Summary: God seeks to fuse his life with ours, so we may truly live. His love started the greatest chain reaction the universe has ever seen.
Series: Turn on the light
Sunday Sermon / December 16, 2007
Author, Lisa Rogak has written a book on Funeral Foods, Rituals & Customs from Around World
It’s entitled, “Death Warmed over.” In it she tells the story of one man who was very near death. He was dying at home in bed. He could smell the aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies coming from down stairs. And he wanted one more cookie before he should die. So, he climbs out of bed, rolls down the stairs and crawls on his hands and knees across the kitchen floor, reaches a trembling arm to grasp that one final chocolate chip cookie when he feels the sting of a spatula smack his hand. “Put that back,” His wife said, “They’re for the funeral!”
How many here can recognize our need as the human race for more love?
What would the world look like if people truly loved God and truly loved each other?
What a different place this would be.
What would our country, city, church or our personal relationships look like if more Christians loved God and we all truly loved each other?
• That kind of love would start a chain reaction.
• That kind of love lived out would change the world!
But we don’t live in such a world do we? No we don’t.
Most people and many families don’t experience this life changing love.
• John writes these next verses, not for us to evaluate others. But he writes them so we may find direction and strength in loving others.
• How would your family and personal relationships improve with more of God’s love at work?
Text: 1 John 3:11-24 “11This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12Do 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. 13Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
16This 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. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
21Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
I. The Greatest Commandment is our greatest deficit
11This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
This isn’t anything new. The Mosaic Law set forth the parameters of love. Those Ten Commandments were to help us define the violations of love against God and against our neighbors.
Romans 8:3 “3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
a. Jesus was asked, “Which commandment is the greatest?” His answer tells is volumes about who God is and what he requires of us.
b. Think about it. If you want to figure life out, if you want to understand what will really make your heart sing and what will change to the world.
c. It’s right here in Jesus command. Love God and Love People. All the law and prophets are fulfilled in these two (which is really one) command. LOVE.
d. How can you tell a real Christian? Love. Not just doctrine, not just their location on Sunday morning, nor any other “sign” It’s all about love.