1 Corinthians 13: 7
“…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, ,
This is the 17th session on Spiritual love.
Love can make many seemingly impossible things possible. People say the power of love is great. Especially, the love of God the Father is really great.
He enfolds novel- or movie-like touching stories before the lives of many people.
The love of God can change even those who cannot seem to do anything into people who can do everything. He changes the weak into strong and the poor into rich.
Also, with the touch of God’s love, even the foolish become wise, and the arrogant becomes humble.
Among the forefathers of faith in the Bible, there were many who had various weaknesses and problems.
At the time of Jesus’ ministry, who were the people who loved and followed Him?
They were the ones who were not well-treated in the society, such as fishermen, tax-collectors who were considered to be sinners, the poor, widows, the blind, and the mute. When these people met Jesus, their lives were completely changed.
They heard the gospel of the heavenly kingdom and gained hope. Their various problems including poverty and diseases were resolved.
More than anything, they received true love from Jesus which they had never received before.
With the great love of God who bore, believed, hoped for all things and endured all things, everything about them was changed.
Those who were considered worthless were born again as glorious instruments of God.
I hope you will feel deep in your heart what true love is like through this message.
Also, I hope that you will also be changed completely by the love of this Father God.
Furthermore, I pray in the name of the Lord that your love will also give change and life to countless other people.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, through the last session we had been looking into the concept of love as described in verses 4 and 6, and to see what love really is.
And in the verse 7, is the final conclusion on what love is. It gives four simple conclusions on spiritual love.
It says, “[love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
True love is to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.
Therefore, if we practice these four things, our heart will be increasingly filled with spiritual love .
Now, let us delve into the meaning of each of the four characters.
First, it says love bears all things. Love is and means to bear everything.
For example, if somebody slaps you on the right cheek, it is love to turn the left cheek, too.
If somebody asks for your shirt, it is true love to give even your coat.
To bear is the basic level of love.
Before you lived with untruthful things, but now, as you come into the truth and try to love, you first have to bear with different things now.
If you get angry or become irritated by others, you have to bear with them now. You should also bear with your desire to do whatever you want to do to others.
So, in explaining what love is, it first says that love bears all things.
To bear all things in this verse has broader meaning than the verse, ‘Love is patient’. To be patient is to bear with various difficulties that you may face when you love somebody.
To bear with all things is one step further than bearing the things that you may face when you love somebody; it is to bear with all things that are not in accordance with spiritual love.
The things that are not in accordance with spiritual love are all forms of evil including untruths, flesh, and sins.
In the spiritual love chapter is explained in detail the things that are not in accordance with love.
For example, it says love is patient, love is kind and that love is not jealous.
Therefore, not to be patient; not to be kind, but getting angry; and to be jealous are all against spiritual love.
Also, it says, “Love is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly.” As said, the heart that boasts of worldly things and has the desire to be lifted up is not the heart of love.
To act unbecomingly before God and neighbors, and to seek our own, being provoked, to think of evil, and to rejoice with unrighteousness is not in accordance with love.
To bear all things means to bear all these things that are not in accordance with love. And it is to rejoice in the truth.
What is to rejoice in the truth? It is to believe the word of God, to try to keep the commandments, and practice the Word.
In order to practice the word, we have to bear with our desires to commit sins and to follow flesh. We have to bear with the heart that tries to do what our ‘self’ wants to do.
Here, to bear with something is not just to suppress it.
It is to cast off the opposite characters of love, namely all untruths from our heart and make them disappear.
It is to circumcise our heart. If we circumcise our heart and cast off flesh completely, then, we will be men of spirit who are filled with only spiritual love in their hearts.
In fact, if we accomplish spirit in our heart, the expression ‘bear’ is not necessary.
Because we will love God to the utmost degree, we cannot think of anything that is against love, and obviously we will not do such a thing.
Also, because we won’t have any evil in our heart, we will not really see shortcomings or wrongdoings of others. Even if we see, we will only try to understand and cover them, so that we won’t have to bear with anything.
We will keep on forgiving even those who act with evil towards us again and again. Because our Father God loves us so much, He is slow to anger and gives us mercy and compassion always. He bears with us again and again.
