02 Mar The Power of Love’s Virtue (It’s Your Birthright)
PASTOR WIL: This is what Dr. Grace and I are about, and today, we want to spend a few minutes going into this second part of what we shared with you on last week, called the power of love. Let’s go to 1 Corinthians, the thirteenth chapter. We read the first three verses. We’re gonna go to verse 4 today to give you the second part of this message.
Dr. Grace, will you read for us, please?
DR. GRACE: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind.”
PASTOR WIL: And when you hear that word “charity” here, this is, it, it is the word “love,” it is the word “love,” so “Charity suffers long” means “Love suffers long.”
DR. GRACE: “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.”
PASTOR WIL: This three-part series is what, is based upon this thirteenth chapter of Paul’s letter, first letter to the Corinthians, and it is known as “the book of love,” or “the chapter of love,” and as we stated, it does not give us a definition of love, but it gives us a demonstration. Everybody say, “Demonstration.” It gives us a demonstration of love. And last week, we, we talked about the first demonstration it gave us was how valuable love is. And the reason why most people can’t experience its true power is because they’re not willing to pay the cost. When something is valuable, you gotta pay for it. Look at your neighbor and say, “You get what you pay for.” Come on, say it, one more, again, “You get what you pay for.”
So let me be real clear: if all you ever did was fall in love, how much effort did that take? If all you ever did in your marriage or your relationship or your job or your workplace is just, “Oh, I really like this, I really…”
Anybody can fall in love – but you know what? This is easy. (Jumps to floor.) I just fell. But you know what? I gotta put some effort (puts foot back on stage) to get back up here. Y’all ain’t workin’ with me. So we want you to stop sayin’ fall in love, and climb. (Climbs back onto stage.) That’s gonna take a little effort.
DR. GRACE: Oh, yes.
PASTOR WIL: We’re not here today because we fell in love. We did fall in love, but that ain’t good enough. Uh-huh. We have to climb to keep this thing goin’. And you have to climb to stay, keep workin’ with them people on your job. You gotta climb to stay in contact with them family members who don’t like you. You have to climb for these church folk. You have to climb, oh, oh yeah, you gotta work, and, and it’s gonna cost you. Look at your neighbor, say, “That’s gonna cost you, right there.” It’s valuable, but it’s gonna cost you.
There’s what we call emotional power, thoughtful power, and willful power. So last week we looked at the value of love, next week we’re gonna look at the victory of love, but today, we’re gonna look at love’s virtues. Everybody say, “Virtue.”
DR. GRACE: So love’s virtue is necessary when dealing with people who try you, people who irk you, people who bother you—
PASTOR WIL: Oh, y’all ain’t workin’ with me.
DR. GRACE: People who disturb you, people who frustrate you, and people who anger you. That’s when love’s virtue will kick in.
PASTOR WIL: See, y’all are lookin’ for people who don’t do that stuff to you. (Laughter.) It’s impossible! Those people don’t exist. The Bible says, “It is impossible but that offenses will occur.” I don’t care how good you think a person is. One day, they’re gonna make you feel a certain kind of way. (Cheering.) You know what? I’m feelin’ a certain kind of way about y’all. (Laughter.)
Look at your neighbor and say, “It’s inevitable.” Go ahead.
DR. GRACE: And yet, you’ve got to love ‘em. Even though they bother you, you’ve got to love ‘em. Even though they’re irkin’ you right now, you have got to love ‘em, because the word of God says that we have to love even our enemies.
PASTOR WIL: I gotta show y’all somethin’. I know we’re takin’ a little time with this, but, I wonder what the first argument was like in the Garden of Eden when Adam got on Eve’s nerves. (Laughter.) Let me show you somethin’ real quick. I wonder what that first argument was like, First Lady. (Laughter.) Oh, praise God.
(Short video starts.)
EVE: Adam? Does this goatskin make me look big?
ADAM: Looks better on you than the previous owner. (Eve throws a ball at Adam.) What?
EVE: I’m having a hard time losing these last few pounds since bearing your children (points at children playing), and that’s the best you can do? I look better than a goat? Thanks.
