1 John 4:7-21
Good morning everyone; Rosedale last week had a great Easter presentation.
We peeked at the cross through the eyes of witnesses that were there. We saw the Lord do some amazing things in people’s life.
Now what? We have expressed the joy of the resurrection, the need to be a follower of Jesus and we have seen the length that God won’t go for each one of us to establish a relationship with Him.
What do we do with that? How do we grasp God’s love for ourselves?
Until we grasp God’s love for ourselves, we cannot even begin to think we can nurture a relationship with Him.
Our text is 1 John 4:7-21 but let’s first look at the way that John begins this letter to believers.
He is not writing to the unsaved, to the un-churched, he is writing to the people of the church.
1 John 1:1-3 Read from the Bible-
“That which is from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”
John just like the other witnesses to Christ expresses his experience with Jesus Christ.
We have seen, we have heard, we have touched the hand of Jesus and we proclaim this truth to you- the church of God present day and to us today as the future church that these truths of God are truth for our lives.
We acknowledge we know Him.
We have faith in- We rely on Him and what He has done.
We came to know and we continue to know Him. We came to believe in him and we continue to believe in Him.
God is love- you cannot separate the two.
God defines true love-
To live in God is to settle down in God’s love, for God to take up residency in our hearts and our lives.
John lets us know that Christian faith is not an occasional thing but is a constant thing. Our faith in Him does not rest only on big events but is lived out in our lives every moment of the day.
The world tells us there are not absolutes, that everyone s individual opinions matter most, but God says that His love for us is an absolute- it is unlimited.
One commentary I looked at said that John description of God’s love was not only referencing about God’s love for human beings or only that of humans love for God, but also the love of human beings for each other.
Let’s look at the text and see what God’s love operating in our lives looks like
1 John 4:7-21
Completeness and purpose begins when we accept God’s love for ourselves and we allow God’s love to be expressed back to God and expressed back to others that we come into contact with.
The end purpose and end goal is to have a relationship between God and man and man to share that love with those around them. To live on this earth and love others like God loves us.
“The cross shows us the seriousness of our sin- but it also shows us the immeasurable love of God”
“I am convinced the greatest act of love we can ever perform for people is to tell them about God’s love for them in Christ.”
You did not come to Christ as if it was of your own holiness, you came to Christ because Christ reached out to you and you were smart enough to respond. That God loved you enough to make His presence known and you were drawn to Him and responded to His love. BECASUE HE FIRST LOVED US.
Sometimes people come back to me and say that I told them that illustration before or I referenced a scripture several times in a short period of time. I do that because we only remember about 5% of what is heard. So I have to remind you several times to get something deep down into your brain. If I asked most of you what the sermon was a while ago, you could not tell me.
Pastor Rick Warren tells a story of how he used to watch his kids sleep when they were little. He says that he would go in and spend several minutes just watching them sleep. I had thought that I was the only one that liked doing that. He said that he would watch them rise and lower when they breathed. I went into their room to check on them and then noticed one day how they would kick and squirm and make all kinds of funny noises. How one minute they looked peaceful and the next like they had lost a fight with Mike Tyson. We love our kids… all I want for everyone of them is to love God and be themselves. I had no ulterior motive. I did not want them to be something they weren’t. As much as I loved sports and my oldest son gave up sports as a teenager, I did not make him play sports because I did. I wanted them to be what God wanted and what they enjoyed and prayed that the two would be the same.
If I got enjoyment from watching my kids, how much more does God just want to watch us and be in our lives? I know how much I love my kids, how much more does God love each one of us? We are not accidents! Parents may not have planned for you or I but God has a plan for each one of us and He desires the best for each one of us.
If you are a firefighter, be the best firefighter you can be for the glory of God.
If you are a musician, make the best music for the glory of God.
Whatever it is, be the best you can be for the glory of God.
When I took full time ministry, Becky who had her own business and was successful at her career as a beautician, decided to sell and not start up again so she can be a pastors wife. A pastor wife, not only to the church where I would pastor but just as important and her calling to be the pastor’s wife.
At those times when pressures were stronger than my faith and when I felt alone, she was the one standing in my corner pointing me back to keep focused on God and the calling.
That is Love! If she can love me like that, how much do you think God loves you and wants to stand in your corner and focus you back on what is important.
To be your strength when you feel like you are standing alone.
Let me take a minute and point you to some truths about God’s love.
God’s love does not fail
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
God’s love is indispensible!
Love never fails, translated as “God’s Love never ends.”
God chose us (John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4-5), died for us (Romans 5:8), and will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5). In fact, nothing at all can separate us from God’s eternal love but our rejection of his love for us.
“I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39).
It is constant forever. Even if we reject His love, God says in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
God’s love comes from God
Back to the text- (7-10) read from Bible-
The only way we can love like God is to have God love through us.
God’s love is not just something He does, but who He is- God is love. When we truly grasp that- we cannot help but love as He loves and do as He does and live as He wants us too and how He commands us to.
The only fruit that grows on an apple tree is apples- the only way we have God’s love is to allow God’s love to flow through us.
God’s love reflects God’s love
Text- V11-13 read from Bible
I love that advertisement of the body builder looking in the mirror at himself and looking in the mirror to see who else is looking at him and looking at himself and others at the same time. I want you to understand as we grow in God’s love, we stop looking in the mirror at ourselves and start looking at others who we can share the love of God with.
Ghandi, a Hindu leader once said “I love your Christ, but I do not love your Christians.”
Are we reflecting the proper image of God to others? Are we allowing Christ to change us to His image?
Our purpose is made complete by allowing God’s love to change our lives and finds accomplishment when we take that love and share it with others God has brought in front of us.
Holiness is not a religion, or what we can do on our own merits, it is what God does through us by His
God desires to transform His people, who in turn transform communities they live in.
We can do so much more when God is among us than when we are doing it on our own.
The work of God that brings Spiritual wholeness is not some far off postponed time in the future, it is right now. God desires to do work in your life right now and carry it into eternity.
We love God now and that love is carried into eternity. We share the love of God now so that others might enjoy eternity because we loved them like God loves us.
(18) “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (19) We love because He first loved us.”
When we can grasp God’s love for us, it changes us to love like He loves ad that is what drives out the fears in our lives and causes us to look at others with God’s love.
Do you know how much God loves you?
Will you allow Him to change your life and change your thoughts about your relationship with Him?
One stumble does not define or break a person. Though you failed, God’s love does not. Face your failures with faith in God’s goodness.
He saw this collapse coming. God could see the upcoming mishaps. Still, he tells you what he told Joshua. “Arise, go. . .you and all this people, to the land which I am giving” (Joshua 1:2). There is no condition in that covenant. No fine print. No performance language. God’s promised land does not depend on your perfection. It depends on his.
In God’s hands no defeat is a crushing defeat. Scripture says “the steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take. If they fall, it isn’t fatal, for the Lord holds them with his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24). Put your faith in the One who is always faithful!