Summary: This is the sermon #11 in the series Letters From John. In 1st John 4, John describes the love of God. God’s love is PERSONAL, PROVEN, PERFECTING, SAVING.
TEXT: 1st John 4:1-21
TITLE: God IS love!
SERIES: Letters from John
TOPIC: God is LOVE
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church February 25, 2011
PROP.: In 1st John 3, he describes the kind of love WE are to have. And it is to stem from the kind of love GOD has. Because God is love. And God’s love is PERSONAL, PROVEN, PERFECTING, SAVING.
(OUTLINE BORROWED FROM SCOTT BAYLES First Christian Church Rosiclare, IL)
INTRODUCTION: Our Text is 1st John 4. Please open up your Bible and as you’re turning there, I want to say welcome and GOOD MORNING! Today in chapter 4 of 1st John, the Apostle John is going to spend some time teaching us about God.
Let me ask you to do something. DESCRIBE GOD.
In fact, people who don’t even have a relationship with God know about the description that John gives to Him in chapter 4. I mean you ask people to describe God…and what is the first description they give of God? Every person who has heard of God knows that GOD IS LOVE.
GOD IS LOVE. But what does that exactly mean? What we must not forget is that GOD DEFINES WHAT LOVE IS. Not the other way around.
God is love. Not Love is God. All the immoral, corrupt and vulgar expressions of ‘love’ is NOT love at all. GOD is love. And if you want to know God better; then you need to understand love. But not love as our world sees it. Love as God is love. And that brings us to our text today…
T.S.: In our text today, John gives 4 descriptions of GOD’S love!
First, God’s love is
I. A Personal Love (vs. 7,8)
Let’s read verses 7 & 8 of our text this morning.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
The overriding impression of these two verses is that the Love of God is PERSONAL! God’s love causes us to know Him, and Him to know us!
A. Personal Love brings Joy
ILLUSTRATION: Have you ever gotten a phone call from someone and they got your name wrong? I have. And almost immediately before they even finish their pitch, what do you do? “Thanks. But no thanks…” CLICK. Because you know that the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t KNOW you….Or have you ever gotten a letter where your name was spelled wrong?
And listen, church family, YOUR NAME IS ON GOD’S LIPS! He knows you. He knows what brings a smile to your face. He knows what makes you laugh. He knows what annoys you. He know what causes you pain and grief. God knows you. And He knows you because He loves you! Let that sink in.
I like what A.W. Tozer wrote: “The love of God is one of the great realities of the universe, a pillar upon which the hope of the world rests. But it is a personal, intimate thing too. God not love the populations, he LOVES people. He loves not the masses, but men.”
All people matter! You matter! I matter! It’s the hardest thing in theology to believe!
Because the way people in our world show that you matter or that you’re important is to make those around you feel bad and look bad. Because if you can do that, then people will see how pretty you are. Or how smart you are. Or how talented you are. Or how powerful you are.
Or when you are alone with your thoughts, you may think about only your faults.
God loves you despite your love handles.
God loves you despite your blemishes.
God loves you despite your sin!
God loves you even if you were the first person out in the game of Risk.
And let me just tell you this…when God sees you, He is a proud Father. And whether your first, or last…God loves you; for you.
And because we have a hard time understanding and believing God’s unconditional love…
B. Jesus came (in part) to teach us about God’s love
But because the enemy wants to wreak havoc in your mind, I believe that this is why this is a teaching that Jesus time and time again taught to His followers…and so today, maybe Jesus needs to teach you this truth! GOD LOVES YOU PERSONALLY! Listen to His words in
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
While some may have a few more hairs than others, the message remains the same: god loves you and knows EVERYTHING about you. God’s love for us is personal. Jesus illustrated this again when He said,