Series: Love Glue
Message: Sticky Recipe: Making Something That Lasts
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Mike Speegle
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Beyond: Brandon Kharns
Live Purpose: Vanessa Rivera
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 in the Expanded Bible (EXB). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: We’ve all seen them, the old couple still walking together and holding hands, still smiling at each other. We’ve thought to ourselves, “How have they done it? How have they kept love alive for so long? What’s the secret?”
While no marriage is perfect (in the sense that the couple always agrees, never fights, and is always happy), somehow the people whose marriages last seem to have figured out Paul’s main point in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13: “For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love” (1 Corinthians 13:3, CEV).
In spite of all the other things they might do well: their smarts, their abilities, their work ethic, even their generosity, the thing that matters most is how they do this thing called “love.” It shows up in how they treat each other, see each other each other, and think about each other.
It’s easy to read Paul’s description of the importance of love and think, “There is no way anyone can be that consistently loving in all of the ways he describes love.” But isn’t the point the reality that we all want to know love like that, and the truth that we think we’d be more that way if . . . if our significant other were more like that to us.
It’s so easy to read this chapter and say to them, “You need to be more_____ because that’s what the Bible says love is.” But don’t miss that Paul’s purpose in writing this chapter was to point out to the church in Corinth how they were coming up short in both their understanding and living out of this thing called love.
When you read Paul’s description of love, it’s clear that he’s talking about more than a marriage relationship; he’s talking about a foundational issue. In our church, we’ve recently been singing, “Worthy of Every Song,” by Passion Band. The words of the chorus are: “I will build my life upon Your love, it is a firm foundation.”
Recalibrate: What if love really is the foundation of all things: what we do, why we do it, even how we do it?
Respond: Ask God to help you experience His love as described here in Chapter 13.
Research: Listen to “Worthy of Every Song.”
Remember: “Love is patient and kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4, ICB).
Mike Speegle is the lead pastor for New Hope, an exciting, young, multi-ethnic Adventist Church in Fulton, Maryland. Mike became a follower of Jesus and an Adventist in his early 20s. Pacific Union College was the first Adventist school he ever attended; he met his wife Lorie there. Mike has pastored for 30+ years, served in the Ministerial Association of the General Conference, and has written a book, Big Questions, as well as a number of articles.
In Verse 4 of Chapter 13, Paul says, “Love is patient, love is kind.” Find a quiet place with your little one and sit in a comfy chair or on the floor. Read their favorite book or just cuddle their favorite toy with them. Take the time to feel your child breathe in and out. Use this time to breathe deeply yourself. Put your child’s hand on your chest so they can feel your chest rise and fall with every breath. Just like a slow breath fills our bodies with life-giving oxygen, patience grounded in love fills our moments with life-changing kindness.
Check out these two videos. The first one is the story of Isaac and Rebekah from Genesis 24 and 25. The second one is from 1 Corinthians 13. Love is more than a word; it is something we do. Abraham loved his son, so he wanted to choose a wife for him from a place Abraham loved. The second video tells us that love will last forever. Our Words to Remember for this week are “Love is patient and kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4).
First day of a new series! So exciting. Well, I’m excited, but I’m a nerd like that. And the best part of this series is that it’s about one of my favorite topics, relationships. I’ll be honest, when I first read the title, “Love Glue,” I had to have a private laugh to myself. The mental images that popped into my mind were all kinds of awkward scenarios: groups of people from all walks of life involuntarily stuck together and the resulting chaos, a husband and wife with rising anxiety over his lips stuck to her cheek when his goodbye kiss refused to let him go, the news anchors on TV doing their best to report the issue as a serious “worldwide crisis of epic proportions” rather than splitting a gut laughing. But I digress. Back on track before I’m fired.
The text for today is 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. It’s a great text. I use it all the time for worship talks and sermons because it destroys a lot of what we call “Christianity” and challenges us to see the real story. I highly suggest you stop reading this right now and check out this text. OK, all done? Amazing right? If you are like most people who grew up Christian, you eventually decided that Christianity is really about changing the way you act. That’s what most children’s stories and lessons are about—be good or Jesus will be sad. If that’s you, I have great news for you: Jesus did not come to keep you from cussing, or drinking, or smoking, or taking drugs. Don’t get me wrong—you really should stay away from that stuff; it could ruin your life—but that’s not the point of the Cross or of church. Jesus came so that He could be close enough to love us the way He really wants to and to give us a way to love Him back.
Look at that list in Verses 1-3: speaking in the language of angels, having visions, faith that can move mountains, wisdom to know all things, give everything to the poor . . . sounds like the perfect Christian to me. But this is telling us that all of that is worthless, worthless, if we don’t love. So here’s the good news: stop trying so hard to be good. It doesn’t work and, quite frankly, God doesn’t want your goodness. Instead, start trying to love better. I think you’ll be pretty happy with what happens next.
Person 1: “I love him.” Person 2: “Wait, you’re in love with him?” Person 1: “No, not like that. I love him as a friend.” I can’t tell you how many times in my adolescent years I was Person 2. Who am I kidding?—I’m 27 and I’m still kind of that person. When someone mentions loving someone else, I assume they’re in love. I’m also the type of person who, as soon as someone reveals to me they’re in any sort of relationship, begins a series of questions including asking how they met and what qualities their significant other has. I also start looking them up on all the social media platforms. I’ve always been drawn to love. So much so that I signed up to write on this particular sermon series because I knew it would be all about love. Our goal this week will be to study 1 Corinthians 13, referred to by many as “the love chapter.” Join me in gaining a better understanding of what love is and what it looks like in real life. When you think about love, what comes to mind? Do you think about romance? What do you know about God’s love?
Zan Long is GRC director for faith development groups. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and serves at her local church in nearby Kellyville.
Brandon Kharns is the family life pastor at Placerville Seventh-day Adventist church in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California near Lake Tahoe.
Vanessa Rivera is a therapist in a community mental health center in Denver, CO, and serves as the lead elder for Live Purpose at Boulder Church.