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Our Response to God's Love (CC)

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ZION EV. LUTHERAN CHURCH 1001 W 223rd ST., TORRANCE, CA 2-03-2013 SERMON TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 12:27-13:13 [OUR SERMON TEXT] RECORDED FOR US IN PAUL'S LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS THE 1st EPISTLE WHERE WE READ FROM CHAPTER 12 BEGINNING WITH VERSE 27: NOW YOU ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST, AND EACH ONE OF YOU IS A PART OF IT. AND IN THE CHURCH GOD HAS APPOINTED FIRST OF ALL APOSTLES, SECOND PROPHETS, THIRD TEACHERS, THEN WORKERS OF MIRACLES, ALSO THOSE HAVING GIFTS OF HEALING, THOSE ABLE TO HELP OTHERS, THOSE WITH GIFTS OF ADMINISTRATION, AND THOSE SPEAKING IN DIFFERENT KINDS OF TONGUES. ARE ALL APOSTLES? ARE ALL PROPHETS? ARE ALL TEACHERS? DO ALL WORK MIRACLES? DO ALL HAVE GIFTS OF HEALING? DO ALL SPEAK IN TONGUES? DO ALL INTERPRET? BUT EAGERLY DESIRE THE GREATER GIFTS. AND NOW I WILL SHOW YOU THE MOST EXCELLENT WAY. IF I SPEAK IN THE TONGUES OF MEN AND OF ANGELS BUT HAVE NOT 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 HAVE NOT LOVE, I AM NOTHING. IF I GIVE ALL I POSSESS TO THE POOR AND SURRENDER MY BODY TO THE FLAMES, BUT HAVE NOT LOVE, I GAIN NOTHING. LOVE IS PATIENT, LOVE IS KIND. IT DOES NOT ENVY, IT DOES NOT BOAST, IT IS NOT PROUD. IT IS NOT RUDE, 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. LOVE NEVER FAILS. BUT WHERE THERE ARE PROPHECIES, THEY WILL CEASE; WHERE THERE ARE TONGUES, THEY WILL BE STILLED; WHERE THERE IS KNOWLEDGE, IT WILL PASS AWAY. FOR WE KNOW IN PART AND WE PROPHESY IN PART, BUT WHEN PERFECTION COMES, THE IMPERFECT DISAPPEARS. WHEN I WAS A CHILD, I TALKED LIKE A CHILD, I THOUGHT LIKE A CHILD, I REASONED LIKE A CHILD. WHEN I BECAME A MAN, I PUT CHILDISH WAYS BEHIND ME. NOW WE SEE BUT A POOR REFLECTION; [AS IN A MIRROR] THEN WE SHALL SEE FACE TO FACE. NOW I KNOW IN PART; THEN I SHALL KNOW FULLY, EVEN AS I AM FULLY KNOWN. AND NOW THESE THREE REMAIN: FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE. THIS IS THE WORD OF OUR LORD. LET US PRAY: GLORIOUS AND GRACIOUS GOD, MAY THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH AND THE MEDITATION OF EACH OF OUR HEARTS BE ACCEPTABLE IN YOUR SIGHT, OUR ONLY SOURCE OF HOPE AND COMFORT. AMEN. [TEXT TAKEN FROM THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, USED BY PERMISSION OF ZONDERVAN BIBLE PUBLISHERS] DEAR FOLLOWERS OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST: WHEN JO AND I WERE SERVING A CONGREGATION IN FLORIDA, WE WOULD GET TOGETHER WITH A COUPLE OF OTHER PASTOR FAMILIES FOR A FEW DAYS OF JUST RELAXING AND JUST SHARING THE JOYS AND THE CHALLENGES OF MINISTRY. ONE OF THESE FAMILIES HAD FOUR CHILDREN. THREE BOYS AND A GIRL. AND THEY WERE ALL VERY CLOSE IN AGE. SO WE WERE AT THEIR HOUSE AND IT CAME TIME FOR LUNCH. AND THEY ALL GOT LINED UP ON FOUR STOOLS IN FRONT OF THE KITCHEN COUNTER. AND THEIR MOM PUT DOWN THEIR SANDWICH AND A GLASS OF MILK, AND ONE OF THEM SAID: GO! AND THEY ALL GRABBED THEIR MILK, SLAMMED IT DOWN AND PUT IT ON THE TABLE AND SAID: I WON! THEN THEY GRABBED THE SANDWICH STUFFED IT INTO THEIR MOUTH, SWALLOWED AND SAID: FIRST! FLIPPED THEIR PLATE OVER, I'M DONE. AND JO AND I WERE LIKE ... OKAY! ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE GOT TO REALIZE ABOUT THIS FAMILY WAS THAT EVERYTHING AMONG THESE FOUR CHILDREN WAS A COMPETITION. EVERYTHING! BECAUSE THEY TURNED AROUND ON THEIR STOOLS AND THEY WOULD JUST MAKE UP COMPETITIONS ALL DAY LONG! LIKE, OKAY, WHO CAN JUMP THE FARTHEST OFF THE STOOL? GO! NOW WHO WILL BE THE FIRST ONE DOWN TO THE END OF THE HALL? GO! YOU HEARD THIS 24 HOURS A DAY ... CONSTANTLY! THERE WAS NEVER THOUGH THAT TIME WHEN THE LOSER WOULD JUST STAND THERE AND POUT AND SCREAM AND CRY. HE JUST MADE UP THE NEXT ONE AND ON THEY WENT ... ALL DAY LONG! THIS CHALLENGE THAT SOMEONE HAD TO BE THE BEST. SOMEONE HAD TO BE THE WINNER. SOMEONE HAD TO BE FIRST. AND IT'S KIND OF HUMEROUS WHEN WE LOOK AT THAT AT THOSE KIDS, DOING THOSE KIND OF THINGS. BUT YET, HOW OFTEN DON'T WE CARRY THOSE SAME KIND OF COMPETITIONS IN OUR OWN LIVES? SETTING UP OUR OWN KIND OF GOALS THAT WE NEED TO TO BECOME FIRST. TO PICK WHAT WE'RE BEST AT AND SAY THAT'S THE GAME WE'RE GONNA PLAY SO THAT I COME OUT ON THE TOP AND THAT I'M THE WINNER. AND SOMEHOW THAT EVEN CREEPS INTO WORK IN THE CHURCH. AS IF BEING A CHILD OF GOD REDEEMED BY THE GRACE OF GOD, WERE NOT SUFFICIENT FOR US TO REJOICE AND BE HAPPY. WE WANNA PUT OURSELVES IN THAT CATEGORY OF BEING A "GOOD" CHRISTIAN. BECAUSE I'M SO "BETTER" THAN THE REST OF THOSE HORRIBLE "SINNER-LIKE" CHRISTIANS THAT ARE AROUND ME. OR LOOK AT THIS GREAT GIFT THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO ME THAT HE HASN'T GIVEN TO ANYONE ELSE. AND I HAVE THIS GREAT GIFT AND THEREFORE I'M A BETTER CHRISTIAN. I'M NOT JUST A GOOD CHRISTIAN BUT I AM TRULY BETTER THAN OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE OF THE GIFTS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO ME. THE APOSTLE PAUL HAD TO DEAL WITH THAT IN THE CHURCH OF CORINTH. REMEMBER LAST WEEK WE ENDED WITH THE VERSE OF CORINTHIANS WE BEGIN WITH TODAY. NOW EACH ONE OF YOU IS A PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST. GOING BACK TO THAT THOUGHT THAT WE WERE MADE UNIQUE PARTS OF GOD'S BODY ... OF THE BODY THE CHURCH. AND EACH OF US HAS THOSE GIFTS THAT ARE TO BE USED. YES! GOD MADE ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT GIFTS TO HAND OUT TO PEOPLE. SOME OF THEM WERE PROPHETS. SOME OF THEM WERE TEACHERS. SOME OF THEM WERE GIVEN GIFTS OF ADMINISTRATION. SOME OF THEM WERE GIVEN GIFTS OF KNOWLEDGE. SOME OF THEM WERE GIVEN GIFTS OF HEALING. SOME OF THEM WERE GIVEN THE ABILITY TO SPEAK IN OTHER LANGUAGES THAT THEY HAD NOT KNOWN. SOME OF THEM WERE GIVEN THE GIFT OF INTERPRETING THOSE LANGUAGES THAT PROCLAIMED GOD'S