Love - A Life that Counts

now they might you to open up to first

Corinthians chapter 13 we're going to be

kind of wrapping up something that we've

been talking about lately as you know

the past few months we've been talking

about what it means to be a community

what it means to be together is the

people of God specifically we've been

talking about the concept of love what

does love mean that the world has

sentimentalized love and in so doing has

cheapened it the love of God is

something strong it's something awesome

something powerful something with

backbone to it something that changes

lives and changes the world and that is

what we have been talking about and so

we're going to be kind of wrapping up

this little section out of first

Corinthians 13 but we are going to keep

talking about what it means to be a

community but we're going to read the

last section actually you know we'll do

since we're wrapping it up will read

from the beginning of first Corinthians

13 and and we'll start in the verse

right before 1st Corinthians 13 which is

first Corinthians 12 verse 31 and then

we'll end will spill over into 1st

Corinthians 14 verse 1 because it's all

part of a unit there okay so first

Corinthians 12 31 says eagerly desire

the greater gifts gifts of the Spirit

will talk about that 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 follow the way of love and

eagerly desire spiritual gifts and

especially the gift of prophecy let's

pray dear God I thank you that you have

been speaking to us over the past

several weeks about what love is really

about and God we're just scratching the

surface Lord like your word says we're

going to need a spiritual revelation to

open the eyes of our heart to see how

wide and and and long and high and deep

is the love of God that surpasses all

knowledge God I pray that we would spend

our lives studying what it means to love

the people around us god and that we

would become experts in this if there's

one thing we get right in life let it be

this God speak to us i pray lord i pray

that as we as we look at what you were

speaking in the original context and

what you speak to us god that your voice

would speak to each one of us it will be

the voice of the shepherd

speaking to our heart and it will become

part of us so be here with us we pray in

Jesus name Amen amen first Corinthians

13 we normally like I said last week

read this chapter where do you often

hear this chapter read often you hear in

weddings right and that is great every

wedding should read this people should

memorize it that's good right but the

original context of this was not talking

about weddings the original context was

in a church where they were experiencing

the power of the Holy Spirit there were

experiencing gifts of the Holy Spirit

and many people through their own

immaturity were misusing those gifts and

the Apostle Paul is showing them a more

excellent way of approaching life the

Holy Spirit is speaking to people saying

you've got a wrong perspective here and

so he teaches them about what it means

to approach life and ministry and people

from a disposition of love what does

that really mean and so it talks about

that all through this chapter and as the

Apostle Paul gets rolling in the spirits

anointing him to write this he just gets

into this poem about what love really is

love is patient love is kind and it's

beautiful we lose ourselves in it and we

have lost our self in it for quite some

time haven't we well now he's starting

to bring us back to the original context

in which he's writing that it's all

about how we connect to the people

around us in the context he's writing at

church and the key verse that

transitions it is in verse 8 love never

fails powerful verse isn't it it's sort

of a an exclamation point at the end of

this poem love is patient love is kind

at the end it always protects always

trusts always hopes always perseveres

love never fails you can see him

pounding the pulpit right praise God

love is powerful talks about how love

makes you powerful love is where your

authority comes from in life and it

talks about all the specific elements of

love that make us powerful people people

who could really make a difference in

the world around us talk to

love is patient and love is not easily

angered it keeps no record of wrongs

love bears all things for me that talks

about how love has a power to cancel the

negative energy around you not to get

all new agey or anything on us here but

how many of us know that sometimes the

atmosphere you move in is negative you

ever been in a negative environment you

ever been in a workplace where you have

to walk on eggshells because everyone's

biting each other in the back just

having negative energy you ever been in

a home that feels toxic sometimes where

you can't say or do anything right where

there's tension where there's anger well

