Love is Stubborn

first Corinthians 13 we'll go ahead and

just read it in its context this time

beginning in verse 1 1st Corinthians

chapter 13 verse 1 says 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

love 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 we'll stop there and

we'll finish up the last half of the

chapter next week dear God I thank you

thank you Father for the power of love

god I thank you that at the end of all

things our lives will be evaluated

before you're awesome thrown by the

quality of our love father I pray that

this concept would continue to move out

of the realm of being a sentimental idea

and be concrete an action-oriented for

us that we would learn how to love that

we would discover how wide and deep and

long and highs the love of God Lord

Jesus that we would swim in your ocean

of love that we would live it out in

practical ways and God speak to us now

speak to me God take this awesome truth

Lord and bring it home as only you can

do in Jesus name

amen and amen so we've already talked

about how love is not rude how love is

patient remember we talked about love

being like the shock absorbers talk to

how love is kind we spoke about how love

does not delight in evil but rejoices

with the truth about how love stands for

something love is not equal to a blind

tolerance we've talked about some very

difficult issues by the way all of this

is available on the website you can

click in and there's a whole menu of

these that we're now recording so feel

free to check them out but today we're

sort of reading the last verse that ends

the poetic part in a way or a particular

part of this poem verse 7 is where we're

going to focus says love always protects

always trusts always hopes always

perseveres in the King James it says

love beareth all things believeth all

things hopeth all things endureth all

things love bears all things believes

all things hopes all things endures all

things Eugene Peterson put it this way

put love puts up with anything love

trust God always love always looks for

the best love never looks back but keeps

going to the end todo lo que todo lo

sufre no todo lo sufre todo lo crato doe

Louis para todo lo support us if you

want to speak Spanish with it this is a

powerful verse it ends with a punch with

four punches it's sort of a poem that's

meant to end with that if you do music

it's the idea of a staccato kind of

rhythm kind of bang bang bang bang God

is hammering something to us the Greek

really captures it you're going to learn

a little Greek today huh not just so

that we can be pedantic but because it

sounds cool in Greek it is Ponte Steg a

Ponte be stay away panted biz de Ponte

OBO many to hear the rhythm it's almost

a rocking kind of rhythm a hammering

kind of rhythm let's say it

okay the word panita means everything

all things you say with me Ponte pant

it's like the Spanish deauville Spanish

this captures it English kind of always

in all things I don't know it does this

doesn't quite got that punch Ponte say

with me steg a Ponte to stay away ponte

el pase de Ponte Hoople many there's

that banging that hammering always net

always trusts always hopes always

perseveres all things love is a powerful

thing love is a stubborn thing love has

some attitude love is not just a

sentimental feeling love has a

fierceness to it love has an intensity

that will not give up that will not give

in that never looks back and never looks

down love is intense love is powerful

love gives us backbone and fire and

passion in life for the people that God

has put around us and that's what we're

going to talk about today stubborn love

tough love intense love punching love in

a good way not that poetically since

we're looking at the poetic part of this

it's a chiasm if in poetry terminology

there's a particular form that they'll

use sometimes called a chiasm where it

will begin and end on the same note and

there will be symmetry in the middle so

it begins with something a and then it

goes on to another idea be and then it

mirrors that and then another B and then

an a so it goes a BBA it begins with an

idea then it goes to an idea and then it

stays with that same idea and then it

ends where it began have I lost you I

just lost you let me try it with colors

here I thought of it this way it starts

with yellow i'm going to say yellow

because that's the color I like then it

goes to purple then it's purple again

and then it ends with yellow again so

it's sort of a chiasm it's a unit it all

goes together and we see that in this

verse love bears all things love

leaves all things love trusts all things

and love endures all things so the

beginning and the end go together it's

like a sandwich right it begins and ends

