Scripture references: 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, 13. Matthew 22:37-39.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-8, 13......"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have no charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
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. (13 ) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of all these is charity." (KJV).
Matthew 22:37-39...... "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (KJV).
For a moment I want to humbly implore you to think back to your best moments: your highest highs, your greatest victories, your most daunting obstacles overcome. How many happened to you alone? Very few, right, my cherished brother and sister?
When you understand that being connected to others is one of life's greatest joys, you realize that life's best comes when we invest our time, knowledge and wealth in solid unwavering relationships. One thing every human being have to both believe and accept is that, the fulfillment of whatever we are here in this world to accomplish is connected to another human being. There's no way any person can accomplish his/her life's objective alone. Even nations must understand the concept of inter-relationship, inter-dependence and inter-connectedness to determine their power, influence and achievements. Obviously there will be differences in size, wealth, strength, progress and privileges, it's rather such differences that make them need one another the more.
For example in marriage. Although man was created in harmony with woman, they bear differences that are non-transferable. "It is these differences that attract one to another, so these differences should form the basis for respect, recognition, honor and acceptance for one another."
Recent negative and unprogressive developments in the Middle East are affecting nations around the world. God created nations to be one family to project Him and His Love.
Have you ever pondered why the Apostle Paul took an entire chapter of the Bible to discuss the supremacy of love? In the early church, leaders modeled love to their churches. In turn, the churches modeled it to the rest of the world. They lived by the watchwords in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Love was the foundation and motive for leaders' actions. They were first, love-slaves and served the people. While indeed leaders possessed great gifts, their gifts took second place to serving others out of love. Consider how the early church leaders lived out this passage.
1. Timothy and Erastus served the church and Paul (Acts 19:22).
2. Phoebe served the church in Cenchrea (Romans 16:1).
3. Aquila and Priscilla risked death to serve Paul and the Gentiles (Romans 16:3,4).
4. Stephanas's family devoted themselves to serving the saints (1 Corinthians 16:15).
5. The Apostles served the Corinthian church 2 Corinthians 3:3).
6. Titus served the church in Corinth ( 2 Corinthians 8:16,17).
7. Paul ministered to the needs of the saints at Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:18,19).
8. Epaphroditus served Paul in prison (Philippians 2:25-30).
9. Epaphras served the Colossian church (Colossians 1:7).
10. Onesiphorus served Paul in Ephesus (2 Timothy 1:16-18).
Of the people you know, who seems to enjoy life the more; the negative, suspicious and antisocial? I DON'T THINK SO AT ALL! The Scrooges ( mean or miserly) of life don't enjoy much of anything. Things that range from the spiritual to the physical/material. Jesus summed life up like this "Love the Lord.....with all your heart....Love your neighbor as yourself. On the other hand, people who love God and love people, live joyfully. If you love God and people, you'll find friends wherever you go. And you'll get farther in life too. It's people who would have to prove your worthiness in life. It's people who have
to buy what you sell to keep you in business. It's people who have to patronize your medical practice to authenticate your career as a medical doctor. It's people who have to prove the legitimacy of your presidency. It's people who have to prove your ministry. Whatever is the position/ role of a person or a nation in this world of ours, it's for the sake of people, and for that matter it will require people to determine its worthiness, success or failure.
John Luther says, "Natural talent, intelligence, a wonderful education: none of these guarantees success." Modern day talents, education and so called intelligence have produced weapons of corruption, alienation, perversion, isolation, destruction, evil, bloodshed and death more than love, unity, respect, moral and ethical sanctity and life, dignity, true and non-artificial beauty. Most things of our day have the outward appearance of exquisiteness but beneath it is shortness of life, decay and rottenness. The civilization of our age has created the monster of negativism, division, dehumanization and devastation. Because our civilization is vehemently opposed to God, Love, Order, moral and ethical sanctity and respect for human life and dignity. What our world needs is: the sensitivity to understand what other people want, and a willingness to give it to them within the bounds of equity, justice, morality and ethics. A person does not win fame, recognition or advancement just because he thinks he deserves it. Someone else has to think so too. Relationships influence our talents; whereas teamwork multiplies our talents. The worth of a man is defined not by how much he acquires, but by how much he gives away (liberally). The true greatness of a man is found in his capacity to share himself without any thought of what he will receive in return. "Selfishness shrivels the soul and lessens its capacity to demonstrate the true Nature and Spirit of God, which is LOVE."
There's no substitute for a loving attitude when it comes to getting ahead. People who alienate others always have a hard time. Let me tell you why.
(1) when others don't like you they'll try to hurt you (2) If they can't hurt you they won't help you (3) If they're forced to help you, they'll hope you don't succeed, and (4) When they hope you don't succeed, life's victories are empty.
So, today, my brother and sister, if you really want more out life, then start to and invest your time, knowledge and wealth in solid, sincere, faithful, supportive, non-exploitative and unwavering relationships.
Hear clearly what the Word of God, which is the source of our faith and redemption commands us to do in Colossians 3:12-24 (AMP). The Word of God is to pattern and uphold our lives subsequent to salvation. READ READ READ READ READ!
In conclusion to today's message, I want to humbly and respectfully implore each and everyone of you, including myself, to meticulously observe the following seven (7) points; and consciously make them our lifestyle, consistently:
1. Let people know you need them and equally be available when people need you.
2. Say the right words at the right time.
3. Add value to people.
4. Do for others what they cannot do for themselves.
5. Offer your very best at all times.
6. Be a people lover.
7. Be a servant leader: at home, work and church.
GROW IN GOD AND IN HIS WORD!
Bishop Peter Morgan.