Book: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

The Best Way to Go in Life

By James Wiese on February 9, 2024

Quinquagesima Sunday: Pre-Lent 3 (Faith, Hope, Love)             Feb.11, 2024

Text: 1 Corinthians 13:(1-)13 Historic Series                                24:2427

Theme:   The Best Way to Go in Life.

The story is told of a factory foreman who was known for his “hard” nature. The owner wanted input from the employees as to what wasn’t going right and what they felt would help the factory run more smoothly. But the foreman was a man who thought he knew better than others. He didn’t want to hear any advice, especially not from the employees. Yet, in compliance with the owners’ wishes, he posted the request. In big, bold letters he wrote: COMPLAINT FORM. WRITE COMPLAINTS IN THE SQUARE BELOW. WRITE LEGIBLY. KEEP IT BRIEF. The place for complaints was just a small box.
Walking into the room one day, he noticed someone had written in the tiny space. “Who could possibly have written a complaint that has any depth to it in that little space?” he thought. Bending over he peered at the scrawl: “You don’t love enough!” He recoiled in surprise. I don’t know the rest of the story, but it got me thinking. Do I love enough? How about you? How can we tell if we love enough?
Let’s try this. I’ll go back earlier in this chapter and read each description about love again. Then I’ll pause for a moment. You think back over the past week and see if this describes your response to the situations that confronted you: “Love is patient…love is kind…it does not envy…does not boast….is not proud….not rude…not self-seeking…not easily angered…keeps no record of wrongs…does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth…always protects…always trusts…always hopes…always perseveres…love never fails” – literally “not even once falls down.” Did that describe your reactions to situations this past week? How about throughout your life? Sadly, it does not describe me. But it does describe our Lord perfectly.
Love seeks to follow Him. It is The Best Way to Go in Life. Two other things are also important so that three characteristics are to prevail in the lives of God’s redeemed people: I. faith; II. hope; and III. love. If we have these, He’ll have no reason to complain about us.

I. Faith.
The first quality that is mentioned is faith. Why is faith so important as we strive to walk in the best way to go in life? Well, God’s Word says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, not of yourself” (Ep.2:8). And again: “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hb.11:6). And again: “Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (Ro.5:1-2). Only faith enjoys God’s eternal gifts. Without it one lacks that which is necessary for a blessed life.
And it’s not just faith in any old thing; it is faith in Christ. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Paul said, “and you shall be saved.” So also Jesus told His disciples, “Believe in God; believe also in Me” (Jn.14:1). This faith alone remains. Other “faiths” come to nothing.
Such a faith looks beyond man and the present to the eternal and Divine. Such a faith is never occupied with just itself and what it can do; its object is the Lord Jesus Christ; it worships Him. Such a faith rests in Him as the Savior and finds refreshing relief from sin’s desert (Mk.2:5). Such a faith receives Jesus gladly and is never offended at Him (Lk.4:20f). Such a faith enjoys His sanctifying touch and influence (Mk.5:27f). Such a faith willingly submits to Him as Lord, allowing only Him to dominate one’s heart and conduct (Mt.6:24). Such a faith is like the ivy that clings to a tree because it lives upon it. Without the tree it has no ability to stand or thrive by itself. This is the faith that must go on in our lives. Without it we are lost.
The story is told of a minister sitting at the bedside of a dying girl whom he had confirmed some years before. She opened her eyes and asked, “Pastor, I know that I haven’t long to live; I feel it. When death comes, what must I do?” “You know,” he gently responded. “Look to the Lord Jesus; trust Him as your Savior from sin, and you will be saved.” “Is there really nothing more?” she asked. “Absolutely nothing else,” he replied. “Ah,” she sighed, “I am so glad because I do believe that He died and rose to save me. I trust His will for my life.”
Such a blessed, wondrous faith – simple, frail at times, yet so rewarding for time and eternity. It is the way to go in life and must remain with us throughout our present existence.

