The Priority of Love
We cannot antagonize and inﬂuence at the same time.
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Galatians 5:6 NIV
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV
“Let love be your greatest aim.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 TLB
✓ Without love all I say is ineffective.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV
“We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ.” Ephesians 4:15 NLT
✓ Without love all I know is insigniﬁcant.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge.” 1 Corinthians 13:2a NIV
✓ Without love all I believe is insufﬁcient.
“If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2b NIV
✓ Without love all I give is incomplete.
“If I give all I possess to the poor.” 1 Corinthians 13:3 NIV
✓ Without love all I accomplish is inadequate.
“(If I) give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:3 NIV
Life — Love = 0
“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. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV
“It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to ﬁnd grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could ﬁnd no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never ﬁnd any basis for charges against this man Daniel.” Daniel 6:1-5 NIV
1. Serve them.
“Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” 1 Corinthians 9:19 NIV
Jesus connected before He corrected.
2. Set an example for them.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16 NIV
The greatest inﬂuence we can have on our world is how we live our lives.
3. Share Christ with them.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15-16 NIV
“Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” — St. Francis of Assisi