Thompsonville Worship Hour

Because (Part 2 of 2)

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. John Lomacang


Series Code: TWH

Program Code: TWH000006A

00:33 When you think about the topic of love,
00:36 it is so broad,
00:41 it's like saying
00:42 I'm going to go fishing in the ocean.
00:46 And the question is which ocean
00:49 and how far and how deep and how wide?
00:53 And so
00:55 having done sermons on the topic of love before,
01:01 I was challenged this week as to what to talk about
01:06 and I decided to walk through
01:08 probably one of the most recommended scriptures
01:11 in the Bible
01:12 about the topic of love which is 1 Corinthians 13.
01:17 We are commended to read that chapter every day
01:23 to find out what love is
01:26 and I thought for a while
01:29 That, well, 1 Corinthians is just 1 Corinthians 13.
01:36 What is the big deal?
01:38 Until I decided to walk through it,
01:44 in an expository manner breaking it down
01:48 chapter-by-chapter,
01:49 I mean, verse-by-verse, point-by-point
01:52 and I discovered that 1 Corinthians 13 is
01:56 so deep a book
01:59 that if you go into it,
02:00 thinking that you know love what...
02:02 that you know what love is,
02:04 you come out of it realizing that
02:08 you don't know what love is.
02:10 And so today we're gonna walk together through that book,
02:13 but we're gonna begin
02:14 by turning in our Bibles to 1 John 4
02:18 and we are gonna read together verses 18-19.
02:22 And by the way this sermon is not for married people
02:25 or younger people or older people,
02:27 it's for all people,
02:30 because everyone of us
02:32 needs to learn the lesson of divine love.
02:36 But I'm blessed to be able to have divine love in my life
02:41 going on 34 years now,
02:43 the Lord has blessed me with a lovely wife
02:45 and I think I've been learning more and more about love,
02:49 and love and support and kindness
02:54 and being there for each other is something that teaches us.
02:58 You know, if you've been married more than 10 years,
03:00 or 20 years, or 30 years,
03:01 you know, that love takes on so many different facets
03:05 that is more than just a four letter word.
03:11 1 John 4:18-19.
03:16 "There is no fear in love,
03:18 but perfect love casts out fear,
03:24 because fear involves torment.
03:29 But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."
03:34 And together verse 19 let's read that.
03:37 "We love Him because He first loved us."
03:43 Bow your heads with me.
03:48 Loving Father, take this message now
03:51 and find those hearts
03:55 that need to understand
03:57 and be exposed to this crippling love,
04:00 this enabling love, this examining love,
04:03 this empowering love,
04:06 this love that pushes
04:07 through the stone of the human heart,
04:11 this love that swims from the depth of agony
04:14 to the surface,
04:16 where we find a breath of new air and fresh air.
04:20 Help us to discover this love that is abnormal,
04:24 yet so perfectly divine.
04:27 Speak to our hearts today
04:30 and as we walk back in time
04:35 to look at the Corinthians may we move forward in time
04:39 to look at ourselves,
04:42 to learn about this mysterious thing called love,
04:45 in Jesus' name we pray.
04:48 Amen.
04:51 1 Corinthians 13 will be the focus of our journey today.
04:59 The Apostle Paul was a man
05:04 who was undoubtedly called to preach the gospel.
05:09 He was called to teach the gospel.
05:12 And Paul the Apostle had the privilege of journeying
05:16 from city-to-city as a converted evangelist,
05:21 one who came to discover what love was
05:24 because he loved to hate,
05:29 before he loved to love.
05:32 Paul was highly equipped, highly educated.
05:37 He was the Pharisee of the Pharisees,
05:39 he's the Hebrew of the Hebrews.
05:41 He was a student of the law.
05:44 He understood the oracles better than many
05:49 in his understanding of these things
05:51 that were revealed to the Jews were,
05:54 his understanding was very, very, very deep.
05:58 But he held on to his intellect and he ignored his heart,
06:03 until God gave him the opportunity
06:06 to think about it all over again
06:08 from a completely different perspective.
06:11 God had to get Paul's attention,
06:14 change his attitude,
06:16 change his name, change his mission,
06:20 and how fitting it is
06:21 that the man that love to hate,
06:24 could now love to love.
06:27 And then through the Apostle Paul,
06:28 the Lord established two churches in Greece,
06:34 both in the City of Corinth.
06:36 Corinth was an amazing city,
06:38 a population of approximately 700,000 inhabitants.
06:43 And when you look at the history of that city,
06:45 the demographs of that city,
06:47 that city had two-thirds of its inhabitants,
06:50 two-thirds of the 700,000 that lived there were slaves.
06:56 It was a thriving city, a city of commerce.
07:00 It was also a degraded city,
07:02 a city of many idolatress religions.
07:06 And Paul the Apostle
07:07 on his second journey to Corinth,
07:09 by God's leading established two churches,
07:12 and you find that he had quite a bit of time
07:16 dealing with those Corinthian believers
07:18 who were very, very conditioned by the society
07:23 that surrounded them, a corrupt society,
07:25 a very affluent society.
07:27 He had to confront a church on a weekly basis
07:31 that had the master
07:33 and the slave worshiping together,
07:36 the affluent and the poor worshiping together,
07:40 the haves and have-nots worshiping together.
07:45 The well dressed and the not so well dressed
07:48 worshiping together.
07:51 He had to deal with
07:53 a congregation on a weekly basis
07:54 that was so multicultural
07:56 that when they got together on Sabbath,
07:59 sometimes the discussion was as remedial
08:02 as what language shall we speak in today.
08:06 Since we are so cosmopolitan, a port city, a commercial city,
08:11 multinational, multiethnic, multicultural,
08:15 multi-likes and dislikes.
08:18 And if you were in the church long enough,
08:19 you know that we all have different likes and dislikes.
08:22 Can I get an amen?
