Summary: This is the 8th sermon in the series "Are You Real?". Who are you like?
Series: Are You Real? [#8]
On this Mother’s Day, I want us to continue in our series in 1 John. When God put Adam to sleep and took a rib from him, He created a very different creature- Woman. The old saying, “Boys are made out of snips and snails and puppy dog’s tails, and girls are made out of sugar and spice and everything nice is a good example of how different male and female are from one another.
This difference is also found in mothers and fathers. Fathers are generally stern, while mothers are more nurturing; but fathers are usually not paying as close of attention as the mothers are either. While fathers and mothers may be very different from one another, I believe that most parents have this in common- They want their children to grow up and be successful. While we can’t make our children do what we want once they leave our house, we can equip them with the right tools to be successful.
1 John 3:11 (NIV)
“For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.”
Our text gives us 2 examples of people we can become like.
You can be like…
1 John 3:12 (NIV)
“Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.”
The Scripture is clear about this- Don’t be like Cain. In Genesis, we find 2 of Adam and Eve’s sons giving an offering to God. Cain’s offering was from the fruit of the ground, while Abel’s offering was an offering of fat from his firstborn of his flock. God was pleased with Abel’s offering; but not Cain’s. Because of that, Cain was angry with his brother. Now God knew that Cain was thinking of doing the wrong thing and gave him a warning. God told him to be careful because sin was crouching at his door and that he needed to have control over what he was considering. Unfortunately, Cain chose to kill his brother.
Obviously, we don’t want our children to kill one another and I’m sure there have been times, (mothers), that you thought that your children may kill one another; but the Scripture is saying more than just that. We are to love one another and think of others over ourselves. We are also supposed to heed to God’s warnings.
You can be like…
1 John 3:13-15 (NIV)
“Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”
I have to tell you, it’s not easy to be like Jesus and this verse reinforces that. It tells us not to be surprised if the world hates us because we belong to God; and to top that off, we are to love those people anyway. Moms, you know that this is a tough verse to swallow- God forbid if someone messes with your children. Even if they do, you’re supposed to love them anyhow. If you hate, then you are a murderer.
1 John 3:16-20 (NIV)
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”
Jesus shows us what real love is. Real love is laying your life down for others. Here’s the challenge: Jesus didn’t just lay down His life for His friends and family- He laid His life down for the world. I guarantee that the majority of parents in here would lay their life down for the children in a “heart beat”. You would probably lay your life down for one another in this room; but the world? Think of your greatest enemy and then ask yourself honestly, “Would I lay down my life for that person”?
We are to show our love by helping others. This is talking about helping one another physically- Not just in word. In fact, we are cautioned to not talk about how we’re going to help; but to do it.