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|Posted on October 21, 2015 at 6:45 PM||comments (0)|
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
1 John 4:7-5:5 (ESV)
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
“If you want to know who I am, I am Love,” is what God is saying. Love is the validation of knowledge and intimacy with God. To know Him is to love Him. God’s love is magnetic, and we are pulled into it. The absence of love is faithlessness, like a black hole that sucks you into nothingness. God’s love and our submission to His love enables us to love Him in return and to love others. It is also the evidence that we know the Lord. If we have truly been born again, it will be observable in our love for God and for others. The converse is true as well: if we do not exhibit love for our Creator and for others, we must not have intimate communion with the Father because He IS love.
1 John 4:9-10 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
The living portrait of God’s love is Jesus on the cross, swallowing up death through His ultimate sacrifice so that we might have abundant, everlasting life. God loved us even BEFORE we submitted to Him. Romans 5:8 states, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We were DEAD in our sin before the Holy Spirit drew us into a relationship with God, but Jesus took our place on the cross because of Love. We did not come to God bringing our phenomenal love. NO! We were actually His enemies until Jesus died to make us His friends. Read the rest of Romans chapter 5.
1 John 4:11-12 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.
If we love God, we will love each other. The one God, Jehovah, who we worship can never be seen with the human eye in this life except through knowing and seeing another believer and extending love to them. The unbeliever is groping through life looking for love in all the wrong places. Christ’s bride should emanate His light and love as a beacon to lead the unbeliever home. Within the body of Christ (the church) we should be loving each other in practical deeds and not words only. Love is not an ethereal, touchy-feely emotion. Love is choosing to be self-sacrificing to meet the needs of others. Jesus demonstrated the greatest love. John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” We should be able to devote time, talent, and money to benefit others.
1 John 4:13-16 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
How do we know that God dwells with and in us? We know this by the Spirit. We have witnessed and known and declared that God sent Jesus into the world to rescue us from destruction. We have to accept God’s invitation of salvation, profess Jesus as Savior and Lord, to enjoy the benefits of living and growing and being in Him (relationship) (Acts 17:28). Believing is trusting that Jesus is the source of all that I am and all that I ever will be. Jesus is the only way to right relationship with Jehovah God. If you are abiding in anything opposite of love in your speech or actions, you are not dwelling in the Lord. If you are resting in the Lord, love will rest in you. We are to be known for our love which is the result of growing in our understanding of Jesus and His word. John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” We need to be able to make a defense for what we believe, but note how that is to be done: 1 Peter 3:15 “…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…” In other words, the love and light of Jesus should still be shining out from us.
1 John 4:17-18 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
We need not fear judgment, because we have been extended grace and abide in his love. The quality of love has no torment or abuse with it. We are the Lord’s sanctuary, the dwelling place of His Spirit. He has made us holy through His righteousness. We still have an intense reverence for God, realizing that He is the righteous Judge as well as our loving Father. However, we no longer live in abject fear of judgement because we are no longer condemned because Jesus died in our place. “Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death” Romans 8:1-2 (VOICE).
1 John 4:19-21 We love because he first loved us. 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.
We can only truly love unconditionally because we have been loved by Love Himself. If we are making a confession that we love God and have hatred toward anyone in Christ’s body, we are deceitful and do not have the truth within us. If we cannot love those that we can experience with all five senses, those who are visible, how can we love God who must be experienced through faith and trust? This charge comes from God, it’s not enough to just love God alone, you must also love His children and those who have not yet come to faith, your enemies. Matthew 5:43-48 (VOICE) “You have been taught to love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you this: love your enemies. Pray for those who torment you and persecute you— in so doing, you become children of your Father in heaven. He, after all, loves each of us—good and evil, kind and cruel. He causes the sun to rise and shine on evil and good alike. He causes the rain to water the fields of the righteous and the fields of the sinner...” Jesus commanded that we love even those who persecute us. How much more should we demonstrate love to our brothers and sisters in Christ?!
