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The Way of Love- Part 8

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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  • April 29, 2017
    11:30 AM
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Father in heaven. We are grateful this morning. That we can come into your presence with our Bibles in our hands. Knowing that you are about to impart to us a blessing. Father may our hearts be open to the blessing this morning. And we pray that through the aid and the power of the Holy Spirit. That he would take that blessing. And send it home to our hearts. That we may be more and more like Jesus but we ask it in his name and that. You already have your Bibles open to first Corinthians chapter thirteen we have soldiered our way through this chapter there has been much good that we have gained and gleaned we are in the final stages of concluding our study we have just two three more verses to go and before we get into the new ones the small and I want to just do a quick flashback of what we have seen thus far in First Corinthians chapter thirteen you will remember we have found out that it's divided into three sections verses one through three as we studied it together we found that Paul is talking about the supremacy of a god pay or this Greek word for love how it's much greater than the spiritual gifts found in First Corinthians chapter twelve and verses four through seven Paul identifies gives us the characteristics of a god day he breaks it down what it is and what it is not he spends much of his time describing a God day in this part of the chapter and then the final part verses eight through thirteen Paul talks about the permanence of a god and how it will never come to an end he makes the statement which we study a couple of weeks ago that charity never fail it or. Charity never ends it continues to go on it is one of the three things that will last forever as we will find in the concluding chapter of this concluding verse of this chapter but flashing back to our last study verses eight through ten I want to just read them very quickly here and then we'll move on the Bible says Charity never faileth but whether there be prophecies they shall fail whether there be tongues they shall cease whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away but we know for we know in parts and we prophesy in part but when that which is perfect is come that which is in part shall be what now the way now we studied as we look at this we found that the part or rather the perfect that which is perfect is come we find that the only thing of the only person in the Bible who is described as perfect is new Jesus of Paul is talking about the coming of Jesus here when he which is perfect is come the partial knowledge that we have the partial experience that we have Paul tells us will be done away and so in the last few verses here Paul begins to make a contrast or a comparison between the present mortal life and the future in mortal life we know in part now but when that which is imperfect is come that which is in part will be done away with and he continues in the next two verses by giving us two examples of the present mortal state and the future in mortal state what we are experiencing now and what we have to look forward to when that which is perfect is come when dear Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven in our time together two weeks ago I use the example of the candle and the sun that our experience and our knowledge that we have now is like a candle and the candle in the presence of the sun does not really offer much benefit but when. But when you have that candle in darkness it is very helpful we live in a very dark world right now so the little bit of knowledge and the little bit of experience that we have is vital it's very helpful but when Jesus the Son of righteousness comes the little bit of knowledge and little bit of experience that we have will pale in insignificance when it's in the presence of the perfect one so this is what we have to look forward to in the future in mortal States now Paul goes on and he gives the first example here comparing between the present and the future in verse thirteen Paul says this When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child and I thought as a child but when I became a man what does Paul say. He says I put away childish things is there a difference between a child and an adult in terms of knowledge there's all the difference in the world really I mean there's there's much more knowledge much more life experience that takes place as you become an adult compared to a child and Paul is making using this this this analogy this illustration to compare our experience now to what our experience will be when we get to the Kingdom of Heaven what we have right now is in a sense child's play but let me tell you something this morning it is a nuff to keep us going and then it is enough to drive us forward to be ready when Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven but I look forward to that time when the childish things will be put away and we will be able to grow and grow and grow in more and more spiritual maturity Now this does not mean that as God's people today that we say well if I'm a child in my understanding I might as well just wait until Jesus. And then I'll get more knowledge but I did that's not what Paul is telling us here of course we know that we should be studying the word on a regular basis so that we can gain and glean the knowledge out of the Word of God that we that God intends us to have but what Paul is saying