many other situations:

                    1.       Husbands and wives         

                    2.       God's love for man

II.      We find these points:

          A.      Patient (longsuffering, a willingness to wait)

                    1.       The best example is God's longsuffering with mankind. Rom. 9:22-23, II Pet. 3:9

                    2.       It is not an endless tolerance, but it is a very long one, giving every opportunity to improve.

                    3.       We need to learn from the farmers - James 5:7-11

                    4.       Learned from resisting impatience during adversity - James 1:2-4

                    5.       How often are marriages ended at the first major disagreement?

          B.      Kind (showing yourself useful, acting benevolently)

                    1.       Christians are to kind and compassionate to each other - Eph. 4:31-32

                    2.       Just like God - Lk 6:35-36

                    3.       Doing things for those you love. Not just the major things, but the little things count a lot.

                    4.       Rom. 12:9-14 - How to do this

          C.      Not envious (strong feelings for or against)

                    1.       Joseph was sold because of his brothers' envy - Acts 7:9

                    2.       The Jews envied Paul's ability to draw crowds - Acts 13:44-45

                    3.       Christians must avoid envy - Gal. 5:26

                    4.       Envy ruins life - Pr. 14:30

          D.      Does not vaunt itself (doesn't brag, doesn't boast, doesn't cause envy in others)

                    1.       All boasting is evil - James 4:16

                    2.       We should not think too highly of ourselves - Rom. 12:3

          E.       Not puffed up (not proud)

                    1.       Like boasting, causes strife - Pr. 28:25

                    2.       Pride goes before destruction - Pr. 16:18

                    3.       Pride was a problem in the Corinthian church. Paul mentions it frequently - I Cor. 4:6, 18-19

          F.       Does not behave unseemly (doesn't act unbecoming, is not rude)

                    1.       Yes, love requires good manners.

                    2.       James 4:11 - Don't speak evil of each other

                    3.       Tit. 2:3 - Women are to learn to lead a reverent life

                    4.       Too many jokes involve husbands or wives putting their spouse down in public

          G.      Seeks not her own (not looking out for self, not worshipping oneself)

                    1.       Love is for other people, not yourself

                    2.       A sign of the decay of society when men are lovers of themselves - II Tim. 3:1-5

                    3.       Others come first - Phil 2:3-4, I Cor. 10:24, 33

          H.      Not easily provoked (not easily provoked or exasperated)

                    1.       James 1:19-20 - not quickly angered

                    2.       Eph. 4:26-27 - anger is not to last, but settled quickly

                    3.       Some constantly find fault. They nag. - Pr. 25:24

          I.       Thinks no evil (doesn't take inventory, keeps no record of wrong)

                    1.       We must learn to forgive - Lk 17:4, Col. 3:12-14

                    2.       To forgive is to forget the past - Jer. 31:34

                    3.       To say "This is the fifth time you ..." is not from love.

          J.       Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in truth

                    1.       Love doesn't encourage another to sin.

                    2.       Do you derive satisfaction to someone stumble?

                    3.       Seeing brethren doing what is right and helpful should fill us with joy.

          K.      Bears all things (to cover with silence, protects, to roof over)

                    1.       Saving a soul covers a multitude of sins - James 5:20

                    2.       Covering sins is linked with forgiveness - Ps. 32:1

                    3.       Love covers sins - Pr. 10:12

                    4.       We marry for better or for worse. Love doesn't just exist during the good times.

          L.       Believes all things (trust, faith)

                    1.       There is an old song "When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman" that illustrates the opposite of this phrase. There was not trust in that relationship

                    2.       There must be trust in each other. We must also be trustworthy.

          M.     Hopes all things (expects, doesn't despair)

                    1.       Optimism, not pessimism

                    2.       We always look for a better place - Heb. 11:13-16, 13:14

          N.      Endures all things (stands up under loads, remains)

                    1.       Doesn't quit or give up

                    2.       Like a tree with plenty of water - Ps. 1:3 - God's word sustains us

                    3.       The idea "if it doesn't work, we'll just get a divorce" is foreign to the Christian

                    4.       All parties must work to continue

          O.      Never fails (won't stop because of bad times or good times)