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The Way of Love- Part 5

Jason Sliger

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Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jason is a former full-time evangelist with Amazing Facts, now pastoring in Northern Michigan. He and his wife, Midori, have two children, Evangeline and Christian who are 3 and 1. His greatest desire is to have an experience like Jesus and be part of helping others be like Him too. He enjoys playing with his kids, photography and, when he can find time, playing the guitar.

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  • March 4, 2017
    11:30 AM
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Let's start with a word of prayer and then we'll tell you. Dear Jesus. You've been awfully good to us. And we want to thank you for that this morning. You've been so patient. And you've instructed us in the words of life. And Lord as we tarry a little longer in your presence this morning. We pray again Lord that you would send your Holy Spirit. To take your word. Send it home to our hearts. That it may burn our heart Lord. And center the glow for you. Speak to us Lord yes in Jesus' day when you have your Bibles to meet me to first Corinthians thirteen Chapter First Corinthians thirteen. Those of you that have been with us for a while know that we are in the midst of a series on First Corinthians thirteen. And you know that this is the chapter on a GAAP day. Not just the love in in a general sense but specifically the word of God Bay which we have become familiar with we define the word of God as a desire to do what is best for other people a God they love does not does it they love God they loves their ego not because of what it gets or how the other person responds but because it cares for and wants the best for others and the best way that we can see this illustrate it is in the life of Jesus he did what he did because it was best for other people he didn't do what he did because he was trying to get anything from us but he merely did it because he was trying to help us to come up higher to give us something that would aid us to become more like him and. Les to be in the kingdom of heaven one day we've read the statement a number of times manuscript releases Volume nine page one hundred twenty eight says our loving lovable Christian is the most powerful argument in favor of the truth what's the most powerful argument the favor of the truth and a loving lovable Christian is the most power when we finish the series this will be the one thing that you never forget. A loving lovable Christian is the most powerful argument in favor of the truth and we look at this from another number of angles how love breaks down the barriers that alternately will lead to the establishment of truth we don't merely love people just to love them just as they feel warm and fuzzy and and have a nice experience but we love them with the goal of breaking down barriers breaking down prejudice so that we can bring along the truths of God's word and they'll be more readily open and accepting of the truths of the Bible but a loving lovable Christian is the most powerful argument in favor of the truth signs of the Times February one eight hundred eighty seven makes this powerful statement Nothing will so successfully defeat the devices of Satan and his emissaries nothing will so build up the Redeemer's kingdom as will the love of Christ not a fest it by whom. Manifested by who the members. Of the church so what breaks down the barriers of the enemy is the love of Christ manifested in God's members what Dillard's up the kingdom of God quickly is the love of Jesus manifested in the life of his members not just something merely as a theoretical thing not just something that oh well we have the people in the church that low. Of the people in the chips that preach the truth but God's people as a whole winning people through this loving loving character lovable character that God wants to create in us that is what successfully defeat the devices of Satan and builds up the kingdom of God And that's I think what each one of us want as his children and then. Now as we're continuing our study together first Corinthians thirteen we're primarily looking at verses four through seven that's where we've been spending the bulk of our time let's go ahead and read these verses again and then we're going to dive into two points in our study together this morning the Bible says charities suffer it's long and this kind charity and the it's not charity vaunted it's not itself is not puffed up does not behave itself unseemly seek it's not her own is not easily provoked thinketh no evil rejoice it's not in iniquity but rejoices in the truth there are thought things believe with all things hope with all things and the last thing is in duress all things as we look at this description of charity the Word of God we found that if we take the name charity or the word Charity out and replaced it with the name Jesus. We would change the meaning of the text and then. Does Jesus suffer along in his kind there's Jesus not and the not boast is he humble and not proud of course this is a description we found of the character of Jesus but the more difficult thing is can I take the name Charity out and replace it with my own name. And as we found out in our study together we found out that when Jesus comes back the Bible tells us and first John that when he appears we shall be like him so when Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven. First Corinthians thirteen four through seven is not just a description of Jesus but it's going to be a description of those who will be translated. And as we look at that I don't know about you but I feel like I need to spend a little bit more time in my prayer closet with the Lord and say Father you got to do the necessary heart surgery to make this a reality because I just don't have it in myself naturally speaking this is not the type of person that I am but