Summary: We need to know that God is with us even when we struggle!
INTRODUCTION SLIDE # 1
• Have you had those times when you were in real doubt as to your relationship with Jesus? You get to where your conscience starts to eat at you.
• What is it that causes us to get that way? It could be that you are in the midst of a fierce battle with some sin you want to overcome but do not seem to be making any headway. Our conscience is telling us we are not trying hard enough.
• It could be that you never feel like you are good enough for God. You serve and serve and serve, but you still do not think it is good enough. Your conscience tells you that you are not good enough for God.
• Maybe there is something going on in your life that you know you need to address and you have failed to address it? Your conscience is telling you to take care of it.
• It does not feel good to doubt where you stand with God. Guilt can be something that will keep us from wanting to serve Jesus because of our feelings of unworthiness. If we do not feel accepted by God, then our desire to serve Him will diminish. Some guilt is good for us to the point it motivates us to work on weaknesses in our faith. Guilt can also be bad when it comes from the enemy.
• Our conscience is something that can be a blessing to us, but if we let Satan get a hold of it, it can cause us a lot of trouble. There is nothing that Satan would like better than getting us to feel so guilty about ourselves that we give up on our relationship with Jesus.
• When we are starting to feel like our relationship with Jesus is not going well, it takes a lot to keep from thinking He no longer loves us.
• One of the things we need to understand is that even when we are at our weakest point, we have some assurances from God. SLIDE # 2
• I have entitled today’s message, “Blessed Assurance.” We are going to look at three assurances we have from God. These are assurance we can hang on to even when we hit the low points in our walk with Jesus.
• They are things we can focus on when we start to doubt where we stand with Jesus.
SLIDE #3 -4-5 Read 1 John 3:19-24 says:
We have the assurance that: SLIDE #6
I. GOD IS GREATER THAN OUR SIN. (19-20)
1. Our love is evidence of our relationship with God. (19)
• Verse 19 ties us back to the thought of brotherly love. John tells us that one of ways we can tell that we have a relationship with Jesus is by the love we have for one another. I am not going to spend a lot of time on this one since we been spending a lot of time on the subject in past weeks.
• When we fulfill the requirements of loving our brothers, we can know that we are of the truth.
• One of the blessings of loving our brother for us to the confidence gained by our brotherly love assures us we are of the truth and therefore we can approach God with confidence that we are one of His children!
• This assurance can only come to one who is in the truth.
• If believers are demonstrating love by their actions, they will not constantly be wondering whether God will accept them—they “know” it and they can “rest” in that fact. (Life Application Bible)
• When we start to think we are not in good standing with God, we can look at the way we love one another as evidence of our relationship with Jesus. CLICK #7
2. We need encouragement when our heart condemns us. (20)
• As Christians proceed in their lives with Christ, it will happen that their hearts will accuse them. Whatever the source—an overactive conscience, the realization that they don’t love others enough, or even Satan’s false accusations—they will feel the accusation. (Life Application Bible)
• We need encouragement to stay the course, to stay strong.
• John assumes we have a heart that lacks confidence since we know our weaknesses and our mistakes we make we know when we get out of step with God.
• The phrase (“before Him”) gives us a picture of a courtroom drama. It gives the picture of one appearing before God wondering what the verdict will be. Before the trial our own conscience has already condemned us a guilty.
• The only thing we can do is to plead guilty before the judge, yet the judge will declare us innocent knowing we are guilty. This is called justification and it comes from God, you cannot earn it, but you receive it through accepting Jesus! SLIDE #8