The reason why you and I are able to be here today is because of this love of God. I hope you will accomplish this kind of love and give this love in every situation.
Secondly, it says love believes all things. If you really believe somebody, you will believe everything of that person.
When a husband and a wife love each other, they will trust each other completely. Even if the other person has some shortcomings, they will still try to believe their spouse.
On the contrary, if people do not have love, they don’t trust each other. So, they judge and condemn each other and have quarrels over everything.
Likewise, trust or believing can be a standard to measure the size of love. Therefore, to believe God completely is to love Him completely.
Abraham, the Father of Faith, was called a friend of God.
Without any hesitation Abraham obeyed the command of God telling him to make an offering of his only son Isaac. He was able to because he believed God completely. God saw this faith of Abraham and acknowledged his love saying, “…for now I know that you fear God.”
Love is to believe the other person.
Those who completely love God will also believe Him completely. They believe all the words of God 100%.
You, too, because you love God, you believe Him. And because you believe all things, you bear all things.
I have just told you that love is to bear with all things that are not in accordance with love. To bear with all things that are against love, we must have faith.
Namely, only when we believe all the words of God can we hope all things and circumcise our heart to cast off everything that is against love. Of course, in more strict sense, it’s not that we believed God because we loved Him from the beginning.
God first loved us, and by believing that fact, we came to love God.
How did God love us? He unsparingly gave His one and only Son for us who were sinners.
He opened the way of salvation. Namely He opened the way to heavenly kingdom.
At first, we come to love God by believing this fact, but if we accomplish spiritual love completely, we will reach a level where we believe completely because we love.
To accomplish spiritual love completely means we have cast off all untruthful hearts.
If we have no untruths in our heart, we will be given from above spiritual faith with which we can believe from the depth of our heart.
So, we can never doubt the word of God. Our trust in God can never be shaken. Also, those who have accomplished spiritual love completely will believe everybody.
They believe even those who are full of iniquities and who have many shortcomings thinking, “He is a good man. He will do well.”
Since the opening of this church until today, there have been so many pastors and workers in our church.
When they were given duties and if I entrusted them with some work, I always trusted and believed in them.
If anybody wanted to work for God’s kingdom, I supported him/her with everything.
When they asked for help, if the church wasn’t able to help, I began to give the help with my faith.
In some cases, some people around me were advising me.
“He is not truthful, he may be cheating.” They meant that I could face loss if I trusted him.
But to believe is not to believe that the other person is already perfect.
It is not to believe that he is already sanctified.
Those who cultivate truthfulness and integrity in their heart will not be cheated by false men.
Just by talking for a couple of minutes, they can discern what kind of heart the other person has.
Even if they don’t try to find out something, they can just discern the truth and untruth of the words. Therefore, they can never be cheated without knowing it.
But even if I know that the other person has a lot of falsehood in his heart, when he confesses that he will try his best, I just believe him.
I just believe that at least in that moment, he was truthful and he came to me with a true heart.
Also, when a person who has made a big mistake says, “I have done wrong, I will do better next time,” then I just believe him.
Even when a person cheats me many times with the same thing, if he just comes and repents, I just believe him.
It’s because I love that soul and I trust God, I believe the other person.
Every time I believed with love, God took the responsibility in all things.
It’s because when I believed others with true love and with the desire to commit everything into God’s hands, God joyfully accepted my heart.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I believe the promises that God has given to me.
When I was praying for the opening of church, God told me that He was going to send me many sheep who would go into New Jerusalem. And I believe that those sheep are you people here. I believe you are the flock, workers, and precious souls sent by God and who will go into New Jerusalem.
I believe that you are the ones who will enter into New Jerusalem with me.
So, even if you committed sins, cheated me, or disobeyed, I have never given up on you. I don’t have any kind of hatred or dislike whatsoever.
I never think, “By all means, she is helpless.” I look at you with faith thinking, “She will certainly change.”
Rather, I feel pitiful or sympathetic thinking, “She always tries hard but she cannot really do it, so how painful it must be for her, too!”
If anybody comes before me with discouraged heart, I confess, “You can do better. You can do it if you believe.”