is even the deep study of God's word that we do now even the depth of knowledge that I believe God has blessed our church with is still child's play in comparison to what we will learn in the kingdom of heaven so Paul is comparing here between children and adults now I want to kind of play on this here a little bit the smaller because I think there's a lot that can be learned out of this passage of scripture as Paul compares between childhood and adulthood you will remember the story in the gospels when the disciples were bickering amongst themselves about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven you remember that story Jesus to teach the twelve men who would eventually turn the world upside down to teach them an exam or teach them and. Teach them something he brought a child in amongst them and what did he say to his disciples unless you become as a child you shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven so there are elements of a child that we would do well as adults to retain. There are elements of a child that we would do well as adults to retain in fact Paul continues this vein of thought and first Corinthians fourteen just the very next chapter verse twenty he says this brethren be not children in understanding how be it in what malice in the Greek that's the word for evil how be in man less how the evil be you what children but in understanding he says to be wise to be men so yes there are elements. Of a child that we should retain and some of those elements include innocence meekness humility honesty trust confidence sincerity truthfulness happiness freedom from worry isn't that great you see children just running around that when they don't have a care in the world they know their parents are there that they'll feed them they'll supply their needs or put clothes on their back they'll put a jacket on them if it gets cold outside they'll get their raincoat if it rains whatever it is they have not a care in the world because mommy and daddy are going to supply the needs that they have so so there are elements that we can retain of this childishness that will enhance and grow our experience with God and will be a witness to the world. Now I know for me as a parent and I think many of you here as parents and grandparents. Can agree with me that there is a lot that you can learn from watching children about your spiritual life and how you should relate to your heavenly Father there's a lot that we can learn from. However. There are some things about our children and our grandchildren. That we wish were not there. You see sometimes these things that happen they blow a gasket and you think wow and I wish I look forward to the time when they grow out of this kind of thing but you know but as parents and grandparents these types of situations when we see them in children we are willing to overlook them because they are what. Their children and they are in mature. We're willing to overlook them we're willing to do to put up with it in a sense because we understand that mentally they don't sometimes have the capacity to control themselves they're in mature so we look over that but let me tell you something the smarting sometimes as adults we are not. Much different from children when it comes to our spiritual maturity. And we're very able to see this in the lives of other people but sometimes it's hard for us to see it in our own lives in our own lives the spiritual in maturity and as easy as it may be to put up with immaturity in a child when it comes to an adult whether it be emotional immaturity or spiritual immaturity when it comes to in maturity in the life of an adult this is the stuff that causes contention and strife not only in the family and in the work environment but also in the church or you all with me this morning. Were familiar with this we've seen it before. In the book Sons and Daughters of God. Page three hundred thirty we're told this. We are not always to remain children in our knowledge and experience in spiritual things we are not always to express ourselves in the language of one who has just received Christ but our prayers and acts or Taishan Zz are to grow they are to what row in intelligence as we ed then it's in experience in the truth they are to grow in intelligence how do we grow in intelligence. There's really only one way that you can gain intelligence and that's by learning right by educating yourself and the way that we do this spiritually is through studying the Word of God there's a growth that needs to happen yes we will the knowledge that we will gain here on this earth is only child's play compared to what is going to be in heaven but we still need to be actively involved in spiritual growth and spiritual much. Sure it's he in our lives now I want to talk a few moments you we talked about some of the things that. Are good in children that we would do well to emulate but I take a moment here to talk about a few of the things that maybe we would do well to grow out of children are off oftentimes emotionally unstable and on balance and never seen this before. Yes or no. They're often emotionally unstable and unbalanced their feelings are easily hurt they cry very easily over the littlest of things and these little things oftentimes can be blown up and become great big issues in their life right child a child can go from one minute laughing hysterically to just one little thing trigger triggering them and then they're mourning and they're weeping in their wailing and gnashing of teeth right have you ever seen that before as a parent and grandparent course we had so there's this this emotional instability