Unconditional Love – The Missing Ingredient (part 4)
November 22, 2020
Unconditional Love – The Missing Ingredient (part 4)
15 Characteristics of Love from 1 Corinthians 13
Spirit of antiChrist -typified by lawlessness, deceit, lies.
Matthew 24:12 (NLT)
Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.
Matthew 24:12 -(Message Paraphrase)
For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.
The antidote for what we deal with today is love:
John 13: 34-35
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (35) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Pt 2 – (October 18)- we covered 5 things about love:
1. Jesus gave the Jews commandments to love that the TEN.
2. Jesus gave believers a commandment which, if obeyed, fulfills all .
3. Love cures and keeps the kingdom out of your .
4. Jesus introduced the concept of to the disciples.
5. This is like an to our world.
Part 3 – November 15 – we looked at 16 things you should do with love.
There is an emphasis on love in the NT.
But it is more than a human love.
It is unconditional- self-sacrificial
Today: 15 Characteristics of Love from 1 Corinthians 13 (part 1)
Here is a description of what this love that God has placed inside of you looks like…
For the love of God to move through us, we must work on it…
Here is the classic scripture in the NT on what love looks like.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; (5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; (6) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; (7) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
(8) Love 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.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (Amplified)
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. (5) It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. (6) It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. (7) Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. (8) Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
1 Corinthians 13:4
1. Love is willing to a .
Love suffers long…
It’s willing to put up with things that are not pleasing and comfortable…
You usually have the least of this when you are young!
And then life has a way of tempering you…
Love endures long and is patient and kind
Notice that love suffers long.
That is, love is patient.
There are 2 Greek words for patience in the NT. One is patience in circumstances and the other is patience with people.
Makrothumia means being long tempered.
It is the willingness to restrain yourself for the sake of another person.
You hold back when something someone does makes you angry or upset.
It is giving up your own rights and privileges.
Laying aside for a time what you want…
It shows how strong your character is when you choose to restrain anger.
The fourth-century Church father John Chrysostom said that it is the word used of those who are wronged and who have it easily in their power to avenge themselves and yet who will not do it. (Barclay, William. The Letters to the Corinthians (The New Daily Study Bible) (pp. 140-141). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition).
Long temperedness enables you to put up with those who do things that are potentially offensive and hurtful, and put up with it with a smile!
Example – momma cat when I was young.
William Barclay Quote
(Barclay, William. The Letters to the Corinthians (The New Daily Study Bible) (pp. 140-141). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition).
The American Baptist Harry Emerson Fosdick points out that no one treated the President, Abraham Lincoln, with more contempt than did his secretary for war, Edwin Stanton. He called him ‘a low cunning clown’, he nicknamed him ‘the original gorilla’ and said that the traveller and explorer Paul Du Chaillu was a fool to wander about Africa trying to capture a gorilla when he could have found one so easily at Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln said nothing. He made Stanton his war minister because he was the best man for the job, and he treated him with every courtesy. The years wore on. The night came when the assassin’s bullet murdered Lincoln in the theatre. In the little room to which the President’s body was taken stood that same Stanton, and, looking down on Lincoln’s silent face, he said through his tears: ‘There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen.’ The patience of love had conquered in the end.
Every single day, we need patience with people!
And the Father has placed makrothumia in our hearts to help us as we interact with those who lack the grace of kindness and social etiquette.
You are around people every day that just rub you the wrong way!
God is giving you an opportunity to be long- tempered- patient.
Long lines, airline check-ins, going through security, DMV, etc, are all wonderful places where you can learn to develop some strong long suffering.
2020 has been an awesome year to develop patience – long tempered ness..
James 1:2-4 JB Phillips
When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence
2. Love treats people.
And is kind…
The Greek word for kindness is chrestotes , which means a gentleness that is active, not passive.
Kindness is when we show active interest in others and their affairs, when we actively seek the welfare of another.
You just don’t think nice, you do nice…
Kindness is active, not passive. It does things for people.
It is not just a benign smile.
*Jesus gave bread dipped in olive oil to Judas, who later betrayed him.
Kindness enables us to do things that bless, help and aid those who do not treat us well.
*Stephen – Lord, lay not this sin to their charge…
*Jesus – father forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Things like mowing your mean neighbors grass.
Or helping a new mom with cooking or cleaning at home.
Or helping a person with a disability walk down the steps.
Or taking a meal to someone.
Or visiting a person who is hospitalized.
Kindness helps us to do what Jesus said in Matthew 5:44: But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
Mrs. C Nuzum, The Life of Faith – (The Life of Faith by Mrs. C Nuzum (Springfield, MS: Gospel Publishing House, 1928,1956) p. 84).
Love works by being kind even under long, continued suffering – real, deep suffering brought upon us by someone else – Love will be very kind to that person.
(Barclay, William. The Letters to the Corinthians (The New Daily Study Bible) (p. 142). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition).
…There is in so many good people an attitude of criticism. So many good church people would have sided with the rulers and not with Jesus if they had had to deal with the woman taken in adultery.
3. Love is not .
Does not envy.
love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy…
The Greek word for envy is the Word zeloo, and from this word we get our word our word jealous.
*Two kinds of envy –
1) to covet what someone else has, and
2) to wish that a person is not as blessed as they are…
Are you happy when others are more blessed than you?
Love is not jealous in its relationships.
A person walking in love (Agape) is not focusing on themselves; they are focusing first of all on their relationship with the Lord, and they put themselves and their needs last.
A jealous person is thinking only of themselves and how another person’s actions are affecting them!
A person who is jealous is careful to hold on to and maintain their own rights and possessions at all costs.
I was a jealous person as a teenager. I was jealous of my girlfriend. I was jealous of my friends.
