Our pastoral intern, Ben Alexander, preaches excellently. I am always both encouraged and challenged by the words of Truth which Christ speaks through him.
This morning he preached on 1 Corinthians 13 — you know, the famous “love” section. He highlighted verse 7:
It made me think about the members of Christ’s body that have truly reached out to us with such Christlike love lately. It isn’t just anyone who has loved us with this true type of love. The type that bears with us, believes with us, hopes with us, and endures with us. There are a number of people who have tangibly loved us this way. And my eyes filled with encouraged tears as soon as he began reading his sermon text this morning.
A dear friend sent me an email not long ago saying that they find my husband & me to be exemplifying the love mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13. The email meant a great deal to me, and blessed me. To know that we are ministering to others, proclaiming the Gospel through our life, and showcasing Christ’s love even in our grief and pain — that knowledge blessed me. And so I was reminded of that this morning.
But in all honesty, I do not feel deserving of such encouragement. I do not feel like I bear all things or endure things — not well, at any rate. I feel like believing and hoping are grasping at straws for me some days.
But may the Lord enable me to continually grow and become established in Him, conforming more and more to His image, so that I may (ere I die) be mature in this.
Upon hearing the sermon text for today, the number one person that popped into my head was my Steven. He is patient and kind; never envious or boastful, arrogant or rude; he does not insist on his own way (even though he knows I would necessarily submit to him if he did); he is not easily irritated or harbor resentment; he rejoices in Truth; and truly, truly he bears all things (good, bad, ugly…) with me & for me, he believes all things (by the power of God in him) with me & for me, he hopes all things (for his hope is grounded deeply in the Lord), and he endures all things (I don’t even need to begin a list here). This man loves with a never-ending, never-failing love.
My Steven epitomizes this section of Scripture.
Praise the Lord. And amen!
The next set of people that popped into my head are my parents. Never have such parents existed before, I think. (I know, I know — I’m partial, right?) They bear, believe, hope, and endure so much with us. Tangibly.
Praise the Lord. And hallelujah!
And then there are others. Some who read this very blog! 🙂
Thank you for loving us with Christlike love.
I know that Galatians 6:2 (“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”) is referring specifically to burdens of transgression, but I think the principle is largely (and appropriately) applied to other burdensome situations as well. My dearest friend’s mother leads a Bible study I attend, and she said recently “if you are bearing one another’s burdens, you should feel burdened. Truly burdened.” So for those of you who are specifically loving us in the way of helping to bear our burden of the past year — thank you for being burdened, and may our kind Father in Heaven bless you with a doublefold reward.
This morning, Ben Alexander said
Who hates their sin and loves their forgiveness.“
I liked those snippets.
He also said
I love God’s victorious reign!
The five main points of the sermon application are as follows:
1) Christ’s enduring love is not provincial.
2) Christ’s enduring love is not self-preserving.
3) Christ’s enduring love does not believe a person can’t change.
4) Christ’s enduring love does not give up on people.
5) Christ’s enduring love places maximum value on the other person.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never ends. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.