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Unrelenting Love

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
I Corinthians 13:4-7 - Home

Good Morning Beloved,
Welcome to worship, we're so glad that you're here today.
Thank you for joining us
The thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians, is probably the greatest literature ever written on the subject of love. And, although, this is not really about marital love, however, it does encompass that. It’s not about family love, filial love, it encompasses that too. This epistle is really is about love in the church. It’s about loving each other in the body of Christ. Love, is the high point of our Christian experience.

Because, we all know that God is love, and we have been given the capacity to love because He first loved us. In fact I John 4:19 says, "We love, because He first loved us." We also know that the apostle Paul reminds us that "The love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts," and we follow the divine pattern in loving, and we have a capacity to love granted to us by the Holy Spirit. In essence, we, as Christians should be best known by our love. Let's be honest, that's not always the case, is it?

You really shouldn't say "I love you" unless you really mean it. And, I believe, that if you really mean it, you should say it a lot. Sometimes, people forget.

As we previously discussed, the Greeks didn’t really have that problem because they had more than one word for love… Basically they had four words…
Phileo ‘fee leo’ meaning brotherly affection love, friendship
Eros meaning a passionate or sexual love
Storge meaning parental or familial love

The word agapē was not used all that much in ancient literature, however it is all over the New Testament. In fact, over 90% of the time you find the word love in the New Testament, it is the Greek word agapē.

Agapē, describes a selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love of the will. It's a love that is not dependent on there being any lovable qualities in the object being loved. It's love, even when it's undeserved.
This is the kind of love the apostle Paul is speaking about here in I Corinthians chapter 13.

Beloved, fully understanding and truly experiencing God’s love is the foundation, it is the fuel for loving others the way God calls us to love them.. With unrelenting love.

Let's bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your powerful Word for us today. Thank You for the shed abroad in our hearts, thank You for that kind of love. The kind of love that endures, that survives, that is unconquerable. A love that can be wounded to the bone, yet it will still endure. This is the love we have come to know through Your Son, Jesus. Father, we know, this is how we should live. Help us to apply it to our lives.

May we acknowledge it is not a suggestion, a hope but it as a command. May we understand that it’s not an unusual kind of Christian living but the norm. We may come to realize this it is the Spirit’s work in us, and go do it.

Father, it’s so refreshing, as we drag our weak, broken and sinful hearts through these powerful truths, that we are reminded again and again, of how it is that we are to live and love. Lord, we just thank You for the love that we know here in our church family, both near and afar. We thank You for the love that is shed abroad in our hearts and shed abroad from person to person in the life of Your church. Thank you for its durability, vastness and its greatness and for its depth.

Help us to live in that love. that we may e love, in the way which we’ve been taught by You to love. May we practice that love toward others, even those who aren't easy to love. Help us to excel still more. Starting in our own homes, in our family relationships, and spreading outward from there.

Fill Your church with love. May we be known for our love and compassion toward others And may You be honored by it and receive the glory!
This we pray in Christ’s name, Who in His love for us, paid the ultimate price

Open your Bibles with me to I Corinthians 13:4-7, follow along with me, as I read to you from this marvelously powerful epistle on the subject of love. Love the way God intends it to be. Let's begin..because I really want to share a few things with you about love. Because, there is nothing more important than love. Since we are to be the model of godliness in the world, it is our love that makes that visible to the world. When the world looks at us, who have experienced first, God's unrelenting love, they should see that same love in us. After all, it is our love for God that drives us to honor Him. Furthermore, it is our love for others, that drives us to honor them.

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

The key to living out this kind of love, is experiencing what Paul calls in I Timothy 1:16, the unlimited patience of God. Here Paul says, "Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life."

We live in an age of exploding knowledge and information, it has been said that human knowledge doubles every 12 hours. In the 1900’s it doubled every century, in 1950's about every 25 years.

In spite of all the increase of education and knowledge, I would encourage you to notice that, we still have the same old problems. We still have abuse, prejudice, hatred, violence, war, crime. Why? Because what the world needs is not more information, not more education! No, despite what the world thinks that is not the solution to the world's needs. I believe, the answer is LOVE. No, knowledge and education is not the answer, the answer is love. The essential element, then, in our lives, as we relate to God, as we relate to one another, is love. LOVE. It is also that same love, which should most mark us, that the watching world can discern that we belong to Jesus Christ. In fact, our Lord even told us, in John 13:35, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

I'd like you to just think about that, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." 

