1 John 4:7-12
I. Introduction II. God is love (vs 7-8) III. God’s love is shown (vs9-12) a. Love sends (vs 9) (missionary) b. Love dies (vs 10) (servants) c. Love shows off (11-12) (family) IV. Conclusion Introduction: When was the last time you looked at family pictures? I have 2 sisters and most people, when they see us, say that we look like each other. (Show pictures) This could mean skin color, facial features, exc... But, we didn’t get these things from each other. Our features came from our parents, not from us. And our parents’ looks came from their parents, and so on. We got our looks from someone else. The writer of this book, John, is doing something similar in these verses. He is saying to the church, keep on loving each other because it shows that you look like your Father- God. Now, we tend to think of love as something that we do. This is partly true, because the Bible talks a lot about people showing they love each other and not just saying it. But in these verses, John says that before love is an action, God is love. II. God is love (vs 7-8) Illustration: There is an R & B artist named Musiq Soulchild who wrote a song about love. But he wrote the song as if he were writing a letter to a person named “Love”. Here is what he says in the chorus: (Lil Wayne- How to love) “Love, so many people use your name is vain Love, those who have faith in you sometimes go astray Love, through all the ups and downs and joys and hurts Love, for better or worse, I’d still choose you first”
You may be asking yourself, I get that God is love, but where did God get His love from? Or maybe, you are asking, where does God come from? God doesn’t have a birthday or a place that He was born. God doesn’t have a mom or dad. The first line of the Bible says that “In the beginning, God…” Before there was a start, there was God. Before any person or tree was ever made, God existed as a God of love. Here is what Jesus had to say about this during one of His prayers in the Gospel of John:
“Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!”- John 17:24
In these verses, Jesus is giving us a back stage pass into what was going on before the world existed. This verse says that Jesus existed with God before the world was ever created AND that God loved Jesus, His Son. The Bible teaches that there is one God who exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28, Gen 1:27, Mark 1) and that each of these persons has an immeasurable amount of love in their hearts for each other before anything was made. They glorify each other
To glorify someone is like writing a love song to your girl, telling her how beautiful she is just because. To glorify someone is to put them on center stage, in front of millions of people, and say, “I love this person!” To give someone glory is to love someone for who they are, with no strings attached.
What would your life be like if you had someone to love you like that all the time? Contentment- wouldn’t need to go anywhere else to find love. Securityyou don’t have to be afraid of that person leaving if you fail. Happiness- if you love someone and they love you back- that’s a good feeling, right? Application- what do you need to be satisfied with your life right now? If God loves you, what else do you need to be satisfied?
God always had this love! He didn’t create the world because He needed love or praise from other people. At this point, we should all be thinking, “If God didn’t
need our love or our praise, then why did He create us?” The answer is that God created us to worship Him and so that we would show off His love to other people. It’s not because He needed our love, but because He wanted us to experience the love He had before the world began.
Why is it loving for God to send Jesus into the world? (If God wants us to rightly see His love and worship Him, then He must find a way to reveal this love to us and remove the sin that keeps us from rightly seeing Him.)
God would still have been completely good if He handled the problem by destroying us and sending us all to hell. He can do that- He created us! But, God did not do that and if you are here tonight, and that doesn’t move your heart to worship God, then there’s a good chance that you don’t know the love of God. Instead of destroying us, guess what God did? He came to us. Since we no longer displayed the love that God had before world began, He decided to send us a picture of that love so the world would rightly see His love and be saved from hell (consider deleting). III. God’s love is shown (vs 9-12)
A. Love sends (vs 9)
What is a missionary? Jim Elliot example: This man grew up in Oregon, had a good family, went to a good college, and was a good athlete. However, he had a heart for sharing Jesus with folks who had never heard of him. Even in college, he kept a journal of different languages that didn’t have a Bible and on people groups who had never heard the Gospel. In 1952, he finally went off to Ecuador to share the Gospel with a tribe of Indians who had never heard of Jesus. Jim and his team finally met these Indians after several years of hard work. After they found them, one of the Indians went back to their tribe and spread a life about the “white men” they had seen. As a result, the tribe came and speared to death Jim and his team. Later on, the entire tribe became sick with a disease, and the wives of the missionaries who died took care of the same people that killed their husbands. It showed them the love of Christ and most of the tribe became followers of Jesus. This is a missionary!
