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The Cost of Love from the Heart (Emotional Power)

DR. GRACE: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all of my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.  Charity suffereth long.”

PASTOR WIL: And every time you see that word “charity,” it’s actually translated, “love,” so when she says “and have not charity,” she’s saying, “have not love,” or, “love suffereth long.” 

Dr. Grace? 

DR. GRACE: Love…  “Charity suffereth long, and is kind.  Charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” 

PASTOR WIL: Charity — love — never fails.  Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13 is called “the love chapter” in the Bible.  It, it, it’s, and it’s an interesting chapter because it doesn’t give you a definition of love, it gives you a demonstration of it.  You know, a defintion’ll tell you what it’s supposed to be.  A demonstration will tell you what it is.  And, and, and, and sometimes definitions can be destructive.  But this chapter does not give us a definition; it displays love.  It tells you what love looks like.  It demonstrates love, it tells you how love behaves, and how it reacts, and, and so, love is interesting, love is interesting.  

DR. GRACE: So, we all express love, we’re blessed by love, we receive and give love.  It is both a both a part of our divine experience, and it is also a commandment from our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.  

PASTOR WIL: Let me show you something about how children think about love.  I, I thought this was cute.  I wanted to show it to you.  

(Short video starts.  Different children hold up signs with letters and drawings.) 

CHILD: “L.” 

CHILD: “O.” 

CHILD: “V.” 

CHILD: “E.” 

CHILD: “LOVE!” 

CHILD: “LOVE!” 

CHILD: “LOVE!”  

CHILD: Love is patient.  

CHILD: Love is patient, love is kind. 

CHILD: Love doesn’t envy. 

CHILD: Love doesn’t boast and it isn’t proud.  

CHILD: Love is not self-seeking. 

CHILD: Love! 

CHILD: Love! 

CHILD: Love! 

CHILD: Love is not angry.  

(Video ends.) 

(Laughter.) 

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PASTOR WIL: I said, I’ve gotta show that.  It makes you think children are so innocent, but by the time we get to our age—  y’all ain’t workin’ with me.  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.   

Jesus said, when asked about the great commandments, he said in Matthew 22:37, “Thou shalt love,” love, love, “the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”  This is the first and great commandment.   

The second is likened to it.  “Thou shalt love they neighbor as yourself.”  Look at the person next to you, say, “Boy, I’m supposed to love you?”  (Laughter.)  Oh, oh, Lord, how, how, how’re we gonna do that?  How’re we gonna work that out?  Oh, yeah, there’s some crazy folk at the job.  Y’all?  Them in-laws and outlaws and family members — I’m supposed to love them?  Those haters, and— y’all ain’t workin’ with me.  You’re supposed to love them, the people that did you wrong?  I’m supposed to love you?  Mm-mm.  

DR. GRACE: And the reason why we struggle with love, and we fail at love, and we betray each other, is bec— and disappoint each other, even sometimes fail, leave each other, is because of that very reason: a lack of love.  For in 1 John 4:7, it says, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

PASTOR WIL: And since— and, and that really explains why this is such a struggle.  We’re trying to love each other based upon what we have, concerning love.  But love actually is a spiritual thing that comes from God.  It emanates from God.  And so, if I’m lacking the ability to love you, it says that I’m lacking some of God.   

DR. GRACE:  Mm-hm.  Amen.

PASTOR WIL: There is something in God that will allow me to love my enemies.  And if I can’t do that right now — I’m preachin’ right here — if I can’t do that, it says that there’s a part of God that’s missing in my life.   

There, there is people that have wronged me.  God has to love, because God is love.  See, if, if, if Wil — that’s my name — was a verb, I have to be Wil, because I am Wil.  Y’all ain’t catchin’ me.  (Laughter.)  So I can’t be nothin’ but Wil.  “Why does he act like that?”  ‘Cause he’s Wil.  Okay, y’all still ain’t catch that.  “Why does he look like that?”  Because he’s Wil.  Now, you may want me to be Grace, but I’m not Grace, I’m Wil.  Y’all, y’all still ain’t workin’ with me.  And so, Wil becoming a verb is who I am.  And so, God says He is love.  It’s who He is.  And so, the only way I can do God is I have to have God.  It emanates from God.  And, so, if I’m going to— y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother right here.  I’m would tell every single person.   

Make sure, no matter how much that person say they love you, find out if they love God.  (Applause.)  Because, see, right now I love you, because you are lovable.  But there’re gonna be times where you ain’t gonna be lovable.  (Laughter.)  And when you’re not lovable, if I don’t have love — y’all still ain’t workin’ with a brother — then I won’t be able to love you.   