love has the power to defuse the

negative energy in the air it's like a

magic pill that you drop it explodes and

dis diffuses neutralizes all the stink

in the air rapid you love works when

love is patient it's like that shock

absorber that absorbs it and diffuses it

and puts it on the cross love keeps no

record of wrongs love forgives love

doesn't hold the resentment have the

list of everything you've done to hurt

me love is slow to get angry it has the

long fuse and it's quick to forgive I'd

encourage you we have the sermons on all

of these up on the web page I encourage

you to take a look at it that love is

patient now not just canceling the

negative but love is powerful because

love has an ability to emit a I don't

want to get too weird on us here but

love when we have a loving attitude and

loving actions we change the

environments in which we move our homes

our workplaces our cities become more

positive because love is also kind love

is not rude love is not self-seeking and

it does things the loving energy changes

the atmosphere in the environment in

which you move I've used this

illustration before because I love it so

much but just imagine if our homes or

our workplaces that if all of the lights

were equipped with a dimmer switch and

every time

unloving words are spoken the lights dim

a little bit and every time loving words

are spoken they shine brightly imagine

that no well that's the way it is in the

spirit the Holy Spirit is grieved by the

lack of love and the holy spirit

rejoices when love is spoken and lived

in an environment we have the ability as

ambassadors of God to come into dark

places and let his light shine through

us it's an amazing thing love gives us

strength very often we thinking about

love as a feeling as sort of a

sentimental feeling you know the poetry

and the in Spanish the court ave la

poesía you know you've got the the

really depressing Pablo nehru the poetry

about how miserable they are because

love isn't working out whatever you got

you know that's fine that's beautiful

it's nice and gut-wrenching everyone

should read it but love is more than

just a feeling love has backbone love

does not delight in evil but rejoices

with the truth we talked about how love

is not a blind tolerance and acceptance

of everything around us that love

rejoices with the truth real love

doesn't mean that anything goes no we

talked about that when we talk about how

love does not delight in evil but

rejoices with the truth love has

backbone to it it has strength to it it

bears all things it endures all things

it's like a roof that won't cave in

because it's well-built it's like a

person with strong shoulders that can

bear a burden over the long haul a

person who says I will never give in I

will never give up because I love you

and I am here and I am not going

anywhere that's love that's love that's

that's what that vow so that's what that

commitment is and how do we do that

because love always hopes and love

always has faith that God is here and

he's able to make it work and I'm not

going to give up I'm gonna believe that

there is hope even for the likes of you

and me faith love sees people through

the eyes of faith we talked about that

last week how Jesus didn't just see a

tax collector or a sinful woman or a

prostitute he saw a woman who was going

to preach the gospel to thousands in her

town he's

a man who was going to write a gospel

instead of via tax collector Jesus had a

love that saw with eyes of faith love

makes us strong the word in the Greek

for love never fails is actually love

never falls that's the literal use of it

love never falls which is interesting

it's the word for fall is very rarely

used in a symbolic way talks about

falling away from it so it's giving the

image of somebody who's standing and

will not get knocked over there's a

strength to it there's a love that

persevere there's a love that just won't

give up on anything now it's also a

transitional verse love never falls or

it never falls away because then it goes

on to talk about other things in life

that are transient that our temporary

love is the one thing that will last not

just in this life but into the next have

you ever asked yourself the question is

what I do meaningful what is the purpose

of my life why do i do what i do there's

a great illustration that some writers

have used I think it was Stephen Covey

who talked to us some people spend their

whole life climbing the corporate ladder

and then they're at the top of the

ladder just to realize that the latter

was against the wrong wall why was I

climbing I'm climbing up a wall I don't

want to be against this wall where am I

no we don't want to come to the end of

our lives when it's time to die and

realize that we had never lived right

and isn't that what what another 19th

century poet said the whole idea is to

live our lives in a way that counts and

