Bible’s Greatest Hits: Love is Patient

I’m a Christian, and sometimes a teacher/preacher.Heart

This sermon series looks at the parts of the Bible that are the best known passages by those outside of church.

Here, we’ll look at one of the most common wedding readings, about love.

Around the World

According to the Bible app YouVersion, the most commonly shared verses by region in 2014 were:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. (Philippians 4:8) [USA, Brazil, Nigeria]

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10) [Mexico, Colombia]

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) [Canada, UK, South Africa, Australia]

This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it — the Lord is his name: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:2-3) [South Korea]

Discussion Questions

  • Does your background/culture influence your faith?
  • If you lived in a different time or place, how would you see the Bible differently?
  • What is the one Bible passage you’d most like to pass on to the rest of the world?

The Bible’s Greatest Hits: Love

These lines in Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth are very well-known.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud. It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

And boy, is there are lot of significance crammed into those three score words less two!

Love is…

Let’s see what other parts of the Bible have to say about each of these qualities of love.

  • Love is Patient
    • Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. (Proverbs 14:29)
  • Love is Kind
    • Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Love Does Not Envy
    • A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (Proverbs 14:30)
  • Love Does Not Boast
    • As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:16)
  • Love is Not Proud
    • The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things (Psalm 12:3)
  • Love Does Not Dishonor
    • Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
  • Love is Not Self-Seeking
    • But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (Romans 2:8)
  • Love is Not Easily Angered
    • Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. (James 1:19)
  • Love Keeps No Record of Wrong
    • Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18)
  • Love Does Not Delight in Evil
    • A fool delights in evil schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom. (Proverbs 10:23)
  • Love Rejoices in Truth
    • When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. (Acts 11:23)
  • Love Always Protects
    • But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
  • Love Always Trusts
    • May the God of hope fill you with continual joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
  • Love Always Hopes
    • Your faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you.(Colossians 1:5)
  • Love Always Perseveres
    • Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)


A friend of mine was once asked to marry a couple, and to quote the 1 Corinthians scripture about marriage (they meant the scripture about love).
1 Corinthians 7 speaks about marriage, culminating in this “keep it in your pants” verse: 
But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
My friend read the verses about love, but it would have been amusing if he had read the marriage verses. 🙂
 

Love: The Director’s Cut

Blending those referenced verses with the original passage from 1 Corinthians, we get:

Love is patient with great understanding;
Love is kind and compassionate, forgiving others;
Love gives life and peace, not bone-rotting envy;
Love does not boast of arrogant evil schemes;
Love can speak without losing its proud tongue;
Love puts others above itself, with honor;
Love seeks others instead of self, and avoids wrath;
Love is swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
Love keeps no grudge, but loves its neighbor;
Love is no fool that delights in evil;
Love is filled with joy by God’s truth;
Love is faithful to strengthen and protect;
Love gains continual joy and peace from trust;
Love and faith spring up from hope;
Love perseveres and ensures salvation.

Discussion Questions

PaintedHeart

Love is patient, kind, unenvious, unboastful, and humble.
Love is honoring, selfless, and unangered.
Love forgives grudges, spurns evil, and celebrates truth.
Love protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.

  • Who needs your love?
  • How much love is in you?
  • What new way will you show your love this week?

Download

Download the PowerPoint file here.

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