Sunday, June 11, 2023, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


1 Co. 12:31: Earnestly desire the best gifts.  And yet I show you a more excellent way.


The best highway we can find in which to minster the truth of God, is the more excellent highway of LOVE.  It is a highway that far excels the pathways of knowledge, faith, miracle-working-power, prophetic utterance, musical gifts, and so forth.


Heb. 8:6L Now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.


God wants us to know that Love is the most powerful force on earth or in Heaven and that it is part of the New Covenant that our Mediator in the heavens is mediating on our behalf.  Let us not consider these things are impossible to attain, but something God has provided for His people.  It will not be by any degree of carnal striving that we will come into the realm of God’s holy Love.

This past Tuesday in our study of Romans, chapter 1, the Holy Spirit quickened Romans 1:4: (Jesus Christ our Lord) … declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness…  

The word for Holiness here is “hagiosyne,” and is only used three times in the Holy Scripture.  

1: Here in Romans 1:4 as the dynamos power that raised Christ from the dead.

 2:  We are charged with perfecting holiness (2 Co. 7:1), (haglosyne) This dynamos power of God within us by the indwelling Christ, Holy Spirit and God the Father.

3: To the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness (haglosyne) before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Heb. 12:22: But you have come unto Mount Zion…Heb. 12:14: and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

We are part of a “royal priesthood”.  Each ministry should be recognized as a priestly ministry, having access into God’s presence,  and a priestly heart to minister to fellow believers in the body of Christ.  This means to the church of the 21st century that you will not magnify your gifts, offices or callings above the grace and mercy to minister to those who are weak, baby Christians, and oppressed.  To walk on God’s pathway of Love, we will have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way (Heb. 5:2).  That does not mean that we lay our backs on the ground for them to walk over.  That is not compassion.  We must stand strong in our faith, convictions and love to speak truth into wrong actions and wrong thinking (the wrong way).  Heb. 12:12:  Strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.

St. Augustine: “The truth is like a lion.  You don’t have to defend it.  Let it loose.  It will defend itself.”

When we speak truth with compassion.  Truth will do its work.  We won’t have to help Truth.  We may not see the fruit, but eventually the spoken Word of Truth operating under the power of the Holy Spirit of Truth will produce life and more truth.  Truth is the only power that can break through denial and deception.

Heb. 12:6-7:  For whom the LORD loves, He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.  If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 

No priest, bishop, prophet, pastor, apostle, or pope can assume the role as mediator of the New Covenant.  There is One Mediator in the heavens, the Man, Christ Jesus.  This is our heritage as believers in Christ that we have access into the very presence of God through One mediator.  We have come to Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant., and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Able (Heb. 12:24).

The Son, Jesus Christ is a better administrator than Moses, or the angels. Our Priest after the order of Melchizedek is a better High Priest than the priesthood of Aaron.

As we climb the Faith Ladder (2 Pet. 1:5-8) our vision becomes clearer.  We grow into the stature of Christ, beyond the realm of knowledge, gifts, and ministries.  This is the Love Realm.  And although we cannot understand it, we are able to apprehend it…to lay hold upon it.


Eph. 3:19: to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God.


There is another realm beyond knowledge, gifts and ministries.  It is a realm which passes knowledge.  It is broader, longer, deeper, and higher. 


The Day of the Lord that is coming is more than an Appointment.  It is an Encounter of the mighty God with men of all nations.  It is a time when God will say, it is enough!  Right now, God is preparing a people who have been tried by fire, and from whose lives God has burned away the dross.  They will move in the anointing such as rested on Moses…on Joseph…on John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and John. They will be a powerful Witness in that Great Day of the Lord.  Will you and I be ready?

(Jesus) is our mediator in the heavens, interceding for us that we do not fall short of His desire for us.  He will not fail in His advocacy on our behalf until we find our total Delight in God, and He finds His total Delight in us.


Let us continually seek the Lord earnestly for the manifest Presence of Christ in our midst, and then it will happen the way God said!  When we have come to PERFECT LOVE, He will come and abide in us in Rest and Joy and Delight, and we will hear God singing for joy in our midst, fulfilling the prophecy of Zephaniah:


The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty.

He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy.

He will rest in His love,

He will joy over thee with singing (Zeph. 3:17).


We are very much aware how helpless we are to present the Truth concerning the Love of God in such clarity and purity that God’s people will be challenged to pursue this More Excellent Way.  How can we possibly describe the depths of God’s Love in words that we learned in school?  We are limited to 26 letters of the English alphabet, and no matter how well we can frame words together, from those 26 letters—we know they are totally inadequate to impart the Truth into the lives of others.  Paul knew this sense of inadequacy and knew that the only way he could communicate the Truth of God to others was not by words of eloquence going forth by the wisdom of man, but by speaking forth ‘words—which the Holy Ghost teaches’ from the heart of God (1 Cor. 2:13).


We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery (a divine secret), even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory which none of the princes of this world knew:  for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.  But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.  But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, and the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:7-10).


When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he wrote two whole chapters about gifts and ministries, and how important these are to the Church.  Then sandwiched in between these, he wrote this beautiful chapter about the preeminence of the Love of God above any of the gifts of the Spirit.  He gave us this very clear admonition:  And yet, show I unto you a More Excellent Way” (1 Cor. 12:31), followed by this wise counsel: “Follow after love and desire spiritual gifts” (1 Cor. 14.1).  He made it very clear that our ultimate pursuit is to walk in The More Excellent Way, with the help of spiritual gifts.


