Summary: Love is something we could never do without help from someone who is really good at it. Because of God’s love for each of us, we have the ability to love God and others.
Able to Love
1 John 4:7-21 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 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. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Intro: Have you ever been in love? Hopefully, many of you still are. Love… what a wonderful thing! The grass is greener, the sky is bluer, the sun is brighter, the flowers are prettier! The object of your affection is someone who is perfect in every way and can do no wrong. You never knew someone could be so beautiful or handsome! Now, all you married couples move ahead 5-10 years. “I sure wish she would quit squeezing the toothpaste in the middle of the tube. That really bugs me!” “I sure wish that lazy bum would get up out of the recliner and take the garbage out! He never does anything around here.” Does that describe anyone you know?
-No doubt the love is still there, but the mundane details of life can strip away the veneer of infatuation. What does it really mean to love someone?
-Now, shift mental gears a little bit. Have you ever known someone who was really, really hard to love? They didn’t love you back. In fact, maybe they didn’t even like you. They knew how to press your irritation buttons. How frustrating!
-Well, thankfully, there is help available to us. Love is something we could never do without help from someone who is really good at it. And that is our main theme today.
Prop: Because of God’s love for each of us, we have the ability to love God and others.
Interrogative: How does God’s love help us love in return?
TS: John the Beloved gives us four perspectives on love from our text.
I. The Source of Love (7-10) God is love.
-Loving is not just one of God’s activities, but it is who He is. Therefore, all of His activity and work is done out of His nature of love. God’s supreme characteristic is His love. Now it is fine to speak of love in the abstract, but it often does not mean very much to us if that is all the farther we take it.
-I find that one of the best ways I can connect with God’s love for me is to remember that He is my Father in heaven. He loves me like a Daddy loves his little boy. He loves you like a wonderful Daddy loves his little girl or little boy. In fact, if you take the best Daddy and the best Mommy in the world, and wrap the love they have for their children in one great bundle, this might give us a small idea of how good and how great God’s love is for each of us. Who gave Moms & Dads the capacity to love? God did.
-What other kind of love would keep on hoping, waiting for the lost son to come home- even after the son had dishonored his father? What other kind of love would accept the poor, the helpless, the sick, the beggars, the prostitutes? Even to one who was caught in the act of adultery, Jesus said, “I do not condemn you. Now, go and leave your life of sin”? What other kind of love accepts each of us just the way we are, even though He knows every secret of our lives? Only the love of God is like this.