08:24 Some of us like our music hot with a rhythm,
08:28 some of us can't stand it, if it goes beyond the violin.
08:34 Some of us like long sermons,
08:36 'cause we ain't going anywhere anyhow,
08:39 and some of us time those sermons
08:40 to the critical atomic second.
08:45 Some of us believe in keeping the whole day holy,
08:47 others of us can't wait till it ends.
08:53 And so thus, the church that Paul had to deal with
08:56 is not so much different from the church of today,
09:00 the Corinthian believers.
09:01 After Paul established the church in Corinth,
09:03 he stayed there for 18 months
09:05 and taught this new congregation
09:07 about the word of God, but after he left,
09:10 Apollos came from Ephesus
09:13 and he now began to minister
09:16 to this Corinthian congregation.
09:21 Paul left the health of the Corinthian church
09:24 to the ministry of the Apollos, to Apollos
09:27 and that's why you read the text in 1 Corinthians 3:6
09:30 where Paul says,
09:31 "I planted, Apollos watered,
09:37 but God gave the increase."
09:41 Paul planted these two congregations.
09:44 Apollos came along and watered what God planted through Paul
09:49 but only God could give the increase.
09:53 This cross-cultural influence of the City of Corinth
09:58 began to challenge the church that was at Corinth.
10:03 When I began to study in the commentaries
10:05 and looking at some of the history
10:06 and the dates of the existence of these cities,
10:09 the core issue was not that the church was in Corinth
10:13 but the issue was that Corinth was in the church.
10:18 You see somebody once said to me,
10:20 you can take the boy out of the city,
10:23 but you can't take the city out of the boy.
10:26 You can take the man out of the club,
10:29 but you can't take the club out of the man.
10:32 You can take the idea of fashion
10:35 out of the woman,
10:36 but you can't take the woman out of fashion.
10:39 The Corinthian church was a church
10:40 that began to be influenced more by the city
10:46 than the city was influenced by the church.
10:48 You see the city had a greater impact on the church
10:51 than the church had on the city.
10:54 And so 1 Corinthians 13 was written
10:57 and it highlighted
10:59 the paraphernalia of Christianity.
11:03 A big word simply meaning the stuff.
11:05 Paraphernalia simply the word stuff.
11:08 So when we walk through 1 Corinthians 13,
11:11 we will begin to see the stuff of the Corinthian church
11:15 and the stuff of our church
11:19 because they had stuff, we got stuff,
11:24 they had challenges, we have challenges,
11:28 God lead them through their challenges,
11:31 God could lead us through our challenges.
11:36 So let's begin by walking through
11:39 this paraphernalia distracted church
11:42 called the church at Corinth.
11:44 And by the way if you're a Bible student
11:46 and you want to find more clarification,
11:49 you'll also discover that
11:54 2 Corinthians was written
11:56 to answer many of the distractions
11:59 that were introduced in 1 Corinthians.
12:02 When Paul left and continued his journeys from city-to-city,
12:07 he received constant letters from those
12:09 that were part of the officers at the church at Corinth.
12:12 And they would write letters and Paul would write back
12:15 and give answers to those challenges
12:17 that were there in Corinth.
12:19 It was to the Corinthian church
12:21 where people took that text out of context to be absent
12:24 from the body is to be present with the Lord.
12:27 Paul meant, he was absent
12:29 from the Corinthian body of believers,
12:32 but wherever he went, he was present with the Lord.
12:35 He wasn't talking about dying and going to heaven.
12:38 Wherever he went, his heart was with the Corinthian believers,
12:42 but physically he was absent from the body,
12:46 the body of believers, not the physical body.
12:51 But 1 Corinthians 13 begins and there are,
12:55 before we get to the core of it,
12:56 there are three major distractions
12:58 that are highlighted by the Apostle Paul
13:01 about the Corinthian church.
13:03 He begins in verse 1 of chapter 13
13:06 and he reads as follows,
13:07 "Though I speak with the tongues of men
13:09 and of angels,
13:13 but have not love,
13:14 I have become sounding brass
13:17 or a clanging cymbal."
13:20 I don't know how many of you've ever seen Charlie Brown.
13:23 Ever seen Charlie Brown?
13:26 Whenever the adults talked it will be...
13:31 Remember that?
13:32 The adults never made any sounds, only the kids,
13:35 but it was like...
13:37 and depending on the gender of the adult, that was...
13:43 What Paul was in essence saying
13:44 before I get to the core of this is
13:47 when you don't love somebody
13:49 and you talk to them all they hear is...
13:55 They don't care what you're saying,
13:58 a sounding brass and the clinging cymbal.
14:01 When they know you don't love them,
14:05 you could talk all day long, all they hear are,
14:09 I don't want to keep doing that.
14:11 All they hear are sounds that don't meet their need.
14:17 But there's a deeper issue here,
14:19 I think one of barriers of worship in a multiethnic
14:22 and a multicultural center of worship was,
14:24 what language should we speak.
14:26 In other words,
14:28 what race are we going to appeal to
14:30 when we get together on this day of worship?
14:36 And I remember reading a pew research
14:38 looking at a research,
14:39 a number of companies do research
14:41 but it was pointed out in this particular research
14:44 and I'll share it with you.
14:46 Many of you have seen LifeWay Christian book stores,
14:49 they're very prevalent in larger cities,
14:51 we don't have any here.
14:53 I think there's a small one on the way to Carbondale
14:55 but down to Nashville, Tennessee,
14:59 they did a survey of Sunday morning worshippers in 2015
15:04 and here's what the results were.
15:07 And the article was entitled,
15:09 Sunday morning in America is still segregated
15:13 and that's okay with its worshippers.
15:16 67% of worshippers surveyed agree
15:20 that our church is doing enough to be ethnically diversed.
15:23 But they cited Nashville, Tennessee, they said,
15:25 ''Sunday morning remains one of the most segregated hours
15:30 in American life
15:32 with more than 8 in 10 congregations
15:34 made up of one predominant racial group."