by the way can people hear me okay is

there is there a little echo or

something rear right no okay that's cool

just want to check on it I'm just not

used to wearing my astronaut apparatus

so trying to get used to this here so we

want to live our lives in a way that is

meaningful this text is saying that love

lasts love is eternal in nature it never

ends it will not pass away we think

about what has value in life when it

comes that our time to to pass from this

life and as some of you know I do a lot

of funerals in this church you know that

is sort of become my kind of Fame the

funeral guy and that's all right I'm

honored because in every funeral we

remember what really matters in life

does it really matter how much a person

earned how much is in their bank account

how much stuff they have does it matter

how many books they've written or how

famous they are does it matter even how

many people like them and how popular

they are at the end of the day what will

make my life meaningful I'm glad we have

young people here today young adults

because this is a question to ask now

now before you have gone out and wasted

20 30 40 years they ask if you're

already on the other end of those 20 or

30 or 40 years it's okay it's not too

late we can make a cow still but now is

the time to ask that question what am I

about as a person now and I don't want

to replace worldly achievement with

religious achievement right a person

could be very active in church and we're

going to see with the Corinthians hear

it even be very apparently spiritual and

still be wasting their time look at how

Corinthians begins if I speak in the

tongues of men and of angels but have

not love I'm only a resounding gong and

a clanging cymbal if I have the gift of

prophecy can fathom mysteries and all

knowledge and a faith that can move

mountains and have not love I'm nothing

even if someone is altruistic if I give

all I possess to the poor but I don't

have love I gain nothing God isn't going

to even judge your life based on what

you did for him it's why we do what we

do that makes it count it's possible to

be very active religiously and still be

missing the boat now I want to talk

first about the idea of spiritual gifts

because that's the context that Paul is

writing to you see the corinthians were

a very spiritual people God had given

them all kinds of spiritual powers

spiritual gifts and they were very in

by these gifts now I want to talk about

what spiritual gift means some people

might be asking the question what does

spiritual gift mean in the first place

when we're talking about spiritual gifts

we're talking about special spiritual

powers given to people to do things in

God's name you're going to see the youth

when we when we finish here they're

going to set up all these decorations

with superhero decorations they're doing

a superhero series well the spiritual

gifts kind of make you a superhero in

some way they give you some special

power a spiritual power to serve God I

really believe this folks now I know

this might sound crazy but I believe God

does miracles he does spiritual things

that are beyond our natural ability to

do in this chapter it says that some

people have the ability to speak in

tongues what is that all about why they

talk about tongues gross no no speaking

tongues means the ability to pray or

speak in a language that a person

doesn't even understand what they're

saying the Holy Spirit is enabling them

to speak or enabling them to pray now

then someone else might have the

spiritual power to translate what

they're saying and give a message or

maybe not maybe they're just going to

pray and worship with their spirit in a

language they don't even know isn't that

wild I never forget the first time I

heard that I was 16 years old I was

visiting a Pentecostal church in Cape

Cod and I was raised Catholic nice and

quiet right follow the liturgy and I'm

in this Pentecostal church I was a

little uncomfortable with all the

singing and all the emotionalism but

they talked a lot about the Bible they

seem to be people who really believed

what they talked about and I was

impressed i'll never forget one day near

the end of a sermon i started to feel

something strange I didn't know what I

was feeling and I'll never forget I felt

I felt moved I felt something unusual

and I'll never forget looking down at

the ground 16 years old thinking what is

going on in this room right now and then

the sermon ended and there was a quiet

and a woman stood up and started talking

in another language

and I thought you know she was latinas I

thought it must be Spanish it was an

awfully long time ago obviously I didn't

know what she was saying but I felt

something as she talked and then there

was quiet for a few minutes or for a few

seconds I should say and then and then

she spoke a message in English that now

I know was an interpretation of what she

