THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 10-24-10
LESSON TITLE: “IF THESE THINGS ARE YOURS AND ABOUND: LOVE”
Just why have we gathered this morning to serve God, on this His Special Day? Well, Paul gives us some good reasons - He stated, “…the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” Yes our God is wise, strong and great. May we all love and praise such a mighty God!
We are glad that it is before this Lord that you have assembled on this day. What a privilege and opportunity this is for those of us who love God and desire to serve Him according to His Will. I hope and pray that we will each do our best to participate in this worship to God and to offer those sacrifices which are acceptable in His sight.
So, as we begin our reverence to God the Creator of all, won’t you bow with me before His throne at this time?
Well, its time to begin our first song of the day. So, won’t you do your part in praising God at this time, as we sing together, “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning?”
(SONG # 1)
Today we began with a verse which said that God’s foolishness and weakness still far surpasses the greatest wisdom and strength of man. Why is this so, because our God is great, mighty and all powerful! With this in mind, we want to consider the context around which Paul made these statements.
Read with me from 1 Corinthians 1:21, the Bible says, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” You see, man has always tried to out think or out guess God. We often feel that we know best or we know how God ought to lead things. However, what we learn here is that God’s wisdom is far greater than any man. Why, because God is all-knowing and He can see that whole picture at once. He does not look like a man at the here and now only; God considers the here and now - as well as the outcome which will result from a decision in the future.
So what did God do for man, Paul said He gave His own Son, Jesus Christ. But why? This was according to His Wisdom. So that the Jew and Greek might be saved and obey His precious gospel. The reality is, when we hear the truth, believe it and act on that belief through obedience - oh how we then see the true love and wisdom of God.
What about you this day? Are you turning to the wisdom of man and this world to try and see if God will do things your way? Or have you turned yourself wholly and completely over as a servant of God. A follower of God! One who loves God enough to do it His Way, because you know that God alone truly is wise? Have you submitted to the wisdom of God?
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our lesson, we are still engaged in our series entitled, “If These Things Are Yours and Abound!” Our specific lesson of the day is, “Love.” So please stay with us for this study from God’s Word, and we will be lead in these thoughts at the appropriate time.
As far as our guest speaker, we are happy to again have brother Jerry Sullins with us. We thank him for joining us and look forward to him leading our discussion in just a few minutes. But for now, let’s join together in the next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Living by Faith.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
We would like to welcome you to “The Living Word” broadcast. We’re so thankful that you’ve tuned in this morning and have decided that you’re going to watch this program. We appreciate so much your weekly watching of this program and we do hope that it is a great blessing to you as we consider each week the Word of God and the principles and teachings that we can find it in and we only pray that God will give us the understanding that we need and the wisdom that is also needed to make application in our lives of these wonderful truths.
For the past few weeks we’ve been studying a series of lessons that are taken from 2 Peter chapter 1 verses 5-7 and as you may well remember, this is where the apostle Peter is preparing people for what is eventually going to be a great period of destruction and persecution and so because of this he is trying to prepare them spiritually for such an event in their lives that was soon coming. He said in these words that their preparation needed to involve those things of a spiritual nature that they would add to their lives and as we read before and I would like to read again where Peter said in 2 Peter 1 verse 5, “And beside this giving all diligence add to your faith virtue, and virtue knowledge, and knowledge self-control, and to self-control patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”
Now I am really not or really do not know why Peter saved the greatest until the last and that is the aspect and the attitude of love, because when we look at the scripture and see what it says. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 13, Paul said, “And now abideth these three, faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.” Now when Paul was mentioning there in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 the attitude and the spirit of love, he didn’t just mention the word itself but he went on to describe what happens in one’s life when they really display that spirit of love. He talks about it in a positive way and he talks about it in a negative way.
