Teachings / Sermons
Know & Rely on God's Love
So many people feel hopeless and desperate. They would love to have God on their side but think so poorly of themselves that they think it impossible for God to help them, let alone God loving them.
Believers likewise get confused and distracted so easily. We let our old nature rule and become hurt, angry, vengeful and nasty. We might have the habit of judgement instead of “the habit of love”.
The apostle John describes himself as “the disciple Jesus loved” and Jesus called him Boanerges (sons of thunder). Perhaps we could call him “well loved wild man”. Jesus obviously did not love him more than the rest but John himself perhaps understood Jesus' love more than the rest. John's fixation on God's love is seen in that he used the word “love“ 25 times in his gospel and 42 time in his three short letters. Even the story of his last sermon speaks of his focus on God's love. The only thing he said in this sermon was “Little ones, love one another”.
MISSING GOD'S LOVE IS MISSING ALL
It was the same John who wrote “For God so loved the world ...”
St Augustine, also a man transformed by the revelation of God's love, wrote: “Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.”
JOHN ON LOVE – 1 John 4
v. 10 "This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
- You cannot command people to love God. A baby is loved (or not) and so learns how to love. God tries all in His power to break through the blinding power of sin to show his love. He wants to melt our hard hearts with His love.
v. 11 “Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love one another.”
- God's love is the example. God does not ask what he has not done first.
v. 12 “No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
- We cannot prove God but His transforming love is the proof. They will know us by our love & see God.
v.13 "This is how we know that we abide in him and he in us: he has given us his Spirit."
- The Love of God comes to us by His Spirit – it is placed in us – we feel it in our hearts.
v. 14 “We have seen for ourselves and can testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 God abides in the one who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, and he abides in God.”
- The test for entry into the Love of God is receiving His Son - Every knee must bow to Him BUT this comes as people understand that He is the Lord of Love and Life.
v. 16 “We have come to know and rely on the love that God has for us. God is love, and the person who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
- God's love is our foundation. We rest in His love. IT is the power to change my life and the world.
v. 17 “This is how love has been perfected among us: we will have confidence on the day of judgement because, during our time in this world, we are just like him. There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love.”
- In the Love of Jesus all punishment is removed and hence we have no fear of God's punishment over us. Many must still understand that God is not out to get them. This is also a call for me to dive deeper into God's love - “to be made perfect in His love”, fears have to stand up against His love for me. His only plans for me are in accordance with his love.
v. 19 "We love because God first loved us."
- A summary of the foundation of all Biblical truth.
20 "Whoever says, "I love God," but hates his brother is a liar. The one who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love the God whom he has not seen."
- And this is the commandment that we have from him: the person who loves God must also love his brother.
GOD LOVES US FIRST
WE SEE THIS AND LOVE GOD
WE ARE OBLIGATED TO LOVE ALL OTHERS
IF WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND GOD'S LOVE WE WILL NOT FEEL LOVED
IF WE DO NOT FEEL LOVED WE WILL NOT LOVE OURSELVES
IF WE DO NOT FEEL LOVED WE WILL FEEL BAD AND DO BAD
PEOPLE DO BAD BECAUSE THEY FEEL UNLOVED
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