Greater Than Everything
January 3, 2021
If somebody were to ask you, “Why do you exist?” What would you say?
What is the purpose of your life? What kind of people, as a church, should we be producing and how do we know if we’re on track or not?
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. …Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37,39)
A new command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
Make love your aim…
The goal of our instruction is the love…
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Do everything in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)
And yet I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to [the flames], but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:3)
Everything – love = nothing
Love + nothing = everything
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Substitute your own name for the word love and see how it sounds.
________ is patient, _______ is kind. ______ does not envy, ______does not boast, ______is not proud. ______does not dishonor others, ______is not self-seeking, ______is not easily angered, ______keeps no record of wrongs. ______does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. ______always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
We believe in love. But we’re not as loving as we think we are.
“God 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. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)
So, the Word became [flesh] and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. (John 1:14)
My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. (John 13:33)
A new command I give you, love one another as I have love you, so you must love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son… (John 3:16)
What does love require of me?
“This question gives voice to the new covenant on issues where our New Testament is silent. It fills the gaps with disquieting precision. It succeeds where concordances fail…It closes loopholes. It exposes our hypocrisy. It stands as judge and jury. It is so simple, but it is inescapably demanding.”—Andy Stanley
“When unsure of what to say or do, ask what love requires of you.”—Andy Stanley
No one who succeeds at love fails at life and nobody who fails at love succeeds at life.