"WE LOVE HIM BECAUSE"
I. GOD LOVES YOU.
A. This is the heart of the message of the Bible.
1. Wonderful things in the Bible I see, this is the dearest that Jesus loves me.
B. Jesus tells us how much God loves us.
1. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.
2. In verse 9 John tells us, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him."
3. In verse 10 John tells us: "Herein is love, not that we love God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
II. "AND WE HAVE KNOWN AND BELIEVED THE LOVE THAT GOD HAS FOR US."
A. Not all believe that God loves them.
1. Some somehow feel that if God really loved them He would never allow them to experience pain.
a. I think of the words of that song: "He whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best, Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest."
b. God never allows me to experience pain, unless it is for my ultimate good.
2. Some feel that if God really loved them He would answer all of their prayers.
a. God loves you too much to answer all of your prayers.
b. As I look back on my life, how deeply thankful I am that God did not answer all of my prayers.
c. It is much like a child saying to his parent, "If you really loved me, you would let me have nothing but a coke for lunch every day and eat nothing but hot fudge sundaes for dinner every night."
d. Some are so foolish as to declare that their faith in God was shattered when God did not answer a prayer.
e. Prayer was never intended as means to accomplish my will here on earth.
f. The purpose of prayer is to see God's will accomplished.
B. Surely not all have known the love that God has for them.
1. The word translated known in our text comes from the Greek word gnosko which is to know by experience.
2. How many times in my life have I experienced the love of God.
3. Jeremiah wrote:
It is the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
a. God's compassions never fail.
b. Paul in describing God's love declared, "Love never fails."
c. Jeremiah said of God's compassions, "They are new every morning."
d. Each new day brings fresh demonstrations of His love.
III. "GOD IS LOVE."
A. Love is the essence and nature of His being.
B. The text in Greek is Theos agapee estin or God love is.
C. If you dwell in love, you are dwelling in God and God is dwelling in you.
D. Have you ever been in love, truly in love? Can you remember the feelings? Now that it is Spring, some mocking bird in our neighborhood is in love, and he sang his love song all night long.
1. Do you remember the joy that you had with that first love?
2. Do you remember how no sacrifice was to great to be with the one you loved?
3. Do you remember how fulfilling and satisfying love was?
a. The words of the hymn: "O to lie forever here,
doubt and care and self resign, While He whispers in my ear,
I am His and He is mine."
b. Or the popular song of yesteryear, "All that makes life seem worthwhile Is in your love and the spell of your smile."
c. There seems to no experience in the world that can quite equal that experience of first love.
d. The complaint of Jesus to the church of Ephesus was they had left their first love.
e. I wonder if He might be complaining the same about us?
f. God also complained to Israel about the loss of their first love, He told Jeremiah to:
Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land [that was] not sown.
Israel [was] holiness unto the LORD.
V. JOHN SPEAKS OF OUR LOVE BEING PERFECTED.
A. How is our love perfected? By your dwelling in God and God dwelling in you.
B. What is the result of our love being perfected? We will have boldness in the day of judgment. "Now judgment fears, no more alarm I dread not death nor Satan's power, The world for me has lost its charm God's grace sustains me ever hour I'm overshadowed by His mighty love, Love eternal changeless, pure, Overshadowed by His mighty love, Rest is mine, serene secure. He died to ransom me from sin, He lives to keep me day by day. I'm overshadowed by His mighty love Love that brightens all my way."
C. How can it be that I have no fear of the judgment day?
1. The One who loves me perfectly has taken my sins for me, He paid the price for my redemption because He loved me.
2. The experience of His perfect love for me has cast out all fear.
3. John goes on to say that perfect love cast out all fear.
a. I have no fear of the consequences of my wicked past, God has erased it.
b. I have no fear of the present. God loves me and is watching over me, and will not allow anything to come except it be for my eternal good.
c. I have no fear for my immediate future. Jesus has promised to be with me to the end of the age. The Holy Spirit indwells me, thus greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.
d. I have no fear of my eternal future. Jesus has promised to prepare a dwelling place for me with Him, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. I know that in His presence there is fullness of joy, and at his right hand pleasures forevermore.
4. If you have fears, you have not yet been perfected in love.
V. "WE LOVE HIM BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US."
A. In the psalm that we read this morning, David said, "I love the Lord because He has heard the voice of my supplication."
B. John here declares that we love the Lord because He first loved us.
1. Our love for Him is a response of His great love for us.
2. God is the initiator, I am the responder.
3. This is why the New Testament writers seek to draw your attention to God's great love for you.
a. John said, "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God."
b. Paul said, "God manifested His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly."
c. They point you to the cross that you might see the supreme manifestation of God's love, hoping that it find some responsive chord in your heart.
d. This also was the desire of the song writer when he wrote:
When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain, I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
See from His head, His hands His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down,
Did ere such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present, far too small,
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my life, my soul, my all.