had just said in some unknown language

and she gave a message and I just found

myself crying and I was like wow this is

for real God is right here see my view

of God was someone very far away not

someone that close I was witnessing the

gift of tongues and the gift of prophecy

where a person was translating the

message and delivering a message from

God for the people and it and it touched

my heart and it helped me begin to

change my world view and become a

Christian eventually so that's what

we're talking about here and I asked my

cousin about this who brought me I said

what was that all about and he says oh

well they were speaking in tongues and I

was like what what's what's that what

language was it because I don't know it

could have been any language or maybe

some angelic language and I'm like what

and then my next question was why why

would God even do that but then it

occurred to me that God is bigger than

my brain right so maybe our spirits can

pray and speak in ways that are above

our intellect supra intellectual not

anti-intellectual but beyond our ability

to understand and they just do something

in the spiritual realm and I thought

that's powerful and then we read here

the gift of prophecy is also mentioned

if I have the gift of prophecy in verse

2 and can fathom all mysteries and all

knowledge in other words there's a gift

of the Spirit where God gives people the

understanding to understand things that

God is saying that our mysterious that

they would have no way of knowing

otherwise and I've witnessed this too

I've had people come up to me and say

Greg you know I was praying for you and

this and that the other thing and they

tell me all these things

that I'm going through that they would

have no way of knowing and I'm like how

did you know that you you check my

emails you hiding on me you know in

order then you start getting a little

nervous like what else do they know you

know the gift of prophecy that God gives

people the ability to know some things

and to and to encourage people and

minister in the Bible we read of a

person who got a prophecy and warned

everyone that a famine is coming so be

sure to start storing up food and and

share it around and the early Christians

were blessed by that so that's the gift

of prophecy it talks about a gift of

faith where people just believe that God

can do miracles move mountains I know of

people in this church who have the gift

of faith they just believe God can do

anything now they just believe it like a

child they just know God can God can do

miracles I know one lady a Chilean

grandmother some of you might figure out

who it is as I talk who the car the car

was broken down because it was bone dry

no oil in the car they check its boy

it's smoking no oil bone dry she just

she just praise over the car commands

oil or whatever and to start that car

and they've all learned cuando la la la

20 basis know when grandma speaks you

obey and there's room and it starts you

know and they have miracles like this

and these kinds of things a gift of

faith that God can do miracles all this

to say these kinds of things were

happening in the Corinthian church now

we need a lot more of that today how we

need a lot more that going on but it was

happening there and people were so

excited about it that they got a little

bit confused about how they treated

these gifts of the Spirit can you

imagine if you have spiritual powers can

you see how that could go to your head

if you're not careful no just are

feeling like a superhero you see how

that could be a problem if someone has a

big ego or is not very mature or maybe

they might think because I have

spiritual gifts it automatically must

mean that I am a mature Christian and

everything I do is okay

the Corinthians were like that it became

a point of pride for them they became

arrogant about it they even became

competitive I'm more spiritual than you

I I got greater powers than you have and

they were even though they were very

spiritually powerful they were very

emotionally immature it's possible to be

that way and so the Apostle Paul is

saying I need to teach you a more

excellent approach and he teaches on the

concept of love because you're

approaching this thinking that these

spiritual powers you have are eternal

and the fact is one day they're all

going to end one day there will not be

any more gifts of the Holy Spirit they

just won't be necessary right there will

come a day and the apostle paul goes on

to teach about this there will come a

day if you look down with me in verse in

verse 8 love never fails but where there

are prophecies they will cease where

there are tongues they will be stilled

where there is knowledge as in

supernatural knowledge it will pass away

for we know in part and we prophesy in

part but when the 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 but when I