with God We know all things are possible this morning we're looking at the end of verse five where the Bible tells us that charity think yes know what. How much evil. How much how much is none. A little bit you know the Bible says that charity think is no evil that is an absolute there is no evil that tons into the mind of charity Proverbs Chapter twenty three in verse seven the Bible says for as he thinketh in his heart so. So if I think evolve scripture what am I We don't like to talk about that makes us a little uncomfortable and so we come up with fancy mental gymnastics. To try to take our evil thoughts and to somehow minimize their evilness but there's no way you can do that we cannot use our own mind to determine what is and isn't evil the only thing that can determine what is and is not evil is the Word of God and if God says that something is evil and we think about it the Bible tells us that that is evil we are evil when we do that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he according to scripture but the Bible tells us that charity thinketh no evil that Jesus thinking evil. Course he didn't he had to he always had the best construction in his mind of what was right rather than meditating and thinking upon that which was wrong were found we are told in fifth volume of the testimonies page three hundred ten that if the thoughts are wrong the feelings will be wrong and the thoughts and feelings combined make up what. What does it make on the moral character the moral character is made up of our thoughts and our feelings have you ever had that happen to you before where your thoughts dictated how you felt. But you begin to think about something that's maybe sad or maybe something that's negative and before too long your feelings follow right along behind Now the flip side is true as well when we think of bright and happy things when we think of honorable things our feelings follow right along behind us the thoughts and the feelings combine is what makes up the moral character and the Bible tells us that charity chooses not to think and evil one writer put it this way. We so are sots and we reap our actions we so our actions and we reap our habits we sow our habits and we reap our character we saw our characters and we read our was our destiny. You see the Bible tells us that those who are striving to be like Christ will choose to think on the whole something they will not think which is evil in fact it's interesting if you do a quick little comparison going back to Genesis Chapter six you just hold write it down or something like that but going back to. The six just kind of take your mind back there right before the flood before God destroyed the Earth with a flood the Bible says that God looked upon the earth in Genesis six in verse five and it says God saw the wickedness of man that it was great in the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only what evil continually So the Bible tells us that the condition of the earth before the Flood is that the thoughts of men were only evil not just evil but they were only evil continually man could not only think evil thoughts and so the Bible says as God looked at the earth before the flood it re Pentagon that he had created man because he had gotten to this point where he had become so wicked in his thoughts and the Bible actually kind of flesh it out a little bit more as you look at verse eleven and twelve the Bible says in verse eleven and the earth was also corrupt before God and the earth was filled with violence is the earth corrupt today is the earth filled with violence today why. Because the imagination of the hearts of men are only evil continually Now I think of are all going to be honest with ourselves the problem is not just on the outside. But sometimes we bring those ways of thinking with us on the inside. And when we choose as God's people to think evil thoughts we are bringing corruption and violence into God's Church Lord have mercy in. May God help us to control our thoughts that they might be more pure and holy but I want to get more specific than this that we can turn to talking about evil thoughts in general. Which is fine but the Greek in this passage gets very. Specific The concept of thinking no evil in the Greek it literally means that a god day does not take an inventory. Or keep a record of others wrong action is more specific is not so yet we can talk about evilness in a general sense thinking evil but the more specific application of the passage is that charity does not keep an accurate record in its mind of the wrongs of others whether those wrongs were done to me as an individual or done in a general sense or done to somebody else that I love or whatever maybe charity does not keep an accurate record. In other words in other words charity is a bad accountant. We all like good accountants only. Keep an accurate check we have a good treasurer in our church that keeps track of all of our finances and we praise God for that but when it comes to the wrongs of others that's not something we want to be good at. We don't want to be known as the person who has all of the accurate accounts of the world knows and wrongs that others have inflicted upon us or others the New Living Translation puts the passage this way it keeps no record of being wrong keeps no record of what. Keeps no record of being wrong if you've been wrong. And you keeping a record of that don't answer that question right now. You talk with the Lord about that later on today but I got paid does not keep a record of that and it's mine Listen to this from the book Acts the Apostles page three hundred nineteen it says this Christ like love is. That what we're looking at First Corinthians thirteen. Christ like love places the most favorable construction on the motives and acts of others but this Christ like love their. Place is the most favorable construction on the way motives and acts of others so when when somebody who has a heart of a god they hears something about somebody else