II. Hope
The second quality that remains is hope. Why is hope so important as we strive to walk in the best way to go in life?
Well, hope is the daughter of faith. It is born of faith. It looks forward to and rejoices in the salvation to which faith clings. The Bible says, “In this hope we are saved (Ro.8:24). Hope longs for the day that we will be delivered from this life to eternal life with God.
Think of that dying girl. Her faith was her comfort; it gave her hope in the Savior. She had no hope of recovery from her illness, nor did she have anything in life that she could still hope for because all was passing away so quickly before her eyes. But the hope that remained was the welcome by her heavenly Father into the glorious Kingdom above, there to be forever at the side of her Savior. That hope remains to the one who believes. All other hopes will pass away.
When we are young, we have such high hopes and expectations for life. We envision happiness and healthy times. We hope for a successful career, a thriving business, a flourishing profession, a lovely home, a happy family, a life with many enjoyments and luxuries. We set our minds upon it. But as we move through life, we soon find that some of our hopes do not materialize. Things don’t quite pan out the way we hoped they would. Are we left then to despair?
Oh, no, at least not for the Christian whose faith and hope are in Christ. For when all other earthly hopes fade, this hope remains – Christ. Forgiveness, life, and eternal salvation rest in Him and He shall make everything turn out for those whose faith and hope are in Him.
Shortly before that young girl died, she lay in bed, eyes closed, appearing to sleep. A friend sitting nearby looked upon her sadly and whispered: “Poor child. She will never get to see her best days.” At that she opened her eyes and looking heavenward replied, “No, you are wrong. My best days are still to come.” Hope remained in her.
Paul writes, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed….in the hope that (we) will be liberated from (our) bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rm.8:18f).
Blessed, wondrous hope, simple yet so uplifting, strengthening us in time for eternity. It is the way to go in life and must remain in us.

III. Love.
Two down and one to go. It is the best way of all. “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” All are essential. But of these, love is the highest. In what sense is love superior to faith and hope?
Consider this first. God does not call Himself “Faith” or “Hope.” But He calls Himself “Love.” The Bible says, “God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love” (1Jn.4:8f).
Go back to that list again that describes love and see how it fits Christ in His gracious dealings with us. “Love is patient; love is kind, it does not envy; it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
This doesn’t describe me in every moment of my life. But this is Christ, my Savior – ever patient with the prodigal, ever kind, never rude, keeping no list of my wrongs, always protecting me, looking for me to come to Him, trusting that I will not fail Him, persevering in His care and concern for me. He never lets me fall but lifts me up in His gracious and almighty hand. Do you see why love is the greatest?
Furthermore, one day my faith will turn into sight, and I shall see Him as He is. I will see God. One day hope will turn to having. What I long for now will be mine then and I will no longer hope for it. “Who hopes for what he already has?” the Bible asks (Rm.8:24).
Eventually, faith and hope mature and change, like a baby growing into adulthood. Faith changes into sight, and hope changes into reality. But love will not change. God’s love remains constant through eternity. My love for Him will go on in its fullest way without sin ever interfering. And finally, finally, dear friends, my love for you and for all around the throne will never, ever fail again. In heaven love shall remain; it will never go away; it will never fall.
But until that time arrives, I will strive in faith and hope to be like Him as best I can – patient, kind, giving and forgiving, longsuffering and concerned for people’s needs just like Christ has been towards me. That’s what I in my present faith and hope want to be. When I fall and do not love enough, forgive me for Christ’s sake, even as God will for Jesus’ sake. This is the best way to go in life, living in God’s love and living God’s love – always seeking to find a way to express itself for your good. “For as God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1Jn.4:11). God help us for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield

4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)

Church phone: 417.887.0886           Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244                 email:

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Quinquagesima Sunday – Pre-Lent 3      February 11, 2024

“This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him.” Mt.17:5

Welcome: The family of Zion welcomes you as we worship the Lord today. We encourage children to worship with us. However, if you need to leave with your child, there is a nursery room to the right as you exit the sanctuary. The rest rooms are located in the hallway between the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. Visitors, please sign our guest book to the right, just outside the sanctuary. We’re glad that you are here and pray that through our worship the Lord grants you peace.

U p o n   E n t e r i n g    G o d’ s   H o u s e

“In You, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Into Your hands I commit my spirit, deliver me, my faithful God. My times are in Your hands. Save me in Your unfailing love” (Psalm 31).

W h a t   T h i s   S u n d a y   i s   A b o u t

Open Our Eyes to See Your Merciful Love for Us.   Today is the last Sunday of the pre-Lenten season, exactly 50 days before Easter (Quinquagesima means 50). This Sunday also marks the entrance into the Passion season which begins in 3 days on Ash Wednesday.