It’s not just to comfort them, but I truly believe them and confess it. Also, because I believe God, I commit each of the souls into God’s hands with fervent prayers.
Brothers and sisters, our God the Father also believes all of us.
He believed that each of us would understand the love of God and come out to the way of salvation.
Because he looked at us only with faith, He even gave out His one and only Son Jesus to take the cross.
God the Father believes even those who do not know and not believe in the Lord will be saved and come back to the side of the Father.
He believes that those who are already saved will change into those who completely resemble God.
I hope you will also believe everybody with this love.
Also, I hope you will also look at yourself with the eyes of faith by believing God. The Holy Spirit is always telling us in our heart, “You can do it. I will help you.”
If you believe this love and confess, “I can do well, I can change,” then God will accomplish it according to your confession and faith.
How beautiful it is to believe!
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will cultivate true love to believe all things so that you can become faithful friends of God.
Next, love hopes all things. Love is to hope all things.
To hope all things is to yearn and wait for everything that you believe to come true.
Namely, if you love God, you will believe all His words and hope that everything will be done according to His word. If you hope all things, you can bear all things. When you bear all things that are not in accordance with love, you can bear difficulties, too.
You are hoping for the days when you will share love with God the Father forever in beautiful heavenly kingdom. That is why you bear with all things to run your race of faith.
What if there was no hope? Those worldly people who do not believe in God have no hope for heavenly kingdom.
That is why they just live as they want. If somebody makes them angry, they just get angry. If they don’t like somebody, they just dislike him.
Because they don’t have true hope, they try to fill their heart with worldly things.
They try to enjoy as many things as possible on this earth. Rather than for others, they just live for themselves and their family members only. But because they don’t have true satisfaction, they live their lives each day with difficulties or even with fear.
On the other hand, how is the life of those who believe in God? They hope all things, so they take the narrow way.
In 1 Corinthians 15:19 the apostle Paul says, “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”
Just in fleshly view, the life of bearing and hard work seems burdensome. But if we hope all things, this way is happier way than any other way.
If we are with those who we love so very much, they say that we will be happy even in a shabby house.
And thinking of the fact that we will live in such beautiful houses that cannot be compared with any house on earth, and also the fact that we will live with God the Father who is love itself, how happy we will be!
We are excited and happy just to think of it.
In this way, true love does not just look at the present reality. It unchangingly waits and hopes until everything comes true.
It’s the same when we look at other souls. For example, some children may be going astray and not study at all.
Even these children, if their parents believe in them saying they can do it, and look at them with the eyes of hope that they will change, they can change into good children any time.
When you take care of other souls, some of them are stained by dirt of the world more than others, and still others have stronger frameworks of righteousness than others.
But in any case, you must not make decisions about any person with your thoughts. You should not be discouraged thinking, ‘It seems very difficult for that person to change,’ or ‘she is still the same.’
You have to look at everyone with the eyes of hope that they will soon change and be melted down by the love of God. You have to keep on praying without ceasing for them and encouraging them saying and believing, “You can do it!”
Because I believe each of you members here will go into New Jerusalem, I have been waiting and hoping until today without changing.
When I first opened the church and now more than 26 years later, my heart is the same. I don’t think, “Why is he so slow?”
I just keep on waiting and waiting. I hope for the day when I will go into New Jerusalem with you members who will have changed into whole spirit.
God the Father has been waiting for a thousand years as if it had been but one day. He is waiting and is believing that you will change into true children.
I hope you will fulfill this hope of God the Father. Also, I hope you will look at each soul with the eyes of hope.
I will talk about the meaning of the fourth statement that ‘love endures all things’ in the next session.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, a saying goes that a frog may lose its life just by one stone that a man throws.
This tells us that a single word spoken or action taken carelessly may hurt another person so much.
And, on the other hand, just one of your words may even give life.
The slightest action that you take may also change a person’s life. For this, your love has to be spiritual love itself.
Therefore, I hope you will quickly cultivate spiritual love in you, so that even one little word or action will contain true love and revive many souls.
By doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that your touching stories will be told in New Jerusalem forever and ever!