ADAM: Baby, you know you are the most beautiful woman on the planet. (Eve throws another ball at him.) What?
EVE: I’m the only woman on the planet!
ADAM: Well, I can’t help that.
EVE: You know, and it’s amazing that as the only woman on the planet, you still can’t seem to remember my birthday or give me flowers once in a while.
ADAM: Well, I did give you a rib.
EVE: Oh, right. I forgot about that, since you haven’t mentioned it for an hour. It’s like your free pass to never lift a finger for me again.
ADAM: Never lift a finger? I am out there busting my rear all day. Food just doesn’t pop up from the ground, I have to get it with the sweat of my brow, since someone went and got the ground cursed.
EVE: You think farming’s hard? Try raising those kids. Try giving birth!
ADAM: Well, if someone wouldn’t have taken advice from a talking reptile—
EVE: Oh, here we go.
ADAM: “Are you talking to me, you little snake? What? Oh, jump off a bridge? Aw, I would, but they haven’t been invented yet. Oh! Eat this fruit? Well, you look like a pretty trustworthy snake.”
EVE: Nobody’s perfect.
ADAM: Yeah, well, we were until you went and pretty much ruined it for all of mankind, so, good job with that.
EVE: I seem to remember you taking a bite, too.
ADAM: Well, I thought I was eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Restfulness and Serenity.
EVE: Right. It’s never your fault.
ADAM: Besides, what was I gonna do with a fallen wife? That would just be… weird.
EVE: Oh. You fell for me? You’re an idiot!
ADAM: Idiot? I named every single animal!
EVE: Right. Great job with that. A prairie dog’s not a dog, a seahorse isn’t a horse, and a bald eagle isn’t bald.
ADAM: Well, I was going pretty fast.
EVE: Aardvark? Platypus?
ADAM: Okay, they were at the back of the line, not everything can be “cat” or “rat” or “bat.”
ADAM: Yeah, well, “woman” was taken.
(Eve throws another ball at Adam.)
ADAM: Okay! How many gourds do you have back there? That was a joke. Not good for a man to be alone.
EVE: No, it’s great.
(Eve shoves a pelt for sleeping on toward Adam and leaves. Video ends.)
PASTOR WIL: I guess he’s sleepin’ on the couch tonight, praise Jesus.
That’s interesting. I remember when me and my wife first got together and we said we would not go to bed mad at each other. And it worked, for a little while. (Laughter.) Okay, y’all ain’t workin’ with me. But it’s hard not to go to bed mad at each other when your argument starts at 11:00 at night. Okay, y’all still ain’t workin’ with me. (Laughter.)
These things are inevitable, they’re going to happen. We’re gonna feel a certain way about the person that we love. They’re gonna make us feel a certain kind of way. That, that, the job that you love, those people gonna make you feel a certain kind of way. These church members, your pastor, your First Lady, we’re gonna do something to offend you, and you’re gonna feel a certain kind of way. What are you gonna do? Are you gonna keep running, keep looking, go find another church, go find another man, find another woman, find another job?
There are people who are not walking in their purpose. They went to school, they got their degrees, they knew that they were called to do this, they got that job, they was passionate, and then the people turned you against your own purpose. Now you’re not even doing what you went to school for because you couldn’t stand the people on your job because of the way they treated you. And yet that was your calling. Yeah. That’s what happens when we don’t get this. And so, this message here deals with the virtues.
DR. GRACE: So virtue is moral excellence. It’s goodness, it’s righteousness, and when one conforms and conducts their life based on moral and ethical principles.
PASTOR WIL: The virtue of a thing is what we call the “prerogative,” have you ever heard that term? “Patience is a virtue?” Prerogative, or privilege, means birthright. I need y’all to get this. When we talk about love’s virtues, we’re talking about your birthright, we’re talking about your prerogative, for patience is a virtue.
Now, when He says “patience is a virtue,” He’s really saying that the fruit of the Spirit is love’s virtue, y’all remember that? The Bible says, “But the fruit of the spirit is” what? Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. These are the virtues of love. When we receive the Holy Ghost – everybody hear me, hear me – when you receive the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost gives you the ability to produce these virtues, which are necessary when people make you feel a certain kind of way.