In the appointed Gospel Lesson for this day, Jesus tells His disciples, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.” So it is that in the alternate reading of Jesus’ Transfiguration, it is noted that they came down from the mountain and Jesus instructed His disciples not to say anything about His glorification until He had risen from the dead.

In His determination to go to Jerusalem where the cross awaited, we see displayed His great love for us. That love is also made evident in His healing of the blind man who called upon Him for mercy and in His patient dealing with the disciples who just could not “see” His ultimate mission of dying and rising again for our forgiveness, life, and salvation.

To that end we pray, O Lord, mercifully hear our prayers. Having set us free from the bonds of sin, open our eyes to see You in Your mercy and love for us that never fails; for Your name’s sake we pray. Amen.

T h e   W o r d   o f   G o d   f o r   T o d a y

(The Lessons of the Day are from the Historic Pericope Series of the Christian Church.)

The Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 8:4-9

The Lord lamented His people’s spiritual blindness. They did not see their need for repentance and turning to Him for healing. They knew better; for they had His Word. But they refused to listen and rejected it. Even the rest of creation had a better understanding of their Maker.

The Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

In speaking of the gifts which the Holy Spirit bestows on His Church, the Apostle Paul testifies that Christian love is the greatest gift. All other noble qualities and endeavors are worthless unless they are carried out in Christ-like love. Such love is rooted in the Savior and reflects His redeeming love towards us.

The Gospel Lesson: Matthew 17:1-9

For a brief moment in time, Jesus’ appearance transformed to show His glory as God’s Son. Two of the prophets of old, Moses and Elijah, spoke with Him. The disciples were so thrilled that they wanted to stay in sight of His glory. But they could not tarry there for Jesus had to move on from that Mount of Glory to redeem us on the Mount of Crucifixion.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Organist: Jane Rips                The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Point to Ponder: “We see here just how important love is. A person may speak like an angel, in lovely tones and powerfully so that his speaking is like golden apples in silver skins. He may know all of Scripture by heart. He may even be adorned with apostolic knowledge and the ability to perform amazing miracles. He may be rich in works. Everyone may praise him as a noble benefactor of mankind and boast of him… He may even end his life in martyrdom. But if all of this does not flow out of love, everything he has accomplished is a dirty stream from a polluted spring. Without love, he is no Christian, despite all his gifts and visible works of love. Love is the true crown of all gifts, the true weight in the scale of all deeds. Where it is lacking, all works and the entire life of a person are sinful, lost, and rejected before God. Let each of us examine oneself to see if love dwells in his heart and if all one’s works flow from this source.”          — CFW Walther on today’s Epistle Lesson

Outline of Our Worship

The Preparation

Opening Thoughts on the Service

The Entrance Hymn: #386

Order of Worship:     The Service: Setting One     page 154-160

Prayer of the Day

The Ministry of the Word

Jeremiah 8:4-9

Psalm 31

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Gospel Acclamation: Epiphany     pg.161

Matthew 17:1-9

Hymn: #389

Sermon: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13     The Best Way to Go in Life

The Apostles’ Creed pg.163

Our Response to the Word

Prayer: pg.164

The Offering

Hymn: #697

The Lord Blesses Us

The Closing Prayers and Blessing     Hymnal page 171

Closing Hymn: #392 st.1,5,6

Silent Prayer

Quinquagesima Sunday – Pre-Lent 3   Historic Series

Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 8:4-9 God’s People Do Not “See” Him

You are to tell them that this is what the Lord says: Do people fall and not get up again? If a person turns away, doesn’t he turn back again? Then why has this people turned away? Why is Jerusalem always turning away? They hang on to deception and refuse to let it go. I have paid attention and listened, but they do not say what is right. No one repents of his wickedness. No one asks, “What have I done?” Everyone pursues his own course, like a horse charging into battle.

Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons. The turtledove, the swift, and the thrush observe the right time for their migration. But my people do not recognize the just judgments of the Lord.

How can you say, “We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us,” when in reality the lying pen of the scribes has changed it into a lie? Your wise men will be put to shame. They will be shattered and captured. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?

Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 13 – Love Is the Most Excellent Way

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all the mysteries and have all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I give up my body that I may be burned but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy. It does not brag. It is not arrogant. It does not behave indecently. It is not selfish. It is not irritable. It does not keep a record of wrongs. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never comes to an end.

But if there are prophetic gifts, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be done away with. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part, 10 but when that which is complete has come, that which is partial will be done away with.

11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 Now we see indirectly using a mirror, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I was fully known.

13 So now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love

Gospel Lesson: Matthew 17:1-9 The Disciples See Jesus’ Transfiguration

1Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John the brother of James; and he led them up onto a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured in front of them. His face was shining like the sun. His clothing became as white as the light. Just then, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, I will make three shelters here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them. Just then, a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him.”

When the disciples heard this, they fell face down and were terrified. Jesus approached and as he touched them, he said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” When they opened their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Do not tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2019


(The historical Gospel Lesson for Quinquagesima Sunday is Luke 18:31-43. Jesus sets His face towards Jerusalem and on the way heals a blind man. However, traditionally the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration is read the Sunday before Lent begins. We will read the Transfiguration account today.)

Calendar & Announcements for Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church















Next Sun.


9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

online -Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study





No Church Council Meeting this week Midweek Supper and Service at Peace

6 & 7 pm






Ash Wednesday

11 am

Midweek Bible Class


5:45 pm


6:30 pm

Midweek Lent 1

9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

with Holy Communion

online – Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study



Lent 1


 A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today

On the threshold of Lent, Jesus reveals His wondrous love. Our answer to His love or us should be the same kind of a love to our brethren. The kind of love that Jesus had and we are to reflect in our lives will sustain us amid all the labors, burdens, trials, sufferings, and persecutions that may come our way because of faith in the Savior. Love is the fruit of a living and abiding faith. The greatness of it is governed by the strength and the intelligence of faith.

The Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 13 (the answers are found on the back side)

  1. What gifts did the Corinthians most desire?
  2. What is the greatest Christian gift, according to Paul?
  3. Why does love rate as the greatest gift?

Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (Long’s son-in-law); Libya, (Jodi Milam’s granddaughter); Barbara Long; Kathy Workentine; Robbie Woessner; Liz & Roger Lisenby; Kay Schmidt at Quail Creek Rehab after tumor removal; Liz Lisenby at home after heart valve replacement; Norine Richardson at home after pace-maker procedure; Loise Wiese, at Mercy Hospital with an infection..

Forward in Christ’s next edition for February has arrived. There are copies for family and friends in the narthex. Also, the next edition of Meditations’ daily devotions, beginning the end of February, will be found there.

Divine Call Sent At the joint call meeting of Zion and Peace two weeks ago this past Thursday, Pastor Jason Enderle was selected to whom our call for pastor will be sent. He is 38 years old and presently serves Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Washington, MI. He and wife Hannah are blessed with 2 children, 2 years old and under. Please keep Pastor Enderle and family in your prayers over the next few weeks as he prayerfully considers where the Lord would have him serve in His Kingdom of Grace.

Upcoming Services and Events

Tuesday, February 20 – Monthly Church Council Meeting

Thursday, February 15 – First Midweek Lent Supper, 5:45 pm, and Worship with Holy Communion, 6:30 pm

Friday-Saturday, March 15-16 – Youth Retreat at Christ Alone LC, Dardenne Prairie, MO – “Preparing to Give an Answer”

The Week in Review

Last Sunday Worship: ; Bible Study: ; Midweek Bible Class: no class; Offerings: $

 Next Sunday’s Lessons:               

Lent 1 – Invocavit: Genesis 22:1-14; 2 Corinthians 6:1-10; Matthew 4:1-11   (Historic Pericope Series)

Answers to Today’s Epistle Lesson Brief Study:

  1. The Corinthians wanted to have those gifts that would most readily put them in the spotlight. They wanted to be prophets, apostles and teachers. They wanted to perform miracles and speak in other languages.
  2. Paul argues that the greatest Christian gift is love. It is the gift that we should most desire.
  3. Love is the greatest Christian gift because love is what makes all other gifts valuable. If we have many gifts, but do not use them lovingly in service to others, they will be of no benefit to others and will not bring glory to God. Eventually these gifts will be taken from us and given to someone who will use them wisely (Mt 25:28-30).

This week I am praying for……