Las Vegas Church of the Nazarene
Reaching People with the Transforming Grace of Jesus Christ
“Practicing Unconditional Love”
Sunday Morning † November 16, 2008
Sermon Text † 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
God’s Design For Marriage † Part V
13:1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
4 Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
5 Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
6 Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
7 Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
8 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. 9 We know only a portion of the
truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. 10 But when the
Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Introduction: Pastor Ed Young, Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas challenges the married couples in his churches to make love for the next seven days. Why? Is this biblical? Is this just a clever marketing scheme?
Pastor to parishioners: Have sex for 7 straight days
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DALLAS — The pastor of a mega-church says he will challenge married congregants during his sermon Sunday to have sex for seven straight days - and he plans to practice what he preaches.
"We're going to give it a try," said the Rev. Ed Young, who has four children with his wife of 26 years.
Young, 47, said he believes society promotes promiscuity and he wants to reclaim sex for married couples. Sex should be a nurturing, spiritual act that strengthens marriages, he said.
"God says sex should be between a married man and a woman," Young said. "I think it's one of the greatest things you can do for your kids because so goes the marriage, so goes the family."
Young said he will deliver his seven-day sex challenge while sitting on a bed in front of his Dallas-area church campus.
He is founder of the nondenominational Fellowship Church, which draws about 20,000 people each Sunday and also has campuses in Fort Worth, Plano and Miami.
Earlier this year, a southwest Florida pastor, perhaps having more faith in his congregants' stamina, issued a 30-day sex challenge.
Let’s read together God’ Holy Word and see what He says about love. Please
turn to 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
a13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am 2 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 3 mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor band surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not 5 proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no
a Or languages b Some early manuscripts body that I may boast
6 7 record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It
always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 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 9 10 away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection 11 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 12 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. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of 1these is love.
Greek definitions of the English word love. Agape. Philios.
Introduce the movie: Fireproof
Introduce the book in the movie: The Love Dare, A 40 Day Journey by reading page VII. By reading this book you will understand God’s definition of unconditional love. He holds us accountable to love like He loves.
Explain three elements of the journal and how it works each day. Present the challenge: I challenge you to understand and practice unconditional love!
The Love Dare journal final chapter Day 40, read four paragraphs of 196-197 concerning love as a covenant.
Tim and Fara Karr th12 Anniversary Wedding Celebration / Marriage Covenant
Dearly Beloved, we are gathered together today in the sight of God, and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is an honorable state, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocence, signifying unto us the union that exists between Christ and His Church. This holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with His presence and first miracle that He wrought in Cana of Galilee, and St. Paul commended as being honorable among all men. It is, therefore, not to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God.
Into this holy estate these persons present now come to be joined. Our Lord declared that man shall leave his father and mother and unite with his wife in the building of a home, and the two shall become one flesh.
1The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (1 Co 13:1-14:1). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The home is built upon love, which virtue is best portrayed in the thirteenth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. “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. …And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Tim, as you come before these witnesses, are you signifying that you are taking the initiative in this marriage covenant, and that you will, by the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, continue to assume the greater responsibility in carrying out its terms? I do.
INITIAL PLEDGE / Please face each other
Tim, the one whose hand you now hold is giving to you that which is more sacred than life itself. She is giving you her heart, her love, her devotion, her future. More than any other person on earth, you hold the key to her happiness and welfare in your hands. She counts it a privilege to share with you life’s joys and blessings and also its burdens and responsibilities. You have endeared yourself to her throughout twelve years of marriage.
Tim, do you pledge to her your undivided love? I do.
Fara, the one whose hand you now hold is giving you the richest and most noble treasure a young woman can receive. He is giving you his heart, his love, his devotion, and his future. More than any other person on earth, his life will be in your hands. The world may often misunderstand him, but your encouragement will lift him above that. His burdens may be heavy, but the light of your smile will lighten his load. Your words of tenderness and love will be his comfort.
He has chosen you to be the queen of his home because he has found in you that depth of character, that appreciation of things spiritual, that oneness of purpose, and also the tenderness, sympathy, and understanding that the heart of a woman can know.
Fara, do you now pledge to him your undivided love? I do.
As Tim and Fara continue their journey together, let these moments as husband and wife begin in a prayer of dedication.
God’s Guidance God’s Care May they find greater
God’s Blessing Center Home on Christ fulfillment as one, than
God’s Protection Blessing for future ever could as two.
Bless this couple today we pray in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
Today you are presenting yourselves before your friends and family to declare your intention of uniting your lives voluntarily and honorably for the service of God and man. You are making a double dedication: to each other, in a lasting and indivisible union that shall endure for the remaining years of your lives; and to God, that He may make you His dual instrument for the accomplishment of his purpose both in and by your personalities. The achievement of this purpose will require appreciation of each other’s abilities and virtues, forgiveness of each other’s faults, and unfailing devotion to each other’s welfare and development. There must be on your part a united
consent to the purpose of God as He progressively reveals to you by His Word and by His Spirit, and an unhesitant acceptance by faith of the challenges that He sets before you.
I charge you, therefore, first of all, to consider that your promises to each other are made in the presence of a God who holds you responsible for performing them. They must be kept inviolable before Him.
I admonish you to keep in mind that each of you is the object of Christ’s redemption, and should be valued accordingly. Neither should be neglected or belittled by the other. Esteem each other as God’s gift for mutual aid, comfort, and joy.
I encourage you to share willingly and sympathetically your joys and worries, your successes and struggle, and to be neither conceited by the former nor depressed by the latter. Whichever may prevail, cling closely to each other, that defeats may be met by a united strength and victories by a united joy.
I charge you to make your home a place where you will have a refuge from the storms of life, not only for yourselves, but also for the others who may be your guests. Let it be a haven for the weary, a source of uplift for the discouraged, and a convincing testimony to a cynical world. In short, recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as the Head of the house, the ruler of your destinies, and the object of your deepest affection. If you do, He will confirm your marriage by His guidance and will overshadow it with His peace.
I charge you to love each other, to support each other, and to serve Him with sincere hearts and determined wills until your mutual service for Him shall be completed.