Summary: If we really believed God’s love for us, how would it change us?

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Have You Believed the Love?

December 8, 2002

TEXT: 1 John 4:8-19 (key verse 16-18)

PURPOSE: Reassurance of God’s love for each one of us

SEMINAL: If we really knew we were loved . . .

How has He loved us . . .

Have you believed the love?

INTRO: If we really knew we were loved by God . . .

1. Begin with this question: “If we were totally and continuously convinced that God loved us, would we be any different than we are now?”

2. Counseling woman this week - anxiety attack - temporary paralysis - Why? Insecure in her husband’s love …

3. Verse 18: “Perfect love casts out fear” - we would be fearless, free, on fire . . . Ps. 56:11 “In God I have put my trust - what can man do to me?”

4. Different levels of Christian “knowing” . . . “head knowledge”, “heart” (18 inches down) “gut” (bowels); “top of head to the bottom of your feet” . . .

5. This a.m. - want us to be baptized in His love!!! Drenched, saturated, overflowed ... Classical Greek (according to Dennis Bennett “a sunken, water-logged ship…”) Navy seals are drowned …

6. Like kids in a pile of leaves! … a pig in a pool of mud - otters at play in a northern lake, or Abby & Hannah picking raspberries on a warm June day at two and three years old …want to revel in the love of God! and suggest that this Advent season - Let’s put 7 ornaments on our tree this year.

BODY: How has He loved us?

1. He chose us!

A. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of being chosen … “suck it up, Jim,” “65-year-old youth leader.”

B. Nevertheless, Gabriel to Mary “Hail favored one!” - means “You - chosen”!

C. O.T. and N.T. Theme … Deut. 7:6-9; Jn 15:16; Eph. 1:3-5

D. Do you remember the doctrine of ** grace? Respected devotionalist, Tozer, writes: (cf.p.11, 12 of The Pursuit of God)

E. The bride and groom - “I choose you!” (of a before and after)

F. vs. 10 of text (seal it)

G. Ornament #1 on our tree - ”He chose me!”

2. He has lifted us up!

A. Turn to Ezek 16:4-14 (read it)

B. Recite Ps. 68:19, 20 and Ps. 3:3

C. He meets us at the point of our shame, and restores our dignity through Christ (Eph 2:4-7) He has delivered me.

D. Illustration. No nation I know of is intentionally Christian in its founding as the USA … prosperity, freedom, rights of women, social status, education, legal rights, job opportunities. Walt Williams asks “Where would you want to be a woman in a minority?” Thailand, India, etc.

E. Ornament #2 He is our deliverer - He has lifted us up!

3. He has forgiven us!

A. Angel said to Joseph, …”do not be afraid to take … Jesus … it is he who will save His people from their sin …”

B. Illustration: The Nurse, Daughter and bedside note …

C. Verses: Ps. 103:11,12; Titus 3:3-5; 1 Jn. 1:9

D. Ornament #3 He has forgiven me!

4. He has set His steadfast love upon us!

A. Hebrew word “hesed” = “determined loyalty” … “dedicated loyalty”

B. We sing, “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases … (Lam. 3:21ff)

C. Responsive reading based on Ps. 136; Is. 7:14 He is Immanuel … Heb. 13:5 - “I will never leave you or forsake you”!

D. Ornament #4 His steadfast love is resting upon me!

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