The Greatest Is Love

Sermon by Neil Earle, 1/22/2005

Romans 12:11: "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord."

We should keep spiritual intensity of feeling or expression. We should never lack in zeal. We are to give service to the Lord.

Romans 12:9-13: "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality."

We should have genuine love all the time not only on church day. To prevent sin is to hate evil. We should be devoted to one another and in this way we will not leave church that easily. The church is not unified by doctrine. Doctrine divides the church. Church is unified by brotherly love. We should give our life to Christ. We should always continue in prayer.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13: "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."

Miracles can puff a person up and cause self destruction. We should always find out about the truth for all things. The Christian lives by faith and not by sight. God knows us better than we know ourselves. God is able to see inside ourselves. Love keeps us and the church together. We should always have love for one another. Look out how you use proud words.

Colossians 4:5-6: "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

We should determine to be kind and sweet toward people. We should believe the best in other people. We have to practice the values of Christianity. Our speech should be graceful and uplifting. Christians should be loving and kind people. The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. Christians should be putting the other person first. It is tough to be a Christian. It is not easy to live up to and it goes against the grain. It is a lot easier not to be a murderer than it is to be a Christian. We should throw ourselves on the mercy of the high court in heaven to have the strength to live another day. God's throne is called the mercy seat. We should be serving the Lord. We should never deny God and Jesus Christ our Savior.

Hebrews 12:22-23: "But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect."

The headquarters of the church is in heaven. Love is to be universal. Love is the new law to guide us in everything we say, think and do.

Sermon summary prepared by local Glendora church member Charlie Schreiner.