I was thinking about how they were affecting me with what they were doing. I was in the center of my thoughts, not Jesus, or other, I was in the center! I was in some ways a codependent person.
JOY – Jesus. Others. You.
Mrs. C. Nuzum, The Life of Faith (The Life of Faith by Mrs. C Nuzum (Springfield, MS: Gospel Publishing House, 1928,1956) p. 84).
It does not desire the position, honor, power, benefits, favor, esteem or blessings that others have, but is glad to see other people enjoy blessings, and would rather help them to get more than to take from them anything they have.
4. Love does not .
Love does not parade itself
is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
The Greek word for parade means a braggart, or a person who parades themselves and their accomplishments and talents before others.
The really great men never think of their own importance.
This is a person who loves to show off.
You see this in children. Look at my new toy car, my new shoes, how fast I can run.
Ok when you are a kid, but if you do that as an adult, you are insecure…
A person who is insecure in themselves looks for ways to be elevated in others’ eyes.
When a person is secure in God’s love and who they are in Christ, personal accomplishments and talents are simply tools by which to glorify God, and there is no need for self-glory.
Personal bragging is really founded in personal pride! And in personal insecurity.
Being secure in God’s unconditional love and acceptance frees us from the need to gain approval from others, and frees us from the need to show off.
Being secure in love also frees us from the need that some have to put others down with sarcasm or cutting comments in order to make them look better.
With love in force in our lives, we find it easy to keep quiet about what we have or what we have done.
To quote Mrs. C Nuzum again:
Mrs C. Nuzum, The Life of Faith (The Life of Faith by Mrs. C Nuzum (Springfield, MS: Gospel Publishing House, 1928,1956) p. 85).
Love does not think, I know how things ought to be done- my opinions and advice are better than the opinion and advice of others – I live better, am used of God more, know more than the other person. 1
5. Love is not .
Is not puffed up
God resists the proud!
The Greek word here means to inflate.
The Greek word for inflate is the word phusioo, and means to inflate.
A person with love ruling them has no need for others to see their accomplishments.
A person living in love may acknowledge their wins in life, but knows that all success comes from God.
No self-congratulations are necessary.
Though agape love doesn’t show off or need affirmation, it is also important to note that true humility can accept genuine thanks and applaud for good performance.
I learned this in my own life over 40 years ago after performing the special music during a Thursday night church service. Someone came to me and told me how beautiful they thought my voice was and how well I performed the song. To which I replied, It wasn’t me, brother, it was just the Lord! My friend who complimented me then abruptly took me to a side hallway and told me that I was actually walking in a false humility; that if I were truly self effacing and humble I would say a simple thank you to any person complimenting my performance. I should afterward get alone and give God all the glory for using me to bless others; deflecting the thanks privately to Him who helped me.
Love deals a death blow to pride. Meditate today on the love of God, and allow it put your own personal pride in its place!
6. Love is not .
(5) does not behave rudely
The Greek word for rudely is achemoneo, and means to assume a negative form, or to act in an unbecoming way.
it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
This word has to do with proper social graces.
A loving person will not do or say things, or assume attitudes of which later he or she will be ashamed, or that would bring shame to Jesus and to the kingdom of God.
Love never acts in an ugly, shameful way, with crudeness, violence, off color language, or anything else disrespectful.
A person walking in love maintains good manners and social graces in whatever situation they are in.
To get real with this one, a person walking in love will never display coarse or crude behavior – cursing, using off color slang expressions, off color language, body noises such as burping, flatulence, excessive or not enough clothing, etc.
Our present culture desperately needs some lessons in this!
A loving person will not do or say things, or assume attitudes of which later he or she will be ashamed.
Love works hard at doing what is fitting, appropriate, and mannerly.
7. Love puts others .
Does not seek its own.
Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking;
Agape is not self-seeking in that it brings with it a self-last characteristic.
Agape causes us to seek the welfare of others before ourselves and does not calculate what benefits we may gain in return.
Just a reminder to all of us that the major effect of Adam’s sin on all of us is self-centeredness.
In the gospels, Jesus continually encourages us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.
In his book, How To Win Friends And Influence People, Dale Carnegie’s thesis is that people think of themselves first, and that if you want to help others, get them to talk about themselves, and show them that you value their thoughts and opinions.
With the love of God entering us in the New Birth, we have the potential to become others minded.
Mrs. C. Nuzum: : (Mrs. C. Nuzum, The Life of Faith (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1928, 1956), p. 85).
How many of us, when we have a real right to a place, time, honor, benefit, or possession, refuse to strive for it, refuse even to keep it, but cheerfully, gladly let another have it.
For instance, this quality of not seeking its own keeps us from being upset when we’re not recognized for difficult work we accomplish for our company, or when someone else is recognized for work that we have done .
If we are not seeking our own stuff first, then it will not bother us when we are passed over for a promotion and someone else is promoted with less skill and ability than we have.
When love rules, we put ourselves last, and think of God and others first.
In the last analysis, there are in this world only two kinds of people – those who always insist upon their privileges and those who always remember their responsibilities; those who are always thinking of what life owes them and those who never forget what they owe to life. It would be the key to almost all the problems which surround us today if people would think less of their rights and more of their duties. Whenever we start thinking about ‘our place’, we are drifting away from Christian love.
(Barclay, William. The Letters to the Corinthians (The New Daily Study Bible) (p. 143). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition).
1. Are you patient with life in general. What do you need to change and become more patient with people?
2. How do you show kindness in your close relationships?
3. How do you keep pride in check in your life?
4. Do you feel the need for others to see your accomplishments.
5. What in your actions could be interpreted by others as rude?
6. Ask people that know you if they think you are self-focused or others-focused.