Archive for June, 2005

Love

June 23, 2005

A friend recently loaned me a tape of a sermon by Fred McClure (http://www.fredmcclure.org). It was wonderful and I hope he doesn’t mind if I share one of his key points with you.

First, take a look at 1 Corinthians 13 (from the NKJV):

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

After speaking of verses 4-7, what Rev. McClure said that moved me so much was this: “The Bible says that God is love, so let’s replace ‘love’ with ‘Jesus'”:

4Jesus suffers long and is kind; Jesus does not envy; Jesus does not parade himself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek his own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Then he said “The church is the body of Christ, so let’s replace ‘Jesus’ with our church name” (I’ll use my church, but as you read this, use yours):

4Ford’s Chapel suffers long and is kind; Ford’s Chapel does not envy; Ford’s Chapel does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Then he said “You are the church, so replace your church name with ‘I'”:

4I suffer long and am kind; I do not envy; I do not parade myself, am not puffed up; 5do not behave rudely, do not seek my own, am not provoked, think no evil; 6do not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoice in the truth; 7bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.

That sure gives us something to live up to doesn’t it?