became a man I put childish ways behind

me now we see but a poor reflection as

in a mirror but then we shall see

face-to-face now I know in part but then

I will know fully even as I am fully

known see there will come a time when we

don't need the gifts of the Holy Spirit

anymore when they will come to an end

when the perfect comes when we see God

face to face they're not going to be

necessary anymore now I need to take a

moment here before I continue to let you

know that there are many churches out

there and theologians good ones who

believe the Bible who are Christians

like we r who do not believe that the

gifts of the Spirit are still going on

today they believe that the miraculous

powers of the Holy Spirit were for this


of that we read about in the Bible but

they ceased they ended their called

cessationists and part of their argument

is this text they say that when the

perfect comes the imperfect will

disappear tongues will be ceased

prophecy will pass away sort of like

when the New Covenant came which we do

believe that when the New Covenant came

there were certain things in the Old

Covenant that weren't necessary anymore

right in the Old Testament are you still

with me here in the Old Testament there

was a temple and there were sacrifices

and there were kosher laws about your

diet all kinds of important things

people had to do to be right with God

when the New Covenant came and fulfilled

all of the meaning of those things all

of the many of those things passed away

there was no more temple God allowed it

to be destroyed no more sacrifices

because Jesus is the perfect sacrifice

no more rules of ceremonial claim

cleansing because God cleans our heart

so certain things passed away and

there's a new beginning in the New

Covenant so what some people believe is

that the gifts of the Spirit were for

the time of the New Testament but then

when the New Testament was finished

those gifts passed away and ended and

their argument is that when the perfect

comes the imperfect will disappear and

so they believe when the perfect Bible

is fully written then the gifts of the

Holy Spirit aren't necessary anymore to

prove that the bible is true and that's

their argument and i'm sure i'm not

doing justice to it so if you're

watching the end video i'll do better

next time but that's basically what they

believe now our belief is that we have

to ask the question is is the perfect

that the Apostle Paul talking about

something that has already come is this

present state in which we are now living

perfect do we now see God face to face

do we know God fully even as he knows us

fully if this is it to folks that's

pretty depressing because I am expecting

a whole lot more

this when the perfect comes and I

believe that so was the Apostle Paul the

book first and second Corinthians talks

a lot about when God comes and brings

the perfect kingdom of God on earth if

you read near the end of first

Corinthians the Apostle Paul talks about

something called the resurrection when

our bodies will be physically risen and

these mortal bodies will be exchanged

for glorious spiritual bodies like the

one Jesus had when he rose from the dead

and he talks about how death will be

swallowed up by victory he talks at

another part in the book of first

Corinthians chapter 2 when he says no

eye has seen no ear has heard what God

has prepared for those who loved him the

Apostle Paul was expecting Jesus to come

back and set up heaven on earth and

there will be a new heaven and a new

earth and there will be new bodies and

will know God face-to-face he was

expecting it and I believe and if you

read in 2nd Corinthians chapter 9 the

Apostle Paul had had a glimpse of the

other side do you know the text i'm

talking about at one point the Apostle

Paul says that he was given the

opportunity he doesn't know if he was in

the body or out of the body to visit the

heavenly dimension and he says while I

was there or while this he talks about

it indirectly while i was there i heard

things that I'm not allowed to talk

about I saw things I'm not allowed to

tell you he saw a little bit of heaven

and now we have people nowadays writing

books about that right there's some

people who have experiences where they

tasted what it's like to be in the

presence of God so he knew that there's

something special coming that this our

sufferings now are earning an eternal

weight of glory that will outweigh

everything that we suffer here and it's

going to be amazing and I believe that

as Christians we could live with that

hope that when Jesus comes back that

there will be a new heaven and a new

earth and it's going to be amazing and

it's going to be glorious and there

won't be any need for gifts of the Holy

Spirit because who's going to need

healing anymore right the gift of

healing I believe we prayed for healing

just now and I believe that God can heal

physical bodies but guess what in heaven

no one's going to be sick so we're not

going to need any gifts of healing it's

just not going to be necessary how about

the gift of prophecy you know what God

gives you knowledge or revelation well

in heaven it's not going to be necessary

because God's going to be right there

face-to-face you're going to know

everything you need to know will know

fully even as we're fully known you see

now we know God like the Bible says

dimly as if we're looking through a

mirror now for them mirrors were not

what they are today for them a mirror

was a shined brass piece of metal that

you looked at and it gave you a

reflection but not a very good one so

when you look and they would talk about

looking through a mirror you see a

reflection but it's fuzzy it's not

perfect what he's saying is there's

going to come a time when our vision of

God is not going to be fuzzy anymore and

we're not going to need the gifts of the

