Summary: Love, Fear, Perfection, Others
FAITH OVER FEAR - Love’s In the Driver’s Seat
1 John 4:13-21 (p. 857) October 29, 2017
One of my favorite stories is told by Bob Russell in his book “When Life is a Zoo, God Still Loves You.”
A woman has left work late one night and as she gets on the freeway a terrible fog and mist comes in. She has a dinner date and doesn’t want to just pull over so she cautiously decides to follow the taillights of the car in front of her to her exit. She does this and when he exits at her exit she’s relieved…she continues to follow the taillights through the side streets until suddenly they stop. She waits for a while and then honks…and then all of a sudden the lights go out…the door opens and this big guy gets out and starts back toward her car…she quickly locks the doors, reaches in her purse for mace, and then he knocks on her window…she cautiously rolls it down a millimeter…and says “What’s wrong with you stopping like this in the middle of the street?” and the man replies “I’m sorry ma’am, but we’re in my driveway.”
Following someone in the fog of fear won’t get you home…it will get you parked in a stranger’s driveway…with mace in your hand.
She could have turned on her GPS on her phone, set it for home and followed it slowly in the fog, but she didn’t…she was in the driver’s seat and fear caused her to make a bad decision…it got her off track.
We as God’s people aren’t immune to the things in this life that cause fear either.
The death of a mate, or parents, or child leaves us feeling alone and afraid of the future without them.
We lose a job and the security of that paycheck and wonder how are we going to make it now?
We care for aging parents and feel afraid of making the wrong decisions or being inadequate for the job.
Our mate decides the marriage is over and after years together we are now alone…and what will the future hold for our children.
The fog rolls in…we can’t see how to go forward…pain confuses us and fear sometimes causes us to follow the wrong taillights.
But, God has an answer for those foggy, painful and fearful times:
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR GUIDE AND COMFORTER
For each child of God, the Apostle John confirms in our text that, “We can know God lives in us and we in Him.” How? By the Holy Spirit He has given us.” (1 John 4:13)
In the first 4 verses of our text the Holy Spirit, Jesus God’s Son, and God the Father are linked together.
God’s Spirit is given to us…God the Father sent his son to save us. When we accept this truth and acknowledge it with our lives, God lives in us and we live in God…It’s a truth we can know and rely on…The foundation of it all…“God loves us!!!”
Please understand it’s the Holy Spirit that draws us to God, and the message the Holy Spirit uses to draw every single person is: “We are sinners…separated from the Father…He provided a Savior to bridge that separation.”
It troubles me that we ignore this spiritual influence and how important it is. It’s why John writes in His gospel these words of Jesus before His death, burial, resurrection and ascension.
JOHN 16:7-15 (p. 753)
Why is it for their good, and our good that Jesus goes away? Because without the cross, without his sacrifice and the victory of the resurrection we have no hope to be reconciled with God the Father…but it also includes the Holy Spirit’s presence in the world after He’s gone…and that presence does powerful things.
1. First He convicts us that we all need a Savior. He shows us our sin, our unrighteousness and the judgment that awaits us…but
2. Secondly, He guides believers in the truth. He comforts us when we’re afraid, He convinces us of our unity with God and He provides the words we need to speak as witnesses of the resurrection.
He glorifies Jesus. He testifies about Jesus. He points us to Jesus. He helps us grow to be like Jesus.
Joey Shaw shares this truth to the church:
The most interesting thing about the Great Commission is that it does not command us to make converts of Christianity. Instead, we are to make disciples of Jesus. The difference between convert making and disciple making is crucial. Converts change religions. Disciples change masters. Converts follow a system. Disciples follow a Person. Converts build Christendom. Disciples build the Kingdom of God. Converts embrace rituals. Disciples embrace a way of life. Converts love the command to “baptize them” in the Great Commission, but that is all. Disciples baptize others but only in context of “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” Converts love conversion. Disciples love transformation.