with bearing or enduring or supporting

all things and in the middle there's the

attitude of love trusting and believing

and those two go together so we're going

to talk about this as a unit today we're

going to talk about how love is hard and

intense and also tender and hopeful they

go together I've put it this way in the

past love has a thick skin and a soft

heart love is tough and love is tender

love is intense but also has a soft

welcoming attitude to it and the two

have to go together intensity without

love results in sort of a legalistic

kind of sterile intensity that just

comes on hard but the feeling of

tenderness without strength just comes

across as a sentimental feeling love is

not mushy love is strong love is

stubborn it's also hopeful and trusting

so let's start with the first and last

word in verse 7 here so verse 7 chapter

13 love always the NIV translates it

love always protects and then in the

last part of it it says love always

perseveres in the King James it's a love

bears all things what does it say and at

the end it says love endures all things

let's talk about that a little bit the

first word there love bears all things

or love always protects is a very

interesting word in Greek it's the word

steg a it's the word used for patching a

roof in New England not really but I'm

going to pretend it's in New England if

you have a roof with holes in it in New

England there's going to be some

problems right sometimes there's that

hard rain there's the blowing storms the

the wind this word has to do with a roof

that is air water tight that it has been

sealed and it is so strong that it can

handle intense amounts of rain and

elements and wind blowing against it it

can bear up under the elements love is

like that that's why the NIV translates

it love always protects they have that

idea of love shielding or protecting

those underneath it but I think the

emphasis is more that love is so

determined so so strong that it can bear

with a lot of difficulties and doesn't

give in love doesn't cave in under the

challenges and the difficulties that

come love is strong the last word in

that verse is love always persevere zor

love endures all things it's a word the

word in greek is who poem na it means

remains under a load you ever carried a

load that is so heavy you feel like it's

going to break your back well the word

here is love is so determined that it

remains under load and indoors a heavy

load for the benefit of the person that

is loved so love bears all things love

endures all things let's start with the

first one there love bears all things

this is very appropriate because this

speaks to the love that goes into a

missionary who is determined to bless

the people around them no matter what

love bears all things a great way of

putting it love puts up with anything

love puts up with anything how many

people know that when you love someone

there is a lot to be put up with if

you're really going to love them there

is a lot to be born with the couples are

all kind of giving each other a look

there are things to be tolerated there

are things to be born with it's like a

roof well it's going to snow if you have

a roof it is going to snow

that roof it's going to rain on that

roof it's going to sleet on that roof

it's not it has to be strong or it will

cave in the love is like that love has

to put up with a lot let's look back at

first Corinthians chapter nine couple

chapters back same boat same letter the

Apostle Paul uses this word when he

talks about the love that he has for the

Corinthians and look at how he puts it

he's talking about a controversy that

goes on because certain certain

creatures accepted payment from the

Corinthians and the Apostle Paul did not

and he argues that a missionary as a

missionary that who was a full-time

missionary that it was his right to

receive his living from his preaching

that it was his right to do that it

wasn't wrong for him to expect to

receive his salary from what he does

that he had a right to that but he says

he chose not to exercise that right in

order not to put any stumbling block in

the way of his ministry with the people

and look at what he says he says in

verse 12 first Corinthians 9 verse 12 he

says if others have this right of

support from you shouldn't we have it

all the more but we did not use this

right on the contrary we put up with

anything rather than hinder the gospel

of Christ same word steg a weeb or

anything don't you know that those who

work in the temple get their food from

the temple those who serve at the altar

share and what is offered on the altar

in the same way the Lord has commanded

that those who preach the gospel should

receive their living from the gospel but

verse 15 but I have not used any of