Somebody say, “Hallelujah.” 

Today’s message, Dr. Grace? 

DR. GRACE: So today’s message is entitled “First Love, True Love, Best Love.”

PASTOR WIL: Well, and that’s what we, we wrote.  If y’all remember, last year we wrote a book on First Love, True Love, Best Love, and so, this message is of teaching, even though it’s not gonna be the exact same thing, it’s, we, we based it on this last book that we wrote, and I wanted to show you something real quick, because God has really blessed Dr. Grace and I, to focus on relationships.  And when I talk about relationships, I’m not talking about just marriage.  We’re, we’re, we’re going to talk about love today, but when we started this journey, God gave us a journey to first to start looking at your relationships from the spiritual perspective.   

Everybody say, “No More Drama.”  No More Drama! was an understanding that relationships have a spiritual component.   

Everybody say, “Spiritual.”  There are spiritual forces at work to prevent us from working together with each other.  I need everybody to understand that.  “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Those four unclean spirits are known as territorial spirits.  Anybody ever deal with territorial people?  They’re known as personal attack demons.  Anybody ever been attacked?  They’re known as the “rulers of the darkness of this world,” temptations.  Anybody ever been tempted?  I’m preachin’ right here.  And “spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Anybody ever run into drama at church?  See, the devil said, “I got y’all comin’ and goin’.  Coming and going.  Church, home, work, marriage, children, in-laws.  Spiritual forces.  This is what we did when we talked about No More Drama!   

Then, we look at having a plan.  Everybody say, “Battle plan.”  Everybody needs to understand that every relationship that you’re in is under an attack.  And if you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail.  And if you don’t have a battle plan, you plan to lose the battle.  And so we talked about eight strategic plans that everybody must have for every relationship.  

And then, we started to look at your soul.  Remember, we are body, soul, and spirit.  So then we looked at your soul, and we understood that a soul is made of up three components: your mind, your will, and your emotions.   

Most people connect, called “soul ties,” at one of those levels.  One of those levels is known as either your mind, your will, or your emotions.  Husbands and wives connect emotionally.  People at your job, you connect mentally, with your mind.  People at church, you, you connect with your will, you serve your Lord.  But, the reason why we struggle is ‘cause we don’t know to connect those other parts of our soul, and that’s how you go from soul tie to soul mate.   

And then, sometimes, we have the wrong people connected to our souls.  I’m preachin’ all by myself.  We call them “ungodly soul ties.” 

DR. GRACE: Yes, yes.

PASTOR WIL: They’re working against God, and God’s plan for your life.  And so, those were the first three that we wrote. 

Today, we want to spend a little time about this fourth one called love.  Everybody say, “Love.”  We’re going to make that available to some of you out there.  But let’s move forward.  

We have all experienced what I call “first love.”  Everybody say, “First love.”   

DR. GRACE: The first love we felt for someone else, for our lover.  Or maybe the passion we felt for our first job, or our business.  The soul tie connection that we have for a best friend, or the hunger and the thirst that we had when we first got saved.  

I wonder if somebody could just think back on when you first got saved.  I remember that time.  I was so passionate for the Lord, I was so excited.  I mean, I was just overjoyed.  I was telling everybody I saw about the experience that I had at the altar with my God.  That was my first love experience with Him.  

PASTOR WIL: But almost universally — if all of you could just go back and think about that first experience of love in any of those areas, when you first got that job, when you first started that business, first met that lover, when you first, first got excited about your ministry, the first initial sermon you gave, the first whatever — almost everybody can say this almost universally, that how you used to feel, you don’t feel that way now.  (Laughter.)  Am I preachin’ to anybody?  Almost everybody can say that.  And, and it comes from, you don’t feel that initial elation, or ecstasy, or euphoria, or excitement, or jubilation, or joy.  Some of you, you have to struggle.  “You know what, I had to force my way to church today.  Before I used to run to church.”  (Laughter.)  “I guess I have to go to church today.”  Oh, y’all ain’t working with me.  I’m preachin’.  

But somehow, life gets in the way.  Stress, children, loss, affairs, addictions, illnesses, obsessions, unresolved issues from the past.   

And then, for some people, you may not even have a reason, it just ain’t the same.  “Well, what have I done wrong?”  “I don’t know, nothin’, I just don’t like you no more.”  (Laughter.)  No, I’m serious!  People get excited about their church, months later, “Eh.  No real reason, you still preachin’, Pastor, the chairs are still purple.”  (Laughter.)   

