Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love has Got you Covered

God gave me the blessing of being sick today as I preached and I thank Him for that blessing. All of my girls have been sick this week and I tell them that when they are sick just lay on daddy, cough, sneeze, whine, whatever because God has given Daddy's the power to take the sickness away. Well it worked and so here I am sick but it was a wonderful reminder that preaching is not about our horn, holla or our homiletics but rather it is God using us in spite of us to connect with people who need a Word.
I have been preaching the 13th chapter of I Corinthians concentrating on the Love of God and vs 7 was on the agenda today.

Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things. endures all things

I believe this passage gives a description of what God's love looks like. I contend that the Bible does not give a definition of love but rather it gives a description. The world tries to define love through books, movies, poems, songs and soap operas but the Bible never defines love in terms of abstracts, feelings or ideology. It only describes love.

Love is not a feeling! Love is not an abstract! Love is an activity and the basis for this is found in the Bible. When you read I Corinthians 13:4-7 in a normal English scriptural rendering, you will find only adjectives; however, when you read this same passage in the Greek, there are no adjectives, ONLY VERBS.

Love is only love when it acts, so the Bible never defines Love, it only describes it and this passage paints a wonderful portrait on the canvas of our hearts on what our love should look like. Love is action. The Bible bears record of this: Jn. 3:16, Romans 5:8, Jn. 13:35

Since Love has got you covered, this is what Love does for you:

Love won't Expose your Faults:(Bears) We live in a kiss and tell world, "Secret Confessions of...,The unauthorized biography of..., Hair saloons and Barber chairs are full of people who start conversations like, "Did you hear about..., I hear that Sis. was.... God's Love won't expose your faults. A one word definition is Suppress which means, to withhold disclosure. The world seeks to do an expos'e on your business , that's what Maury and Jerry Springer do and we have our own talk-show hosts in church but I was raised that "house business stayed in the house". Some things you just didn't share with strangers or outsiders. Love will not put your business in the street, it will cover you.
Love does not Exploit your Flaws: The Corinthian Church did not understand this type of love. Love will not let you exploit someone else's bad for your good. That type of love is "pimp love" or "Back door Bob" or "Sugar daddy Shane" love but not God's love. Real love will not let you see someone who needs help and maneuver this into an opportunity to get over on them by exploiting their pain.
Love Enshrouds your Failures: It covers you! The word Bear literally means "To Cover with Silence". Love won't leave you in the cold naked and exposed. When life strips everything away in an attempt to shame and disgrace you, God will bring you a blanket to cover your shame. That blanket is called Love.

Don't believe me? Ask Noah Genesis 8:20-23, Still not convinced, listen to the proverbs(10:12), Peter chimes in agreement in I Peter 4:8 that Loves covers a multitude of sins. Don't Believe them, ask me? What stops my faults, flaws and failures from being broadcast as part of the evening news? I am covered! What prevents my deformities, deficiencies, and diseases from being on the front page of the South Bend Tribune? I am covered! Still not convinced, Go to Calvary!

I needed something to cover my mistakes, my mess-ups my mismanagement, my maniacal moments of manhood, I looked over and over but nothing seemed to work. Alcohol covered me from me temporarily but when I came to, I was still naked and bare. Chasing women took my mind off the headaches but added more headaches and in the long run, I was still naked. I needed someone with a long enough blanket to cover my trail of sins and a wide enough blanket to encompass the breadth of my dirt. Where can I find a blanket like this?

My liturgical robe can't do it, my Hart Schaffner& Marx suit can't do it, what can wash away my sins, nothing but the Blood of Jesus. I lost it there and I am losing it now because unlike most of my peers in the blogging community, I haven't always been a good boy, obeyed all the rules, went down the right roads but I am covered. I ended for the most part there but to finish the verse love also:
Love does not Endorse the Findings of others(Believes all things)
Love Expects in Faith the best(Hopes all things)
Love Endures because of the Father(Love never Fails)

Time to run straight to the bed and for the first time within my first year of full-time pastoring, I am not going to the office on Monday nor answering my phone. I pray you had a good Sunday of worship!



Rev. Barney said...

I thank God that He gave you preaching, proclaim & praise grace today. It sound to me like God is really using you to make a difference in the lives of His people. Keep running!

Keith D. Witherspoon said...

I now understand why no one was listening to me preach! There was a great earthquake erupting from Macedonia!! Great Outline!!!

Keep the Faith

Ronald said...

Pastor Owens, (not fair) your preaching genius is starting to poke through. Great message and I guess if you had your full voice, they would have had to call the paramedics. Therefore, I'm grateful for the damage you did not cause. (My hand is on my back)

In the words of a great preacher, Keep Running


Unknown said...

Pastor Owens.....guilty as charged!
As my good friend pastor Reggie Payne often says..


Preaching is my business.
You are definitely a big P.I.M.B.
promoter with messages like this.

Keep it up Ray.
Praying for your work.

Tony Rhone

Pastor Lance A. Mann said...

Ray Owens is somebody's preacher!!!!! WOW!