by Tony Nester

This content is part of a series.

If You Love/If You Do Not Love
Spiritual Choices: 6 of 8
Text: 1 Corinthians 13
Tony Nester

For these past several weeks we have been looking at the
spiritual choices that confront us as we make our way
through life. Do we believe, or not believe in God? Do we
worship God, or worship an idol? Do we obey God's will, or
disobey? Do we forgive, or not forgive?

Today we look at the choice to love, or not to love. The
Scripture passage for this message is one of the most
familiar parts of the Bible - 1 Corinthians 13.

It often helps to hear familiar passages in new words. So
today I we're going to hear 1 Corinthians 13 in two
translations. I'll be reading from The New Revised Standard
Version of the Bible. Our liturgist will be reading from
Eugene Peterson's The Message - a contemporary paraphrase
of the New Testament. Listen for the Word of God.

Pastor: If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels,
but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging

Liturgist: If I speak with human eloquence and angelic
ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a
rusty gate.

Pastor: And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all
mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as
to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

Liturgist: If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all
his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I
have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps,
but I don't love, I'm nothing.

Pastor: If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand
over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I
gain nothing.

Liturgist: If I give everything I own to the poor and even
go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love,
I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I
believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Pastor: Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious
or boastful or ...

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