these rights now i'm not writing this in

the hope that you will do such things

for me i'd rather die than anyone

deprive me of this boast yet when I

preach the gospel I cannot boast for I'm

compelled to preach woe to me if I do

not preach the gospel it says if I

preach voluntarily I have a reward if

not voluntarily I'm simply discharging

the trust committed to me what then is


or just this that in preaching the

gospel I may offer it free of charge and

so not make use of my rights in

preaching it see how often he used the

words his rights he says he willingly

yielded his rights out of love for the

Corinthians love does that love does

that know we talk a lot and it's

important that we do about human rights

that people have certain rights to

politicals they have civil rights their

human rights there's nothing wrong with

insisting on that but when it comes to a

loving relationship if a person

approaches the relationship insisting on

what they have a right to things are not

going to go very well the whole idea is

yielding your rights for the benefit of

the person you love the team that's

going to Honduras it would have been

perfectly appropriate for them to raise

support to cover their own expenses

perfectly appropriate nothing wrong with

that but they yield did that out of love

for the people that they were going to

serve now wouldn't have been unloving to

do otherwise but love motivate this

yielding of your rights for the benefit

of the other person in a marriage

ceremony there is a covenant that is

repeated and by the way I want to

specify I'm not aiming this at anybody

right I always have to say that right if

the shoe fits do please wear it but I'm

not like you know aiming it at people

but in a marriage ceremony they repeat

certain rights you know they make a

commitment to the other person and it's

it's beautiful vows promises made in the

presence of you know to love to have and

to hold from this day forward in bed for

better what is it for better or for no

for better for better is what we want

because expecting it to make me happy

and fulfilled right for better or for

for richer or for but wait a minute he

doesn't make enough money so I'm out of

here richer for poorer for better for

worse for richer in sickness and in no

but he's sickness and in health wow that

commitment that vow that no matter what

I will put up with love bears all things

I will put up with the sniffles I will

put up with the bingo bada-boom all the

things that we bear with that love

yields it's right for the good of the

others now that translates into ministry

we approach ministry not for what will

get out of it but for what we can give

into the lives of the people we come to

serve no matter what supporting bearing

with all things look what the Apostle

Paul says is that I decided to make

myself a slave to everyone even though I

belong to no man why to win as many as

possible this is verse 19 and then in

verse 20 the Apostle Paul says to the

Jews I became like a Jew to win the Jews

to those under the law I became like one

under the law though I myself am not

under the law so as to win those under

the law to those not having the law

became like one not having the law

though I'm not free from God's law but

under Chrysler why so as to win those

not having law to the week I became weak

to win the week I have become all things

to all people so that by all possible

means I might save some I do all this

for the sake of the gospel that I might

share its blessings yielding his rights

he's like if I have to become Jewish if

I have to keep kosher if I have to take

a vow and shave my head I'll do it and

he did by the way and if I Dwight to win

an Orthodox Jew the Apostle Paul then

says but I'm willing to do whatever I

have to do to win a Gentile here let's

have some bacon and eggs I I'm not gonna

be if keeping the law is going to impede

them from hearing my message I won't do

that whatever it takes I will do what I

have to do for the benefit of the person

I am reaching out to that's why I

respect different kinds of ministry in

the city some people who who minister

wearing the fancy suit downtown some

people who minister in Harvard Square

who have a mohawk and tattoos I'm not

going to judge them they're trying to

win people with mohawks at tattoos right

and I'm not going to judge the person

who wears the suit and reaches out to

two people working

in in the businesses downtown God has

put them there to win as many as

possible the idea is love is saying I

will put up with anything I have to to

reach this person love bears all things

supports all things there's a

stubbornness to it Haddon Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon preached hunt a couple

