Christ’s Call to Charity, Love!
Text: 1 Corinthians 13
Verse 13, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
In chapter twelve, Paul describes various gifts and helps from the Holy Spirit. In chapter thirteen, he names the greatest gift of all—love. He points out three important parts in this chapter:
- The conviction (excellency) of love—above all power and faith – All these gifts in chapter twelve would be without value if not encompassed in love.
- The characteristic of love—peace of mind and heart
- The comparison of love—compared to prophecy, and tongues, which shall vanish
Ephesians 3:19, “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
Matthew 19:19, “Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
It is my hope that all will appreciate our mothers, without the benefit of which none of us would have the opportunity to honor them on this special day! In the case of my Mother, she paid a tremendous price in my upbringing. Together, my parents fought all the heartaches of World War II to bring us to America in 1952. My mother endured not only the suffering of war but also the loss of one of her sons as well as set-back after set-back.
Despite all the problems life often brings, she always had a smile and a heart of love. I remember my wife’s Mom, who had many of the same characteristics. Thank God for our moms! Thank God for your mom!
Almost every Mother’s Day sermon I’ve run across starts with an explanation of some kind because, as preachers, we’re reminded not to get too sentimental about motherhood, and on the other hand, we must be sensitive to those who have lived a life that has had its trials because—
- For some, motherhood is an accident and not always a welcomed one.
- For some, mothers weren’t all that nice.
- For some, motherhood under the very best of circumstances is still less than a bed of roses.
- While for others, Mother was always a pleasure to be around.
So, why bother with Mother’s Day at all? Because for all its barriers and broken dreams, for all the soiled diapers, spoiled plans, and lost opportunities, motherhood is a beautiful ideal, a natural part of God’s creative plan to bring love and caring to light. Motherhood is a constant reminder and demand for the gift of love and caring in the home. Think of where we would be without our loving mothers?
Children and husbands would find out very quickly what all a mom or wife does for us. I would challenge each one reading this to make a list of thirty-one things (one for each day of the month) a mother or wife does for you personally and for the family for which you seldom express thankfulness. Why not make it a point of thanking her specifically for one of the thirty-one things on each day next month? On each day of the following month, pay her a compliment on one of her good qualities, habits, or talents. As a bonus, be prepared for a better relationship than you’ve enjoyed in recent years.
I am of the opinion that no one deserves a special day all to herself more than today’s mother, but these powerful verses remind us of a love greater than a mother’s love, the greatest love of all:
Romans 8:35, 39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 15:30, “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;”
2 Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:”
John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
The Bible is very clear about the love of Christ, and Jesus proved that kind of love for all of us. Let’s remember to love our mothers and wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.
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Bro. Nikoley emigrated from Germany to the United States with his family at age 13. He served full time in the Nevada Air National Guard for six years. At age 32, He was saved, and in 1977, he graduated from Bible College. He pastored for over 31 years, 27 of them at Pomerado Road Baptist Church in Poway, California. Bro. Nikoley has served at Golden State Baptist College in the Bible Department and also as the Student Employment Director since 2007. He and his wife Mary have two children and have been married for 58 years.