Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dealing With People: Foundations: Love (1 John 4.7-5.4)

Scripture: I John 4.7-5.4
Translation: 4.7Loved ones, we should love one another, because love is from God and everyone who loves really has been fathered by God and knows God. 8The person who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, because God is love. 9In the following the love of God is made clear in us: that God send His Son—His One and Only—into the world, so that we could live through Him. 10In the following there is love: not that we really loved God, but rather that God loved us and sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins! 11Loved ones, if God loved us like this, then we should love one another.
12Nobody has ever really seen God. If we would love one another, God stays in us and His love is truly perfected in us. 13In the following we know that we stay in Him and He [stays] in us: namely that He overwhelmingly given to us from His Holy Spirit. 14And we really see and testify that the Father sent the Son as the Savior of the world. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God stays in him and he [stays] in God. 16And we know and truly believe the love which God has in us. God is love, and the person who stays in His love stays in God. 17In the following this love is perfected with: namely that we have boldness on the day of judgment, because just as That One is, so we are in this world. 18Fear is not in love, rather perfect love throws fear outside, because fear has punishment, and more importantly the person who fears is not truly perfected in love.
19We should love, because He loved us first. 20If anyone would say “I love God” and would hate his brother, he’s a liar, because the person who doesn’t love his brother, whom he really can see, is not able to love God whom he can’t really see. 21And we have this command from him: that the person who loves God should love his brother too! 5.1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah is truly fathered by God. And everyone who loves the One Who fathered loves also the person being fathered by Him. 2In the following we know that we love the children of God: whenever we would love God and do His commands. 3Because this is the love of God: namely that we would keep his commands. And His commands are not harsh, 4because every child fathered by God takes victory over the world. And this is the victory that takes victory over the world: our faith.

1.      Once upon a time, there was a young couple that had just gotten married. They lived in a big city downtown. They had lots of friends and relatives nearby. So they had so much fun talking and hanging out with people. But they had a problem, because it seemed like no matter what they did, there would be drama and gossip that would creep up all around them. Or they would face office politics and family squabbles. After a couple years they got pregnant and decided that they didn’t want their child to have to go through all that drama and fighting an arguing and gossip, so they decided they would move to the suburbs, where it was cleaner and there was more space just for their family. Well, sure enough, they were in the suburbs for a while, and had a couple more children. But after the first year or two in the suburbs, they found that they still had to deal with all the gossip and the arguing and family squabbles. And once their kids started getting older it all seemed to just get more intense. So once their kids got into college, they decided they would move again. This time they would move to a small town outside the city limits. And sure enough it seemed better for a little while, but soon there seemed to be just as much gossip, arguing, drama, and betrayal as before, especially once their kids started getting married. So once all the kids were married, they decided they would retire to a small cabin in the woods in the mountains. It was so hard to get to and so far away, their kids couldn’t visit very often, but they would see their neighbors at the store time to time. but after another few years it felt like they were still living in the city with all the drama, fighting, gossip, and stress, even though they were alone most of the time in the woods. Then eventually, one of them died, and the other one was truly alone in the quiet cabin. And that one was sitting there one day, years later, after the kids and grandkids had gone and not visited for a while, and the neighbors had stopped coming over, and that spouse was truly alone. Then that spouse realized how quiet it was being alone, and how there never seemed to be any gossip, drama, arguing, or stress anymore. And that spouse, sitting there, came to a realization: “Wow, it must have been my spouse this whole time!”
2.      The truth is that people are always going to be around us. And that a lot of time they make us miserable or stressed. Sometimes they hurt us, betray us, or hate us. Other times they just frustrate us, anger us, and stress us out. Sometimes we see others doing those kinds of things to others, and we are not quite sure how to respond. Over the next several weeks, we are going to be looking at some of what the Bible has to say about dealing with people. This week and next week we will be dealing with the two foundations we need to handle any kind of situation with people. After that, we will start looking at what the Bible has to say for particular kinds of situations. The question before us today is how do we as Christians deal with people in general, especially other Christians. and the answer in part is love.

1.      Structure
a.       Love one another, because God loves us
b.      Love one another, because 1) God stays with us, 2) love is perfected in such
c.       Love one another, because we can’t hate people but love God
2.      Themes
a.       Love
                                                              i.      God is Love
                                                            ii.      God loves us
                                                          iii.      We love God
                                                          iv.      We love one another
b.      God
c.       Fathering/being born of God
d.      Sonship
e.       Brothers and sisters
f.       Commands/obedience
g.      Faith
h.      Staying
i.        The Son of God
j.        Sending Jesus
3.      Doctrines
a.       God is loving
b.      Jesus died for our sins
c.       The Holy Spirit gives us gifts

1.      Outline
a.       We should love others, especially believers, because love is one of the ways we know we have a true relationship with God
b.      We should love others, because God loved us at great cost when we didn’t love Him
c.       We should love others, because loving in general is how we have a good relationship with God
d.      We should love others, because when we have perfect love for others and God and moreover recognize God’s perfect love for us, we will no longer have fear of punishment from God
e.       We should love others, because it is impossible to truly love God and hate people
f.       How do we know when we are loving others?
                                                              i.      When we love God
                                                            ii.      When we do what God says (which is not too hard for us by faith)
2.      Discussion Questions
a.       Why do you think your relationship with God is so connect to loving others?
b.      What would it look like to love others like God and Jesus have loved you? What would a sacrificial love look like in your daily life?
c.       How do you think loving God and doing what He says would actually be a way of loving others?

d.      What would loving God and others look like when someone is being mean to you? 

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