Faithlife Sermons

Love Like Jesus - Pt. 3

Love Like Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  26:42
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I read of a Peanuts cartoon that shows Lucy standing with her arms folded and a stern expression on her face. Charlie Brown pleads, “Lucy, you must be more loving. This world really needs love. You have to let yourself love to make this world a better place.” Lucy angrily whirls around and knocks Charlie Brown to the ground. She screams at him, “Look, Blockhead, the world I love. Its people I can’t stand.”
Perhaps this is a sentiment you can relate with.
Here in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul emphasizes that Christians may be talented, gifted, devoted, generous in their giving, or endowed with mountain-moving faith; but it is of no value if love is not present.
As we saw last week:
LOVE REGARDS - “Love benefits others.” - through patience and kindness
We began in John 13:34-35 and learned that Christ-like love is both the benchmark of true love and the badge of true discipleship.
And as we transitioned to 1 Corinthians, we learned two attributes of this love being patience and kindness.
Read along with me there in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8.
1 Corinthians 13:1–8 KJV 1900
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 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, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Here we find that not only does love regard, being:
Patient - to persevere or be willing to suffer for a long time under provocation
Kind - to be actively good for the benefit of others
but also, as we see in vv. 4-5:
LOVE REDUCES - “Love is not all about me.” it doesn’t envy or boast, it’s not arrogant or rude, it is not selfish

Love doesn’t envy

ζηλόω (zēloō) - jealousy/desire to advance at the disadvantage of someone else
There is a biblical account back in Genesis 37 of a young 17 year old boy named Joseph, whose brothers hated him because of his preferred status with his father. As the story unfolds we find that their envy develops into a multiplicity of lies and cover ups and eventually they sell their brother into slavery and tell their dad that he got eaten by a wild animal.
Luke writes in:
Acts 7:9 NKJV
9 “And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him
We find that their jealousy of Joseph’s success prompted them to commit some unimaginable sins.
Likewise in our own lives, as a follower of Christ, our love for others is to be without envy.
Do you rejoice when others succeed? Or do you find yourself resenting their advancement in place of your own?
There is another account of John the Baptist, who was the last Prophet before Jesus, and was well respected. And as you remember back in John 3, how his followers came to him concerned about how the crowds had began to follow Jesus instead of John. And John responded:
John 3:30 NKJV
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
You see, John the Baptist understood his purpose. He understood that life and love was not all about him. In the big picture, it is all about Jesus!
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 2676 Epigram on Jealousy

The man who keeps busy helping the man below him won’t have time to envy the man above him—and there may not be anybody above him anyway.

—Henrietta C. Mears

There is a story published by the Minister’s Research Service of a well known and respected Pastor in England back in late 1800s that says:
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 2668 Praying for G. Campbell Morgan

F. B. Meyer told the following experience to a few personal friends: “It was easy,” he said, “to pray for the success of G. Campbell Morgan when he was in America. But when he came back to England and took a church near to mine, it was something different. The old Adam in me was inclined to jealousy, but I got my heel upon his head, and whether I felt right toward my friend, I determined to act right.”

“My church gave a reception for him, and I acknowledged that if it was not necessary for me to preach Sunday evenings I would dearly love to go and hear him myself. Well, that made me feel right toward him. But just see how the dear Lord helped me out of my difficulty. There was Charles Spurgeon preaching wonderfully on the other side of me. He and Mr. Morgan were so popular, and drew such crowds, that our church caught the overflow, and we had all we could accommodate.”

It has been said that envy shoots at others yet wounds herself.
Genuine, Christ-like love isn’t envious of the advantages of others, but rejoices with them in their success.

Love isn’t all about me!

So, love is patient and kind, it doesn’t envy and:

Love doesn’t boast

περπερεύομαι (perpereuomai) - to brag/desire adoration by promoting self-worth
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 524 Epigram on Boasters

Few people need voice lessons to sing their own praise.