the first thing that they do before they maybe they have all of the details but the first thing that they do is they try to put a favorable construction on the motives and acts of others you know this is really beautifully illustrated in the life of Jesus Jesus lived three and a half years of his earthly measure of course he lived longer than by the three and half years of his earthly ministry he went from being ridiculed Bean's being looked down upon and ultimately was crucified spit on beat you know all of these various things and as he's hanging there on the cross before he breathed his last breath the most favorable construction that he could put on the situation that he was in was father. For they know not. What they did even though he told them that he was the Messiah even though he told them that he was going to be crucified even though he told them all of these things multiple times the most favorable construction under the circumstances that Jesus could put on the situation is they know not what they do. That's Christ like love and then. That's the loving lovable Christian that's the most powerful argument in favor of the truth that's the love that makes our theology valuable. As we read in other places she goes on she says this It does not needlessly This is Christ like Love does not need it's the Expo. Rows their faults it does not listen eagerly to unfavorable reports but seeks rather to bring to mind the good qualities. Of others what is it trying to do. Bring into the mind the what good qualities it's not looking for faults it doesn't eagerly listen to unfavorable reports that other people might be you know gossiping about but charity in a got a crisis like love tries to find the best in the situation rather than the worst it's being yes no. The best way I can think of illustrating this. Is the love of a mother for her children. If you were to talk to my mom and ask her what was Jason like as a child you would find out or you would think rather act you came from that conversation that I was the best kid in the world that I did no wrong I never argued I was never mean I never did this and I never did that I was always happy and always kind and always comply that would be what you would think after you talk to your mom but I would have to come along and give you a reality check because that's not reality. But a parent naturally wants to remember the good about their children and not the bad is that right now under it under normal circumstances a parent naturally wants to remember the good about their children they want to speak about the good they want to tell others about the good and they tend to forget the bad over time I literally believe that my mom has forgotten the bad things that I did as a child. Because she has spent so much time finking about and talking about. The good stuff. Right. And this is Christ like love this is how this is the mind of those who are possess. Just with the God be with the love of Jesus in their heart they look for the best they talk about the best they're constantly trying to edify and lift other people up even if it's forgive them for they know not what they. Charity thinketh no evil so I ask you a question. You have a person in your life that when you think of them the first thing that comes to your mind is something negative. Person is asking some difficult questions this morning is me. Is there something that comes to your mind when you think of them than the first thing that comes into your mind is something negative about that person. The mind of charity the mind of a got paid the love in the heart of Jesus we need to come to him and say Lord please change that so that when I think of that person then the first thing that comes to my mind is something positive. So here's an exercise when you think of the individual maybe they're here in the church maybe there's somebody at work maybe it's somebody in your in your home a family member or just an acquaintance but when you think of that person what I want you to do is I want you to find out three things right down three things about that person that you admire. You say Pastor there's nothing to admire about that person all there are of bad things about them. See that's the problem right. There kind of blind when it comes to the good even the worst people have something that's good about them if you look long enough and hard enough and you maybe even have to pray and say Lord help me to see this you will find something and I want you to do that exercise take that person and think about three things that you admire about them and then choose to think on those things choose not to think about evil but think about the good and don't just stop at. One person but there's probably a chance that you have more than one person in your life who is like that and do that with that person as well you know it's amazing to me how marvelous our minds are at remembering the bad about other people. You can talk to somebody and I talk to people before you can talk to them and they'll remember something that happened way back in the recesses of their mind and they'll remember it in great detail and clarity if you met somebody like that before. They'll go through all of the details and all the nitty gritty stuff and and as they're going through their motions are starting to change because thoughts and feelings are connected together and it makes a far more a character and the more they talk about it the more they get into it and I think to myself Lord have mercy they're killing themselves. They have a marvelous mind when it comes to remembering the faults of other people. But then people tell me they can't memorize the Bible. You know what I've come to believe is this. The problem isn't that we can't remember. The problem is what do we want to remember. The good Lord has given us a brain that can numbers to remember things we have to make a choice what am I going to remember. Am I going to remember the things that other people have done to me. Or am I going to