hundred years ago this same text talking

about the idea of Love's Labour's that

love has to work at it love is not going

to be easy and pleasant all the time

love is going to suffer sometimes gonna

have to put up with some things there's

going to be rain storms they're going to

be elements to be born with what are

some of the things that come against

love or relationship the enemy himself

will come against its Satan will throw

anything he can to undermine the love

you will have four people people you

love will make your life difficult there

will be things you can have to tolerate

from them you're trying to love them and

they're being difficult maybe you're

being difficult to but you're more

noticing them being difficult but love

puts up with anything love bears all

things we will have that strength but it

takes work it takes covering up the leak

leaks it takes being intense and saying

I am willing to suffer because of a

higher purpose a little later in the

same text the Apostle Paul uses the

image of an athlete in verse 24 of first

Corinthians chapter 9 he says do you not

know that in a race all the runners run

but only one gets the prize run in such

a way is to get the prize everyone who

competes in the games goes into strict

training they do it to get a crown that

will not last but we do it to get a

crown that will last forever therefore I

do not run like a man running aimlessly

I do not fight like a man beating the

air no I beat my body and make it my

slave so that after i have preached to

others i myself will not be disqualified

for the prize

someone in training to be an athlete has

to suffer they have to put up with a lot

right they have to abstain they're not

they can't go out for beer and pizza

with their friends why because they've

got to compete in a race and that's what

love is like love says I know it would

be easier to not put up with all I have

to put up with from this person but I

love them that's what a mother does

right changing all those diapers then

when they're a teenager role in their

eyes at you right maybe they're an adult

still rolling their eyes ii love puts up

with it love says I am committed and I

will stick with you love is stubborn

love is intense love indoors under the

burden of love that image of staying

under love is tough love suffers for the

good of the other person if you'll go

with me to Isaiah 50 verse for Isaiah 50

verse 4 it talks about the attitude

prophetically it's talking about the

attitude of Jesus in the future as our

Savior Isaiah 50 and verse for this as

the sovereign Lord has given me an

instructed tongue to know the word that

sustains the weary he wakens me morning

by morning he wakens my ear to listen

like one being taught the sovereign Lord

has opened my ears and I have not been

rebellious I have not drawn back verse 6

I offered my back to those who beat me

my cheeks to those who pulled out my

beard I did not hide my face from

mocking and spitting because the

sovereign Lord helps me I will not be

disgraced therefore I have set my face

like flint and i know i will not be put

to shame he vindicates me as near love

has to set your face like flint and say

no matter what I'm going to hang in here

now I need to put a caveat in here this

is Jesus suffering for the people he

came to save I do not believe that a

person I always need to put this in

needs to willing

he suffer physical abuse out of love for

a person that they're with we don't

teach that here we don't say that you

need to do that in order to be faithful

when there's physical abuse a person

needs to be safe from that okay I need

to say that but in general the attitude

of love says I am going to hang in there

I'm going to bear up what I have to do

and especially in ministry all true

ministry all true service whether you're

a Sunday school teacher with children

whether you're going on mission trips

whether you're serving as an usher it

means you will have to put up with pain

even from the people you serve and that

pain endured results in something

positive for the people you've come to

serve a person shouldn't expect to be

finding just fulfillment from what they

do although guess what happens you

suffer for the people you're serving you

take it for them and you give yourself

for them and there are surprises that

come with it there is abundant life

there is joy that comes with it but it

doesn't come by taking shortcuts around

sacrificial love I'd like to take

another look at this word to endure the

Apostle Paul puts it this way in second

Timothy chapter 2 verse 10 he is in jail

his disciples are wondering you've just

been preaching the gospel and it landed

you in jail it's no fair what's your

attitude going to be the Apostle Paul

says I endure everything in 2nd Timothy

2 10 I endure everything for the sake of

the elect that they too may obtain the

salvation that is in Christ Jesus with

eternal glory he could suffer being

imprisoned because he knew why he was

there he knew for whom he was there he

says I am in jail chained like a

criminal because I know that God's Word

is not chained I can be here behind bars

because I know

that there's a purpose to it there are

people who will be blessed because I'm

suffering for them he refers to them as

the elect the ones that God has chosen

that they may obtain salvation that is

in Christ Jesus with eternal glory see