spirit that help us to know God better

because we'll have him right in front of

us have you ever seen two people sitting

together in a restaurant both were their

phones out texting now maybe you have

been that couple it's okay you got to

check your stuff every now and then but

how would it be if a couple is sitting

there at the restaurant texting each

other because well rather than techne

sometimes maybe you just need to do that

and it's too hard to talk to send yer

send an email or something but how about

using facetime right okay that's kind of

okay you use FaceTime you can see the

person's face it's visit a good image of

the person you're talking to do you ever

use that facetime device and you look

and fig is my nose really that big it's

my face really totally at this weird


when you're sitting down face-to-face

with a person you can put the iphone

down because you got the person right

there you don't have to text them you

don't have to email you don't have to

talk you don't have to use FaceTime

there there you've got them face-to-face

that's what heaven is going to be like

you see right now the gifts of the

Spirit are sort of ways mechanisms God's

given us to connect with God better to

use his power better but there's going

to come a time when it's not going to be

necessary anymore and we're going to

have God their face to face to face and

it's just not going to be necessary it's

going to be glorious now we are not

there yet and that's why we still need

these gifts of the Spirit as long as we

still have sick people who need to be

healed then I pray for the gift of

healing among us right as long as we are

still seeking to spread the gospel we

need all the power we can get to do that

right so the perfect has not yet come

but the Corinthians didn't view it that

way see for them they thought these

powers oh this is great and they were

obsessed with them and they were

egotistical about them and they needed a

paradigm shift they needed to view the

world through love as a more excellent

way the Apostle Paul uses the image of

growing up how many of us know that you

can be chronologically very old and be

emotionally very young and very immature

anyone experienced that any of us know

that we have a lot of growing up to do

well the Apostle Paul says it's time to

grow up when you were a child I thought

like a child I reasoned like a child

what was on your mind when you were a

kid what did you think about when you

were a kid you know I've been thinking

about my kids and what they think about

there was a good year of my son's life

when he mostly thought about Star Wars

he'd never seen it we didn't let him see

it we didn't tell him anything about it

but somehow he knew

thing and became an expert on Star Wars

and it was impossible to communicate

with the Gibby good you're tired the

teachers teaching he's like but what

does this have to do with Star Wars why

would I need to know this unless it's

going to connect with my magnificent

obsession my daughter right now my

daughter I brought one for you she is

obsessed with these do I have it oh good

see this here camera guy they're little

rubber band bracelets you see these are

the passion of my daughter right now

it's virtually all she thinks about

she's passionate about it she's intense

about it her world revolves around these

little rubber band bracelets and that's

ok cuz she is only 17 years old and not

just kidding she but imagine if she were

right imagine if she were then that

there would be a problem she is five

years old and it's okay that her life

revolves around colorful rubber bands

right here i'll let you see it

afterwards if you wants beautiful i love

it i would even wear it every now and

then because i am obligated to wear it

you see it's okay when your child to be

obsessed with things that are maybe not

so meaningful to an adult right that's

okay if you're five it's a problem if

you are 25 or 55 and you're still

obsessed with things that are not

meaningful spiritual maturity means that

i now orient my life around that which

matters sometimes we just replace little

rubber bands for big one's right we

replace little toys for big toys right

for houses and cars and careers and

status and position and we orient our

lives around these big toys and they're

just as meaningless as little rubber

bands now it was okay when you're a kid

but it's time to grow up it's time to

orient our lives around things that have

eternal significance so when it comes

time to die we don't feel that we've

never lived that we know that we have

based our life on that which is

important I have some bad news for you

it is possible even for a Christian to

waste your

time I almost wanted to say waste your

life but it's just too painful to say it

otherwise why would it say here that I

can have faith that moves mountains i

can give all I have to the poor but if I

have not love I gain nothing all these

religious activities can at the end of

the day be meaningless before God if

they lack the quality of love there's

another amazing text where the Apostle

Paul says there is one foundation that

you can build your life on and that's

Jesus Christ that's being a Christian if

I'm a Christian if I had that foundation

I know an eternity I'll be with God I'll

go to heaven but every person is going

to build in a different way no a person

can build with different kinds of

materials he says you can build with

wood and hay and straw you know sort of

like the the story of the three pigs it

kind of kind of thing or you can build

with costly stones with gold with silver

with bra with things that that are

lasting and the Bible says but on the

last day God will test everything we

have done with fire he will put our

structure that we've built through the

flames and only that which survives the

flames will go into the next into the