this vulnerability that children have that sometimes we as adults retain whether it's emotional or emotionally or spiritually Now I wrote this down because I wanted it to come out just the way that it is written here emotionally unstable Christians do more harm to the Cause of God than they will ever know because they are too selfish and self-centered to take the time to observe how their actions are affecting the Cause of God is that not true. I'm sure you've seen it before where an adult responds in an emotionally unstable way to a particular situation and that just vastly affects the Church of God and the mission that God has called us to we would do well as God's children. To grow and to mature out of this we are advised in the in the Spirit of Prophecy to utterly destroy the root of selfishness to utterly destroy what. The root of selfishness was that the root underlying cause of Lucifer's false selfishness and pride of course it was we're also told in the spirit of prefer prophecy that there is nothing so hideous in the eyes of God as pride and self-sufficiency she says of all things it is the most hopeless and incurable under human under human devising of course God can help us with it but if we try to change ourselves humanly speaking there is no way that we can change ourselves when it comes to pride and self-sufficiency in fact we read in in First Corinthians chapter thirteen where the Bible says that charity is not what. It is not what it is not provoked not the word easily there it's just in generally speaking it is not provoked it is not provoked by other people's actions whether they are good actions or wrong actions charity is not provoked cherub charity is stable it is stable and has stability within it because it is something of God's devising and not of human devising we would do well as God's children to grow out of this emotionally unstable and unbalanced state as grown adults never to the next thing that we noticed when we look at children again just playing off of this development that Paul is talking about here children love to have other people's attention is that not true. They have seen their dancing around their doing whatever that you know they find that whatever it is that they love to have people's attention they love to have center stage really when you think about it oftentimes children are fairly narcissistic about themselves they really had a high. My opinion and we would do well as parents and grandparents to help our children grow out of this because we find in our society today that we live in a society where people are very self centered on what they are doing what they are experiencing how they are feeling and we find that in the end it does not bring much happiness but it actually brings a lot of strife. We do well to help our children grow out of that. But we would also do well ourselves to grow out of that as well many marriages and families and churches are made very unhappy places because of our adult child narcissism our care about ourselves somebody else maybe in the eyes of other people viewed with a higher esteem than we are and so we tend to feel like we are less important or less valued in our church because maybe we didn't get such and such a position or maybe we are not in such and such a place or maybe we've been not praised or brought up front or whatever it may be this childish narcissism can be at the root of many problems that we have in our spiritual life and it affects the church it affects our family it affects the Cause of God you know as I think about it the fact that we are sons and daughters of God should be anough to keep us going. That should be anough of a position for us to be satisfied spiritual. Just the fact that God has adopted me as a Son of God or you as a daughter of God that he valued me anough to send his son down here to this earth to die upon the cross so that I could have the opportunity of eternal life paid this infinite price to purchase my redemption that should be enough to satisfy me in my position here on this earth but we're human and we tend to design. I or more but when you think about this it's really the end tith Asus of what a god is a god be a selflessness the world is selfishness it's just the direct opposite of what God would have his children to be in verse four First Corinthians thirteen we've read this before the Bible says charity vaunted not itself it is not what. Is not puffed up there's no pride within within charity where pride exists a god does not. So we need to check ourselves every now and then we need to search down inside of our hearts and ask ourselves what is the motive behind this feeling this feeling of of. Of not good thoughts to other people or other other situations or whatever Me What is the underlying root of this feeling and we oftentimes find that this may be what the root is this ride in our hearts the third and final thing I'd like to talk about when it comes to children comparing to adults. Is that children love to be amused and entertain is that right they love to be entertained they're always in for a party they're always up for a new toy or a new videogame or a new movie or whatever it may be children are always up for some type of new form of entertainment in fact just as quickly as children take the new entertainment you oftentimes find that the more entertainment you give a child the more easily they become bored. Right. Children today unfortunate satisfied with the simple things and there are some of you here the small any who are probably twice my age or more and you remember when you were growing up as a child that there were simple things