he has his eyes on the prize he has a

vision of what these people can become

someday if he will hang in there and if

he'll suffer for them he sees them

through eyes of faith and that brings us

to the inside of the poem it says love

bears all things love believes all

things love hopes all things and love

endures all things how can we put up

with everything how can we endure

because we have hope and we have faith

that it will pay off we know that God

can change people that he can bless them

that he can give them a new beginning so

we don't give up on them love never

gives up on people have you ever been

tempted to give up on somebody sometimes

for very small reasons you might be

tempted to say this person ja basta I've

had enough of them that's enough I've

had it with them sometimes you say in a

little way sometimes in a big way what

this verse is saying love never gives up

on people because of the faith and hope

that we have that God has a purpose for

them I'd like you to go with me to

Hebrews chapter 12 there's a beautiful

verse have you ever wondered how Jesus

could go to the cross how could he do it

he knew what he was going to suffer he

knew what he was going to go through but

he did it anyway how did he do it how

did he find the strength to go through

with what he had to do it says in

Hebrews 12 verse 1 and 2 we'll start

with that it says therefore since we're

surrounded by such a great cloud of

witnesses let us throw off everything

that hinders and the sin that so easily

entangle and let us run with

perseverance the race

out for us in other words don't give up

it's like you're running a marathon

don't give up verse 2 let us fix our

eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter

of our faith who for the joy set before

him endured the cross scorning its shame

and sat down at the right hand of the

throne of god jesus could go through the

cross for the joy set before him because

he knew on the other side of the pain

joy was waiting for him he how what kind

of joy was waiting for him have you ever

heard the song that says that Jesus

endured the shame and he did it all for

you or did it all for me I don't know

exactly how it goes but there's a chorus

that says that he took the shame he took

it all he did it all and he thought of

you and he thought of me when he did it

I always had a hard time singing that

because I felt like it was kind of

self-centered that's right so you mean

Jesus was thinking about me when he was

on the cross you know I wasn't even born

yet couple thousand years later and even

then there seemed to be a lot of people

he might have been thinking about but it

is not unbiblical it says for the joy

set before him Jesus endured the shame

what joy the joy of seeing the people

whose lives would change and be saved

because of he was suffering it's why the

Apostle Paul was willing to be in jail

because he knew that the people i am

here to serve one day we'll know god and

will shine with his glory and i will see

them in heaven what does this faith and

this hope refer to sometimes we read

this saying love believes all things you

ever wondered what does that mean love

believes all things that mean love is

gullible does that mean if you love

someone you believe anything they're

going to tell you if you have a teenager

I don't recommend that kind of love does

it mean we just blindly accept anything

a sort of a gullible innocent in

Hannibal kind of thing no it's not

necessarily unconditionally believing in

people even although that's a powerful

thing I would say have you ever had a

teacher who really

believes in you they see the potential

you have and they believe in you they

expect great things for you it motivates

you doesn't it or if you have a coach

you I know you can do this I have high

hopes for you it's a beautiful thing the

kind of faith and hope that's being

talked about here is even greater than

that it's saying I believe that you have

a future that there's hope for you not

just because of you but because of the

God who loves you I believe you have a

future because God knows the plans he

has for you plans to give you a hope and

a future and not to harm you and because

of the god I serve I know there's hope

for you and I won't give up on you

because love believes in the midst of

all things and has hope in the midst of

all things seeing people through eyes of

faith that you see people and you say i

know i believe and expect that god will

do something wonderful in this person

and so it's worth suffering for them

it's worth putting up with the garbage I

will endure because I believe that God

has a good purpose for them and I'll

hang in there it can be hard to do that

sometimes are there some people you know

maybe where it's hard to have hope for

them it's hard to believe that God has a

purpose for them even know I mean maybe

you believe it intellectually you said

of course God loves everybody he has a

purpose for them but there are some

people that are just so difficult they

seem so far gone that's hard to believe

God knows that and that's why in his

word he talks about seeing people

through eyes of faith rather than from a

worldly perspective we know that if

someone is in Christ there a new

creation the old has gone the new has

come and we know that anybody can become

that new creation and even once having

become a new creation God is able to

complete the good work that he's begun