—E. C. Mckenzie

Boasting about oneself, literally, parading one’s own accomplishments is a natural expression for some. With its roots deep in pride and self-focus, some tend to self-promote at any opportunity.
You know the type, right? Always needing to say the last word. Tell the bigger story.
For some, as the Malayan Proverb states, “If a fish escapes, it was a big one.”
But as Jean De Laharpe said, “We always weaken whatever we exaggerate.”
What is that instinct to make ourselves look better, stronger, and smarter? No matter the context, our nature strives for glory.
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 509 Baby Food for Prisoners

Few prison rituals are more common than putting a troublesome prisoner on bread and water. Then came Dale Carson, a former FBI agent, to Florida as sheriff of Duval County (Jacksonville).

He discovered that the young toughs gloried in being on bread and water, because it proved how tough they were. They even brag about the bread-and-water treatment. So Carson substituted baby food. They eat it because they are hungry but they don’t brag about it. One day usually gets them on their best behaviour,” observed Carson.

We strive to exalt ourselves in hope that others will respond in like manner, but as Jesus taught in:
Matthew 23:12 NKJV
12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Man’s economy and God’s economy work very differently.
Showing love, is not making relationships, conversations, or circumstances about us.

Love isn’t all about me!

Love is patient and kind, it doesn’t envy or boast. Likewise:

Love isn’t arrogant

φυσιόω (phusioō) - to puff or inflate
Much like boasting, arrogance is thinking of ourselves not just as great, but actually greater than someone else.
Proverbs 13:10 NKJV
10 By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.
Some people seem to be just born with a conceited attitude. Mohammed Ali (the famous boxer) once said:
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 773 Epigram on Conceited

“If anybody ever even dreamed of beating me, he’d wake up and apologize!”

—Mohammed Ali

An arrogant spirit is nothing like God. All throughout the book of John, for instance, we find Jesus constantly affirming that the message He was speaking was not His, but the Father’s.
In fact, the Holy Spirt, who abides in all believers, testifies not of Himself, but of Christ.
John 15:26 NKJV
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
Again, Jesus sets the perfect example in the truth that:

Love isn’t all about me!

Love is patient and kind, it doesn’t envy or boast, it isn’t arrogant and:

Love isn’t rude

ἀσχημονέω (aschēmoneō) - to act unbecomingly
Real love is courteous and considerate. Real love doesn’t behave dishonorably. Real love sticks to pre-described standards.
Ill: First time golfing - fopaux walking across the putting green between my brother’s golf ball and the whole.
You see, love doesn’t step all over the understood standards of others. It isn’t rude.
The wealthy Corinthian believers dishonored the poor believers back in 1 Corinthians 11, and we find that some were even dishonoring themselves.

Love isn’t all about me!

So, love doesn’t envy or boast, it isn’t arrogant or rude, and we learn that because we also see there in verse 5:

Love isn’t selfish

ζητέω (zēteō) - to search out
ἑαυτοῦ (heautou) - itself, concious
Christ-like love doesn’t seek it’s own.
1 Corinthians 10:24 NKJV
24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
Philippians 2:4 NKJV
4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Loving God the way we should, and loving others, doesn’t turn situations around to highlight ourselves. Genuine love doesn’t make each meeting about self, or each argument about personal needs or feelings. Love doesn’t seek it’s own.

Love isn’t all about me!

It seeks the benefit of someone else.
So if I may ask, how are you loving today? How is love shown in your marriage, your parenting, your workplace? Is it all about you, or is it all about Christ and your opportunity to bring glory to Him through your relationships?
We are to love others with patience and kindness, we should be envious or boastful. There is no room to be arrogant or rude, and to love is to seek someone else’s good - not our own.
Remember, as we looked last week:
The reality is that we can’t do this on our own. We can’t muster up enough goodness to check this 1 Corinthians 13 list complete. Each of us are desperately in need of help from the Holy Spirit to produce in us the will and the way to love like Christ showed and how He commanded.
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