But today, I would like to not necessarily go through what he said in 1 Corinthians 13:13, but I would like to talk about and consider and us consider what love actually is. What is this love that will abide forever? We notice as we go to the Greek Lexicon and we consider the word that is actually said there in 1 Corinthians 13:13, it is a type of love that is “a selfless love.” In fact, in the Greek language it is called “agape love,” and you’ve probably heard that term before. It is a love that causes someone to put the interest of others above their own interests. That love is shown over and over again or demonstrated and exemplified for us throughout the Bible. The great love that God had for us is shown from the very creation. It was because of the love of God that when man was created in Genesis chapter 1 that God said, “Let us make man in our own image.” It was at that time when God determined, that is the Godhead, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, that they would give man the same spirit that is eternal spirit that they themselves possess, not in every way, but at least man would have that soul and not just be a living being, but have that spirit within him that could be and was in the very likeness of God that would live forever.
No doubt we can see also God’s great love for us in the giving of His great Son, Jesus Christ to die upon the cross. John 3:16 as all of us know says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever shall believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” And oh how God loved us in giving His Son to die upon the cross so that we might have the opportunity as His church to be saved. And well indeed did Jesus love us so much that He was willing to die upon the cross. As we see in Ephesians 5 verse 25 it says, “Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.” And so Jesus gave Himself and shed His blood upon the cross for the salvation of our souls.
No doubt as we look at the Bible itself knowing that God did not leave us on this earth without any instruction as Paul said to Timothy, “All scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction and righteousness that the man of God might be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all works.” Now why did God give us those things? Even as Peter said, “All those things that pertain to life and godliness” is because He loved us. He gave us His Son that we might have an opportunity to be saved from our sins and then also He gave us those teachings reported for us in His Holy Word, those teachings that would provide information that we need to live faithful unto death so that we could receive that crown of life.
But it is interesting to know what Jesus said about that love when He was asked by a lawyer in Matthew the 22nd chapter what the greatest commandment was. And Jesus answered and said this, “The first and greatest commandment is this, thou shall love the Lord thy God with all of thy heart, soul and mind and the second is likened to it, thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.”
So we need to consider that as God has loved us, we as mankind need to love God. And why is it that we should love God? Well first of all, we should love God because He has commanded it. Do you not understand what Jesus said? “The first and greatest commandment is you shall love or thou shall love the Lord thy God with all of thy heart, soul, mind” and Mark adds “strength.” That’s the first and greatest commandment. So we should love God because our Creator through Jesus Christ has commanded us that we love Him. “We love Him,” as John said in 1 John 4:19, “because He first loved us.” Here His love, not that we love God, but that He loved us, and He gave His Son to be the propitiation, the satisfaction for our sins.
So why should we not love God, because it is because of Him that we are even in existence today. It is because of Him that we receive all the blessings of this life. It is because of Him that through His Son Jesus who died upon the cross and we have the forgiveness of our sins. It is because of Him that someday we can have that hope in Heaven. It is because of His love, so why should we not love Him? Well we should not necessarily love Him just because we are commanded to love Him, but we should love Him because of all of the things that He has done for us. Is that not true? Well we should love God also because we know that we will not escape the punishment at the end of time unless we properly love God. How can we say that we would ever be saved from our sins or how could we believe that there is something good waiting for us after this life if we hate our very Maker, if we blaspheme our very Maker? On a daily basis this goes on as we watch television shows. I don’t know about you but when I see someone outright blaspheming God; I can’t wait to get my hand on the remote control. Do you feel the same way? Do you advise your children or tell your children what is going on and warn them that they should not watch such programming when people outright say that there is no God? Are we going to stand and say anything about it and still say that we love God and that we are willing to keep His commandments? There is no way that we could do that.
Well we love God because we know that if we love Him we will receive those blessings at the end of time. Remember what James said in James 1 verse 12 that, “We will receive that crown of life that Jesus Christ has promised us if we love God.” Now this may be some good news or bad news for you. It is going to be bad news I know for many of you and that is this. If you fail to love God, I am sorry but you will not be saved. You will not have a life after this life that is an eternal life that is filled with blessings and that is filled with such things that are beautiful and wonderful to the soul. That will not be yours to have. We must love God.