Now abides faith, hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love (1 Cor. 13:13).




Let us consider how important Love is in the sight of God.  The Lord dictated a letter to John for the Church at Ephesus.  This Church had many good qualities and a good reputation.  They had survived well, for they had received good apostolic teaching and doctrine, under the apostle Paul, and others: “I know thy works, and thy labor” said Jesus.  They must have been diligent in working for God.  In all of this they exercised patience in times of trial.  They would not tolerate any evil workers in their midst.  They had keen discernment to recognize the false apostle, who no doubt had visited their fellowship in Ephesus, and ministered to them, but they discerned a wrong spirit, and found them to be liars, and rejected them.  Then the Lord emphasized how the saints at Ephesus had carried heavy burdens, and endured it all with patience, and fainted not.


We would be inclined to give the Church at Ephesus a 95% mark.  But despite all their good works, and their stalwart stand for truth, and the wonderful teaching they had received—the Lord was not about to put His stamp of approval on this very active, very energetic, very well-disciplined Church.  And why not?  Because of this one area in which they had failed, and of which they were not aware:  You have left your first love.  And it was for this very tragic reason that Jesus warned them that if they did not repent, He would “remove their lamp stand.”  He would take away the little light they had if they refused to repent.  The Church at Ephesus would cease to be the Light that it was when it started.  This would mean they would no longer be a vital witness in Ephesus, of the living Christ (Rev. 2: 1-7).


We can only wonder how many thousands of churches there are throughout the land, that no longer sends forth the Light of Jesus to the people in their community.  The Lamp stand has been removed and they know it not.  The money is still coming in for their many good works.  The crowds have increased in number, and they are planning to build a bigger building.  But the Light of God is no longer there, and somehow, they have become accustomed to the darkness. 


In view of what Jesus and the apostles said about Love, why do we not give this matter of following Love our highest priority—in our lives, or in our gatherings, or in our Vision?  We can only conclude that the reason is—we do not see the beauty, the glory, the power, and the excellence of this virtue as we should.  It is because we do not know God well enough, for God is Love.  If we know Him better, we would certainly love Him, and His people more than we do.  If we do not fear God, and really know Him intimately, how can we honestly, and in any great measure, love His people who were made in His image?


We need the winds of Heaven to blow upon us, and His holy Presence to come into our midst, and reveal Himself to us in our weakness and helplessness. 


We have this confidence, that our great Mediator in the heavens will continue to intercede for us, that the very Love of Jesus may be formed within His people.  How bankrupt we really are in spiritual worth!  I want to declare bankruptcy for myself, with the hope that the Lord of the Church might come to us, and put that hunger and desire in His people, to seek Him earnestly for the true riches.  How can we read First Corinthians Thirteen, and fail to see how needy we really are? 


We may speak with fluency the tongues of men and of angels, but without love—it is but a tinkling cymbal.


We might be prophets of the highest order, displaying great knowledge, and unraveling great mysteries, but without Love, we are nothing.


We might come to a place of great faith, faith of such dimensions that we might speak to a mountain and cast it into one of our lakes.  But we are nothing, without Love.


We might have great riches, and give it all to the poor, Surely, that would be a sign of great love.  But in God’s mind He may see it as a selfish thing, as the benefactor looks for popularity with the people, and yet may have no real love.


Love is long-suffering, and kind.


Does not envy what another person has or is.


Love does not lift himself up in pride,


Does not get puffed up with thoughts of greatness (or legacy), because of his gifts or eloquence, or power.


Love does not engage in foolish, unseemly actions.


Love is not self-seeking, but cares for others, as for himself,


Does not get angry and provoked, when someone challenges him.


Love thinks no evil.  He is careful not to pass judgment on a situation that he may know little about; or on someone when he hears an evil report, which may be but an idle tale.


Love rejoices in words of truth, rather than listening to talebearers or gossip or mockers.


Love will carry the load, no matter how heavy it may seem to be as long as we are assured, we are in the yoke of Christ.  Then we discover, in union with Christ, that His yoke is easy, and His burden light.


Love is not gullible, but has an ear for truth, and believes all things that are spoken forth in truth.


Love is full of hope, in times of trial and testing, and waits patiently for the Lord to deliver us out of trouble.


Love endures all things, knowing that all things work together for good to them that love God; and knowing that the trial of his faith works patience, which is precious in the sight of God.


Then the apostle puts Love on the scales, along with faith, and prophecy, and tongues, and miracles—all these wonderful gifts of the Spirit.


And how do any of these gifts measure up with Love?  They all fall far short, when placed on the scales of Heaven.


Love never Fails.  All else may fail but Love never fails!  Prophecies will fail!  Tongues will cease!  Knowledge will pass away!  Healings will fail!  Miracles may be rare in the Church!  But Love, the Love of God in His people and for His people, and for the world—will outlast them all!


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX.


I entered into the labors of George H. Warnock (1912-2012), The Vision and The Appointment. Order from: Light at Eventide, P. O. Box 574, Wewoka, Oklahoma, 74884 (The cost is the amount of your offering – make it generous.); Preached by Pastor Carolyn Sissom, 4/29/2007.

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