MESSAGE. BUT THE CHURCH OF GOD IS NOT ALL MADE UP OF PROPHETS. THE CHURCH OF GOD IS NOT ALL MADE UP OF TEACHERS. IF WE WERE ALL PASTORS, WHERE WOULD THE CONGREGATION BE? WE ALL HAVE VERY DIFFERENT GIFTS. BUT SOMETIMES OUR SINFUL NATURE SOMEHOW WANTS US TO BE BETTER THAN THE PERSON SITTING NEXT TO US. THAT GOD LOVES US MORE IN SOME WAY TO MAKE US WHO WE ARE AND THAT MAKES US GREAT AND WONDERFUL. INSTEAD OF JUST REALIZING WE ARE GREAT AND WONDERFUL BECAUSE ... GOD ... LOVED US! GOD ... LOVED ... US! WHEN WE WERE UN ... LOVABLE! WE WERE THOSE LITTLE CHILDREN WHO DIDN'T WANNNA HEAR WHAT GOD HAD TO SAY. WHO SCREAMED BACK AT GOD; WHO WANTED NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM; WHO DIDN'T WANT TO CARRY OUT ANYTHING THAT HE SAID. WE WANTED NO PART OF HIM AND WE WERE NOT GOING TO LISTEN! WE WERE NOT GOING TO BE LOVED; WE WERE NOT GOING TO BE INSTRUCTED BY HIM, BUT IT WAS ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD THAT HE CAME TO US. BY THE POWER OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH THE WORD AND BROUGHT US TO FAITH. BROUGHT US TO FAITH IN THE GREATEST ACT OF LOVE THAT GOD HAS SHOWN. THAT HE SENT HIS SON INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS WHICH YOU AND I ARE. THAT GOD LOVED US AND SAVED US IS TRULY WHAT MAKES US WONDERFUL AND SPECIAL AND UNIQUE AND IT'S OUR REASON FOR REJOICING. AND IT IS OUR REASON THAT WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO SHOW THAT LOVE. IF YOU WANT TO BE THE PERSON OF GOD SHOWING HIS LOVE, DESIRE TO DO THAT. PAUL ENCOURAGED THE PEOPLE OF CORINTH TO STOP ARGUING ABOUT WHAT WAS GREATER AND WHAT WAS BETTER. HE SAID: HERE IT IS ... I WILL LAY IT OUT FOR YOU. YOU CAN HAVE THE GREATEST GIFT OF SPEECH IN THE WORLD AND IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE LOVE OF GOD AND UNDERSTAND IT, YOU'RE LIKE SOMEBODY THAT'S SLAMMING CYMBALS TOGETHER ... TIME AND TIME AGAIN ... YAK, YAK, YAK. HERE IT IS: ANNOYING, ANNOYING, ANNOYING. YOU CAN HAVE AND TAKE ALL THAT YOU POSSESS AND GIVE IT TO THE POOR AND IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE LOVE OF GOD WHAT GOOD IS THAT? YOU CAN HAVE A TREMENDOUS MIND THAT CAN FATHOM WONDERFUL THINGS BUT IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE LOVE OF GOD IT'S NOTHING. THAT LOVE OF GOD THAT SAVED US ... THAT IS IN US. THAT LIVES IN US AND WORKS IN US BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. AND PAUL REMINDS US TO DESIRE THAT GIFT. TO DESIRE THAT GIFT OF LOVE AND TO USE IT IN ACTIONS AND IN TRUTH. IN OUR LIVES TO GET UP EVERY DAY AND REMIND OURSELVES OF HOW BLESSED WE ARE BY GOD TO BE CALLED HIS CHILD. TO LIVE IN HIS GRACE AND IN HIS LOVE AND TO SET OUR MINDS TO SHOW THAT LOVE EACH AND EVERY DAY. BECAUSE IT IS A CHOICE. IT IS A CHOICE WHEN YOU GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING, HOW YOU'RE GOING TO ACT. HOW YOU'RE GOING TO FEEL. AND SOMETIMES OUR SINFUL NATURE JUST WANTS US TO BE CRANKY. AND WE WANNA BE