How Far Does Our Love Go?
Delivered By
From Pastor David
Delivered On
February 1, 2019
Central Passage
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
How Far Does Our Love Go?

 L-O-V-E…four letters that suggest much about what which our lives try to immolate. Think about it.  We love pizza and pancakes.  We love the Tigers, the Gamecocks and the Yellow Jackets.  We love shopping.  We love movies, books, games, quilting, fishing, carpentry, sewing, hunting, cooking, and baking.  Some may even love running, cutting the grass or cleaning the gutters (though I personally have no clue as to how these last three can be the object of affection!).  And, of course, we love our family, our friends, our kids, our parents, and our God – those who we know love us in return.  All of these are epitomized in this short four-lettered word, love, and especially one expression of it, the romantic form of love, is celebrated above all others during the month of February.

As we enter the “love month” where we will probably see and hear the word “love” even more than the the rest of the year, maybe it is helpful to revisit the Christian understanding of love.  After all, as the author of 1 John tells us, “God is love,” (1 John 4:16) and the love of God for humanity is the driving force for much of God’s action in the world, especially in the person and work of Jesus Christ.  It is a love that inspires a loving response from us, and this loving response has a particular set of distinctive characteristics.  Paul shares the most definitive (though hardly the only) description of this sort of love in 1 Corinthians 13: “Love never gives up.  Love cares more for others than for self.  Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.  Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always ‘me first,’ doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.”  (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, The Message) This is the love at the heart of God’s being. 

This is the love that Christ exhibited.  And through the power of the Holy Spirit, it is the love we, as Christ’s followers, are called to witness to one another and to the world.  As we approach Valentine’s Day, and throughout this month we celebrate love, this is a great time to practice a clearer understanding of the standard of love that Paul describes – the love of God. The word “Love” appears 551 times in the NIV Bible. That’s nearly twenty verses a day we could study in the course of the month.  Could it make a difference in who we say we are?  Definitely!  As Paul says, “Love keeps going to the (very) end.” (Parenthesis mine)  Looking forward to growing more in love with God and each of you every day. 

In Christ, Pastor David.