Love (6)

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 

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.

 

            I am going to introduce a true story from the east coast.  Dr. McGarister and his beautiful wife lived in Maryland very happily.  Then his wife got ill and passed away all of the sudden. 

            Even though he was a medical doctor, he felt an overwhelming feeling of helplessness while she was dying; the death of his wife led him to despise his life and ultimately led him into a deep depression.  He lost his desire to live.  He lost control of his muscles.

            He became wheelchair-bound.  He could not eat without his nurse’s help.  Even in that condition, he attempted suicide a few times.  Each time, his attempts were thwarted by the nurses, who guarded him 24 hours a day. 

            One summer, he told his nurses that he wanted to see the endless horizon of the sea.  He told his nurses that he would feel better if he could feel the ocean breeze, but in reality he was going to attempt another suicide by falling into the ocean.

            When he arrived at the ocean, he pretended like he was feeling very good and told the accompanying nurse, “I will sit here and watch; you go ahead and swim in the ocean.”  The nurse, believing his words, went into the water and swam away, leaving him in his wheelchair.  Dr. McGarister was about to drown himself in the ocean after the nurse swam a little further away. 

            Then he heard a scream, “Help me!”  He looked in the direction of the scream and found the nurse getting pulled away from the shore by a riptide.  The nurse was about to drown. 

            At this moment, a miracle happened.  When Dr. McGarister thought of rescuing the nurse, he stood up from the wheelchair.  It was an unbelievable event.

It was the first time Dr. McGarister had moved from his wheelchair in the last three years.  The other casual observers on the beach might have thought he was a “Brave life saver at work again to save another young lady.”  In just a few minutes, he jumped into the water, swam, and saved the nurse from drowning.

            It all happened without the conscious awareness of Dr. McGarister.  When all is said and done, he realized that he was holding the nurse in his arms.  How surprised he was!  What about the nurse?  Could she believe what had just happened? 

            When he thought of his need to rescue the nurse, he regained the desire to live.  The event not only saved the nurse’s life, it also saved Dr. McGarister’s life as well.

 

            This emotionally provoking event elicits many thoughts in our minds:

Firstly that unforeseen life-altering misfortunes can happen to anyone at any time.  In the story, Dr. McGarister seemed to have everything one could ask for in life.  A promising career, an affluent life style, and a beautiful wife; such things seem to be affirmations of a happy future.  Yet unexpected misfortunes happen all of the sudden and in succession.

            Secondly, the story tells us that everyone has a chance to be revived.  If an unfortunate mishap is a common disaster that can happen to anyone,  hope and revival is the Lord God’s equivalent remedy.  Erich Fromm said, “One of the characteristics of man is having hope.”

            Third, the story tells us that the path to loving someone is also the path to loving one’s self.  When you become in love with yourself, you will most likely loose your love.  But if you are willing to die for others and for the Lord God’s love, you will gain life and love.

            When Dr. McGarister was willing to give his life for the nurse, he gained a new life.   Such self-sacrificing love conquers all fears of life.  There lies the dynamic power of love. 

 

            Keeping that in mind, we will continue on the sermon series about love.  Up until the last sermon, we have considered 9 out of 15 characteristics of love.  Let’s review them.

 

Love is patient.

Love is kind.

It does not envy,

 

It does not boast.

It is not proud.

It is not rude.

 

It is not self-seeking.

It is not easily angered.

It keeps no record of wrongs.

 

There are six more characteristics left.  Today I’ll be talking about the 10th and 11th characteristics out of the 15.

 

            Tenth, love does not delight in evil.

번째, 사랑은 불의를 기뻐하지 않습니다

 

“Evil” in this verse is δικα (adikia) in Greek, which means “a deed violating law and justice”.  In this context, evil is the result of sinning.  In this regard, true love is not delighted by the result of your or other’s sins. 

            “Wait, who would be happy with sin?” you may ask. 
But there are people like that.  There are many who are happy for the sins of others. 

The Bible tells us so. In 1 Corinthians 5:1 for example, there was a case within some members of the Corinthian congregation that were like that.  The verse points out unspeakable sexual immorality within a family that would not occur even among pagans. 

            “And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 그러하고도 오히려 너희가 교만하여져서 어찌하여 통한히 여기지 아니하느냐 너희 자랑이 옳지 아니하도다.” (1 Corinthians 5:2)  Apostle Paul is rebuking the brothers who rationalized and even boasted their sins among themselves.

            Furthermore, there are some men who delight when witnessing the evil of others.  It is a product of corrupted sensibility among men.  The Moffett Bible and many English Versions translate the verse as, “it does not rejoice at wrong doing (inequity)….” (ESV, KJV)  “Wrong doing” means immoral acts. 

            Imagine that someone you know has committed a crime and became a headline in a newspaper.  What do you think your response would be like?  “I knew it.  He is that kind of man.”  Would you  feel that he got what he deserved?  What do we call this type of response?    We might be the ones who are delighted by others’ wrong doings. 

 

            Then how could we overcome this evil within us? 

 

             I am told that the Puritans of the olden days lived with two thoughts in their daily lives.  One is thinking of the Lord God’s grief: all the sins of the world, all the inequities of the world that make the Lord God’s heart sorrowful.
 “How sad is the Lord God?” 

Brethren, who is a filial son?  He is one whose heart is filled with concern for his parents’ concerns.  Just like that, we too, must be mindful of the Lord God, who might be in grief for our sins or those of our brothers.