that brought you pleasure in your life as a child today there take it takes all kinds of things to keep a child occupied. For today's parents. We would do well again as parents and grandparents to help our children learn to be satisfied with the simplest of things. But you know the thought has struck me that we're not much different when it comes to our spiritual lives that for some of us we need and we crave spiritual entertainment to keep us going spiritually. We need a fancy sermon on Sabbath morning that's powerful and drives me forward we need to attend spiritual events that keep me spiritually awake that entertain me spiritually to keep me moving forward we would do well spiritually to become accustomed to being satisfied with the simple things. The simple devotional life that you have in the morning that that would keep you going and move you forward in your spiritual life with the Lord that you wouldn't depend upon spiritual events to keep you going that you would not become addicted to those kinds of things but that you would be satisfied with the simple spiritual daily study of God. You know one of the things that I've noticed. That we have done the most in our home to avoid when it comes to raising our children. Is the addiction in the world today to media have you seen it before. Just a couple of months ago I was traveling back from a speaking appointment out in California and I was sitting in the airport on Sunday morning I was driving by I was flying back here and I was eating my breakfast and as I was eating my breakfast this whole herd of kids came in it was really nice like eighty something that came in they all had the same jackets on there probably about twelve or so thirteen fourteen and they all sat down. The floor and I was just sitting there watching them as you might breakfast and within moments all the kids I've got pictures of this all of the kids were sitting there on their phones communicating with one another playing their games or whatever maybe they're in a crowd of young people yet they can't communicate with one another unless they have a device they were in a society today where we have come to the point where we've become media dependent and you know you may not have a smartphone in your house or something that you use and that you've become dependent upon but one thing that I've noticed in my pastoral experience that I've come to pray for and lament is the amount of time that God's people spend in front of their televisions. Now I'm going to go from preaching the meddling here for just a few moments is that OK. The amount of time that God's people spend in front of their televisions and I've said this before and I'll say it again and I'll probably say it one more time as well after this that we would do well if we have a subscription to satellite or to cable T.V. we would do well to cancel that and give that money to the Cause of God. You know the Bible tells us that in first Corinthians thirteen and verse six that charity Oregon pay is not in what. Rejoices not in lawlessness a got be in the heart of God's people finds no pleasure in any form of sin full entertainment they find no pleasure in that they rejoice not in a nick with but they rejoice in the truth sanctify them the Bible says Through the truth by. You see the person has a heart of a god pay they find pleasure and excitement and enjoyment out of the study of God's Word they don't find pleasure in excitement out of anything that comes out of Hollywood. We don't have a television in our home I don't take any pride out of that but I do it because I don't want my children to become depend. Upon it and all my children's mind to be filled with the garbage listen you can't even watch the news today without your mind being polluted with some sinful thing. Doesn't just affect children. It affects us too as adults there is a time in our spiritual experience when we need to road in our knowledge and in our experience where we wean ourselves off of the things of the world and we become more dependent upon God in His word and I'm going to take this evil one step further because sometimes we get to the point in our spiritual experience where we can't study the Word of God unless we're listening to a sermon that somebody else has preached or watching a sermon that somebody else's words watching religious television things like that now I understand there's good that can come out of that I'm not saying that you shouldn't participate in that but we need to grow and mature in our spiritual experience where we get to the point we are not dependent on pre-digested food to keep us going spiritually but that we can masticate the Word of God with our in our own experience that we can choose the bible passage and we can pray through that Bible passage and we can plead with the Lord I will not let you go until you bless me we need to grow in our spiritual experience where we can we in ourself off of the pre-digested food and be able to glean the truth of God's word from the Bible in our own personal devotional time. It's a tragedy. A waste of time I believe. For us to maintain any level of spiritual immaturity. But I praise the Lord that he doesn't leave us to do this on our own or God is a good parent and he's willing to help us grow and that maturity and grow in our relationship. Let's quickly hasten to the next verse before we close here verse twelve the Bible says this first Corinthians thirteen twelve. For we see through a glass darkly but then face to face now I know in part but then shall I know even as also I. Am known I have to be honest when I first studied this verse I really didn't