It just ain’t the same, you can’t even put your hands on it.  Whatever the situation, it’s likely that things are not like they used to be.  

DR. GRACE: What life has really taught us is that, just as easy as we can fall in love, it’s just as easy for us to fall out of love.

PASTOR WIL: You don’t, you just don’t have that same passion, and, and, for whatever it is, the same, it’s just not there.  Lovers, friends, career, ministry, family — and yes, even your God.  And I want you to know, your God’s got a problem with that.  (Laughter.)   

Are y’all hearin’ me?  God’s got a problem with the fact that you don’t love Him the way you used to.  He wrote a book about it, wanna hear it?  Here I go.  (Laughter.)  

DR. GRACE: Revelations. 

PASTOR WIL: Nevertheless, I got something against you.  I’m glad you’re still coming to church, I’m glad you’re paying your tithes, I’m glad you’re giving your all, I’m glad you’re volunteering.  I’ve still got a problem with you!  You don’t love me the way you used to.  You left your first love.  And the answer to this… 

DR. GRACE: And the answer to these issues that we have concerning love is that we’ve got to return to our first love, we’ve got to return to our true love, we’ve got to return to our best love.  Then, we will truly be able to obtain what we’re talking about today, which is the power of love.

PASTOR WIL: We want, in this series, to talk about love’s attributes.  Remember, this thirteenth chapter doesn’t give you a definition, it gives you a demonstration.  It tells you what love acts like, how it behaves.  And so namely, in the next few weeks we wanna talk about love’s value, love’s virtue, and love’s victory.  And in our lesson text he said, “It profiteth us nothing.”  If we have all of these gifts and talents and do all of these things, Paul said we can speak in tongues, we, we, we down, we give this, we give that, we dance, he said, but it profits you nothing.   

I don’t care about you prophesying and speakin’ in tongues.  Don’t care about you dancin’ and shoutin’.  If you can’t love that person sitting next to you— I’m preaching right here. 

DR. GRACE: Amen.

PASTOR WIL: If you can’t figure out how to love the unlovable, it doesn’t matter.  It profits you nothing.  

Today’s message is entitled, “The Power of Love’s Value.”  Everybody say, “Value.”  Say it again, “Value.”  “The Power of Love’s Value.”  Specifically, the subtopic would be, “Paying the Cost.”  If you want real love, you’re gonna have to pay the cost.  Everybody say, “Pay the cost.”  Look at your neighbor and say, “It’s gonna cost me.”  Come on, y’all, work with a brother. Say, “It’s gonna cost me to love you.”  (Laughter.) 

Oh, yeah.  Y’all want it easy, but it’s gonna cost to love people.  Let me say it one more again: “It’s gonna cost me to love you.”   

Paying the cost.  Let’s talk about this. 

DR. GRACE: So, the first thing that Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 13:1 is here about the cost of love; that talk is cheap, it’s, you know, and we hear that phrase or expression from time to time.  “Your talk is just so cheap.” 

PASTOR WIL: So this first point that Dr. Grace is going in, we would title that, “The Cost of Love From the Heart.”  Everybody say, “The heart.”  This is what I call “emotional power.”  So, this first element that’s gonna cost you are your emotions, emotional power. 

 DR. GRACE: And so, it’s summed up by this statement: that it’s easier to say that you will do something than to actually do it.

PASTOR WIL: (Singing.) “Ain’t no mountain high enough.  Ain’t no river wide enough.  Ain’t no valley low enough to keep me from you.”  (Speaking.)  Now you trippin’ over an anthill.  Drownin’ in the bathtub.  (Laughter.)  See, you said those things.  Oh, yeah, when you went on the job interview, you told that boss here was the greatest employee he could ever have, now you’re looking at this joker right here.  (Laughter.)  When you came into church, you shook the pastor’s hand and said, “I will follow you as you follow Christ.”  I’m not followin’ the devil, where you at?  (Laughter.)  I’m still followin’ Christ.  What happened?  Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  Talk is cheap. 

DR. GRACE: So, Paul takes this to a spiritual level, and he says, for all of the Christians, this is a spiritual talk.  Speaking in tongues, church talk, our praise and worship, means nothing if it doesn’t come from the heart. 

PASTOR WIL: If it, if it ain’t coming from here (pointing to chest), it don’t matter.  If it ain’t coming from here, it don’t matter.  We’ve gotten to a place where people don’t believe the words that are coming out of our mouth, because they’re not coming from our heart.  And, and, and, so that’s what he was saying here in these first passages — though you have the tongues of men, and you do this, and you do that, he says that’s just talk.  It’s just talk.  

