160424 1 Corinthians 13:1-7

Last Updated on Monday, 25 April 2016 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: 1 Corinthians 13:1 – 7

Theme: Are You a Love Reflector?

Perhaps something like this has happened to you: You are driving along at night, and up in the distance you see a very dim light. At first you aren't able to tell what it is, but as you get closer and closer the light gets brighter and brighter. Finally you realize that what you saw were the reflectors on a bike. In God's Word before us this morning from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, you and I are encouraged to be reflectors; to reflect brightly in our lives the love that we enjoy from our Savior-God. So the question for each one of us to consider this morning is this: Are YOU a Love Reflector? Listen now as I read again for us from the Second Lesson appointed for our worship this morning. I will be reading the first 7 verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 13:

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If 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. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

This is the Word of the Lord.

1 Corinthians chapter 13 is known by many as the great "Love Chapter" in the Bible. In the opening verses of this chapter, the Holy Spirit, through the pen of Paul, tells us that we could have all the material blessings this world has to offer, but without love all those things are meaningless and empty.

Before we are able to talk about being love reflectors, it is important for us to remind ourselves of the great love that has been showered upon us by our gracious and merciful Savior-God. Our God's love for you and me goes far beyond the emotional feelings we might call love. Rather, it is a love that takes action. God's love for you and me is not simply a response to the love we have shown to him. For the Bible makes it clear that while we were undeserving of anything except God's wrath for our sin, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." In his love for you, for me and for all mankind, our gracious Father in heaven offered up his Son as the payment price for all sin. In his love, God chose you and me to be members of his family. As we read in Jeremiah chapter one, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." Through Jesus our Savior, and the forgiveness of sins that he won for us, you and I have been set apart. We have been set apart from the rest of the sinful world to be love reflector.

Now the question for all of us to think about for a moment is: How have you been doing as a reflector of the love the Savior-God has shown to you? Each one of us will confess that we have failed at times to reflect in our lives the love we have been shown from our gracious God. In fact it is far too often that the Old Adam in us shows that he is alive and well in our hearts. As we read in Galatians chapter 5, "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like." And God's Word continues in Galatians 5 with the warning "that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." God's Word is clear. What we have earned for ourselves by failing to be love reflectors at all times is eternal damnation in the fires of hell.

But there is Good News in Galatians chapter 5 as well. A few verses later we read that, "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." The same Holy Spirit who came to you and me in his Word, who made you and me alive in Christ and set us apart, the same Holy Spirit who freely gave to you and to me the forgiveness of all sins that Jesus won, is the same Spirit who fills you and me with a desire to live for our Savior, Jesus Christ. Rejoicing in the forgiveness of all of our sins through our one and only Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to you and me in his Word and enables us to be love reflectors.
How are we to live out our day-to-day lives here on this earth as love reflectors? Listen to God's Word here in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. First we are told, "Love is patient, love is kind." We are reflectors of our Savior's love as you and I deal with others with the same patience, kindness and love that Jesus has shown to us.

Next we are told that love "does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." As a love reflector, you and I will not brag about what we have, or sinfully desire the things that others have. As love reflectors, you and I are to be content with what the Lord has blessed us with.

We are also told that love reflectors are "not rude", "not self-seeking", "not easily angered". Love reflectors "keep no records of wrongs." Love reflectors put the interest of others ahead of their own. A love reflector will keep his or her anger under control. A love reflector doesn't hold a grudge against someone who hurts them in some way.

We are also told in God's Word before us that a love reflector "does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." A love reflector will find joy, not in choosing to live against God's will, but rather in doing those things that are pleasing to the Lord whose love they reflect in how they live their lives.

Finally we are told that a love reflector "always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." At all times and in all situations, by the power of God's Word and the Holy Spirit working on our hearts, you and I reflect to others the love we enjoy from our loving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Did you happen to see the full moon this past Friday night? Isn't it amazing how bright the sky is during a full moon? On such a night, we may forget for a moment that the moon does not shine on its own. Rather, it only reflects its source of light – the sun. My dear Christian friends, how brightly are you shining? Are you a love reflector? Jesus, your Savior and mine, is the perfect source of love. It is Jesus who perfectly shows you and me that "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." Rejoicing in the forgiveness of sins that Jesus Christ won for you, pray that God the Holy Spirit would lead you to be a bright reflector of the Savior-God's love for all to see. Amen.


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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.


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St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066




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