15:38 That's why I like our church.
15:42 Amen?
15:46 We have come in this little small town
15:49 and this is really an amazing thing
15:51 because in Thompsonville.
15:53 Weren't too many years ago
15:55 that wasn't too far from here was
15:58 one of the centers for the Ku Klux Klan.
16:01 In little Thompsonville, I remember,
16:03 number of years ago going to Carbondale,
16:04 inviting people to come to Thompsonville,
16:07 they say, where?
16:09 When I say inviting folk,
16:10 inviting African-Americans in Carbondale
16:13 to come to Thompsonville, they said, where,
16:14 I ain't going to Thompsonville, not me.
16:17 I said why, I live in Thompsonville.
16:18 They say, that's you, I ain't going to Thompsonville.
16:21 Because they remember that yesterday,
16:24 but Thompsonville is different today,
16:26 come on somebody help me out.
16:28 I remember moving down to Thompsonville and you know,
16:30 it was while before people in the post office
16:32 got used to see my wife and I but now,
16:34 I go to Walmart, I know who you are,
16:36 I know what you...
16:38 I watch you, I listen to you, I've seen you before.
16:41 And unlike the common perception,
16:44 I have come to believe
16:46 that to have a friend
16:49 one must also first show himself to be friendly.
16:54 And sometimes, we put up walls and we see walls,
16:59 but a lot of times, we got walls
17:01 and other folk got walls,
17:04 and that was the issue with the early Corinthian church,
17:06 it was a cosmopolitan center of worship.
17:09 All kinds of nationalities, but when you read their story,
17:13 race was an issue only among those
17:16 that preferred religion above Jesus.
17:22 Some examples, look at John 4:9.
17:25 Jesus dealt with His, most of His ministry,
17:28 He tried to read it out in the society of His day.
17:32 Remember the woman at the well,
17:34 she said to Jesus in John 4:9 she said,
17:39 "For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans."
17:45 We don't have to talk to you?
17:47 When she met Jesus at the well,
17:48 she recognized and she knew who He was, by the way
17:51 He presented Himself a Jew,
17:53 He had the attire of a Jew, she was a Samaritan, she said,
17:56 "You're asking me for water,
17:58 don't you know that the Jews have no dealings
18:00 with the Samaritans?"
18:04 But Jesus pressed the issue and the issue was,
18:07 no matter what your race, we all need Jesus.
18:11 That was also the issue in Acts 10.
18:15 When the Lord gave Peter a vision
18:18 and Peter had to get this vision of unclean animals,
18:22 so the Lord could send him to a race of people
18:25 that in his prior mind,
18:28 he would never associate with,
18:30 so the Lord sent down the sheet of all these unclean animals,
18:33 things that Peter would never eat at all,
18:36 never think of eating,
18:39 never even consider eating.
18:41 And the Lord said to him, rise up and eat and Peter said,
18:44 Lord, I've never eaten anything common,
18:47 anything unclean,
18:49 until God sent him to the house of Cornelius
18:52 and strangely enough,
18:55 when Peter was determined to go to the house of Cornelius,
19:00 they were still so stumbling over prejudice
19:03 that they sent a contingency of Jews with Peter to see
19:06 if he was just making up the story
19:09 or if he wanted to visit somebody of a different race
19:11 because he had preference.
19:13 So they sent some people with him to check out his story.
19:15 God sent him to Cornelius's house
19:17 so a Jewish contingency went with him to see.
19:20 Now does Paul, does Peter have a desire
19:23 to mix with other races or did God really send him?
19:26 That's why you find Acts 10:28, notice this.
19:32 "Then he said to them..."
19:34 That is to the contingency that went with him,
19:38 "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man
19:42 to keep company with or go to another nation.
19:46 But God has shown me
19:49 that I should not call any man..."
19:51 What church?
19:52 "Common or unclean."
19:55 It's amazing.
19:57 In this month of black history,
19:59 we are reminded of the struggles of all nations
20:02 and the reality of it is when one of us go up,
20:05 everyone of us goes up,
20:07 there is no at the foot of the cross,
20:11 there are not different heights in the steps,
20:14 because at the foot of the cross
20:16 everyone of us is on the same level,
20:19 when we stand before Jesus.
20:23 The same issue was true about Paul and Barnabas.
20:25 When they went to preach to Antioch,
20:27 they went to preach in Antioch,
20:29 and they preached a powerful sermon
20:32 and you find that sermon in Acts 13.
20:35 The sermon was so good
20:36 that people in the community heard about it,
20:39 and look at Acts 13:44-45.
20:49 The response, people heard about this sermon
20:53 and the Bible said, and before this the verses
20:57 before this the gentiles sought them
21:00 to see if they could hear this message again
21:02 the next Sabbath,
21:04 and obviously the invitation was extended
21:06 because the Bible says in verse 44,
21:08 "On the next Sabbath almost..."
21:10 How much of the city?
21:11 "The whole city came together to hear the word of God.
21:15 But when the Jews saw the multitudes,
21:19 they were filled with envy,
21:21 and contradicting and blaspheming,
21:25 they opposed to the things spoken by Paul."
21:28 And they got, they went to the next level,
21:30 they stirred up the chief men of the city,
21:32 the chief leaders of the city
21:34 and they expelled Paul and Barnabas
21:36 out of the city, why?
21:38 Because the sermon included people
21:42 and the people that came to the synagogue
21:44 to hear the message
21:45 were other than those of Jewish origin.
21:49 That's why the Day of Pentecost was so necessary.
21:51 You see the Day of Pentecost was not just about
21:54 getting the gospel out,
21:56 it was about breaking down racial and ethnic
21:58 and divisive barriers.
22:00 Amen.
22:01 That's why when you find Acts 2:1
22:04 they got together and prayed about their differences.
