Summary: Second in Knowing God series - this message deals with how to apply the principles of loving others as God has loved us.
Knowing God – #1b
The Love of God – Applied
Introduction (1 John 3:18)
Last week as I was greeting people leaving the service, someone asked me, “Okay, so we know more about the love of God, now how do we apply it?”
And I was hit with the realization that I had broken one of my own principles when it comes to my sermons.
I want my messages to be not only relevant, but applicable. So I ask for your forgiveness.
This morning I want to spend time talking about how we apply the love of God as we interact in our different relationships, and my purpose is to help us get a handle on some ideas that will help us reflect God’s love.
1 John 3:18 says this: Dear friends let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
The idea of this morning is to get past giving lip service to the idea of love, and put some feet on our words.
I don’t want us to be a church that talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.
Before we get into that, however, I would like to take just a few minutes to review what we looked at last week as the basis of our time this morning.
I. Review – The Love of God (1 Jn.4:7-21)
A. God is Love.
We are not going to re-read the passage from last week, but I want to point out a couple things about the fact that God is love.
You may want to turn to that passage as we review this section, so if you want to turn to 1 John 4:7-21, you can have that handy. If you are using one of the Bibles on the seats, this passage can be found on page 863.
Verses 8 and 16 tell us that God is love. We saw last week that the love of God is not the shallow type of love we see portrayed by society and the media, which is really nothing more than affection or even sexual attraction.
Did any of you catch “Temptation Island” on TV? Don’t raise your hand – I don’t think I could stand it. I didn’t see it, either, but it’s all over the news.
The premise of this show is to put “committed” unmarried couples in a situation where they are tempted to be unfaithful to their lovers.
Here’s the idea: your love is only as strong as your ability to control your hormones.
How would you like to have people betting on your inability to be faithful to someone you profess to love?
Real love is nothing like that.
And the love of God is nothing like that.
The love of God is deep – it is the very fabric of His nature.
It is constant – it doesn’t change or go away. Scripture says that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
The love of God is not showered on those who deserve it. It is showered only on those who don’t deserve it. That’s you and me, by the way.
God is love. Second, …
B. God is Loving.
The love of God is not static. It is active. It drove the Father to act to redeem us sinners from an eternity in hell.
This last Friday as I was in my office, a radio program was taking questions from listeners, and one guy had written to ask how to answer his friends who could not believe that a loving God would send anyone to hell.
The answer given by the host is the correct answer. He said that God does not send anyone to hell – people choose to go there by rejecting the salvation offered in Christ.
Hell was not created for people, it was created for Satan and his angels. But the Bible is clear that those who choose to follow him by not following Christ will share Satan’s fate.
What people need to understand, and what quite frankly, the church has not done a good job of explaining, is that God did not work to put us in hell, he worked to help us escape it.
And it took the blood of His only Son. His love for us dictated His action to bring us to Him.
And not only did He secure salvation for sinners like you and me, He gave us His Word and His Holy Spirit to understand it and live for Him.
God is loving.
Third, we looked at…
C. Reflecting His love.
We reflect the love of God by showing love back toward Him and other people.
We reflect God’s love back toward God by obeying God’s commands.
We reflect God’s love to others by obeying God’s commands.