Summary: This was the next-to-last message in a series from 1 John on John’s command to "love one another"
Introduction: A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package; what food might it contain? He was aghast to discover that it was a mousetrap! Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning, "There is a mouse trap in the house, there is a mouse trap in the house." The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell you this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me; I can’t be bothered."
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mouse trap in the house."
"I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse," sympathized the pig, "but there is nothing I can think of to do about it. Surely someone else will step in to help."
The mouse turned to the cow, who replied, "Like wow, Mr. Mouse, a mouse trap; am I in grave danger, Duh?" So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.
The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital.
She returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient.
His wife’s sickness continued so that friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.
The farmer’s wife did not get well, in fact, she died, and so many people came for her funeral the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide meat for all of them to eat.
So the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when the least of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
G.K. Chesterton said “All [people] matter. You matter. I matter. It’s the hardest thing in theology to believe.”
To dwell above with saints we love,
that will be grace and glory--
To live below with saints we know ... that’s another story!
John repeats Jesus’ command to “love one another.” He mentions love 27 times in this passage! How is that possible? How is it possible to love those who aren’t lovable? How is it possible to love those who don’t like you? How is it possible to love those who don’t want to be loved?
I. God is the source of love—in fact, God is love! (7-8)
A. God is love.
1. Here, John makes the third of his great pronouncements about God. “God is spirit,” “God is light,” and now “God is love.”
2. More than simply “loving,” God’s essence is love.
3. APP: It means God is personal. It gives warmth to His light. It fills His glory with life which brings it near to our hearts.
4. [Illustration of non-Christian thinking of God as an impersonal force rather than a personal Being]
B. But love is not God.
1. John’s statements cannot be divorced from the other two tests of eternal life—obedience to God’s commands and correct views about Christ.
2. The Greek grammar prohibits the reversal of “God is love”—i.e. one cannot say, “love is God.”
>>But God hasn’t kept His love just among the members of the Trinity. No,
II. God has lavished His love on us (9-11)
A. The love of God is the love of Christ. When we say that, we’ve said it all.
B. Jack Kelley, foreign affairs editor for USA Today, tells this story:
We were in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, during a famine. It was so bad we walked into one village and everybody was dead. There is a stench of death that gets into your hair, gets onto your skin, gets onto your clothes, and you can’t wash it off.
We saw this little boy. You could tell he had worms and was malnourished; his stomach was protruding. When a child is extremely malnourished, the hair turns a reddish color, and the skin becomes crinkled as though he’s 100 years old.
Our photographer had a grapefruit, which he gave to the boy. The boy was so weak he didn’t have the strength to hold the grapefruit, so we cut it in half and gave it to him. He picked it up, looked at us as if to say thanks, and began to walk back towards his village.