22:07 They didn't, they recognized that to ignore our differences
22:10 would immobilize or would incapacitate us
22:14 to go forward to be effective in the gospel.
22:16 So they got together and prayed and notice Acts 2:1,
22:19 let's read this together.
22:21 "When the Day of Pentecost had" what?
22:23 "Had fully come, they were all with" what?
22:27 "One accord in one place."
22:32 There were no many places,
22:33 and when read the resume of the men, there were Jews,
22:37 there were devout men
22:39 out of every nation under habit.
22:41 From Cappadocia, and Pontus, and Egypt, and Pamphylia
22:45 and there were Greeks and Arabs and Asians
22:49 altogether in the same city on the Day of Pentecost
22:54 when the Spirit of God was poured out.
22:56 The Lord wanted them to be united,
22:59 so that the church can go forward united.
23:01 And one of the things that church needs to learn today
23:03 in the United Nations
23:07 is that we are to be a people
23:09 that are united in every particular,
23:12 because from one blood all nations have come,
23:14 into one blood all nations have to go
23:18 to get into the New Jerusalem.
23:20 There are not many bloods, Acts 2:5.
23:26 "And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews,
23:28 devout men from how many nations?
23:31 Every nation under heaven."
23:34 And so the point is to reach every nation,
23:37 we must love people of every nation.
23:42 Can I get an amen?
23:45 God did not establish a local church
23:48 without establishing a worldwide church.
23:51 A few Sabbaths ago we saw the statistics,
23:54 we saw that out of the 276 countries,
23:57 the Adventist church has admittedly a presence
24:00 in more than 217 countries,
24:02 that's the ones that we can't disclose.
24:06 But the gospel is to every nation,
24:08 every kindred, every tongue, every people.
24:10 The everlasting gospel is to be preached to every nation,
24:14 every kindred, every tongue,
24:16 every people, every nationality.
24:20 And so the antidote
24:21 to this multi-ethnicity was love eradicates division.
24:27 Love breaks down those things that divide us.
24:31 What do you say?
24:33 1 Corinthians 13:2.
24:35 "And though I have the" what?
24:39 "Gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries
24:43 and all knowledge, and though I have all faith,
24:47 so that I could" what?
24:49 "Remove mountains, but have not love, I am" what?
24:52 "I am nothing."
24:54 You know when I read that last night, when I read that,
24:58 it hit me right between the eyes
25:00 because we do have the gift of prophecy.
25:02 Did you get that?
25:04 We do have the gift of prophecy.
25:06 God has gifted this church with the gift of prophecy
25:10 but let's not miss it.
25:13 Because what could be more tempting
25:14 than to claim superior knowledge,
25:17 deeper insight and enhanced faith
25:21 but with no love.
25:23 What could be more tempting than to say,
25:25 we know how it's gonna end, when it's gonna unfold,
25:29 the prophetic timeline,
25:30 what could be more arrogant at times
25:33 and more egotistical than to think
25:36 that an intellectually developed cerebrum
25:39 can move mountains.
25:44 Intellect does not move mountains,
25:46 love move mountains.
25:50 And so the Corinthians,
25:51 this church was filled with affluent,
25:54 highly educated business men and women.
25:59 A mega metropolis, a center of commerce,
26:03 they made money, they wore money,
26:07 they came to church in some gold and silver chariots.
26:12 They came, they looked the part,
26:15 they were intellectual
26:18 and they were those that were highly learned.
26:21 Among those who they owned, the slaves,
26:25 and they boast of their superior intellect,
26:28 gift a prophecy, understanding all mysteries,
26:30 all knowledge, all faith,
26:33 but they could not move their mountains.
26:35 And so Paul in order to help to move their mountains,
26:37 Paul had to say to them,
26:39 "Don't put your eggs in the basket of intellect
26:43 and knowledge and all faith
26:46 unless you put love ahead of all of that.
26:51 Sometimes we get distracted,
26:53 we meet brothers and sisters of other denominations
26:55 and every now and then we get a glimpse of superiority
26:59 that kind of comes out of our own ears.
27:09 Paul is saying, you might be Adventist,
27:12 I might be Baptist and Pentecostal,
27:14 you might be Presbyterian, I might be Anglican,
27:17 you might be of the church of God,
27:19 I might be of the worldwide church of God.
27:23 But if we don't all begin on the basis of love for God,
27:27 and love for one another,
27:29 our precepts can do nothing for us,
27:32 it profits me nothing.
27:36 That is not to exclude the truth of God's word,
27:39 but you got to begin on the foundation
27:41 where every one of us,
27:45 and the more I read through 1 Corinthians,
27:46 I had to really slow down.
27:49 When I begin to break this,
27:51 when I begin to go through this box of Ritz crackers
27:54 and as I bit one segment or another of the chapter,
27:59 I then realize why Ellen White said
28:03 we are to read this chapter every day.
28:06 I thought I read this chapter...
28:08 I mean how many...
28:10 Okay, surveys don't really make any sense
28:11 but how many of you ever read 1 Corinthians 13?
28:16 It's a Valentine's Day chapter,
28:18 and sometimes it's read at weddings.
28:21 But it's ignored after that.
28:24 It's a powerful book.
28:26 Intellect does not move mountains,
28:27 love moves mountains.
28:30 And the third distraction was self appreciation.
28:33 Look at verse 3, look at verse 3.
28:36 It removed this misconception
28:38 that exists in the minds of many.
28:40 He says, "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
28:45 and though I give my body to be burned,
28:49 but have not love,"
28:51 together what happens?
28:53 "It profits me nothing."
28:56 There has been for a long time
28:59 this misconception
29:02 that to completely sacrifice one's goods
29:05 and then go so far as sacrificing one's body
29:08 and martyrdom was the highest price
29:12 that anyone can pay.
29:14 You know, the Bible says,
29:15 "Greater love has no man than this
29:17 than he lays down his life for his friend."