CRABBY. AND WE SHOW THAT AND MAKE THAT KNOWN TO HOW WE TREAT EVERYONE AROUND US. NOT BEING LOVING WITH OTHER PEOPLE. NOT BEING PATIENT WITH THEM. NOT BEING KIND. WE MAKE CHOICES IN THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT WE HAVE NOT TO BE LOVING. WE CHOOSE TO REMEMBER THE HURT THAT HAS COME UPON US. WE CHOOSE TO PLAY THAT OVER IN OUR HEAD AND NOT TO BE LOVING AND TO FORGET IT. WE MAKE CHOICES NOT TO FULLY FORGIVE SOMEONE. WE ENVY THE PEOPLE AROUND US WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY HAVE. WE'RE JEALOUS EVEN OF OUR CLOSEST FRIENDS SOMETIMES BY THE BLESSINGS THAT COME INTO THEIR LIVES. WE DON'T REJOICE WITH THEM. WE'RE NOT HAPPY FOR WHAT HAS COME INTO THEIR LIVES. PAUL SAYS: THINK OF WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN AND HOW BLESSED YOU ARE TO BE SAVED FROM THE FLAMES OF HELL BY THE LOVE OF GOD AND DESIRE TO SHOW THAT LOVE: IN YOUR ACTIONS ... IN THE THINGS THAT YOU DO. BECAUSE LOVE IS A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT WE'VE HEARD ABOUT THIS MORNING. WE COULD PREACH ON EACH OF THOSE THOUGHTS AND EACH OF THOSE WORDS OVER THE NEXT WEEKS AND NOT EXHAUST HOW GRAND AND HOW LARGE THE LOVE OF GOD IS. BUT WE CERTAINLY THIS MORNING CAN SEE HOW SMALL OUR LOVE CAN BE AT TIMES. HOW FICKLE. HOW UNLIKE GOD. AND WE TAKE THAT SIN TO THE GOD WHO LOVES US AND KNOW THAT HE WASHES IT AWAY BECAUSE OF THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST. BECAUSE OF WHAT CHRIST DID WE HAVE FORGIVENESS AND IT IS OURS. AND WE COME AWAY FROM THAT FORGIVENESS WITH HEARTS THAT ARE FILLED WITH JOY. WE LEAVE THE TABLE OF THE LORD'S ALTAR KNOWING THAT OUR SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN AND WE HAVE THE POWER TO AMEND OUR SINFUL LIFE. THE DESIRE TO SHOW LOVE. THE DESIRE TO DO THAT BY WHAT WE SAY AND WHAT WE DO AND TO DESIRE THAT IN THE TRUTH OF GOD'S WORD. WE ALL GROW IN OUR KNOWLEDGE. PAUL SAID: WHEN HE WAS A CHILD, HE ACTED LIKE A CHILD. HE THOUGHT LIKE A CHILD. BUT NOW THAT HE IS A MAN, HE PUT CHILDISH THINGS BEHIND HIM. THAT IS THE TRUTH OF LIFE. YOU CANNOT GO THROUGH YOUR ENTIRE LIFE ACTING LIKE A 2-YEAR-OLD. BECAUSE 50-YEAR OLDS THROWING TANTRUMS AND FALLING ON THE FLOOR DO NOT GET THE SAME RECEPTION THAT A 2-YEAR-OLD DOES. BUT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS WE GROW IN OUR OWN KNOWLEDGE. AND WE GROW IN OUR OWN UNDERSTANDING BECAUSE OF THE WORD OF GOD; WHAT HE HAS PROCLAIMED TO US. WE RELY ON GOD'S TRUTH AND WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY. AND WE KNOW THAT SOME DAY WHEN WE LEAVE THIS WORLD WE ARE GOING TO KNOW EVERYTHING. AND WE DON'T HAVE THAT NOW. AND WHEN WE ARE UNLOVING, WE THINK THAT WE KNOW BETTER THAN GOD. WE KNOW MORE THAN GOD. WE KNOW THE WHOLE STORY. WE CAN READ PEOPLE'S HEARTS; WE CAN READ PEOPLE'S MINDS AND WE MAKE HORRIBLE UNLOVING JUDGMENTS BASED UPON WHAT WE THINK OF AS KNOWLEDGE. BUT WE ARE NOT ALL-KNOWING. GOD IS ... ALL-KNOWING. THERE WILL COME A TIME WHEN WE WILL