Love Really Works (29/06/02)
By Robert H. Schuller
My son, Robert, and
I are having a wonderful time sharing from what many call the
greatest chapter in the Holy Bible. It is I Corinthians 13, the
famous love chapter. And my message this morning is from verse
6, "Love rejoices in the truth
..." You can't have love without integrity and you cannot
have joy without integrity. "Love
rejoices in the truth" and too many young people
haven't been adequately exposed to authentic love. You hear the
phrase, "let's make love" ... which does not mean "love,"
it means sensual lust that is secular and not spiritual. Real
love really works with joy because it is honest.
I want you to believe
in real love today. If you've been a little cynical, this is the
place to discover what real love really is. Real love believes
in the truth... that you are somebody so you believe in yourself.
It believes in the truth that the people around you have talents
and abilities. That is the truth and you can begin to love them.
And real love teaches you that God is alive and you can feel His
presence. That is reality ... real love
One day many years
ago, as I was walking through a shopping mall, I saw a big sign,
"50% off" in a men's clothing shop. That caught my attention
so I went in. (My wife always selects the clothes, I never do.)
Men's sport coats were 50% off, so I picked out one which was
a beautiful green plaid. I tried it on and it fit perfectly. The
clerk came and said, "Yes, that looks perfect on you."
Then I said, "Now,
I need a pair of slacks with it."
He said, "Yes,
you do." So I saw a pair of light green slacks and I picked
them out. But he said, "No, they won't work." I replied,
said, "but it's a different color of green."
Oh. So I looked around
and saw another pair in my size, a darker green. I pulled it out
and held it up, but he said, "No, that doesn't work either."
So I said, "Well,
maybe I should try a pair of black pants."
He said, "Black
wouldn't work, not with that sport coat." I began to think,
maybe he is just downright negative, I don't know. He said, "Let
me find a pair for you. If I can't find a pair that works, I won't
sell you the coat." He went searching through the entire
shop, even in the back storeroom. Then he came back to me and
said, "Let me have the coat."
I handed him the coat.
He took it and hung it back on the rack. I protested, "What
are you doing? I'll buy the coat."
He said, "No you
won't. I won't sell it to you because I don't have pants that
work with it."
That's a true story.
He wouldn't sell it if it did not work. That's integrity!
I'm not selling, but
I want to give you something and I wouldn't give it to you if
it didn't work. What I'm giving to you is real
love. Real love really works. It has truth, integrity
and honesty. Let me explain what I mean. There are five words
that I use to describe real love. Each word begins with the letter
is a reality
There are people who
don't think love is real. They are cynical. They say real love
is a fantasy. They tried it and they were hurt, disappointed or
rejected. The problem, today, is that the word "love"
is used so carelessly, crudely, callously, and in such a cavalier
way. The word "love" is tragically abused in our world
today. But I submit that love is a reality.
Allow me to prove it to you: there has been a time in your life,
or there will be a time in your life, when you will hug somebody
and you won't want to let go. That's real love! Maybe at a funeral,
maybe at a christening of a baby ... I don't know, but there will
come a time when a tear will roll out of your eye. It's love and
that tear is real. It's not hypocritical ... not fake or phony.
Love is a reality.
Do you want to live
a real life? Real love really works.
I'll never forget the
time I was in Chicago, Illinois, switching planes. I had been
on a speaking trip and as I went to the gate where my plane would
depart I passed a Fannie May chocolate candy store right there
in the middle of the terminal. I think it's still there. I don't
know. So I went into the store to buy my wife some chocolates.
It wasn't very busy. There was one older woman also looking at
all the chocolates. The clerk behind the counter said as I came
in, "Can I help you?"
I asked, "Do you
have a pound of chocolate covered nuts? My wife likes them more
than the creams and caramels."
Then the lady customer
interrupted and said, "Oh yes, they have one pound boxes
of chocolates with nuts. There are chocolate cashews and all kinds
The clerk raised her
eyebrow. The older lady kept looking at the boxes, not buying,
just looking. So I asked, "Well, my wife's favorite chocolate
covered nuts are turtles. They have nuts and caramels. Do you
And again the older
woman interrupted, "Yes, they have them also, in one pound
The clerk began to
look uncomfortable and I began to think, "What is this woman
doing here? She still is not buying anything." So I paused.
