And the Greatest Is Love

Dear Friends, let us love one another,
for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God
and knows God.

1 John 4:7


•Gifts are Ugly Without Love

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
1 Corinthians 13:1
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:7-11

•Gifts are Empty Without Love

And 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.
1 Corinthians 13:2
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.
1 John 4:17-19

•Gifts are Worthless Without Love

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:3
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
1 John 4:20-21
It is love that accomplishes ministry, not the gifts themselves. You can have gifts, great gifts, and just be annoying and not accomplish a thing. But if you have love for others, if that’s controlling you, if it’s informing your gift, it makes your gift edifying. What Paul is calling us to do is to pursue love. We’re to see the beauty of love for one another.
Jesus redeemed us when we were full of darkness, sin, and death. He chose to love us, and it cost Him everything. He had our best in mind. When we love others, we’re mimicking Him. We’re mimicking His love for us. To not love others is to deny the Gospel. It is to deny the Gospel in our lives because we are not expressing what has been expressed to us. Not only should the people around us take shelter in the loving arms of God, they should be able to take shelter in our arms as we express the love of God to them.
morning sermon, April 16, 2023, Rev. Tim Rackley

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