am042907-A Portrait of God's Love
A PORTRAIT OF GOD’S LOVE
The year was 1965 and the top hit was recorded by Steve Lawrence called “Portrait of My Love” The song is about a man who says that it is impossible for anyone to paint a portrait of his love for a special lady.
There could never be a portrait of my love
For nobody could paint a dream
You will never see a portrait of my love
For miracles are never seen.
Anyone who sees her, soon forgets the Mona Lisa
It would take I know, a Michelangelo
And he would need the glow of dawn that paints the sky above
To try and paint a portrait of my love
What would it take to have a portrait of God’s love? Would it take a miracle? Would it take the famous Michelangelo? No it wouldn’t! It just takes looking at God’s words to the believers at Corinth. Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 13.
The Corinthians had great spiritual gifts, but they were using them for their own self-edification and exaltation apart from God’s love. Any time believers are using their spiritual gifts apart from God’s love a disaster is waiting to happen and it did happen at Corinth – it was a show of human effort!
You and I as believers have been gifted by God with spiritual gifts so that God can minister to the body of Christ. Please not that God has limited Himself to minister through believers’ spiritual gifts. These gifts must be ministered with God’s love; therefore, God’s love must be the basis for NetWork. If not, it will be just a show of flesh and human effort.
Results of Spiritual Gifts Exercised Without Love - 1-3
- \\ 1 If I speak with the tongues of men (languages) and of angels (languages), but do not have love (God’s love), I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal (self-important noises that disturb rather than please the senses). *
Spiritual gifts exercised without love results in just noise; the Spirit can’t minister to the body, it’s all human effort!
2 If I have the gift of prophecy (speak forth God’s truths), and know all mysteries (things hidden in past but now revealed) and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love (God’s love), I am nothing (I can’t please God; therefore, I forfeit the purpose for which I was created!)
Spiritual gifts exercised without love results in as if it had not occurred; the Spirit can’t minister to the body, it’s all human effort!
3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned (martyred for a cause), but do not have love (God’s love), it profits me nothing.
Spiritual gifts exercised without love results in no gain; the Spirit can’t minister to the body, it’s all human effort!
A spiritual gift without love is a failure; God can’t minister to the body of Christ! It is not that the gifts are unimportant, but they bear fruit only where love attends them and is their driving force.
A Portrait of God’s Love – 4-8a
There are seven things that love chooses to do and eight things it refuses to do. This is God’s love that is place in you at conversion by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Choosing to be enabled by the Holy Spirit will produce the following portrait. God’s love chooses in the best interest of others; whereas man’s love chooses in the best interest of self.
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I find a great tension here. A holy tension in that I know I’m not loving the way God desires me to love Him and others; but, I truly desire to love in a way that pleases Him. A holy tension is a necessity for becoming mature in Christ. Others know they have not perfect love; but, they do not care to mature in love. They have no tension; they have no God!
1 John 4:8
The one who does not love does not know God,
for God is love.
to be patient (internal and external control; godliness in the midst of difficult circumstances)
to be kind (shows mercy even when it’s not deceived)
to rejoice with truth (devoted to truth in every situation)
to bear all things (endures patiently an annoyance or difficulty)
to believe all things (trusts until proven otherwise)
to hope all things (attitude that looks for the best)
to endure all things (it just never gives up during difficulties)
to be jealous (envious of others)
to brag (importance of self)
to be arrogant (self display for importance)
to be unbecoming (act tastelessly)
to seek its own (promote self)
to be provoked (irritated)
to dwell on a wrong suffered (no spirit of forgiveness)
to rejoice in unrighteousness (wrongdoing in others)
Love Is Eternal and the Greatest of Attributes
8 Love never fails (permanent); but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away (a time will come when they will no longer be a need for them); if there are tongues, they will cease (they will stop); if there is knowledge, it will be done away (a time will come when they will no longer be a need for them). 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes (the eternal state), the partial will be done away…
13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love (because it deals with God and others).
NetWork (2 clicks) is our major instrument of God’s ministry to the body through the spiritual gifts given to each of us by His Spirit. But, we must choose to exercise our spiritual gifts in God’s love. Without God’s love, NetWork will be nothing more that a unsettling noise, amounting to nothing, and be of no value to the one involved. This would bring no pleasure to God!!
Can God use you to be His conduit to the body at DBC?
Christ died and rose again so He could use you for His purpose.
Holy Spirit dwells in you to enable you to do this. Will you?