29:20 And so people thought, if I jump in front of the...
29:23 if I take the bullet for him or take the sword for him,
29:26 like, Peter said, Peter before he was converted was
29:29 willing to die for Jesus,
29:31 before he was converted he said,
29:33 "Lord, I'll go all the way with you."
29:37 Whatever you want me to do, I'll do it.
29:39 So to give your life doesn't mean you're converted.
29:46 In Acts of the Apostles, page 318,
29:48 oh, what a nugget of truth in Revelation this was.
29:52 Speaking of the martyr,
29:55 servant of the Lord says, in his zeal,
29:59 he might even meet a martyr's death,
30:01 though I give my body to be burned,
30:03 yet if it is not actuated by love,
30:06 he would be regarded by God,
30:09 listen, as a deluded enthusiast or an ambitious hypocrite.
30:15 I just want to die.
30:18 Brethren, what Paul is saying is you want to die for me,
30:23 but Jesus is saying, I want you to live for Me.
30:25 Amen, somebody? Amen.
30:28 It's easy to die
30:29 and put our half hearted miserable Christianity
30:31 to an end
30:33 thinking that my sacrifice has guaranteed my salvation.
30:37 It is the sacrifice of Jesus that guarantees our salvation,
30:40 not ours.
30:44 So the antidote to self appreciation
30:47 is disinterested benevolence.
30:50 People are not moved by what we do,
30:55 but by why we do it.
30:58 Did you hear that?
30:59 Not by what we do, but by why do it.
31:02 But now it gets even deeper. Are you ready?
31:04 Put on your snorkeling, sorry, put on your tanks.
31:09 We're about to dive, we're gonna go in.
31:13 We're gonna in all the way and see if we could swim
31:17 through what Paul has to reveal in these next three verses.
31:21 Verse 4.
31:24 We're gonna read verse 4 to 7 together.
31:26 Can we do that?
31:27 It may be on the screen, if you have your Bibles,
31:30 I'm reading form the New King James Version.
31:31 Let's put some strength into this.
31:34 Let's read this together this morning.
31:36 Here we go.
31:37 "Love suffers long and is kind, love does not envy,
31:43 does not parade itself, is not puffed up,
31:48 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own,
31:53 is not provoked, thinks no evil,
31:57 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth,
32:03 bears all things," what else?
32:06 "believes all things, hopes all things,
32:09 endures all things."
32:13 I read that verse and I read those verses
32:16 and I felt, "Wow, that's really good."
32:20 And then the Lord pulled my ear and said,
32:22 now let's go and see what that means.
32:26 And I applaud the meticulous work
32:31 done by the Bible commentators on these passages.
32:36 These group of theologians that took these passages
32:40 and dug into its historical relevance
32:44 and its spiritual application to make it so clear
32:51 that when I started reading through this,
32:55 I couldn't run past it and I said to myself,
32:58 "This is too much sermon material.
33:05 So let's begin with love suffers long.
33:08 The SDA Bible Commentary volume 6, page 70,
33:13 love suffers long.
33:15 Here's what it says.
33:16 Love bears long
33:18 with the false failings and weaknesses of others.
33:24 Love bears long
33:25 with the false failings and weaknesses of others.
33:28 You see, until we get to the place
33:29 where we can be along with the fact
33:31 that somebody is faulty,
33:33 somebody is failing and somebody is weak
33:35 until we get to the place where we recognize
33:37 that we are the ones that are faulty,
33:39 we are the ones that also fail
33:41 and we are also the ones that are weak
33:43 until we understand that we are in the same category,
33:46 we will never be patient with somebody else
33:48 who is faulty, failing and weak.
33:51 Too often our mirrors are clear.
33:54 And we think everybody else's mirror is cloudy.
33:57 It didn't stop there.
33:59 It also recognizes that all human beings are fallible
34:04 and that therefore this is huge.
34:07 Due allowance must be made.
34:11 If I've to repeat this, I'll do it.
34:12 Due allowance must be made.
34:14 In other words, we've got to stand back
34:17 and it continues
34:19 for the manifestation of the outworking of errors
34:23 that results from man's inherently sinful nature.
34:28 Now let me break that down.
34:29 We got to stand back
34:31 and let God work out the stuff in his life
34:35 as God is working out the stuff in your life.
34:40 We've got to make allowance.
34:46 So when a brother falls,
34:48 and you turn on your search light
34:50 and say, "See there he fell again."
34:54 God is saying, you better turn that search light on yourself,
34:59 'cause you may see him fall, and he may not see you fall
35:03 but God is saying whether we know it or not
35:06 and that's why he said to Peter, when Peter asked
35:08 this ridiculous unconverted question.
35:12 You see, it was customary
35:13 that a person could be forgiven three times.
35:15 You see, let me illustrate, if I'm sitting next to you,
35:21 I'm sitting next to Garlin, I'm sitting next to Garlin
35:23 but I want to go out of the pew that way.
35:25 So I get up and I walk past Garlin
35:27 and I step on his corn.
35:31 I don't know if he have any,
35:33 but he'll look up and say "ouch"
35:35 and he'll be polite and I'll say, "sorry,"
35:40 he'll say, "that's okay,
35:42 I know, you didn't intend to do that."
35:44 But I'm coming back and it's already aching,
35:48 and I step on that same aching pulsating corn.
35:52 And he says, it's okay with a little different look.
35:56 Kind of like, ''It's okay,
35:59 it's all right, it's okay.''
36:03 Sermons done, I want to leave before Garlin.
36:07 So I'm getting up and I want to go out the same way
36:09 that I went out a moment ago, and I'm hurrying and I...
36:12 this time heal meets corn for the third time
36:16 in the same service.
36:19 And Garlin says you need to watch up.
36:22 "Sorry, I understand."
36:26 That's only three times.
36:30 And he's thinking why can he stay off of my corns.
36:35 Does he have a problem?
