Summary: Ask for Anything
Introduction: 2 A.M. Friends
Pastor By David C. McCasland related this anecdote, A friend told me about a group of people who share a strong bond of faith in Christ. One of them, a 93-year-old woman, said, “I feel like I can call any of you at 2 a.m., and I don’t even have to apologize if I feel the need for any type of assistance.” Whether the need is prayer, practical help, or someone to be there during a time of need, these friends are unconditionally committed to each other.
The same sense of commitment shines through Paul’s letter to the followers of Jesus in Colossae. Writing from prison in Rome, Paul says he is sending Tychicus and Onesimus to encourage them (Col. 4:7-9). Aristarchus, Mark, and Justus send their greetings (vv.10-11). And Epaphras is “always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured” (v. 12). These are bold assurances of practical help and deep-seated love.
Are you part of a “2 a.m. group”? If so, give thanks for the faithfulness of friends. If not, ask the Lord to connect you with another person with whom you can share a commitment to pray and care. I suspect it will soon grow to include others. Share the love of Christ with one another.
Anything. Anytime. Anywhere. All in Jesus’ name!
Source: David C. McCasland, Our Daily Bread
I. God Loves Us, Therefore… 21
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
A. We are The Beloved
1. John addressed his audience as the beloved five times.
a. We are the children of God
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
b. We are beloved, uncondemned and confident before God.
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
c. We are spirit testers
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
d. We are lovers of God and lovers of the brethren
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
2. If we really boil this down, it works out like this…
a. We are beloved because God so loved the WORLD – and we were of the WORLD.
b. We are beloved because Jesus loved the CHURCH – and laid down His life for the CHURCH!
B. We Are Beloved - Uncondemned Before God
1. Do you believe things happened in the ministry of Jesus by coincidence?
a. I know I dont!
b. One of those things that happened was the woman taken in the very act of adultery.
c. You dont normally stumble on this!
i. I know, I know!
ii. We have had some people involved in extracurricular activity in the parking lot.
d. Somehow, I dont think that is what happened here!
e. These Pharisees were looking for a way to embarrass Jesus.
f. They busted up a worship service and plopped this poor woman down in front of Jesus.
i. While they yelled and quoted the Law to the Author of the Law Jesus ignored them and wrote on the ground.
ii. When he did speak, Jesus said this and returned to writing on the ground.
…He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.
g. Everyone of them was convicted by his own conscience.
10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?
11 She said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.
2. Many of the precepts spoken of by John are contained in the last sentence…
Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.
a. I love you
b. I dont condemn you and neither can anyone else
c. Do not break fellowship with me through sin.
C. We Are Beloved - Confident Before God
1. The word confidence here translated from ???????? parresia stood in ancient Greece for the most valued right of a citizen in a free state, the right to speak his mind…unhampered by fear of shame.
2. In our relationship to God such freed of speech I not an inherent right, but is strictly dependent upon an equally frank and straightforward obedience to the divine will of God.