next dimension and I need to be careful

here there are some cultures and

traditions that bury their dead together

with their belongings in hope that they

can bring them you know if you go into

the tombs of the Egyptian mummies

they're surrounded by their riches in

hopes that they can bring these with

them we know I can't bring anything with

me no I can make it into the world and

that's the way we're going dust to dust

but with that said what we do in this

life does matter that if we build on the

right foundation of Jesus Christ with

golden works with with works that are

infused with love when God tests it with

fire it will survive

somehow what we do here will matter in

heaven and it'll be beautiful and we're

not talking about just trying to be rich

in heaven and a mercenary kind of way

but in a way of celebrating a pleasing

God and knowing that what I did here

matters in an eternal way that's a

powerful thing our lives can count and

there will be surprises there will be

some people that you have never heard of

or thought of who will be more famous

than Billy Graham in heaven who will

have mansions you'll be like but who is

this person well what they did matter to

God and there'll be others who build

great empires in the name of Christ and

Jesus will say depart from me I never

knew you it depends how we build no it's

time to grow up it's time to orient our

lives around that which really matters

the Apostle Paul says you Corinthians

are like kids and not in a good way now

it's good to be childlike and innocent

and playful that's fine i hope you enjoy

playing with rubber bands every now and

that no I hope it's good to see some

adults who can enjoy playing with toys

there's nothing wrong with that excuse

me I'll just have to remember what I'm

saying nope there's nothing wrong with

being childlike but what we're talking

about here is not being childish anymore

any possible says you Corinthians think

you're so mature because you have

spiritual powers but you have conflicts

you have factions you have groups you

have clicks you have politics and power

plays you're a bunch of babies you might

think you're spiritually mature but

you're just a bunch of children in the

worst sense of the work it's time to

grow up and I really believe that at the

end of the day sometimes it doesn't even

matter so much what we do but the love

that we put into what we do that makes

it something that is meaningful in God's

eyes and something that will eventually

survive the flames I want my life to

count now as this ends the Apostle Paul

he's talking about now and he's talking

about then and he says and now in verse


there are three things that really

matter in life faith hope and love these

three things remain that's really all

that life boils down to you know I was

talking to and I think he was in nine

year old boy who just come back from

camp and I said what did you talk about

in camp and he said God and soccer and I

was like perfect what else is there and

there was a pause and he said basketball

like well of course is also basketball

at the end of the day what matters faith

hope and love now faith because what we

believe matters our faith in Jesus

Christ I don't believe that generic

faith is good enough you know when we

talk about love here it's very important

to clarify I don't think that any person

who does loving things is automatically

pleasing to God we need to believe in

Jesus we need to believe in the right

God in the right way and put our faith

in Jesus and be saved faith matters and

now we don't see God but we believe in

him we walk by faith and not by sight

number two hope hope in the Bible is a

beautiful thing hope is not about just

wishful thinking sometimes we use the

word hope saying oh well i hope i hope

the Red Sox win I hope it's sunny

tomorrow you know I hope maybe it'll

happen maybe it won't hope in the Bible

is I have I am looking forward hopefully

towards what I know will come it's like

the Sun will rise tomorrow I know it and

I'm looking forward to it we have hope

in heaven it's important to think about

heaven because when we have hope in in

another life then that influence is how

we're going to live here in this life

what kind of people will be here because

what I do here will eventually be

evaluated there so faith hope and love

love sums up everything that God

requires of you in the way your to live

your life jesus said all the law and the

prophets can be boiled down into to come

thou shalt love the Lord thy God with

all your heart mind soul and strength

and love your neighbor as yourself all

of holiness all of the commandments are

summarized in love faith hope and love

that's all that matters in life if we're

going to grow up let's let that be the

axis and center of our life but they are

not equal you see just like the gifts of

the Holy Spirit will one day pass away

you know that faith and hope are not

eternal right right now we have faith in

God but we don't see him well what about

when we actually see God faith will not

be necessary anymore now we walk by

faith and not by sight then we will walk

by sight and not by faith all our faith

will be fulfilled how about hope hope is

something you look forward to well there

comes a time when you don't have to hope

anymore when you get what you were

looking forward to when we're with God

in heaven our hopes and dreams we'll all

be fulfilled in a spectacular way hope

won't be necessary anymore they will

pass away therefore now now these three

things remain faith hope and love but

there is one of these that still goes

into the next life you see love is is

the most important thing here and love

is also the most important thing there

and when I say there you know what I'm

talking about love is the oxygen of

heaven love is the language of heaven

