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Know God Through Love (1 John 4:8)

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Sermon on 17 Sep 2023 by Pastor Gaius


Introduction

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 tells us that love is patient and kind. Love is not arrogant, does not insist on its own way. Love is not irritable or resentful. Love bears all things. Even when we are being wrong, we should be able to bear it. Jesus bore it all on the cross. Today we want to know God more, through His characteristic of love.

Message

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. - 1 John 4:8

If you are not patient, you do not know God. If you are unable to forgive someone, you do not know God. To know God is not about knowing His name. In order to know Him, you have to be close to Him. In order to know Him, you have to love.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. - John 1:1

Communication

If we want to know what God is like, read the bible. The more you read, the more you know about God. The relationship will be strong. Read with expectation, that God will tell you what to do through His word. You will naturally want to read more, and know more. Reading the bible will not be a chore. The bible says that His commandments are not burdensome.

Pray without ceasing, - 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Communicate with God, through reading the word, and talking to Him. Pray to Him, according to His will.

Completion

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ - Matthew 7:21-23

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. - John 15:12

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. - John 14:15

Most of Jesus’ sermons were to His own disciples. He knew that even in ministry, there would be conflict. Jesus reminded them to love one another.

Communion

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. - Philippians 2:3-4

Be aware of false humility. If God calls you to serve, do you reject it because you truly do not think you are good enough, or you are simply afraid of embarrassing yourself?

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. - 1 John 3:17-18

If God calls us to help, let us help. God intends for all of us to have no lack. He wants those who can help those who can’t. Quietly, we help. We do it unto the one who cannot repay us, the one who is least important.

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ - Matthew 25:40

Compassion

It is easy to love those we love. But there are people who are unlovable. And often, it is more difficult to love those close to us because we take one another for granted. God may place an unlovable brother or sister for us to practise loving. Allow them to pluck the fruits of our spirit.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. - 1 John 4:20-21

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. - 1 John 3:11-12

If you have someone in your life you find difficult to accept, accept it as someone that God has placed in your life for you to train up your love.

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. - Luke 6:31-36

We should be different from sinners, because we have Jesus in us. It may sound idealistic, but it sounds so, because you are using your worldly mind to think about it. What do we want to achieve? We want to know God. We want the unlovable person in our life to see that we are different, to understand the love of Jesus through us. God wants everyone to be saved, including this person. We are all sinners, we all should be condemned. But God is merciful to us. Therefore be merciful, because God is merciful.

When we correct someone, it must be with the intent of bringing them back to Jesus. Check yourself. Are you correcting someone because of your pride? Are you chastising them because you want to be right? Correct someone with gentleness. Jesus was firm but gentle even with the Pharisees.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. - Hebrews 12:6

correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, - 2 Timothy 2:25

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. - John 15:13-14

God wants us to do the work He intends for us. He wants us to have communion with one another. He wants to see the gathering of saints. When we assemble together, we stir up one another, in good works.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. - 1 John 4:11-12

No one can see God because He is a spirit. But they can see God through His characteristics. We can become more and more like the image of Jesus.

Closing

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. - 1 John 4:7

Let us continue to know God through love.

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