Without love; what you say, what you know, what you give, what you sacrifice, what you accomplish in life and even your faith does not matter. 
League of Legends wins big at The Game Awards 2019 - Esports Insider

I believe, there is someone who needs to here this message today. Your relationships are more important than your accomplishments. You can have all the certificates, awards, diplomas and degrees the world has to offer, yet it is love, that has the power to transform lives. Nothing is as powerful as love.

Now, I know that some of you are probably saying under your breath, and I pretty much know which ones you are, by the way, "What? Seriously? Has he went and lost his mind? You can't get anywhere in this world today without a degree." While, that may be true, but just stop and think about this. Isn't is love that brought you here? Now, before you answer that question, I'd like to encourage you to meditate on these words first..

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
John 3:16 

So, was it not the love of God, through Jesus Christ that transformed your life?
Beloved, this is the kind of love with which the world is so unfamiliar. Think about it, love has the power to change people… and if we are demonstrating God's love for us to the world, understand this, when a person who doesn't know love, and I'm not speaking about the kind of love this world offers, I mean real love, is loved by someone with God’s kind of love, it changes them. They are not the same anymore. And, when a person loves someone with God’s kind of love… it changes them too. They are not the same anymore either. You just cannot be loved that way or love others that way and remain the same.

That kind of love, has not only the power to change people, it can change the world!
Remember the words of our Lord, in John 13: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."

Then, verse 35, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." 

So, what does all that mean? According to Jesus the way we love one another is… our greatest apologetic.

Nothing is more needed in our world today, and in our homes, our communities and our relationships, than a bunch of people living out God’s love for one another. I'd like to point out to you, that two times the bible comes right out and says that God is love. It does not say, that God loves, which He does, by the way.. But that God is love. 

I John 4:8, says, "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 

And, in verse 16-17a, " We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us,..."

Those of you who have had church experiences somewhere else would likely agree with this - that while love should mark us, love sometimes appears to be absent, even in the church. Christians in churches can become known for their lack of love, even though it is that love, which should most singularly, certainly and consistently define us. The church in Corinth needed this chapter, because, they were a church filled with conflict. Much like our world today is filled with division and conflict.

Now, I must admit, I find it pretty intimidating to be here and speaking about the unrelenting love of God. And, to be perfectly honest, I don’t even understand human love. It's so fickle, so conditional. So, how in the world can I talk about God’s love…

Fortunately, some years ago, I stumbled across a book written by A.W. Tozer, who apparently struggled with this also. In his book, Tozer wrote: "I can no more do justice to this awesome and wonder-filled topic than a child can grasp a star. Still, by reaching toward the star the child may call attention to it and even indicate the direction one must look to see it. And so, I stretch my heart toward the high, shining love of God so that we may be encouraged to look up and have hope."
The Greatness of God's Love | ThePreachersWord
Though I, am unworthy, unqualified to teach you about God's unrelenting love, I can, however, attempt to call your attention to the unrelenting love of God, and as I stretch my heart toward that love, it is my hope and prayer, that I can encourage you to look upward, with great hope in your hearts, to the One Who can best demonstrate this unfathomable, unrelenting love to you, Jesus Christ.

I am thoroughly convinced that despite my human limitations…that the shining, reckless and unrelenting love of God, IS going to both fall upon, and move among us, in and through us all here today.

There are a great many people, in this world today, that know the word love, but they aren’t experiencing the word love; they aren’t experiencing the reality of love, and many have never experienced the unrelenting love of God.

Do you think that God wants this world, to experience that kind of love? A love that is beyond all reason. I would guarantee He does. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son."

Consider this, how much must you or I love someone, that we would give our only child for someone who, was unworthy of the kind of love?

It's funny what we tend to remember as we grow older. I can still remember back to the days when my each of my four children discovered that 3 letter word that, it seems, all 2-3 year olds discover, and all parents dread. Do you know what that word is?

Do you? That 3 letter word is, "Why?"