36:38 I mean can't he see?
36:39 Does he not know he did that twice?
36:42 Can he actually get up with a more careful step?
36:44 Can he look down and find at least my feet first?
36:49 Am I telling the truth?
36:51 So Peter thought, okay, Lord.
36:55 I know it's okay to forgive people three times,
36:58 but I'm gonna double that and add one.
37:01 Shall we forgive him seven times?
37:04 And the Lord says, "Peter, here, you didn't get a digit."
37:09 See this same man that want to limit his forgiveness
37:11 himself needed to be forgiven.
37:16 Because he had messed up as bad,
37:18 if he was going to mess up yet.
37:20 And I'm so glad that when Peter's turn came,
37:22 he was glad that Jesus said what he did.
37:26 He said Peter, "No, no, no.
37:28 Not seven times, but 70 times seven."
37:34 In other words, if I stepped on Garlin's toe 490 times.
37:41 Now I promise not to do that.
37:43 Every time he'll say, I forgive you my brother,
37:49 without saying anything after that.
37:51 How many of us are there yet?
37:53 Don't raise your hand and lie.
37:58 Love suffers long.
38:01 But that's not it, and is kind, and is kind.
38:07 These men and women or whoever the committee was
38:10 that put this together
38:12 had to have been under the unction of divine flooding,
38:16 not just inspiration and is kind, listen to this.
38:20 "One who is actuated by the Spirit of God,
38:24 one who is ever seeking to reveal by word and deed,
38:30 an understanding sympathy for, and appreciation of
38:34 the struggles and difficulties of others."
38:40 Let me break that down.
38:44 Some folks struggle more than others.
38:48 Do you know that'd be true?
38:49 Some folks struggle more than others.
38:53 And some of us don't have a long struggle rope.
38:58 We got these little short struggle ropes.
39:01 Don't know where you bought them,
39:03 but some of us got a short struggle rope for others,
39:05 but want others to have a long struggle rope for us.
39:10 And we don't feel sympathetic because...
39:15 I'll confess sometimes you hear stuff about folk
39:19 and you know you say again,
39:22 again no, serious again.
39:27 How many times...
39:32 is so and so going to do the same thing?
39:36 Haven't they learned their lesson yet?
39:42 And our voices don't have any sympathy, no sympathy...
39:48 because it's her struggle or his struggle.
39:54 It ain't my struggle.
39:57 So when Paul says and is kind, he says,
40:00 look for the brother or sister who is struggling
40:03 and all you need to do is be kind.
40:07 Amen.
40:08 Just be kind.
40:12 Kind, kind is not just a voice,
40:16 it's a look, it's an attitude.
40:20 But some people are so righteous already,
40:22 some people are just,
40:24 they want to go to heaven 'cause they're already perfect.
40:27 And everybody else they can't tolerate,
40:30 so they isolate themselves.
40:31 I call it righteousness by isolation.
40:41 Can't even be kind
40:43 because the only thing that matters
40:44 is what happened to them,
40:46 not what happened to you and is kind.
40:50 But he doesn't stop, are you ready?
40:53 We're going down to 500 feet now.
40:56 Get those tanks, make sure they're full
40:59 because we're serious.
41:00 "Love does not envy, love does not envy."
41:06 Commentators say to exhibit wrong or unpleasant feelings
41:10 toward others
41:13 on account of advantages possessed by them.
41:18 Now let me break that down.
41:20 Some folk got more money than you do.
41:23 Come on say amen.
41:25 They could afford stuff you can't afford.
41:27 They could live how you can't live.
41:29 They could buy what you can't buy.
41:33 But when I read through the Bible commentary further,
41:36 it says envy or jealousy is the most cruel
41:40 and contemptible of all human failings
41:43 because envy was the seed
41:45 that eventually lead to Lucifer's fall.
41:49 He became envious of the position that Jesus had
41:53 envious of the power that God had,
41:55 he saw the power that God had.
41:58 He saw the glory
41:59 that the angels exhibited toward Jesus.
42:02 He didn't like that, he wanted what he could not
42:05 and did not have a right to access
42:08 and sometimes we meet folk,
42:10 I remember a number of years ago
42:11 when I was in Antioch, California.
42:15 And we had a gentleman there
42:17 that he financed so many projects
42:20 in our church,
42:21 he was a Christian man who didn't mind
42:25 putting his money where his heart was.
42:28 He loved evangelism,
42:30 if you do evangelism you can count on him.
42:35 For he have deep pockets, he owned a medical park,
42:38 he owned hospitals, he owned houses,
42:40 he had pockets.
42:42 I have two in the front, two in the back.
42:44 He had four in the front, four in the back
42:47 and he was a kind man,
42:50 but he would support the gospel anything,
42:52 but he could afford a car, he could afford a nice car.
42:56 So one Sabbath he came to church with his nice car,
43:00 another brother saw that car and said,
43:02 "That's a sin driving a car like that."
43:08 But this brother, just a few Sabbaths earlier
43:12 had given me a video to play for vespers
43:17 and when we put the video in to queue it up,
43:19 it had pornography on it.
43:23 He's looking at this brother's car,
43:25 not looking at the stuff he's watching.
43:28 See what I'm saying?
43:30 He's so busy saying this guy should not drive that car
43:34 because he can't afford it.
43:36 God has no problem with wealthy people.
43:39 Come on somebody.
43:41 Look at the Bible, Solomon, Abraham, Job,
43:45 these folks had deep pockets.
43:47 Nicodemus was so wealthy,
43:49 he financed the growth of the New Testament church.
43:54 That's why God had to deal with Ananias and Sapphira.
43:57 He blessed them materialistically
43:59 because they said they're gonna give
44:01 what God blessed them with to the church
44:03 but they lied, they became envious.
44:07 And they kept it and they lost their lives in church.
44:11 Envy should never come into the hearts of those.