in them God isn't done with them

sometimes I'll have people try to

complain to me about other people in

church isn't that shocking that that

would happen how could there be

conflicts in church they'll complain

they'll say but so and so they're in

church but they're really you know not a

nice person or whatever

the benefit of having been here for a

long time is that I know people for a

long time sometimes and I said well you

should have seen him before it was much

worse they've come a long way bear with

them it gives me hope it gives us hope

because I see where God has brought

people from I see how they've changed I

know that it works this gospel that we

believe it really works sometimes it's

hard to picture someone as a Christian

we need to ask God for a love that

believes all things are possible in him

a love that has a hope Jesus was like

that right he called some rough

fishermen Peter James John he saw

apostles other people maybe saw Simon

right I suspect that Simon Peter had

rather colorful language before he

became a follower of Jesus I don't know

why I imagine that maybe it's because he

was a fisherman in the ancient world I

don't know but jesus said you're not

just going to be Simon you're going to

be Peter the rock and on this rock I'll

build my church there was a tax

collector that everybody hated a corrupt

collaborator with a corrupt imperial

government named Levi and he was sitting

at his tax collectors booth and Jesus

saw Matthew he said you know let's

change this name from Levi to Matthew

come follow me he saw him with eyes of

faith he saw who he could become he

believed all things were possible for

that person Jesus bumped into a woman at

a well one day you know the story he's

in Samaria he bumps into a woman it's

the middle of the day it's high noon

normal women don't go to the well at

noon it's too hot you go in the morning

or you go at night but she was there

alone probably as an outcast to be away

from everyone a woman who had lived a

dissolute life Jesus saw that this woman

is worth getting to know this woman is

worth talking to about leaving water and

not just the water she's getting out of

a well there's a hope for her there's a

future for this person now he dealt with

her he did say go call your husband

remember that part of the story and

she's like

husband um don't have one at the moment

and he's like yes you've had several and

the guy who a guy you're shacking up

with now isn't your husband etc etc and

but you know what she didn't take it as

condemnation because she knew this man

takes me seriously enough to talk to me

even though it's kind of scandalous for

him to do so a good Jewish rabbi doesn't

strike up a conversation with a woman of

ill repute on the street but Jesus

didn't let social convention convention

stop them because love puts up with

anything love and doors anything love

believes in the potential of people love

has hoped for them because God has hoped

for them and this woman went and

single-handedly shared her story and the

whole town came to hear about Jesus he

stayed for two days a revival breaks out

because of this woman Mary Magdalene a

woman who had worked as a prostitute

Jesus had to cast not just one demon out

of her he had the cast seven demons out

of this woman we believe in that here by

the way it must have been one of those

crazy all night banging things where are

you know if I can you ever seen those

but it happens it happens even here

casting demons he had to cast seven

demons out of this woman she became one

of the chosen few who was with him at

the foot of the cross all most of the

men ran away but Mary Magdalene they're

right next to marry Jesus's mother

didn't run away Jesus saw her with eyes

of faith love believes all things love

hopes all things for people love knows

that God can do it in this person's life

and I will not give up on them because I

know that one day this person could be

before God in glory this person can be a

servant of the Living God sometimes it's

hard to picture it's hard to imagine and

our tendency is to give up and that's

why we need to ask God for a spirit of

faith and i hope the Apostle Paul says

our hope for you is firm because we know

that just as you share in our sufferings

you also will share in our comfort Paul

didn't give up Paul had hope in people

and so should we now part of that hoping

and believe

leaving means that you approach people

with an attitude that says I want God to

bless you I want your life to go in a

good direction and I believe it's

possible now sometimes there are people

that you might not want to be successful

and blessed doesn't this sound

scandalous when you are watching a

soccer game and maybe you're choosing

one of the teams to win do you are you

hoping good things for that other team

no I want him to be healthy and happy I

just want him to lose this game then I

wanted to go home and be blessed right

you kind of feel like as a Christian

it's kind of you know especially when

you're in a visiting stadium i'll never

forget i was watching an angels game in

Los Angeles with my wife and they happen

oh thank you that's nice of you I'm

watching an Angels game and they happen

to be locked in a tight pennant race

with with the Red Sox right and i'm

watching the Angels play they're not

playing the Red Sox they're playing some

other team and there's ten you know tens