understand what it was talking about and I had to wrestle with the Lord on it to really try to get a good understanding of those two words that you need to take notice of the word then or now and then those two words repeated twice in that passage of Scripture and in fact if you wanted to rearrange things not add new words but just rearrange things you could read the verse this way as well so again Paul is comparing between now and the future for now we see through a glass darkly or we see through a glass now I know in part but then face to face but then shall I know even as also I am not so again Paul is making this comparison between the now and then and we really don't get the impact of this Bible passage because we're not looking at it from the Corinthian mindset you know the Corinthians were actually known for making mirrors the mirror back in the Bible time is not like what we have today the mirrors that we have in our bathroom give us a fairly good representation of what we look like they give a good reflection but back in the time of the Corinthians they made their mirrors out of molten brass and they would shine and bust that piece of brass until they gave some simulants of a reflection of the person looking into it behind it of a reflection was that. Not a very good reflection I may get to give you some some some idea of what you look like but not a very good reflection and then he adds this work with as were darkly here so he's not only are we seeing through this glass of the Corinthians or this me. Sure that the Corinthians me but then he adds the word darkly and in the Greek the word means it's gives the idea of seeing a riddle or something that is obscure or an enigma which is something that is difficult for somebody to understand so not only are we looking in the Corinthian mere But we're looking into that mirror darkly and it's something that is difficult for us to understand as I look into the mirror of the Corinthians I see a dim representation of God I have a dim understanding of what he is and what he is like that's my perspective right now but when Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven it will be face to face and they ask you a question if you look at your friend in a Corinthian mirror. And then you look right into their face with there be a difference yes or no be all the difference in the world right and this is the comparison that Paul's trying to draw here last he said you look when you look at God now you're seen in a Corinthian Mir It's a very dim rend representation it's darkly it's a riddle It's an enigma but as much as as as obscurity as it might be to see God in that Corinthian mirror it's enough to drive me to keep going but he says when Jesus comes when that which is perfect is come it will be like looking straight into the face of your friend and we will be looking into the face of our friend our dear friend Jesus that'll be a wonderful time moaning Yes we see things dimly right now but when Jesus comes back it will be like face to face it's. All goes on. In this verse and. Then describes that if we are faithful. As I've mentioned you will see Jesus. Face to face without a mere without anything just looking at have you ever thought about what that's going to be like. I ever sat in like thought the Saturn and you might want to take that little phrase right there but then face to face and think about it what's going to be like what's it going to be like to look face to face into Jesus look at Jesus it's going to be so wonderful the dim representation that I see in the current the mirror is driving me towards that to see him face to face I love the way the new the New Living Translation puts this passage for twelve Let's listen again it says this now we see things in perfectly like puzzling reflections in the mirror but then we shall see everything with was perfectly ready all that I know now is partial and incomplete but then I will know everything completely just as gone knows me how. This is a beautiful passage of Scripture I mean the way they translate this here is just I think it spot on with what Paul is trying to convey here and I really want you to take notice of that last part but then I will know everything completely just as God knows me completely How will this God know you. Let me give you a few passages of Scripture that illustrate this for you just write them down. Sounds one thirty nine. Versus one three three The Bible says this oh lord you have searched me and known me you know my sitting down and my rising up you understand my thought of far off you comprehend my path and the laying down in other words you know right travel and where I rest at home and are acquainted with all my ways Jeremiah Chapter one Verse five the Bible says Before I formed you in the womb what is my will say I. Knew you and before you were born I same to find you Luke Chapter twelve and verse seven it says but the very hairs of your head to our what number I'm giving God a hard job aren't I. Difficulty being up with me I'm sure but anyways God knows the hairs of our head you know how many hairs that we have songs one and three Verse fourteen the Bible says for he know it's our frame he remember it that we are dust How well does God know you. He knows you so intimately well he knows you better than you know yourself and Paul tells us that when that which is perfect is come when Jesus comes then I will know everything completely just as God knows me how. You just can't compare what we know now and what we will know then it's just light years apart we cannot even begin to fathom in our finite minds what it will be like when we receive