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Love Is The Difference!

1 Corinthians 13

Christopher Morley said that if you were given five minutes warning of sudden death
to say what loved ones had meant to you, all the telephone lines
would be occupied by calling up loved ones to stammer out that you love them.
Love has been called the queen of words, and it deserves that designation.

Paul's exaltation of love in 1 Corinthians is true insight.
Even a casual reading of this great passage, if it can be read casually, leads one
into the presence of spiritual greatness.
Here is where one breathes pure mountain air.
Here is where one treads lofty places.

Let us note some of the characteristics of this supreme virtue and value.

True Love Shares!

Love has a sharing quality that makes a place for others.
As our modern life becomes increasingly complex, we need more of the spirit of love
that keeps before us our total responsibility.
As we become more and more interrelated, we depend more on each other.

Health, education, government -- and all phases of community life -- represent
opportunities for sharing and for more enlightened leadership.
As we love people, we will feel our obligation to contribute our best for the best of all.

This love will reach out to include all mankind.
We must do what we can to usher in an era of good will among men.
This will do more than anything else to halt the insane world conflict that is bringing
our social order to the brink of ruin.

True Love Builds!

Godly affection is a wonderfully, creative force.
It moves people constructively.
It paves the way for a meeting of minds it provides the atmosphere in which respect
is nourished.
Paul is saying that love is more important than eloquence, stronger than knowledge,
loftier than charity.

Love builds faith!

Carlyle once wrote:
"My kind mother did me one invaluable service.
She taught in her own simple version of the Christian faith
."

How indestructibly the good grows and propagates itself, among the weedy entanglements of evil.

Loving parents can transfer their faith to their children and others.
Faith is caught in this sense.

Love builds character!

Parents must assume some of the responsibility for the integrity of their children.

A well-known educator says:

"Studies show that integrity is largely an acquired characteristic.
We tend to grow into a state of integrity, rather than how it is given to us.
While we have such rules as the Ten Commandments, constitutions, and civic laws,
and rules of the game, they are not enough.

Knowledge is necessary, but it is inadequate.
Significant influences on our youth are in the home situation and with their friends.
Within the home, the mother is the greatest influence.
The teacher in the school is important, but not merely to the degree of importance
the mother attains
."

Love Is Sacrificial!

Love that is worthy is costly.
When a person loves a mother or loves a great cause, he must pay for his affection
in the finest contribution he can make.

Genuine love demands that we probe beneath the surface and seek to eliminate
the conditions causing the evils that plague us as a race and as individuals.

Simple preaching against war is not enough.
We must create the conditions of peace in modern society, and that is not easy nor inexpensive.

A coin tossed to a beggar really begs the issue of poverty.
It does not, in itself, even seek to solve the social problem involved.
Great evils are not exorcised by superficial sympathy or a patronizing attitude.
The price of solution is higher.

Parents must face with love the problems of teenagers.
One of the hopeful signs of the day is the fact that parents are blaming themselves
for the troubles of their children, but children must remember
that they cannot continue the blaming process.
As children grow into adults, they are responsible for themselves.
Whatever problems they might have acquired from their past with their parents;
they must face and solve.

No loving parent would want to leave a splinter in his child's foot because he would hurt
the child in removing it.
Punishment for misdeeds is expensive when administered in love.

Yet, who will deny its necessity in the violation of the law that would protect
and conserve the rights of all?
When parents are willing to sacrifice for the moral and spiritual development
of their children, they are wise.
And their children in maturity, may well rise up and call them blessed.

A pastor passes along this incident:

"A mechanic, after a hard day's work was seen by a friend
catching a baseball with his son.

The friend stopped and looked over the fence and said, "Paul, aren't you tired?"

"Why, yes I am. Of course, I'm tired."

"Well then, what are you doing that for?"

"Oh," he said, "I'd rather have a backache now than a heartache later on."

That was one wise parent.

The home is the scene of our greatest opportunities.
All too often, it is the scene of our greatest failures. Lack of spiritual training is the greatest single cause of juvenile delinquency.
This is confirmed in a report from a municipal law expert.

Roger Arnebergh, Los Angeles city attorney, and a juvenile court judge, who studied cases
of 8000 boys and girls under 17 involved in law violations, reported that only 42 of them
attended Sunday school regularly.

Everything in life begins in the home.

Mothers, you have an awesome responsibility.
And you are not alone in that responsibility.
We can also say, "Fathers, you have an awesome responsibility."

Love is the difference!
Let us as parents dedicate ourselves to love God with all our heart
and with all our soul and with all our might,and love our children all the way to heaven.

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White