Did y’all get that? See – no, I need y’all to get this! This is your birthright! When you are born again, when you are born naturally, your birthright is what your natural dad and father and mother has for you, correct? If they rich, then you get their birthright. If they in debt, praise Jesus. (Laughter.) Look at your neighbor and say, “You still get the birthright.” It’s just a broke birthright, but it’s still yours. And when you get born again by your spiritual father, you get some other birthrights: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. These are your birthrights. It’s supposed to be yours.
DR. GRACE: And so I want you to really wrap your mind around the word “birthright,” because everyone in the building today, when you were born, you were entitled to a birthright. And when you become born again, reborn, you become entitled to a spiritual birthright, which means that, before you were born again, if you were at the back of the line, when you become reborn, and born again, if the principle is that you’re now in the front of the line, when you become reborn, you are entitled to become in the front of the line. So that means that somebody can just come back and, “Oh, why are you staying in the back of the line? Come on.” And they give you the power and the authority to change your position from bein’ last place to bein’ first place. So that’s what your birthright is, and that’s what, as a believer, you are entitled to. This is not something the enemy can trick you out of. Only you can give up your birthright.
Now, you can choose to say, “Oh, no, I’m okay, I don’t wanna pass all these people, I’ll stay back here.” You can refuse your birthright when you’re given an opportunity to be the head, to be first in line, you can refuse that. So that’s what a birthright is.
PASTOR WIL: Go to Genesis 25:29 and look at that real quickly. Unfortunately, too many people, just like our protagonist in our lesson text here, sell their birthright. I already told you, people are gonna do what they’re gonna do, and you have a birthright which gives you the power – that’s what we’re callin’ this, the power of love – to be able to deal with these folks, to deal with your, your husband and your wife, or your lovers or your friends or your coworkers or your church members. But you can sell it. You can sell it, for cheap.
Read that for us, Dr. Grace.
DR. GRACE: “And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint. And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint.”
PASTOR WIL: Everybody say, “Faint.” That’s gonna be the first key to why we lose our birthright.
DR. GRACE: “Therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die.”
PASTOR WIL: Everybody say, “I feel like dyin’.” Alright?
DR. GRACE: “And what profit shall this birthright do to me?
PASTOR WIL: Everybody say, “What’s the purpose for this?” Everybody say, “What’s the profit in it?” Uh-huh.
DR. GRACE: “And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.”
PASTOR WIL: Everybody say, “Despise.”
What we just saw is the degradation, the process down of a person losing what is rightfully theirs.
Number one, they get faint. “I’m just gettin’ tired of you, First Lady. I’m just gettin’ tired, I can’t take this no more, it’s too much.” So we get faint, number one.
Number two, we feel like ain’t nothin’ else in the world worse than this; we get to the point of death. So we think, “I can’t live like this. God didn’t mean for me to be like this.” Y’all so quiet on a brother. (Laughter.) Now you feel like you are at the point of death. “I’m done! I’m finished! I can’t take it!” At the point of death.
Number three is, what’s the purpose, what’s the profit in staying in this relationship? So we devalue, we devalue the relationship, because we faint, we feel like we’re gonna die, now we don’t have any value in it, so, we then despise it. We scorn and hate the very thing that was our birthright.
DR. GRACE: So when we are weak, the enemy, our enemy – the devil – will magnify our situations, and then, he will offer us a cheap, temporary fix in return for our permanent birthright.
PASTOR WIL: Let me say that again. He will magnify your haters and cause you to sell your virtue for feeling bitter. He will magnify your suffering and trouble and cause you to sell your joy and peace for anxiety and depression. He will cause you – are y’all gettin’ this? – he will magnify your disappointments and struggles, and cause you to sell out for long-suffering and faithfulness, because now you’re just too weary, you’re too envious. We, we, we make a permanent decision based upon a temporary situation.
I’m gonna say that one more again. We – y’all, y’all hearing this? – we make a permanent decision to sell out our birthright because of a temporary situation.
DR. GRACE: So today, we must be determined to live a life based on our permanent virtues of love. And today, we must decide that we’re not going to sell our birthright for a temporary thought, feelings of love.
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