In fact, I mean, I can still hear myself saying to them such things as…
"Please do not put your toys in the toilet!" 
"No, you can't have candy for breakfast!"
"Stop that! You cannot eat your birthday candles!"
"Stop jumping off the stairs!"
"No, you can't pee in the front yard!!!"
"Make your bed!"
"It's time for bed!"

To which, their response was always the same, "Why?"

So, why do 3 years olds love to ask the "why?" question all of the time?
I believe, somewhere, in the back of their little sinister 3 year old minds, they somehow know, it drives parents crazy! And, it's quite possible, they want to send us to an early grave!

But seriously, why do they continually ask, "Why?" Because, they just don't get it. It just doesn't add up and in their mind what we are saying is beyond all reason, it doesn’t make sense, it's like all the dots do not connect…

You know, as I was studying and reflecting upon, the unrelenting love of God, for this message, I began to see it so vividly displayed on the pages of Scripture. And, I even found myself going back to that same little word that 3 years olds love to say so much… Why?
I believe, that small, 3 letter word, sums it all up.

I'd like to encourage you to keep this in my mind, as you reflect upon the words of David, in
Psalm 8:1-4

"O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!

From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;

What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?"

Now, I'd like to ask you to think about the unrelenting love of God… and why the world doesn't understand it.
It doesn’t add up
It doesn’t make sense
It’s not logical
It’s not reasonable
None of the dots connect…

Why does God act so crazy?
Why does He give so much?
Why does He continue to pursue such a rebellious and prodigal people?
Jesus Promised, “Him That Cometh To Me I Will In No Wise Cast Out” (even  continuing sinners!)
Why does GOD choose to…welcome, turn toward a people so often choose to walk away from Him and live a life, that like the prodigal son, bless, forgive, and extend His grace, mercy and love to people who constantly turn from Him, reject Him and ignore Him, even spat on, tortured and crucified His Son?

It just doesn't make sense! It's beyond all logical reason. So, Why?
I believe the greatest reason why God’s love is so hard for us to wrap our human brains around, our finite minds, is because God’s love is unconditional. And, more over, it's unrelenting. It doesn't give up on us, even when we've given up on ourselves.

The reason we have such a hard time getting our hearts and minds around unconditional love, is because most of us have had more experience with unconditional loves evil twin "conditional love."…

Love that says, I will no longer love you, if I don't get what I want out of this! A love that places unreasonable expectation upon us, so much so, that we constantly fail to measure up. I'm fairly certain, that some of you here today, may have grown up in a home like that. Or was once in a relationship of conditional love. Some of you, might still be.

A lover of God and mankind, does not hastily condemn; never passes a severe judgment on a slight or sudden view of things. Nor does one act or behave in a violent manner, nor are they headstrong, or a precipitate manner. On the contrary, the love of God, whereby we esteem Christ as the greatest and best of examples, cause us to desire Him, delight in Him as our portion and treasure in time and for all eternity.

Some years ago, I decided to go through the Bible, and jot down every verse in the Old Testament, that had the word love in it.

There are roughly 366 verses that have the word love in them…
And, of those 366 verses 204 or 54%, are talking about God’s love.
The remaining 162 verses talk about; our love for God, our love for His word, our love His wisdom, our love for our friends, romantic love… and several verses talk about our love for wrong things… for example sin, idols and money.
And, 175 of those 204 verses, that’s roughly 86% - nearly 9 out of every ten verses, said the exact same thing about God’s love.
That God’s love is unconditional.
That God’s love is not based on who we are OR what we have done…
It is based upon Who God is!
Now, I like you to remember, Who God is... God is LOVE!

111 times God’s love is described as "unfailing."
How many of you could you use an unfailing love in your life today?
Raise your hand..

40 times His love is described as "enduring forever…"
Wow, a love that endures forever. Is it any wonder why the world cannot comprehend that kind of love? We live in a society, where the average marriage lasts less than 10 years! And we're speaking about a love that lasts forever?

Just consider this, nothing you could ever do, could make God love you more than He loves you right now, at this moment, no greater achievement, no greater beauty, no wider recognition.
Not even a greater level of spirituality and obedience.

Now, allow me to offer this, similarly, there is nothing you can do to make God love you less!
No sin, no failure, no regret, no guilt.