Again the older lady said, "They have turtles in three pound
boxes, too." And then, before I could answer, she said, "But
I'd recommend getting a pound of Colonial Chocolates. There are
creams in it, too."
I said, "My wife
doesn't like creams."
said,"I think she would like these creams. They're different."
The clerk looked like
she was reaching the end of her patience and I certainly was.
Then the older woman customer said, "Whoops! I've got to
go or I'll miss my plane." She grabbed her handbag and parcel
and she was gone. Ohhhh! Were we relieved! Then the clerk behind
the counter yelled. "Girls, you can come out now... Fannie
May is gone!"
I said, "You must
be kidding? Was that ..."
"She is the real
"No, I'm not kidding.
When Fannie May's husband died he had a candy store. Then as a
widow, she decided to keep the candy store. Then she made some
more recipes and most of these chocolates here are her recipes."
"Yes, today she
has 117 stores all over the country and she travels to all of
them, making sure her stores, which she calls her 117 children,
are doing good."
was the ultimate authority ... and I didn't listen to her. Instead
I listened to a clerk.
You want to listen
to the ultimate authority on love. The
Ultimate Authority is Jesus Christ. I'm just a clerk.
You look at the life of Jesus Christ and you will say, "Wow!
Love is real! I saw it in Jesus Christ." Love
is a reality. Turn off the cynicism. Turn off the secularism.
Find a real love that will put a tear in your eye and a hug around
you that will never let you go. Just meet Jesus Christ. His love
is a reality.
2) Love is relative
You can expect to be
disappointed ... maybe hurt ... probably rejected. The cynics
have become cynics because their love was not returned or somebody
wasn't honest with them. "Love rejoices
in the truth..." That's why Jesus' love is so
real. Jesus is truth. "I am the
way, the truth ..."The
truth about God ... the truth
about life ... the truth about
heaven ... the truth about
forgiveness ... the truth
about salvation. Jesus is the truth.
Love is relative. Don't expect
to be 100% satisfied in your marriage or in your relationships.
My wife and I have disagreements, but we don't expect the other
person to be perfect.
Love is a reality ... 2) Love is relative ... and ...
3) Love is risky
You expose yourself.
You're vulnerable. You make a commitment. You put an investment
of your emotional self into a relationship, but you may not be
receiving adequate reimbursement. And you say, "I've put
a lot more into it than he or she does." Yes. Just understand
love rejoices in the truth and the truth is ...relationships
are always risky. But ...
Love is redeemable
Risky and you lost
it? You say you lost your love? Only you can say that. It is not
lost until you totally walk away from every portion of it. Part
of it you will keep. It is not totally lost. It is redeemable
... because at the heart of real love
there is forgiveness! Love is redeemable.
Forgiveness is possible in the worst scenes.
Love is religious
This means that love
is spiritual. The love that makes you want to hug somebody and
never let go is a spiritual emotion. The love that puts tears
in your eyes when the bride kisses the groom as the wedding march
is played ... that's spiritual. The love that lets the tears flow
out of your eyes when you say goodbye to someone in a casket ...
that's spiritual. The love that makes you want to pick up that
little toddler a year and a half old and hug him or her. That
emotion is spiritual! Not sensual ... not generated by any gland
in the body ...but by the heart.
love is spiritual. That is why I want you to remember
Fannie May, the real authority.
I didn't pay attention to her. And lots of you don't pay attention
to the real authority, Jesus Christ.
When you read books on spirituality or New Age, or when you read
words from preachers like Schuller, or others, you are just dealing
with clerks! Deal with the authority on love, Jesus Christ. Real
love is spiritual ... it's religious!
love really works -
1) Love is a reality. Yes
it is. It is the ultimate reality.
Love is relative. Sure, but it's not perfect!
Love is risky. Anything that is worth so much is.
Love is redeemable. It is never lost. You always keep
something that came from it. It has forgiveness.
Love is religious. It is spiritual. "Love
rejoices in the truth ..."
I've given you the
truth. I'm not selling a suit. I'm giving you life. Meet Jesus
Christ. He is the expert. Let us pray.
Thank You, Lord, for
the good happenings in my life ... for the word of truth in the
Bible. Thank You, Jesus Christ, that You approach me to forgive
me and to tell me that my Heavenly Father wants to forgive me.
God wants to find me, a lost and weary child, to save me. Hallelujah.