BE ALL-KNOWING. WHEN WE RID OURSELVES OF THIS MORTAL BODY AND GOD GIVES US OUR GLORIFIED BODY. WHEN HE CALLS US TO HEAVEN TO BE WITH HIM WHERE WE WILL SEE HIM FACE-TO-FACE AND UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING WITH PERFECT CLARITY. WITH THE PURE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND HIS WILL. TO FULLY EXPERIENCE HIS LOVE. BUT IN THE MEANTIME, WE CONTINUE TO PROCLAIM THE TRUTH THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US. WE ARE LIKE JEREMIAH BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE LOVE OF GOD AND AS THE PSALMIST REMINDS US WE'RE TO TELL IT TO THE NEXT GENERATION. WE'RE TO USE THAT WHERE GOD HAS PLACED US; WITH PEOPLE HE WANTS US TO TALK TO. AND EVEN THOUGH WE MAY GET THE SAME REACTION THAT OUR LORD AND SAVIOR DID: THAT PEOPLE DON'T WANNA HEAR IT. THAT THEY SLAM THE DOOR IN OUR FACE. THEN WE PICK OURSELVES UP ... AND MOVE ON CONTINUING IN GOD'S LOVE. CONTINUING TO PROCLAIM THAT TRUTH TO OTHERS WHO WILL HEAR IT. AND WE PRAY THAT THE LORD WILL USE THAT MESSAGE THAT WE SO SIMPLY HAVE PROCLAIMED TO ALLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT TO WORK IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE. BECAUSE WE HAVE LOVE FOR ... THE SOULS OF OTHERS. WE CARE ... ABOUT THEIR ETERNITY. AND WE CARE ENOUGH TO SHOW THEM LOVE. TO SPEAK TO THEM WITH WORDS OF LOVE ... TO TEACH THEM THE LOVE OF GOD. WE KNOW WHAT WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN. BUT SO OFTEN WE JUST DON'T DO ANYTHING WITH IT. WE DON'T REMIND OURSELVES EACH AND EVERY DAY THE DESIRE TO SHOW THAT GIFT OF LOVE. TO BE LOVING. TO BE KIND. TO BE COMPASSIONATE. BUT IF IN OUR LIVES BEFORE WE SAID SOMETHING, OR POSTED SOMETHING ON FACEBOOK, OR SENT AN EMAIL, WE WENT THROUGH THOSE WORDS OF 1 CORINTHIANS 13, AND ASKED OURSELVES: IS THIS KIND? IS THIS BEING GOOD? DOES THIS COME FROM ENVY? DOES THIS MEAN BOASTING? THERE'D BE LESS OF THOSE POSTS THAT CAUSE DISCORD. THERE WOULD BE LESS OF THOSE WORDS THAT DON'T BUILD UP AND ENCOURAGE A MUTUAL RESPECT. THERE WOULD BE MORE THINGS THAT WAS SPOKEN IN LOVE. AND THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF TALK ABOUT LOVE IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. BUT WE WANNA BE CLEAR OF THE LOVE THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT: THE LOVE THAT GOD HAS FOR SINNERS. DESIRE ... TO SHOW ... THAT ... LOVE. AMEN. LET US RISE. NOW MAY THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH GOES BEYOND ALL OF OUR UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS AND ESPECIALLY YOUR LIVES IN THE ONE TRUE FAITH UNTO LIFE EVERLASTING. AMEN.

Video Details

Duration: 20 minutes and 10 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 51
Posted by: hischild on Feb 7, 2013

This Closed Captioned sermon illustrates the desire to show love to others that manifests itself in actions and in truth. www.ziontorrance.info

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