 DR. GRACE: So, you can’t just talk love — you must feel love.  That’s where the emotion comes in.

PASTOR WIL: So, this first thing that you’ve got to get, that, if you want real love, is, you’ve got to get it in your heart, you’ve got to get the first part of your soul, which is your heart, your emotions.  You’ve got to get your emotions back into it.  

We had — I’m gonna preach right here, they ain’t tryin’ to hear me on this — see, when, when we first fell in love, it was easy.  But in, in, in this book, we talk about climbing in love.  See, falling in love is easy.  (He repeatedly drops his microphone and catches it.)  See?  Anybody can do that.  “I’m in love.”  Yeah, just about everybody else is, too.  (Laughter.)  Anybody can fall.  But it takes something to climb.  And so, if you want to have the emotions of love, it’s gonna cost you. Mm-hm. 

DR. GRACE: So, 1 Corinthians 13:1, it says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not love, I am become a sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal.”

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PASTOR WIL: I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.  All of this talk about love is useless.  Language without love is noise without a melody.  Language without love, without love from the heart, chatter without clarity, without charity, without love.  A, a, a sound without a soul — that’s what we brought to music as African-Americans, we brought soul to music.  You know what?  Because, ‘cause when, when that singer, when Marcietta sings that song from her heart, y’all feel that, don’t you?  She ain’t just going through the rhythmic melody sounds.  Somebody’s like (singing), “Ah-ah-ah,” (speaking), but Marcietta, she feels it.  We bring soul to our music.  It’s coming from the heart.  You can— without love, this stuff doesn’t matter.  Uh-huh. 

 DR. GRACE: And so, what God wants us to do is to put our emotions into serving Him.  Mark 12:30, it says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…” 

PASTOR WIL: Not just love, but with your heart.  Everybody say, “Emotions.”  

DR. GRACE: So the Lord gives meaning to the depth, and the reality, and it makes eloquence meaningful.  

PASTOR WIL: So we’re going to have to learn how to get love emotionally.  We’re gonna have to not just wait to, to fall in love, but we’ve got to do love.  We’ve got to get to this place where Paul describes what love does when it comes from your heart.  It’s, it’s, it’s not just talk, but it’s what you feel.  

And one of things Dr. Grace and I have learned, now with this year we’re celebrating 30 years of marriage, and we celebrated 18 years in ministry, and 27 years in parenting, and what I figured out is, in order to sustain love, it has to become actionable, and repeatable.  And so, there, the way we express love now are the things that we do, and we do it over and over and over again.   

A lot of times, we take couples through what we call “the five love languages,” and we try to say, “What is, what is the language of your mate?”  And, and do those things, become an expert at it.  If your love loves saying sweet things, become an expert at it.  If your love loves, if your lover or your mate or whoever you’re dealing with loves gifts, then give them gifts, if they love service, then do things for them.  But you have to do it.  And so, what I’ve learned over these 30 years is, it’s not just me being married to my wife, but it is me expressing love to her on a regular basis, over and over and over, until she feels it, until I feel it.  Because I felt her when I first met her, but now I’ve got to show her by doing it over and over and over again, until it rises out.  

God says you’ve left your first love, so here’s what I want you to do: I want you to remember what you used to do.  Now I need you to practice doing that thing all the time.  I need you to remember how you used to feel, and then I need you to do it over and over and over again, ‘cause life done got in your way.  You didn’t stop.  You, you, you used to run to church.  Now I can just barely drag you here.  I need you to go back to that.  And, and I believe this: where, where, where, where your actions, where your body is, your heart will ultimately follow.  Y’all ain’t workin’ with me.  The Bible says that where a man’s treasure is, that’s where his heart will be.  

DR. GRACE: Mm-hm. 

PASTOR WIL: So, if you put everything into it, you will get those emotions back.  Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, if you want this, it’s gonna cost you your heart.”  It’s gonna cost you your emotions.  

Give Praise to God with Pastor Wil Nichols in Durham, NC

 Founded by Pastor Wil Nichols and his wife Dr. Grace Nichols, Victorious Praise is a vibrant Christian church in Durham, NC devoted to exalting our Lord through music, the arts, and exuberant praise.  We welcome worshippers young and old into our loving, dynamic community of men, women, and children who want to grow closer with Christ and discover their divine purpose in this life.  To learn more about our holy mission, contact Victorious Praise at (919) 957-7500.