Summary: God’s unconditional, forgiving, accepting love has caused God to take responsibility to save us. We take this lavish love and lavish that love onto others.
You can also listen to the full message here:-
“Lavish Love Lavishly Shared”
Here is a question for all of us, whether we are older or younger.
Who sometimes feels, or felt, that their parents don't understand them?
… or that their parents weren’t listening and were distracted?
… or that their parents were taking you for granted or had forgotten you?
… or that their parents have acted in hurtful ways?
Don’t put up your hands … but answer in your head.
Now, despite the fact that all parents have short-comings, it is also true that most parents are doing their best. So, even though your parents let you down, who knows that their parents love them?
Keep the thought in your head.
There is something about a parent-child relationship that is usually special.
In many cases it is a special bond that is very difficult to break -- even when hurt and disappointment have been a part of that relationship.
Let’s turn to 1 John 3:1-24
As we read this section we discover that the themes and topics spoken about earlier will be spoken about again. So we won’t focus on those issues again.
Our focus is going to be on the powerful parent-child relationship described here, and the significance of that relationship.
Did you see the relationship I was talking about?
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
God is the ultimate parent … the ultimate Dad. His love is beyond anything that we have ever experienced on this earth. What is God’s love like?
God’s love, so unlike our love, is unconditional. Unconditional love is a love which has no-strings attached. A love which is given in all circumstance - even when we don't desire it or deserve it. Sometimes people love us because we do something for them, or only if we act in a certain way, they have conditions on their love. God’s love is never like that.
God's love, so unlike our love, is not based on external appearances. It’s a love which will to take us as we are.
God's accepts the fact that we are sinners who need forgiveness.
God accepts the fact that we have a certain character and attitudes.
God realises that we are individuals who need to express ourselves.
God allows us to be who He created us to be.
God’s love is not based on external circumstances.
Even when we know we have let God down – and we feel disappointed in ourselves – God’s love continues hold firm. God does not put us in a box … or only look at our past … or write us off. God’s love is forgiving.
That is the sort of love God has extended to us. An unconditional, forgiving, accepting love. That is the love God has for us. And it is a love which is shown to us even when we don’t want it.
Picture it like this
You’re floating down a river. You’re just enjoying all that is happening around you. Everyone is just doing what they want. Everyone is just getting on with life. You’re just messing around, at times forgetting your responsibilities. It so nice and you feel mostly content.
Now this river flows under a bridge. On that bridge God is standing. And for some reason He is reaching over the side of the bridge and He is pulling people out of the river.
Some of them are professional businessmen; some of them are blue collar workers.
Some are old; some are young.
Some have obviously enjoyed all the pleasures that life has to offer; some are more conservative.
Some have obviously been on the wrong side of the law; some are moral citizens.
There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to why God is pulling people out. But all of these people are saying, "I don't want to be taken out. I want to be with the rest of them. I want to enjoy life".
And now the Lord is lifting you.
“Why are you doing this?”
“I want to be with everyone else.”
“Let me do my own thing.”
Despite your protests God hangs onto you and sets you on the bridge – as you keep on complaining He directs you to look over the other side of the bridge. 500m down the river is a huge waterfall. You couldn't see it from river level. Only after you are given the Lord’s perspective of the situation do you realise what the Lord has done.
God’s unconditional, forgiving, accepting love has caused God to take responsibility to save you because God knows we are in no position to save ourselves.
Our parents will let us down – they can't help it because they are sinners like you and me. But God will not let us down – He holds onto us even when we are failing. You are such a treasure to God that God will not forget about you even when you want to forget about God.