Well must we demonstrate this? Well God demonstrated His love toward us, did He not in giving His Son as we have suggested? Certainly He did. Did Christ prove His love for us? How else could He have proved it in a more adamant way than what He did when He went to the cross and suffered a Roman persecution? Can you think of any other way Jesus could have demonstrated that He truly loved us? His coming to this earth alone to be persecuted in any way showed His great love for us, but the ultimate was He would die by Roman crucifixion and shed His blood upon the cross suffering as badly as anyone could suffer for your sins and also for mine.
Are we to say then we should not manifest our love for God? And the question is asked: Well then how is our love manifested toward God? Well it is by doing His commandments. How is it that people know that we truly love God? If we say that we love God and fail to keep His commandments, then how is it that we can say we truly love Him? Did not Jesus say in John chapter 14 verse 15, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments?” Certainly He did! That’s the way we manifest our love for God.
It is not through lip service. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7 verse 21, “Not everyone that sayeth unto Me ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the Will of My Father who is in Heaven.” So it is more than just by word.
And did not James himself say, of John say in 1 John chapter 4 verse 20 and 21 the importance of our love. How can we claim that God is going to bless us if we fail to love? Certainly we must love Him! “By this men shall know that you are My disciples if you love one another.” That brings us to the second commandment that was mentioned by Jesus. “The second is likened to the first. You shall love or thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” This is thy selfless love. And well did Jesus say as we have mentioned in John 13 verse 35, “By this, men shall know that you are My disciples if you love one another.” How important it is for us to understand that great and wonderful truth.
If we turn over to chapter 4 of 1 John verses 20-21, the Bible says, “If a man say I love God and hateth his brother, he is a liar, for he that loveth not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” And this commandment have we from Him, that “he who loveth God love his brother also.” Now when is the last time that you really displayed that before your fellow man? Or to your fellow man? When you were willing to maybe as you were purchasing something for yourself willing to purchase something for someone else and just not receive that blessing yourself? In other words a selfless love. When you were willing to sacrifice something that you were going to give yourself to give it to someone else. That’s the love that must be demonstrated in our lives. Sometimes I believe that we fall very, very short of that.
As we look at 1 Corinthians chapter 13, there are many descriptions of love itself as I mentioned at the first of this lesson today. I would like to just read just a few of them beginning with verse 4 of 1 Corinthians chapter 13. “Love suffereth long, that is it is patient and it is kind. Love envieth not. Love does not parade itself and is not puffed up, does not behave itself rudely, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” Then the verse that I love is found in verse 7. “It bears all things, believes all things, endures all things, and hopes all things. Love never fails.”This is the type of selfless love that we’re talking about that is demonstrated for us by our God and Father by giving His Son to die upon the cross, that was demonstrated by Jesus as He was upon that cross suffering and dying and shedding His blood for our sins. This is the selfless love that we must also demonstrate in our lives. Yes, even to the point of when we might pass from this life.
Must it be in the home? Oh yes! Husbands love your wives as the scripture says in Ephesians 5:25. Wives love your husbands as it says in the book of Titus chapter 2. Children are to love their parents and parents are to love their children and this is that selfless love that we are talking about. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could incorporate this greatest of all attributes in our lives for as the Bible says, “God is love.”
That should be the challenge for all of us in this life to demonstrate who God really is in our lives by the love that we show for one another.
As John said in 1 John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word only but in deed and in truth.”
Now the question for you this day is this: Are you demonstrating that love in your life? Do you truly love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength? Do you truly love your neighbor as yourself? Are you striving in every way that you can to put Christ in your life to such a degree when someone looks at you they see demonstrated in you certainly the love of God? This is a great challenge for all of us. In fact, it is one of the greatest challenges in all of the Bible. It is our prayer that we all will seek more to have the love of God in our lives.
(SONG # 3 - “More About Jesus!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to us all. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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What a great lesson we have learned this day about the love we must have as children of God. Will we choose to love as God loves? Will we give our best to our Creator?