1 John 5:1-5 (ESV) Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Anointed One has been born of the Spirit (John 3:5). If we love the Father, we will love His children for whom He died (John 13:35). If you love God’s children, you will be observant of His instruction. God’s life recipe is easy to follow (Matthew 11:28-30). Those in the family of God overcome the world by belief, trust, reliance, and knowledge of the Holy Scripture. Both the begotten one and the adopted ones overcome the world. The adopted children overcome the world by the sacrifice of the Son and their testimony. Our testimony is not just our words. Part of our testimony is living within our divine passion, living out what He created us to be and to do. Whatever we do needs to come out of whose we are and who we are in Him.
Those who have trusted in Jesus are adopted into God’s family and, therefore, will love his brothers and sisters in the family of faith. Love is demonstrated by obedience to the Lord. Keeping God’s commandments is loving God, but this is not a burden to bear because Jesus has brought us the victory over sin. The Lord has given us the faith we need to overcome the temptations of this world. When we as believers, followers of Christ, live in obedience to God’s will and ways, we are loving the Lord and each other by the power given to us through the Holy Spirit.
THE FOLLOWING IS WHAT WE WORKED ON BEFORE THE DIRECTION OF USING I JOHN 4 AND 5. HOWEVER, IT IS ALONG THE LINES OF HOW WE MANIFEST OUR LOVE FOR GOD AND MAY BE HELPFUL ALONG WITH THE CROSS REFERENCES AT THE END.
(1)When our primary directive above all else is to bring God pleasure above and beyond ourselves, preferring God before ourselves, we are demonstrating our love for Him. Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV) ”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” To abide in Deuteronomy 6:5 is a moment by moment thought, word, and decision.
(2) If we love God, we will obey Him. With the Law there were 613 commands, but with grace there are 1050 (result of Google search). However, Grace gives us the capacity to fulfill these requirements. Our desire to obey is there because our hearts are His (Romans 14:4); and He is our treasure, our greatest treasure of immeasurable value. Because of this we are willing to go and be and do whatever is required. The effort comes from within when you are working from the place of grace instead of coming from without when you are working with the Law. The Law demands self-effort, whereas the Holy Spirit empowers us to be obedient through grace.
(3)Worship and praise shows our admiration of the Father. Worship and praise are not done only in a corporate assembly, but every believer in Jehovah God is a sanctuary. We love God by finding and living our divine purpose. His gifts and callings are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). However, the gift, by our choice can lay dormant or inactive if we do not utilize it. When we do that we are not pleasing God because it is disobedience. If we profess Christianity, and we do not exercise our gifts in obedience to His kingdom purposes we are being irreverent and not walking in the Spirit and understanding.
(4) Prayer, conversing with Him and acknowledging Christ as our husband and best friend is another way we love Him. If we love someone, we want to spend time with them and talk to them on a daily (sometimes hourly, moment by moment) basis. How much more should we want to spend time with Perfect Love! If you sneak away to get on your cell phone to call your love, how much more should you long to speak with the One who loved you so much that He died for you! No cell phone required!!! Not even words are required, only thoughts. Prayer includes listening for God, it’s not very loving to do all the talking. Prayer is not a monologue but a dialogue. God speaks to us through His word, so reading our Bibles is taking time to listen to our Love. If we love the Lord, we will want to know what He has to say to us.
(5) Giving back of the resources God has given us is acknowledging that we know that God is our source. Taking care of His house and His ministers shows love for Him. When we give gifts to His bride, the church, we are showing our Lord our devotion. Giving of your time and talents and energy also are expressions of love.
(6) Another way we express our love for God is by loving each other. When we show love to others, we are loving God’s children and thereby loving Him (Matthew 25:31-46)
(7) We are God’s child as well, so we need to love ourselves.
(8) If I am in love, I tell everyone how wonderful my love is. How much more should I brag on my First Love?
Apply this in your life: How do we show our love to God?
3. Worship and Praise
4. Prayer and reading the Bible (listening)
6. Loving Others
7. Loving ourselves and not accepting abuse
8. Bragging on our First Love to others (witnessing)
And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
“If you love me, keep my commands.
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants,[a] for the servant[b] does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.