God loves you, just as He has always loved you. And He will always love you. He, cannot help Himself. Crazy isn't it? God’s love for us will always be beyond our understanding. A love, that will never make complete sense to any of us. It's a love beyond all reason! An unconditional love, a beyond all reason, kind of love. The unrelenting love of God.

Consider the words in I John 3:1-3, "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." 
Is your cross getting a little heavy? - Denver Catholic
Beloved, what in the world would happen if people actually began discovering the actual message of Jesus Christ and that love is unconditional? What would happen if we began to realize that God was not, in fact, waiting for us to earn His love, but that He is passionately pursuing us with His love?

What would happen if the Word got out, that Jesus was offering His love to all people and without consideration to social or economic status, regardless of race or skin color?

And what would happen in this world, if we loved other, as we have been called to love, the way Jesus loved us, when we ourselves were undeserving of His love. And for the record, we still are.
Even at our best, we are not worthy of such a great, sacrificial love.

Zephaniah 3:17 says, "Yahweh your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy."

He will rejoice over with gladness; He will delight in you with shouts of joy. 

Do you not see it?
God does not love you out of obligation or duty. His love, for you is not an in spite of kind of love…
You know, where He looks at you and discovers that you are kind of a filthy mess and smelly, But He decides to hold His nose and love you anyway. Parents, you know what I'm talking about here!
So allow me to be clear about this, some of you really need to understand this: Because God loves you, that doesn’t mean that God delights in everything you do…

You are not a booby prize that God is stuck with for all eternity.
God doesn’t just love you because he has to… God loves you because He wants too.
Just the fact that you exist, is a good thing in God’s eyes and HIS face lights up whenever you walk into the room… after all, He created you.

It's like David says in Psalm 17:8, "Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings."

I'd like you to notice something here, David didn't ask God to make him the apple of the eye, he asked Him to keep him as the apple of the eye. Why? Because, David knew that he already was.
That phrase is mentioned several times in Scripture, it's based upon what happens when you look a person in the eye at point-blank range. When you do that, you see an image, a reflection of yourself in the eyes of the other person. When you look into GOD’S eyes you will see an image of what Almighty God is so fixated on...YOU! You will see an image of you! The apple of God’s eye! 

When we love someone, it means that we are in their corner, we are on their team, that we have their back, that we have their six.
It means that we want to see them realize their full potential and become everything God created them to be.

In Closing...

GOD, The King of Glory, The LORD of all creation,  is not just with you…
HE is for you.
HE is on your side.
He is on your team…
HE is in your corner.
He rejoices in your victories, He mourns your setbacks.
He has plans, dreams, thoughts and intentions for your life.

"For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

Ephesians 2:10 teaches, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

And in Romans 8:31, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?"

Psalm 139:1-4 says, "O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all."
Does Anyone Really Care?

Have you ever wondered does anyone care, does anyone even notice?
Allow me to reassure you now, that God pays constant attention to you… In fact, He never takes His eyes off of you. He never stops thinking about you. God’s Love is a love that unrelentingly pursues you. Unrelenting in that which does not diminish in intensity or in effort.

As you as you flip the pages of the bible…from the fall of man and the sin of Adam and Eve in Genesis chapter three, to the old rugged cross and a hill called Calvary…
Beloved, you will discover a passionate and unrelenting God in pursuit of a prodigal people… that He so dearly loves. What a comforting thought!

Has our world today, distorted the meaning of love. It has been so convoluted.
We live in a society that believes love can be found in inanimate objects, that love can be purchased
and that love is about self. This is not love!

Our God demonstrates to His people what love really is. God’s love in all of Scripture. Outside of the crucifixion and the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I believe the story of Hosea and Gomer is the greatest expression and demonstration of love. Why? Because Hosea in a sense was God, who loved Gomer, despite of her disobedience, and blatant disregard for the covenant of marriage. And Gomer, that you and I. In spite of what others said about Gomer, Hosea loved her and even purchased her from slavery. Hosea was essentially saying, I don't care what you say about her, she is mine and I love her. I am willing to pay any price for to get her back! Sound familiar?

On spite of our disobedience to God, our sin, Christ paid the ultimate price for us, even to the point of death on the cross, if that's not a demonstration of God's unrelenting love, I don't know what is..

In Matthew 9:12-13, Jesus said, "....It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

That is a picture of the unrelenting love of God! 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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