this gift of immortality. But I conclude. With this thought. As we see here in verses eleven and twelve Paul is comparing between the present mortal state. Childish state seeing things dimly through a glass to the future in mortal state then face to face she's making this comparison between the two Now our understanding of spiritual things is very dim but it's enough to keep us going. But when Jesus comes it will be like looking at our friend face to face instead of through a Corinthian mirror. But here's the thing. Between now. And. Then there are two words that we've looked at this morning between now and. Then. There is something that has to happen in the heart of God's people. We can get excited about that then and we should. But let me tell you something this morning excitement is not going to get you to that. Something needs to bridge the gap between. Now and then if all that drives you is excitement if all that drives you is knowledge you have missed the bridge that connects the now and that then. Go through your bible start closing passages the Gospel of John Chapter thirteen what is this bridge. John Chapter thirteen versus thirty four and thirty five. Bible says this. New commandment I give unto you. That you love one another. As I have loved you that you also love one another. Jesus is not saying to love people the way you want to be loved is saying to love people the way he has loved you all the difference in the world between those two things verse thirty five. By this show all men know that you are my disciples. If you say the right thing. The bridge. If you love one another that's the bridge between now and. Then that development of that love towards one another the way Jesus has loved you unconditionally. Is the way you ought to love others unconditionally irrespective of how they may treat you. Telling you this morning this is the message for our church today. This is where we need spiritual development as God's people we have the truth as far as Bible prophecy goes God has blessed us with the truth as far as Bible doctrine goes. But that is not enough. There needs to be the heart transformation in our life as well listen to this it's from the book desire of a just paid six hundred forty one. Says this and when his parting words are fulfilled what are those parting words love one another as I have loved you when they are what when they are fulfilled. When we love the world as he has loved it then for us His mission is accomplished when is his mission accomplished. When we would love the world the way was. Until that happens God's mission has not been accomplished and I fear the small that some of us are inhibit teen God's ability to fulfill his mission in our lives. When his we love the world as he has loved it then for us His mission is accomplished we are fit for heaven for we have heaven where. What is heaven in our hearts heaven in our hearts in the context of that statement is loving one another the way Jesus loves you. That's having heaven in your heart Now listen I know this might make some of us have a warm fuzzy feeling inside of our hearts but I want to tell you something this morning this doesn't just come from a warm fuzzy feeling. This doesn't just come from a man pastor that's the truth this comes by much prayer and supplication on the Baja on the behalf of God's people saying Lord give this to me forget about the church forget about other people in the church more give this to me Let it start right here in my heart that I would allow you to accomplish your divinely appointed mission in my life no she doesn't say the mission is to give doctrine. That's important you've heard me say this before but what she says is his mission is for us to have love in our hearts the way he has loved the world that's his mission because that my friends is the atmosphere of heaven. If we don't have that in our hearts we will not be happy in heaven. And not only that we are not safe to take into the kingdom of heaven so this morning. The hope of the future in mortal life hinges upon our present. Upon our present willfulness to allow God to do this heart transformation you know. The future in mortals all this wonderful stuff that we looked at this morning all the future that we have to look forward to it all hinges upon our willingness to let God do this heart surgery and it changes so that we have this experience a moments that you desire this many more give this to me I can't get it on my own father I want you to give it to me let's pray Father in heaven. We've been looking at this quite a bit in the last several months. And Father we we crave this experience we want your you or your mission for us to be accomplished we want to be fit for heaven because we have heaven in our hearts and father we understand that this is the work that you want to perform right now not at the Second Coming but right now you want to perform that work some of us Lord came in here the sworn in with bitterness in our hearts take that away some of us came in here this morning with on Happy Hearts take that away some of us came in here this morning Lord with bad thoughts about family or friends or church members take that away. Help us Lord to be more like Jesus give us an unconditioned. No love for one another. That we may be fit for the kingdom of Father me and start right here in my own heart. Start in the heart of each one of us here this. This is my prayer because we prayed in the almighty and all powerful name of Jesus you know this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leader Visit W W W audio verse or.

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