of thousands of people in the stadium

little children and in my heart I'm

wanting them to go home sad and I'm like

I felt conflicted a little like I want

the home team to lose that you know they

show that when when result when brazil

lost they showed all those kids crying

all those little Brazilian they always

zero in on the kid crying and like look

I'm sorry I don't want the kid to cry I

just want it's a shame their team has to

lose I just want okay where am I going

with all this if love hopes the best for

people it's hard to hope that God will

bless a person with whom I am engaged in

competition see where I'm going with

that many times in life we believe the

people around us are not just people

their rivals their competitors

especially at work someone else at work

is prospered their work is noticed their

advanced we feel like it might in some

way demean or diminish us that's the

root of all kinds of gossip right

passing along a fail you're passing

along something negative someone's on

why because we believe it promotes our

own position

love though isn't like that obviously

love hopes you know i love the way

Steven cut a covey puts it life doesn't

have to be one big competition it

doesn't have to be the good guys and the

bad guys I can hope the best even for

someone who might be on the other side

of the field and that's why Christian

Asheville athletes they're very good at

that I think a lot of good christian

athletes are able to even verbalize that

that that yes they want to win but

there's still a heart of blessing

towards their opponent but so often in

life we view life is a big competition

we view people around us as rivals

rather than hoping the best for them we

want to give up on people give up on

certain people in certain situations and

just not even deal with it anymore but

love believes all things love hopes all

things and that motivates an attitude to

persevere and to endure that is a

powerful thing I'd like to wrap it up

with a couple testimonies 33 different

testimonies one is of some dear friends

of mine who have a daughter teenage

daughter who is experiencing extreme

rebellion and is engaged in types of

behavior that are extremely destructive

and these are good parents these are

good people they love their daughter

right they really do and they've done

the best things have just happened this

way this part this kid is just given it

in their in their face all the time all

the time and they use a particular

phrase that just touched me so deeply

it's the phrase of I want to continue

constantly moving towards her in love

food and that's a phrase they repeat I

want to move towards her in love towards

her in love rather than away in

rejection that doesn't mean that some

tough love and discipline might not be

applied but it's a heart attitude of

saying I will not give up on my kit I

will not give up on her I don't care

what she's done I don't care what's

going on out there I will continue to

move towards her in love love

puts up with anything love endures

anything love believes all things hopes

all things and I know it's going to pay

off this girl is going to be okay

somehow somehow some way it will work

because love never fails that kind of

love is a powerful love it's a love that

cuts through there's a great book that

all of you should read this will be

testimony number two written by Dave

Wilkerson called the cross and the

Switchblade right cross in the

Switchblade don't see the movie okay

sorry about the movie it was Pat Boone

he couldn't help it but the book the

book read the book okay the cross and

the Switchblade it's about the founding

of Teen Challenge ministries it's about

a a country Pastor Dave Wilkerson in

Pennsylvania who one day he was looking

at a picture of kids on trial for some

sort of violent crime in his in his

study and for some reason he found

himself just weeping and this the tears

were all over this magazine is like what

is going on and in his heart he knew

I've got to go to the city and I've got

to talk to those kids he went to New

York City he was very much a country

pastor he was a fish out of water but he

went tried to meet the kids couldn't but

just out on a street corner he met some

other kids who were involved in drugs

and crime on the streets and he just got

to know one kid after another and he got

to know one particular kid named Nikki

who was especially hateful a kid who

would talk about how when he would do

violent things he would find himself

laughing and he didn't know why this was

a kid who was really bad off and at one

point he engaged with this kid and he

formed a relationship and he got to know

him and the kid wants threatened I'm

going to cut you into a thousand pieces

and he answered sounds corny but ask any

teen challenge graduate and they'll

quote this verbatim you can cut me into

a thousand pieces and every piece will

still love you a skinny teen challenge

graduate they've all heard that line

because he started the Tea Challenge

program every piece of love you love

never gives up love is stubborn love

it's intense love believes love has hope

that there's hope for you that boy named

Nikki ended up becoming Nicky Cruz I

don't have you ever heard of him

that he has written a lot of books and

preached a lot of people to a lot of

people millions of people and I've heard

to put this way he could just read the

