OceanSide church of Christ

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Greatest of These is Love (6)
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.                Love is not easily provoked

A.    The word for provoked means to “stand near being provoked”

                                                    i.     The idea is like someone having a short trigger

                                                   ii.     Just a slight touch of the trigger and they fire

                                                 iii.     This is someone who is touchy, or irritable often

B.    There are two parts to this:

                                                    i.     The provoker

1.     Provoking can be good (Heb 10:24)

2.     Provoking can be bad (Col 3:21)

a.     We might provoke someone to be a better Christian

b.     Or we might provoke someone to anger

                                                   ii.     The provoked

1.     Paul uses it in the negative sense

2.     Someone is easily angered

C.    An example of someone who was provoked is Moses

                                                    i.     Notice he was provoked but was still accountable (Psa 106:32-33)

                                                   ii.     He smote the rock in his anger instead of speaking to it (Num 20:11)

                                                 iii.     He may have been irritated by the provokers, Israel, but he still lost control and suffered the consequences of his sin

D.    Here are three Proverbs to add to this point:

                                                    i.     Those who are easily angered will act foolishly (Prov 14:17)

1.     Ever said something or done something in anger you regretted?

2.     Anger can lead to acting out in foolish ways we never would in our right mind

                                                   ii.     It is better to live in the wilderness than with an angry woman (Prov 21:19)

1.     This can be true of either gender but especially women

2.     No one wants to be around a person who is always irritable

3.     Being around that person is like walking on eggs shells

                                                 iii.     Anger leads to strife and sin (Prov 29:22)

1.     Anger will cause strife and contention

a.     The provoked ends up provoking another

b.     Our marriage may have many arguments if I am easily provoked

c.     Anger also leads to easy sin as well

E.    How do I fix this?

                                                    i.     I need to practice patience and listening (1 Thess 5:14, Jam 1:19)

                                                   ii.     Listen further before you speak out in anger

                                                 iii.     Walk away and cool off before you say or do something you’ll regret

1.     Sometimes we have a bad day, we get irritated by a pet peeve, or something else goes wrong

2.     It is natural to be a little flustered but we need to cool down before we let it get out of control (Eph 4:26)

II.              Love thinketh no evil

A.    This phrase covers three areas by way of application

                                                    i.     Love does not hold evil to one’s account (Past)

1.     That is, love doesn’t hold a grudge

2.     It buries the hatchet handle deep as it were

                                                   ii.     Love does not assume evil (Present)

1.     Love gives the benefit of the doubt

2.     We assume the best intentions when possible

                                                 iii.     Love does not look for evil (Future)

1.     Some walk around trying to find something wrong with things

2.     Don’t look for evil just to find something to complain about

B.    Joseph is a great example of this point (Gen 50:20)

                                                    i.     Joseph was sold into slavery after almost being left for dead

                                                   ii.     Through God’s providence he became a ruler in Egypt

1.     A famine came during his time as second in command over all Egypt

2.     His brothers showed up needing food

3.     Instead of holding a grudge for what they did he let it go and showed them kindness and love

C.    Love covers sin (1 Peter 4:8)

                                                    i.     Love forgets about sin instead of bring it up over and over again

                                                   ii.     When we seek forgiveness from God we seek love because love is what forgives (Prov 17:9)

1.     Therefore, we must forgive one another as God forgives us (Eph 4:32)

2.     We must seek to forgive but others must repent in order to receive it (Luke 17:3-4)

3.     If I forgive as I ought then I will not think evil of others