44:16 If somebody has something that God has blessed them with,
44:19 we ought to say praise God for them.
44:24 But sometimes God doesn't bless some of us
44:25 because we're just not faithful.
44:27 And also, I got to put this in.
44:29 Sometimes God knows that some of us need to stay poor
44:33 to make it to heaven.
44:37 You didn't get that.
44:39 Let me make it clear.
44:40 Some of you, if you got wealthy,
44:41 you'd leave the church
44:43 because you think that only poor people need to be in,
44:46 and there's some folks they think that.
44:48 And if you're poor and humble
44:50 then you are more righteous than those that are wealthy.
44:53 No, not that.
45:00 Proverbs 14:30.
45:02 Look at it.
45:04 "A sound a heart," a sound heart is what?
45:09 "Life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones."
45:16 Now I try to figure out what that meant
45:18 and I came up with this and I think I'm a little close.
45:21 If a spiritual autopsy were performed on a person
45:25 who is envious,
45:26 everywhere you find bone, you would find envy.
45:31 Did you hear that?
45:32 Rottenness is to the bone.
45:34 If the Lord allowed us to go through a spiritual autopsy
45:37 and we suffered from envy
45:39 what is being said here is everywhere that you find bone,
45:42 in that person's body, you'll find envy.
45:44 Envy is rottenness to the bone.
45:48 Because envy is the precursor to covetousness.
45:53 That's why Lucifer fell.
45:55 He wanted what God did not give to him
45:59 and when we are looking at others who God blesses.
46:02 If God has given you a blessing
46:05 and if all He gives you is good health,
46:07 praise God for that.
46:10 I listened to the radio a few years ago
46:12 and what helped me get over my abandonment
46:14 because my mom left me at
46:16 three months old at a babysit and walked away,
46:17 my dad's name was not even on my birth certificate.
46:21 I remember listening to a lady a number of years ago,
46:25 it was not... I think it was Dr. Laura.
46:26 That's right, that was her name, Dr. Laura.
46:29 Remember, anybody remember, Dr. Laura?
46:31 Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
46:33 Listening to the radio
46:34 and a young girl called in one day
46:36 and she said, "I am upset with my mom and dad."
46:40 And Dr. Laura said "Why?"
46:43 Because they don't give me anything,
46:45 every time I ask them something,
46:47 they don't give me anything.
46:48 They don't give me anything.
46:50 And Dr. Laura said, kind of like Judge Judy,
46:53 "Young lady, shut up."
46:56 You know, some people could do that.
46:59 And the radio went silent,
47:01 she said, "What did your parents give you?"
47:03 She said nothing.
47:04 She said, "Young lady I'm not having it today,
47:07 what did your parents give you?"
47:10 What do you mean, Dr. Laura?
47:11 Did they give you life? Yes.
47:14 Then go make something of it
47:16 and stop complaining about what you don't have.
47:20 And at 13, I heard that.
47:21 I said, you know, what?
47:23 I don't know what my dad looks like.
47:25 Don't know where my mama is,
47:27 but I'm gonna take this life and make something out of it.
47:31 Nobody came to school to applaud me at plays.
47:35 Nobody said, "Is your homework done?"
47:39 When I did well, nobody knew, when I did bad, everybody knew.
47:45 I got more attention for being absent 42 days from school
47:48 than I got for being present the rest.
47:53 Sometimes you got to get out of your bag of...
47:58 somebody done me wrong nothing works out for me
48:01 and recognize if you got life, you've got everything.
48:06 Paul keeps going.
48:08 Love does not parade itself, this is powerful.
48:11 Love does not parade itself, and the commentator said,
48:15 "Love does not sound its own praises,
48:17 it is humble and does not try to exalt itself."
48:25 For those of us who are in the visible realm,
48:28 you know, we travel, we go places.
48:31 We have learned to pray for humility
48:34 to follow us wherever we go.
48:37 Am I right, Jill, Greg?
48:39 I don't want to call out too many names,
48:41 but if you do what God has called us to do
48:43 and you've been gifted to be able
48:44 to be in many different circles,
48:46 you got to always leave your room,
48:48 your hotel room with a tiny head.
48:52 Ask the Lord to shrink your head,
48:55 so that by the time the day ends
48:57 it's at normal size.
48:59 No, really.
49:00 No, I'm serious.
49:02 That's why I was so glad one of our pastors.
49:04 I think was Philip Simone gave me a book called,
49:06 "How to accept compliments without becoming big headed".
49:12 When you're at a place where you've got a gift
49:14 and you know you got a gift
49:15 and you say, "Hey did you like my gift?
49:17 You like the way I did that? Was that good?
49:19 You like that? Was that song bad or not?"
49:23 Was that a sermon or was that a sermon?
49:26 Come on, you got to give God all the glory.
49:29 Somebody say amen.
49:30 God must always get the glory.
49:32 Don't sound your own praises,
49:34 the Bible says, "Let another man praise you."
49:38 And when they do that here's what I've learned.
49:42 And I was so glad that a pastor of experience taught me this.
49:45 He says, "When somebody compliments you say this,
49:49 if God could use me to be a blessing to you, praise God."
49:56 Reflect it back.
50:01 And the reason is Proverbs 29:23.
50:05 Look at that verse,
50:07 "A man's pride will bring him low,
50:12 a man's pride will bring him low
50:15 but the humble in spirit will retain honor."
50:20 If you're humble, God can trust you,
50:23 but if you are filled with pride,
50:25 just a matter of time
50:26 before you're lower than you have ever been.
50:29 God does not give us anything to destroy us,
50:32 but what God gives to us reveals who we are.
50:37 Love does not parade itself,
50:40 but Paul didn't stop, is not puffed up.
50:43 And by the way, I'm not going to do
50:44 the whole chapter this way, just in case you thought
50:46 we're gonna be here till 2 o'clock.
50:50 Is not puffed up,
50:51 that's the next part of the verse
50:53 between four and seven, is not puffed up.
