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Text: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8  Love never fails.

I. God is love

    A. 1 John 4:8 - "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
    B. 1 John 4:16 - "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."

II. What love does and what love isn’t.

    A. Love is patient.
          1. We need to be patient for the sake of the gospel.
          2. God didn't strike us down years ago because because:
                a. God is still giving you a chance to believe the gospel and be saved or
                b. if you already are saved He is allowing you to remain in this world so that you can be a witness for the gospel to those who still need it.

    B. Love is kind.
            1. Where patience leads us to not lash out, kindness seeks to do good things for others.
            2. Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
            3. We should be kind to others by helping to meet basic needs, and by helping to meet every person’s greatest need of all knowing the good news of forgiveness of sin and victory over death through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    C. Love does not envy.
            1. Envy either wants what others have or it wishes that others didn’t have what they have.
            2. The only thing it accomplishes is making you feel worse about yourself.
            3. It’s much better to “rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15).

    D. Love does not boast.
            1. Boasting is the sinful response to you having more than someone else.
            2. There is no place for boasting when we realize that every good thing we have comes from God and God alone. James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."

    E. Love is not proud.
            1. Pride is the end result of boasting and it is the original sin that caused Satan to fall.
            2. Pride is the opposite of love and godliness.

    F. Love is not rude.
            1. Rudeness is not showing care for others and always looking out for yourself.
            2. Think of others more than yourself and in doing so you will be a gospel witness.

    G. Love is not self-seeking.
            1. We all have a sinful tendency to love ourselves at the expense of others.but in Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus tell us:

37  Jesus said to him, "‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38  This is the first and great commandment.
39  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’"

            2. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 gives us the framework (or the do’s and don’ts of what love is), Jesus gives love a direction.

    H. Love is not easily angered.
            1. Instead of getting angry at someone right away; be patient.
            2. Focus on what is good for them; not what’s good for you.

    I. Love keeps no record of wrongs
            1. Love doesn’t constantly remember all the bad things someone has done in the past.
            2. The Lord says to us in Hebrews 8:12, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

    J. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
            1. Instead of celebrating sin we need to celebrate the truth God has given us in His Word.
            2. If you really want to love people don’t look to the world for guidance, look to God’s Word.

    K. Love always protects.
            1. Love doesn’t seek to harm people, but to help them.
            2. Sometimes this will involve confronting sin, but Biblical correction seeks to help or protect.

    L. Love always trusts.
            1. Assume the best until shown otherwise and even then seek restoration.
            2. Love requires respect so make sure you give respect from the start.

    M. Love always hopes.
            1. Even if someone continually breaks your trust and spurns attempts at restoration and reconciliation you can still have hope that by the power of the Holy Spirit maybe someday things will change for the better. And maybe it won’t, but make sure you leave the possibility open just in case God performs a miracle.
            2. It's likely a lot of people gave up on the criminal crucified next to Jesus. But at the last minute he gets saved and in Luke 23:43 we read, "And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.' "

    N. Love always perseveres.
            1. It can take a lot to love people sometimes after all the bad things they have done.
            2. Aren’t you thankful that Jesus still loves you after all the bad things you have done?

    O. Love never fail.
            1. It not only keeps going even through the tough times it keeps going even after death.
            2. Romans 8:35-39 says,

35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36  As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
37  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
38  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

May God help us to model this love for others.

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Do you feel an emptiness in your life? Are you seeking answers but don't know where to look? Have you ever wondered if you are good enough? Please read the summary of the gospel message, "Four Things You Need to Know About God"

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