telephone book and you'll want to cry

and accept Jesus he's got that kind of

anointing Nicky Cruz why because of love

the thing is when there is love that

kind of real love not just sentimental

love but committed love believing love

hopeful love there is a spiritual

anointing that flows through that first

Corinthians 13 we read this at weddings

don't we but you know it wasn't written

for weddings it was written for people

who want to move in the power of the

Holy Spirit even though it applies very

well to marriage it was written for

people who were learning how to use the

gifts of the Holy Spirit the gift of

miraculous healing the gift of tongues

the gift of prophecy the gift of

teaching the gift of service all kinds

of powers of the holy spirit and love

was used in this chapter first

Corinthians chapter 12 is about the

supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit

sue first Corinthians 14 is about the

supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit

and first Corinthians 13 is about love

love is the channel through which the

power flows when you love people with

this kind of love there is a spiritual

power that flows through it that makes a

difference in people's lives it works

love works the gospel works Jesus works

through people the final testimony i

want to share is one from Acts chapter 7

we won't look it up but is the case of

the first martyr in the Christian Church

his name was Steven and people were

throwing they were stoning him for being

a Christian throwing rocks at him the

people who were throwing the rocks had

put all their tunics aside and there was

a young man watching or there was a

particular Jewish Pharisee watching

those tunics and everyone else was

throwing the rocks at this man killing

him and as he was dying the Bible says

he looked up to heaven his face glowed

with the glory of God and he said I see

heaven opened icg

Jesus at the right hand and he says Lord

do not hold this sin against them he

loved even the people who were

persecuting him now many of us know that

the young man who was guarding the coat

of the people who are throwing the

stones was a very passionate young

Pharisee named Saul just a chapter later

we read about how God knocked this man

down on the road and said Saul Saul why

do you persecute me who are you lord I

am Jesus whom you're persecuting you're

going to be my chosen vessel to the

Gentiles saw becomes Paul as in the

Apostle Paul who wrote the Bible how did

he get saved I believe that God heard

Stephens prayer God heard him say God

don't hold the sin against him because

love endures all things love bears all

things love always hopes love always

trusts and believes that God can do it

in people's lives and God did I

encourage you to have this kind of love

for the people around you a tenacious

love a fierce love a dedicated love

where you approach people and they see

in your eyes a certain fire of

benevolence and goodwill and care and

kindness and faith that says I will not

give up on you and you just watch what

God does through you people who everyone

else will give up on you will not give

up on them and God will do the work in

their life through you let that kind of

love be in this ministry so that

everybody who visits here bumps into

people and in every set of eyes they see

that love that hope that faith that

intensity let that define us as a people

amen that's something we want that's

what I want I wanted for me and I want

it for us so let's pray for this i

invite you to stand Lord Jesus I thank

you that you modeled this kind of love

for us the love of the Good Samaritan

whose eyes saw a person who was beaten

up and broken with eyes of care

in kindness faith and hope and even in

the cloudiness that glow cut through and

Lord Jesus I thank you that that's what

you did when you suffered for us on the

cross that love lays down its life for

its neighbor and Jesus I pray that we

would lay down our lives for the people

around us and the people that you have

called us to serve God I pray for fierce

love I pray for stubborn love God I pray

in Jesus name that you would teach us

how to patch the roof of our love so

that when the elements come against it

that we can bear up and put up with

anything to stay firm with a person god

show us the leaks in our own attitude

that allow the annoyances and the

problems to cause us to give up on

people too easily and God I pray right

now in Jesus name by the power of your

Holy Spirit that you would bring to mind

a person or people whom you are calling

us to love in that way maybe it's

somebody that we are tempted to give up

on maybe it's somebody who has led us

down and we've just had it and no more

we're just going to give up god I pray

that you would fill us with a fierce

faith for them with a hope against hope

Lord God that sees things that are not

as though they were that gives life to

the dead god I pray also Jesus that we

would have this kind of eye of the tiger

this dedicated love towards the people

that are closest to us Lord in our homes

and our families God that we wouldn't

give up that we wouldn't let go we

wouldn't look back let it be Lord Jesus

let your love rule powerfully through us

let your anointing flow through this

love God let people experience

deliverance and thrive around us Lord

God let your life giving energy flow we

pray all this in Jesus name Amen