choose to think on that which is good. And I want sometimes told people that even if it takes you a month to memorize a Bible passage you'll be better at the end of that much than you were at the beginning of that month and then. You have something else that you can think about in your mind that will draw you closer to God that you can place that you can replace when an evil thought starts coming into your mind when an evil memory comes in there where the devil tries to start getting your mind off of God and off of the God and onto the things of this world you can call that Bible passage up into your mind and choose to think about that which is good and. That of that which is that charity think it is no Eve. For a that God would give us brilliant minds to remember the good. Just as well if not better than we remember the bad in and that our memories that we would have spiritual Alzheimer's when it comes to the faults of other people and then. Forget that stuff. Let's remember that which is listen to this this is from steps the Christ page one twenty one we've all grown to love this little book it says this if we keep uppermost in the minds in our minds the unkind and unjust acts of others we shall find it in possible to love them as Christ loves us. What makes it impossible for me to love people the way Jesus loves me. When I keep up with most in my mind the what. The unjust acts the unkind words the all of that when I keep that uppermost in my mind it makes it impossible for me to love people as Jesus has loved me but she goes on she says but but if our thoughts dwell upon the wondrous love and pity of Christ for us the same spirit will flow out to others you catch this beautiful statement it's not something you're For seem to have been it's not like you're you're going to kind of grin and bear in do it no no no no no she says as I think about the love of Jesus as I meditate upon his love towards me she says it just flows out exhaustion out of my heart from me to other people it's a natural response you see we love little because we're meditating a little on the love of Jesus. If we meditate more upon what Jesus. Is done for me and his love towards me it will naturally flow out of my heart to other people charity thinketh no evil. Bible goes on in verse six. And it says this read Joyce is not in an equity but rejoices in the. Truth you know it's a strange thing that. Any person God's people would find pleasure in unrighteous it's. Joyce's not in an equity the Bible says but rejoices in. The truth you see saying sin has so unbalanced our minds it has warped our way of thinking that we have come to the point where as humans we find pleasure. In. Underwriter snus instead of righteousness. Naturally that's how we are as human beings but we have to go through this this reprogramming of our mind so that we don't find pleasure in lawlessness but we find pleasure in the truth not only in the Truth in God's word but the truth lived out in my life and other people's lives where we don't look at other people to try to find where they've tripped up so that we can keep a mental track of that or so that it makes me feel better than they are but we love the truth rather than seen unrighteousness whether it is manifest in my life or in the life of any other person Luke Chapter eighteen jot it down if you would verse eleven. Jesus gives an example of those who are men who found pleasure in unrighteousness he's unnamed part of the sect of religious leaders that we know to be the fairest sees. Jesus at the end of that verse there Luke Chapter eighteen verse eleven he says this. Is it fair is he talking he said I think he is he's praying to God what a blasphemous prayer I think the that I am not as other men are. Store sinners unjust adulterers. Or even as this public. Sometimes I think there's this this twisted thing that happens inside of our minds spiritually. Where when we see somebody shrug goal in their spiritual life that somehow we feed off of that to make us feel better that we are not as they are. And if you've ever experienced that or if you've ever seen that I mean it's a natural thing because as a human it's natural Anyways it's not natural in a spiritual in a spiritual sense that is human it's natural because as a human we want to advance ourselves so if somebody else is suffering that must mean that I'm better than he is be cut out of our spiritual experience because charity or adopt a wants to see the betterment of. All to advance all to Prosper who hear this publican is saying I thank you God that I or this rather this fair city is saying I thank you God that I'm not as this man right here this terrible man it's who's done these terrible things and he goes on in the After that he lists all the good things that he has done. That your prayer life look like that sometimes Thank you Lord I don't have that problem. Thank you Lord I'm not like that person. You know what So my cross that might be praying the same for about you. Right. You know. What we really want people to say is Lord. Help me to love people like that person love people. How me to show the love of Jesus like that person shows the love of Jesus. Lord thank you for putting this person in my life because they have showed me who you are more clearly but you think those are a better person for a word Help me to come up to that standard how me to become more like that help me to find pleasure in the truth manifest it rather than in acts of righteous it's. You know when we point out the sins of others or find any measure of pleasure in them. What we're really doing is we're kind of following not the character of Christ but what we're actually doing is we're following the character of Satan. But by refers to him as the accuser of the brethren what is he doing he's accusing us of are what. He's looking he's observing he's studying he's watching because he wants to see all of the bad things that you've done so you can throw it in the face of God. And he say see look here's the evidence these