God sent His Son into the world. Jesus was the first missionary ever! Maybe you hear that and you are like, “I’ve heard that before.” But think about what this meant for Jesus. The world was made through Jesus, and now He has to leave a perfect relationship of love with His Father to be born as a man in a world without love. Jesus is God in human form walking our earth! What else did Jesus leave when He was sent to us?
- He left comfort as a man, He had nerves that allowed Him to feel pain; He had skin that bled when it was cut; He had a stomach that knew what it was like to be hungry - He left acceptance there was not one moment when God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit did not love/accept one another; as a man, He was spit on; He was laughed at; He was made fun of; - He left peace of mind as a man, Jesus never sinned, but He was tempted to sin just like we are; as a man, He fully experienced the battle that each person fights to choose God instead of choosing sin
No one gave up more than Jesus when He was sent to us. But here is the amazing thing: No one has ever given up so much, and been so happy to do it! It was Jesus’ joy to come to this earth, because it meant that the world would finally be able to experience the love that He had with His Father one day when they are with them in heaven. What does it look like for you to be a missionary for Jesus? It means you go, not wait for them to come; missionaries do not wait for folks to come to a church building. They go to the bars, the court, their jobs, the classroom, the restaurant, across the world, and show by their lives and words that they rep King Jesus.
God’s love was sent to us in Jesus, but this was not enough to simply be sent. This love had to die, too. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13)
B. Love dies (vs 10) (Jay-Z song illustration)
The Bible teaches that a heart without love, is a heart without God. A world of people who don’t love God equals a world of people who do not love each other. Jay-Z said something similar in his song “Heart of the City”. The chorus is real simple; it goes like this:
“Ain’t no love in the heart of the city (I said where’s the love?!?) Ain’t no love in the heart of town
In the song Jay-Z talks about people who are hatin’ on him. He talks about people who are jealous of his fame, envious of his skills, who are ungrateful for what he has done for hip hop. He says there is no love in their hearts- and he’s right. So how does all this get fixed? Here is the answer that Jay-Z and most of us would’ve given at some point respect me, be thankful for what I’ve done, give me my props, look at my track record of good things I’ve done. In other words, real love means that you love me based on all of my accomplishments.
I don’t say this to demonize Jay-Z, because I’ve believed this lie and still am tempted to believe it. However, this is not what God says it means to really love someone
Jesus did not come to save people who loved Him. What does it say in verse 10? He loved those who did not love Him. This means all of us- the Bible teaches that none of us have loved God. How did God show His love for us? He died for us. He died to take away our sins. Our biggest problem is not the economy, whose going to be the next president, who we’re going to marry, or finding a job. Our biggest problem is standing before a holy and just God guilty of our sin. But you know what? When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, He solved that problem. He took our sin and gave us His goodness. If you are following Jesus, let that hit your soul like a ton of bricks- God sees you as not guilty and it’s all because of Jesus, not anything you’ve done. It’s all because real love dies so that others may live.
C. Love shows off (vs 11-12)
According to the above verses, if God loves us this much, then the description for the church should be “Dead people walking.” God’s church is a family of people who show off the love of Jesus as missionaries and servants who walk to their death every day. What I mean by this is people who are ready to give up their lives so that others would see an example of Christ’s love
What does it practically look like for you to follow Jesus by walking to your death, everyday? Getting over my fear of not being liked by others and sharing the Gospel with my co-workers. Praying for my parents and serving them well. Intentionally praying for every person at Matt’s Table. Taking dominion over my time so that I can be prepared to study, disciple others, and spend time with my family.
At Matthew’s Table, we are a people who love one another by being a family, missionaries, servants, and worshippers. We didn’t just make these things up Jesus is our example! Jesus was a part of a family before the world began- God was His Father! Jesus was the first missionary sent to earth so that we would know that God is love! Jesus is the servant that loved us when He walked to His death- He died on the cross to take away our sins. Jesus is a worshiper He worshiped His Father by glorifying Him on earth and before the world began.
Have you ever been in a movie theatre and seen a preview and said “I can’t wait until that comes out!” The church is like an all day everyday movie preview that is showing the world who God is, so that they would say “I can’t wait until I get to see Him! Show me more of what this God is like!” This is so crucial, because eventually, we are all going to stand before God and see Him. What matters most is what God will see when He looks at you. He will either see you as guilty because of your sin or innocent because you are His child. If you are here tonight, and know that you are going to stand before God as guilty, then I would say look to Jesus! Look to the cross where He was treated as a guilty sinner so that you could be a child of the Father. Pray that God would show you that He is love and that your life would be changed forever by Him.
Prayer Communion close shop up for Ricky