Summary: God loves us; we need to love others.
God is Love
November 11, 2007 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: God loves us; we need to love others.
Focus Passage: I John 4:7-11
Supplemental Passage: Lev 19:18 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge
against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.
Introduction: In The Christian Leader, Don Ratzlaff retells a story Vernon Grounds came across in Ernest Gordon's Miracle on the River Kwai. The Scottish soldiers, forced by their Japanese captors to labor on a jungle railroad, had degenerated to barbarous behavior, but one afternoon something happened.
"A shovel was missing. The officer in charge became enraged. He demanded that the missing shovel be produced, or else. When nobody in the squadron budged, the officer got his gun and threatened to kill them all on the spot . . . It was obvious the officer meant what he had said. Then, finally, one man stepped forward. The officer put away his gun, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death. When it was over, the survivors picked up the bloody corpse and carried it with them to the second tool check. This time, no shovel was missing. Indeed, there had been a miscount at the first check point.
"The word spread like wildfire through the whole camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others! . . . The incident had a profound effect. . . The men began to treat each other like brothers.
"When the victorious Allies swept in, the survivors, human skeletons, lined up in front of their captors . . (and instead of attacking their captors) insisted: 'No more hatred. No more killing. Now what we need is forgiveness.'"
I. Love is Personal
a. In Luke 12: 6-7, Jesus says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Jesus is teaching us about how much God cares for us. If God notices and cares for every bird, how much more does God notice and care for us. God loves us so much that God knows every hair on our heads.
II. Love Preserves
a. Isaiah 49:15, God says, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”
III. Love is Proved
a. Love requires actions; Love is demonstrated through behavior.
A traveler fell into a deep pit and could not get out. Several persons came along and saw him struggling in the pit. The sensitive person said, "I feel for you down there." The philosopher said, "It is logical that given that the pit was there, someone would fall into the pit." The judgmental person said, "Only bad people fall into the pit." The curious person said, "Tell me how you fell into the pit." The perfectionist said, "You deserve to be in the pit." The self-pitying person said, "My pit is deeper than yours." The optimist said, "Cheer up! Things could be worse." The pessimist said, "Things will get worse." But, Jesus, seeing the man, took him by the hand and lifted him out of the miserable pit.