people who say they're Christians these people say they're some of the others look at this that look at their lives he's the chooser of the brother and who's pointing out the faults of his of God's children to God we don't want to follow that example doing we don't want to have that character we want to have the character of Jesus who is looking for that which is good rather than that which is that. One translation renders this Bible verse verse six that love is never glad when others go wrong I like that love is never glad when others go wrong. Diana. Had received a notification. That she would be receiving a new patient this new patient's name was Corky she was being transferred to Diana's section the note read that Corky was noncompliant cunt died of knowledge just it on men. Ball and terminal sounds like your dream page that. She had cancer that had gone untreated quite some time it was in a terrible case the first visit that Diana had she went to the home of Corky's address she met a man name is Mike Mike invited Diana to come and showed her around the house it was kind of a bit of a construction site he was remodelling the house for Corky soon arrival he had bought the house he told Diane I hear that he had bought the house just for Corky because it was right next to the ocean and Corky had always wanted to live next to the ocean so he bought this house. Corky turned out to be just as difficult as her history suggested that she was under her arm she had a a cantaloupes size twice crater that just this nasty liquid that caused her terrible and pain it had to be packed and repacked multiple times a day it was just a terrible situation that she was in and she was definitely an uncooperative person twice daily the nurses came in and out of this home to help with various tasks but Mike was there are around the clock day in day out caring for taking care and meeting all of the needs of corking many times and usually it was a new it was usual that he would receive abusive swearing. As his reward for his acts of tenderness for Corky. Diana suggested that Corky be placed in a care facility she had such tremendous needs that it was very difficult to take care of her in the house and Mike was getting worn out Mike said listen she's a very difficult person to deal with and I'm the only one that can deal with her if I don't you know if they put her in a few. Slowly there just going to kick around and. Finally the day came. Diana and Mike standing around Corky's bed. And they watched her chest rise and fall for the last time and the ACT or the expression of pain on her face was no longer there she laid there rest fully without any pain. Cancer had taken a line. Diana looked over at Mike. And this is what she said. He stared at her silently. Tears running down his cheeks and dripping from his chin. His suffering affected me more deeply than Corky's death choking back sobs I mumbled some sort of condolence and finished by saying that he had done more than most husbands would have done under the circumstances that she could not have doubted his love. Has been he looked at me sharply I'm not her husband. I hardly knew her. Seeing the startle expression in her face he continued. She lived on the streets that's where I found her she didn't have anyone who cared about her I knew she was dying and I bought this place so that she'd have somewhere to go. If I hadn't taken care of or who would have she had no one else. Diana said. Mike was standing there. But I saw the face of Jesus. But a powerful. You know as human beings we don't naturally respond in this type of way. Because we're more concerned oftentimes about ourselves than we are about the comfort and well being of us and there are Corky's all around us and the world is looking to see what are God's people going to do with these works. And when God's people treat them the way Mike treated Corkey that is a witness that is beyond what any Bible prophecy seminar can do. So I think about the story. The only way that Mike could have done what he did. Is by thinking. You know if. You think Mike would have done what he did if he was thinking evil thoughts about Corky Your she is this bum on the streets she's dying of cancer he could've come up with any number of reasons why she was in the condition that she was in. Her combativeness her lifestyle her attitude he could come up with all kinds of reasons he could have thought of all of those evil things but would that have done any good for Corky. But he chose to suppress the worldly way of thinking about that situation and he chose to sink on holy and pure thoughts and that triggered. A crisis like response that was manifested in this beautiful act and expression of love by one human being to another. And I want to tell you something this morning I believe with all my heart that these types of stories should be common place God's church. Oftentimes people on the outside of our church do a better job at loving people than we do on these. But that can change a man because we serve a cause. God who can recreate our hearts from a stony heart to the heart of. You but when it be that. That's the most powerful argument in favor of the church and then in and. Let's pray about Father in Heaven Lord we are thankful. That you are calling us a little bit higher. We're not satisfied with where we are at we don't want to stay here stagnate we don't want to become enamored with where we've come from. But Lord we want to keep our gaze looking. And look at what is possible through the power of. Father we pray that you would continue this heart. That she would mold us and she changed us that we would wrestle with you Lord and. That we would that we would study and observe the character of Jesus so much so that it just fell out of us and affect the lives of those. Oh dear Jesus we pray that you would do this work. And. Write to us this. She was facing. This media was brought to you by. Word. And much. If you would like to know.

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