50:54 Commentator said, Love does not inflate a person with vanity.
50:59 It does not produce a condition of conceit and self exaltation.
51:04 Love does not indulge in mental self esteem
51:08 laying claims to having the best gifts.
51:13 Remember the Pharisee,
51:14 thank God, I'm not like other men.
51:19 Nobody can be like me.
51:23 Self exaltation, those two go together,
51:26 does not parade itself, is not puffed up.
51:29 In short, be humble.
51:31 Say that with me, we what?
51:33 Be humble.
51:35 Don't say, "I'm humble."
51:37 Can't you tell?
51:41 Be humble.
51:43 Let your life speak louder than your lips.
51:47 We got to watch how we say stuff
51:50 because sometimes what we say in our mind
51:53 is more important than how the person hears it.
51:57 Sometimes you say, look, I've been trying
51:59 to say this for a long time
52:01 and I know you don't like it, but I'm just gonna say it.
52:03 You got to keep this in mind, I heard somebody say,
52:05 "Whatever you say, make sure it's sweet and it's soft
52:09 because one day you gotta eat it.
52:12 Right?
52:14 We're gonna chew it and swallow it.
52:16 Make sure what you say is sweet and soft
52:19 because one day you're going to eat it.
52:22 Some folk are more concerned
52:24 about what they got to tell you.
52:27 As a kid say, I got to tell you.
52:31 Then what?
52:32 And when that comes back,
52:34 some of you need to stand in a little room,
52:35 a room that's one foot deep.
52:37 So you could hear yourself talking to yourself.
52:41 Consider what you say before you say it
52:44 because when you beat that pillow on a windy day,
52:48 you are not gonna get the feathers back.
52:54 Because I've discovered in the study of this message,
52:56 love is deeper and more powerful
52:59 than you can ever imagine it to be.
53:03 But don't ever come away,
53:05 don't ever come away with the idea
53:08 that people owe you more than you owe others.
53:14 I want to shake, I'm shaking my finger at all of us.
53:17 It's going back and forth.
53:19 Don't ever think that people owe you more than you owe them.
53:25 That's what Paul was in essence,
53:27 if you could summarizes his message,
53:28 what makes you think you're so different than everybody else?
53:32 So we're going to start next week
53:35 in the area of "Think no Evil".
53:36 This stuff gets deeper, you ready?
53:39 You're gonna be here at next Sabbath, Rosemary,
53:42 because you can't miss part two.
53:45 But God is going to speak to all of us.
53:46 He spoke to my heart and I say, thank You, Lord,
53:49 and my wife last night, she stayed with me as I was...
53:52 she said, "Wow," she said "Wow."
53:55 Now I know why Ellen White said we got to read about love,
53:58 this chapter.
53:59 Don't just read about it, but be like Jill,
54:01 dig and get those Greek words and those Hebrew words
54:04 and find out how it applies to your life.
54:07 1 Corinthians 13, don't get in that chapter,
54:12 if you don't want to know about the real meaning of love.
54:17 Let's stand together and sing this hymn together.
54:19 What is the hymn anyway?
54:25 My Jesus.
54:32 My Jesus, I love Thee
54:38 I know Thou art mine
54:44 For Thee
54:46 All the follies of sin
54:52 I resign
54:56 My gracious Redeemer
55:02 My Savior art Thou
55:09 If ever I loved Thee
55:15 My Jesus, 'tis now
55:20 Here's the answer.
55:21 I love Thee because Thou
55:28 Hast first loved me
55:34 And purchased my pardon
55:40 On Calvary's tree
55:46 I love Thee for wearing
55:53 The thorns on Thy brow.
55:58 Together.
55:59 If ever I loved Thee
56:06 My Jesus, 'tis now
56:12 Now before I close it with prayer,
56:13 I want to ask the question.
56:14 Is there someone here today that wants to say to the Lord,
56:18 Father, I want You
56:22 to give me a revelation
56:26 of what love really is all about.
56:31 I want You to take me to that place
56:32 where I can understand and examine my own heart
56:34 is my love what God wants it to be.
56:37 Do I love people with partiality
56:40 or do I love them impartially?
56:42 Am I a person that boast myself?
56:45 Am I self evaluating myself to be more
56:49 than I think others are?
56:51 Where am I in my love, for my brothers and my sisters?
56:54 For you know, Bible says, by this shall all men know
56:58 that you are My disciples by your love for one another.
57:03 All of our teachings are,
57:04 our fundamentals are vitally important.
57:07 God has given us a powerful gift of many truths,
57:12 but none of them excludes the love of God.
57:15 So if there's somebody here today
57:16 as I close with prayer that wants to say,
57:18 Father in heaven, I want to know that love.
57:20 I want that love to be in my heart,
57:23 to be in my life, to be a revelation to me.
57:26 Let's place our hands
57:27 in the presence where God can see it.
57:29 Father in heaven, you know that Your people need love,
57:33 we all need love,
57:34 we don't need love for food or love for nice clothes,
57:37 we don't want to minimize love.
57:40 We are somewhere between phileo and agape love.
57:44 But Father, help us every day to grow and be more like You
57:47 that love can be transformed and it can grow
57:50 and it can find places in our hearts and in our lives
57:53 that will glorify You and not glorify us.
58:00 Help us to examine where we stand
58:03 in love for each other,
58:04 our spouses, our children,
58:09 our family members, our church family members.
58:13 Do we envy?
58:15 Are we a jealous people?
58:18 Take us to the foot of the cross.
58:20 And recognize that in the life of Jesus,
58:22 your selflessness is a lesson for us to follow.
58:29 If we will one day be in Your kingdom,
58:32 we have to become like You.
58:35 Make that a reality Father
58:36 by coming into one hearts and into our lives,
58:40 we pray in Jesus' name.
58:42 Amen.


Revised 2017-03-20