1 John 3:16-24
2. The definition of this love is generally caring for the other person, respecting their rights and living in peace with each other.
3. The message is as old as man and mankind is no closer than he ever was at showing love to others. Nation continues to rises against nation, neighbor against neighbor. The picture is bleak in spite of all talk about how we all ought to love one another.
4. The world does not know true love because is does not know the Source of love. The Bible says that God is love and that we cannot know true love apart from knowing Him.
4. Where did the concept of love come from? Did it come from man? Did have its origin in the humanistic philosophies of men who believe in evolution and teach that man is an animal, who by cunning has evolved over other animals by the survival of the fittest, and now dominates all other animals for his own needs. Have you ever consider what humanistic thinking really means and where the world's philosophy takes you.
The world believes the driving force of man is to survive thus to kill and use everything in his environment is normal and yes even good. To kill a weaker person means I survive. Right?
Would you not say that man's ideas are very selfish? That's man's philosophy and where is the love!
5. So the concept of love did not come from man did
it? It came from God!
I. The ultimate act of love was of a loving God who humbled himself and took the form of a man, come to earth to suffer and die and thereby take the sin debt of the world on Himself, and give His life for you and I. He loved us that much; to do for us what we could not do for ourselves.
A. V16 This is how we know what love is: can be correctly translated this way.
1. God gives us the definition of what love is. Unselfishly sacrifices for the other person.
2. The root of love is unselfishness! That is foundation. A foundation given of God not of man.
B. Christ, our God set the example, therefore we who claim to be of God, should show forth the character of God, that is of unselfishness to others.
1. Gene Absher, missionary with Carpenter's for Christ told that when God called him he left his career and security, his "dream" home and did what God said do. He said he did not consider that he had given up anything, that God had given him more. Some may selfishly say, good we have no responsibility to him. What he did not say was that for the past years he and his wife had lived out of a 33 foot R.V. Home was being constantly moved from place to place building churches. I asked him, Gene happens normally when you go to a town and assist a church in being built? It would help if they paid the cost of place to park the R.V. His wife quickly said, We don't want to be a burden on the church!
2. That's as good example as I know of unselfishness. He never "poor mouthed"!
II. Love is Meeting the Needs of Others. 1 John 3:17
A. If God has given you the ability to meet the needs of someone else, and you refuse to help that person John asked the question, "How can the love of God dwell in the person?"
1. V18 John says let us love in action (deed) and in truth.
2. The point John is stressing is that if we have the love of God in us, then it WILL be manifested or seen in our actions.
3. You cannot serve God without serving others. You can read you Bible every day, pray without ceasing, live a holy life, praise God with your lips all day long and it will totally worthless if you do not serve others. God is not honored in vain sacrifice and ritual worship. He is honored when His child loves Him enough to love others and meet their needs. Many complain they cannot witness claiming they do not know how. The problem is often they have not earned the right to witness to someone because they refuse to truly love them and seek to help them. People know true love when they see it and they also know when someone is going through the motions with truly caring for their soul.
B. It is a unpopular view in the world's eyes that all I have is the Lord's.
1. If what I have is the Lord's then if He says give it to someone else, then I ungrugingly am to happily give it. That means our very lives, our time, with nothing withheld.
2. The song, "Channels of Blessings" addresses this principle that see need to see ourselves as a channel, a means that God can use to help other people and continue the work of the Lord.
3. In a deacons meeting, the pastor presented a need the church had. It was going to cost some money. Pastor was immediately opposed. The pastor explained it was really not a large amount and that God would provide through his people who had faith and trusted Him. Head deacon blurted out, "Well, I just don't have that kind of faith". The deacon never prayed about the matter, did not seek the Lord's will personally and just wholly in the flesh said NO to the pastor who had prayed and sought God's will and was being lead of the Lord!
4. What was the effect of this?
1St NO faith which violated Hebrews 11:6.
2nd He closed door in the Lord's face.
3rd Shut the door to receiving any possible blessing of the Lord in their lives.
4th Refused to let God use them, thus the will of God was not done.
5th Set a terrible example before the others in the church, especially the young people.
6th They personally willful, disobeyed the Lord and placed themselves out of his fellowship.
7th They place God in the position as to having to chasten them, and had to endure the hardships of sickness, financial loss and etc.
8th They refused to follow God's preacher He has sent to lead them.
C. Biblical love is based in faith. In fact biblical love is the result that true faith produces. We cannot please God a part from faith. True faith molds the believer into the vessel that God can use, a vessel dedicated to serving the Lord.
2. Most often the reason people cannot love others is because they do not love God. Deuteronomy 6:5, "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
3. Jesus in Matthew 22:39, added to the command of Deuteronomy 6:5 and said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
4. Love is not an option for a Christian because the Lord Jesus makes it a command.
5. This is not a love based on feelings or emotion. It does not require much to love those that love us. But biblical love is love that is given because one wills to give it. The Lord said in Romans 5:8 that He loved us when we were yet in our sins. That demonstrates biblical love. It is a willed love.
D. The Child of God is interested in the souls of men and of doing God's will before all else!
1. No sacrifice is too great, no service to large to do the work of the Lord.
2. No possession too valuable to withhold if the Lord if He asks for it.
3. All we have and are is the Lord's in the first place.
E. It reminds me of the illustration I heard. A boy was kept by his mother in an attic in WWII to keep him from being
drafted. For years he lived in the little attic. His mother who was well of died, and several days later she was found. They heard a noise and soon found the boy. Half starved scared and afraid, they led him out of the attic. After being fed he was told the war was over, and explained
he was financially well off and they asked him what he wanted? His reply? He wanted to retreat back to his grubby little room.
Many Christian are in the same situation. They live miserable lives afraid of everything trying to save themselves instead of living wonderful wholesome lives receiving the blessings of God. The Christian has all God's resources to be used, but often because he does not put his trust in the Lord he lives a poor and sad existence. What a waste to be a child of the King, and live like a pauper.
1. The Christian is rich in the Lord beyond degree! Yet, many had rather live in their little attics called "selfishness", rather that live in the joy, peace and security of the blessings of our loving God.
2. What a pity!
3. In John 21:17, Jesus ask Peter, "Lovest thou me? Lord, said Peter, you know I love you!" Then Jesus said, Peter, feed by sheep!
4. What does it means "feed my sheep." A shepherd gives his complete attention to the needs of the sheep. He gives up comforts of home and lives with the sheep, looking over them, protecting them and even putting himself in danger for the safety and well being of the sheep.
1. Many times its a thankless work, but if ones heart is right he does not seek the approval of men, but his joy and peace is in knowing that he is doing the will of God.
2. As Jesus said, and perfectly demonstrated "My meat is to do the Will of My Father."
3. What child of God is your meat?