love is going to be the air we breathe

there's going to be a feeling of

swimming in an ocean of love in heaven

and we're going to say God before my

ears had heard of you but now my eyes

have seen you God now god is love god is

love when we're in his presence and we

see him in His Majesty will fit God is

all about love why did I waste so much

of my time well let's not have to say

that let's make it count right now

let's put you know I've heard a

beautiful saying it's not about the

years of your life but the life in your

years isn't that beautiful well it's not

just a bit usually people interpret that

meaning i'm going to carpe day home I'm

gonna squeeze every drop out of life i'm

going to go skydiving i'm going to go

surfing and that's great you we should

enjoy the world that God has put us in

nothing wrong with that but it's not I

would change that a little bit saying

it's about the love in our years it's

about the love in what we do that we

make it count that if there is one thing

we do right it's this you know I'd like

to end by looking at first Corinthians

14 verse 1 it says follow the way of

love and eagerly desire the spiritual

gifts you know the word for following

there is the same word used for

persecuting it's the word used for what

the Apostle Paul did chasing down

Christians before he was the Apostle

Paul it's about chasing a fugitive you

ever seen that movie The Fugitive right

I know it's old but i love it i want to

you're like an FBI agent chasing down

someone and you will not be denied you

will find that person well that's the

word for following the way of love it's

the same word that the Apostle Paul used

when he said I forget what's behind and

I press on towards that wood which is

ahead to lay hold of him to press on to

pursue love let's let make this the

primary pursuit of our life I will learn

how to love I will learn how to be

patient I will learn how to be kind I

will learn how to not be self seeking I

will learn how not to delight in evil

but rejoices in the truth I will learn

to not keep a record of wrongs I will

learn to love it's never too late and

it's never too young make it count now

be a be if you're going to be a

superhero let it be a superhero of love

let it be someone whose love is so

powerful that it heals the people around

you let us make that commitment now

together with that we eagerly desire

spiritual gifts spiritual powers because

we're one

to love so bad I want to have all the

power I can to love in the best way I

can and that's why we pray for spiritual

gifts in the body of Christ and that's

what we're going to go with some future

messages we're going to talk about

spiritual gifts at spiritual powers and

how that fits into loving people in the

name of Jesus but I'd like to leave you

with this challenge and I'll invite the

musicians to come on up to make this

renewed commitment of saying god I want

my life to count now you might be 12

years old or you might be a little older

than that it's not too late it's not too

late to sign up for the University of

love right and that's God's school

usually the places God teaches us most

about love our situations where it is

difficult to love like marriage like the

workplace like the church when you have

to be with people who are not always

love the bowl that's where we learn how

to love well let's make a commitment

let's say God I want my life to mean

something in your eyes and I'm willing

to learn in the nitty-gritty I'm willing

to roll up my sleeves I'm willing to

sweat I want to become that kind of

person and it's never too young you can

be in middle school high school you can

be a young adults in the workplace or in

college and you can be a person who's

defined by love that can define you that

when people think of you that's what

they think of about you so let's pray

along those lines i invite you to stand

with me

and let's pray dear God I thank you that

we love because you first loved us got

on our own we couldn't do this but you

loved us God when we were still sinners

you died for us Lord you loved us when

we were at our most unlovable and I

thank you for the way you teach us to

love in that way father I thank you

Father that you do call us to be men and

women who are spiritually powerful who

live in a way that lasts into eternity

wherever we are whatever we're doing in

the workplace at school at home at

church on the street corner God that our

lives would be marked by the love of

Jesus Christ and that people would know

we are Christians by our love Lord God

father I pray in Jesus name that you

would unleash a power and a love among

us God like we have not seen yet God we

know that when the perfect comes the

imperfect will disappear but we want to

do some growing up here Lord God we want

to taste a little bit of heaven right

here right on this place at this time so

let it be Lord God let it be gone let us

learn how to do this let us learn how to

live in love let it be a verb a

practical thing and not just a feeling

that we seek to stir up in our emotions

god I thank you that this is a reality

Lord that is within our reach Lord God

this is not something far away it's

right there it's right there I pray God

that the fragrance of Christ would

accompany your people and lord I pray

especially Jesus that you would speak to

us about our sense of purpose and

calling in life Lord God father that

each one of us is not here by accident


we have a purpose Lord we have a purpose

to serve you father in whatever way you

called us each one of us it's going to

be different it's going to look

different for each one of us but I pray

we would discover our identity and our

mission as we learn to love the people

around us in the name of Jesus God let

people live in their destiny let them

live in the love that is eternal and it

will survive the flames one day in Jesus