Pastor Shane Ham : Better Than Miracles


Better Than Miracles

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV84) 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. 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

The love of God is more durable than anything, including miracles!

1 John 4:8b (NIV) … God is love.

Psalm 136:1 (NIV) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.His love endures forever.

What’s Paul saying to Christians?

He’s saying, all of your signs, gifts, miracles, religious actions, and worship don’t mean a thing without real love!

What’s Paul’s big point?

God works miracles for non-believers too!

Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

Who’s Paul talking to?

1. Those who are working hard for God.

Be careful not to get your identity from Christianity instead of from Christ.

2. Those who feel they have very little to offer God.

Stop using “gifts” as the yardstick for successful Christian living.

Don’t forget, your gifts have limits, but the grace in your heart has unlimited potential!

John 13:35 (NIV) “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

3. Those who don’t really understand the gospel.

Love is the essence of faith!

What should I do?

Ask God to help me understand grace.

Allow my heart to be melted by his love.

Growing Deeper Together

Have you heard or read 1 Corinthians 13 before? How did it strike you when Shane showed us that it means more than what many of us have thought when we hear it at weddings? o Examine the Word for yourself! Read this book of instruction and correction this week by reading two chapters each day.

Paul tells us in verses 1-3 that that doing anything without love is nothing. How are you keeping yourself in check about this? o Review the areas where you’re serving at church – is your first motivation love? Where you’re reaching out to people with help – is love driving you? How you share your gifts in your family and community – is it love that causes you to act? o Spend time in prayer and ask God to examine your motives and correct you where needed. Meditate on Psalm 139:23-24.

As you review these notes, spend time on the second bullet in point #2 and John 13:35 o Does Christ’s love shine through in ways that others can see it? o Are you allowing God to stretch you and your “unlimited potential?” o Where you see your gifts are limited, are you relying on God’s unlimited power and grace? o Thank God for his wonderful love!