            The Puritan’s other thought was of punishment. 
“Judgment Day will be here soon enough…”  “That is a punishable offense….”  Keeping such thoughts in their mind limits the ability to be delighted in others’ wrong doings. Rather, it stirs sympathy for them.  They prayed for the evil doers.  Such was a practice of love. “Love does not delight in evil.”

 

            Eleventh, love rejoices with the truth.

열한번째 사랑은 진리와 함께 기뻐합니다

            Love rejoices the truth.  To be able to rejoice the truth, you must know the truth first.  To know the truth, you must learn it.

            I have told you before that there are two types of man that I personally respect. 
Let’s see if you remember them. 
For you to gain my respect, you must know what kind of person I respect the most.
I’ll tell you again, so keep this in mind.

            One kind of man is the type that keeps his promises.  You must keep the promise you made before the Lord God and your brothers.  A man who keeps his promise, and is punctual for his appointments deserves  my respect. 

            The other kind of man is one who is willing to learn continuously.  Someone who is willing to learn everything humbly is a man worthy of respect.  I whole-heartedly respect men who keep their promise and are willing to learn.

            But the irony is that most men do not want to learn.  A characteristic of the modern man is an unwillingness to learn.  What do they do instead?  They pretend to know, even though they actually do not know.

            Why do we have to learn the Bible?  It is to correctly learn the will of the Lord God.  It is to find joy in accomplishing the will of the Lord God.  It is to learn the truth and to rejoice the truth.   I am told that one of the worst names to be called among Early Christians was, “Ignorant of the bible.”   They felt that being ignorant of the Bible was a most shameful act.

 

            Occasionally, at a home visitation service, I say, “Let’s read the book of so on so in the Old Testament.”  But sometimes, someone begins to flip through the pages of Genesis.  When he can’t find the book, he flips to the back of the Bible.  I wonder, why is he flipping to the back pages in the New Testament?  As he searches, he becomes more anxious and frustrated.  He murmurs, “It was here this morning…”  Did the pages that were there in the morning run off somewhere?

 

            To live a life of joy with the truth, you must know the truth.  I do not mean for you to learn theory, or to gather factual information.  I want you to acquire knowledge by a hands-on and personal experience.  When you know the Lord God’s grace and love with your personal experience, then and only then, will you have the true joy of the Lord God.

 

            The book “Gifted Hands” introduces us to a great neurosurgeon.   He is Ben Carson.  At age 33, he became a professor and director of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Medical School, in Baltimore.  He became world-renowned and the best pediatric neurosurgeon of the world, after he successfully conducted numerous impossible surgeries. 

            On February 2, 1987, a little over 25 years ago, Patrick and Benjamin Binder of Ulm, Germany, gave birth to Siamese twins.  They were adjoined at the head.  They had one head and two sets of everything else. 

            They shared the most critical part of the body, the head.  Most doctors thought the twins would die soon and although the birth was known to the medical community, no doctor was willing to take a chance. 

            Then Dr. Ben Carson heard the story.  He studied the twins for six months.  He and his team of doctors rehearsed for 5 months to surgically separate them.  Prior to the surgery, he prayed to the Lord as he touched his hands.  “Lord God, I believe in you.  If you are with me, I believe I can do the surgery with these hands.”

            At 7:15 AM, on September 5, 1987 he began surgery.  It was historic. “The surgery involved 70 specialist surgeons, nurses and assistants inside the operating room, and  many other  support staff members outside.” 

            The surgery took 22 hours.  Afterwards, exhausted and sweaty, the staffs walked out of the surgery room.  Dr. Ben Carson walked out to the waiting reporters with cheers and flashing cameras.

            At that moment, setting the crowd aside, Dr. Carson prayed, “Lord God, we have done all we can.  But, Lord, your work has not finished.  I am placing the rest in your hands.  Please give them a new life.”  When the children woke up from the surgery, he prayed in praise and gratitude to the Lord.   “Lord God, I knew you would do it.” 

In situations like this, our American brethren put their hands together in praise and glory of the Lord God.  If you are inspired also, let us  put our hands together and give praise and glory to the Lord God. 

“I knew” at this moment, meant that he believed and experienced the power of the Lord God firsthand.   

            Closer to February 2, 1991, he received a letter from the Binder family.  It was an invitation to the fourth birthday party for the Binder boys.  Dr. Ben Carson wrote the following in his book:

            “In my young age I have become the best pediatric neurosurgeon.  Is it my effort or my work alone?  What and who I am today is only because the Lord God was working through me.  These hands are gifts of the Lord God.  As long as I know the truth that the Lord God’s work will be done through these hands, my joy will never end.”

 

            Brethren, you must know the ways that the Lord God administers and works.  You must know HIS will and live to establish HIS will.  Those who know the truth and rejoice the truth live a life in happiness.

 

            Love does not delight in evil. 사랑은 불의를 기뻐하지 않습니다

Love rejoices the truth. 사랑은 진리와 함께 기뻐합니다.

 

 

 

 

The Charge

            Love does not delight in evil.  Love rejoices the truth.  Whether it is sins, do not be delighted by the result of our sins.  Remember the judgment and agony of the Lord for our sins.

Live a life of learning the truth and delight in the truth.   Then the Lord God of love will lead you to a life of strength and power.