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Sermons

Love Conquers All

Author: Josué Mora Peña

The biblical passage of I Corinthians 13, in the New Testament, has been called "the Psalm of Love". Actually it is a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians. It is a love letter. I think we all should try to memorize it. "Love suffers all, never fails…is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, it’s not proud" (I Corinthians 13:4 paraphrased). Love is that wonderful word that unfortunately many people misinterpret. Love is more than friendship, more than sympathy for someone, more than a sexual relationship. Love goes beyond all that we can think of. Love is, well, love is a many splendor thing…and many more things.

Love is the greatest word in the world. I will bring you happiness and success. Love will help you in your marriage, in your work, at school. One learns to love by loving, the same way that one learns to hate by hating. The Bible tells us to love God with all our heart, spirit and mind; to love our parents, our friends even our enemies. In the United States (I don’t know about other countries) people also love their pets, pizza, the car, the house where they live and almost every material thing they can think of, but not so with the Greeks.

The Greeks were more specific when it came to words. For instance, the word love has several meanings for them. They use the word "phileo" when it has to do with the love of family; the word "eros" is a passionate love. The love of God is called "Agape", which is the kind of love that God has for the world, for you and for me. It is that love that conquered the world, and the sin in the world. It is the kind of love expressed in Jesus Christ when He died on the Cross for you and for me. That love made it possible for us to become God’s children. Only that kind of love is able to conquer all. It has been said that Alexander the Great conquered his enemies he captured by making them his friends. After they surrendered to him, he fed them, gave them water, a place to rest, and then he sent them away. Did they go away? No! They stayed with him. They had a friend who loved them and cared for them. So you see, love conquers everything.

Nowadays we live in a society that has changed the real meaning of love. A fly-by-night affair with the opposite sex is called love. Maybe so, but it is the "eros" love, a sensual love. There are no emotions involved, no feelings and no concerns for each other. It is just plain sexual pleasure, a pastime, not real love.

The movie industry has contributed also to the deterioration of that wonderful word, love. Many of the movies shown in theaters and in the homes through TV are nothing but a denigration of love. A man and a woman meet during the day and by night they are already having sexual intercourse. Is that what they (the movie industry) calls love?

When it comes to matrimony, several couples get married with the idea that if it does not work, they go their different ways. Others sign a contract for 2, 3 or 5 years. After that time, they are already divorced. If they want to continue, they sign another contract. How absurd! And of course this is not God’s intention. "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh" (Gen 2:24). Notice that it says that "the man" shall leave his father and mother, not "the woman" shall leave her parents. The word "man" in the Old Testament Hebrew means humanity. That’s why the Bible does not say "he and she" or "man and woman" because when it says "man" it means both male and female. In reality both the man and the woman leave their parents in order to form another family when they unite in matrimony.

Other couples got married without making a commitment to be loyal to each other, to love in good or bad times, for richer or for poorer, in health or in sickness. Till death do they part. The "Dictionary of Word Origins" says that "commitment means 'to put together'", in other words, when a person commits to do something, to love something, for instance, it is like "gluing together those two persons". It is like signing a blank sheet and letting God fill it up.

What is it in your life that you need to conquer? Love will help you accomplish your dreams and desires of your life, but we have to learn to love the way God loves. We have to use the word "agape" in order to become victorious in this world. I believe that we need to start by loving God and loving Him with all our mind, heart and strength. We love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). What a different world this would be if only we can love one another as God loves us…and yes, one day we will all love one another. The day when Christ comes back to earth. That day we will be here soon, sooner than you think. Precisely because God is love He will put an end to all the evils in the world. Then we will live peaceably.

I would like to finish with another Bible verse, Romans 12:10, "Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another".

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Quotes

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32
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