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Experiencing God 02 - Knowing God's Nature

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Reading 1John 4:7-21
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16 (NIV)

I.   Know the Love of God

     A.  God is Love

           1.  This may be God’s most well known name

                 a.  Last week we talked about 3 other names: I Am, Provider & Banner.

                 b.  God’s names tell us about who God is

                 c.  Everyone knows “God is love.”

           2.  Love is essential to God’s Nature.

                 a.  This doesn’t mean God is no more and no less than love or “love is God.”

                 b.  This means that Love is so typical of God, where God is Love is.

           3.  Whatever God is up to love is a part of it.

                 a.  Every time God does something with/for His people, love is there.

                 b.  As you consider how God is revealing Himself to you, notice his love.

     B.  God loves His People

           1.  This is the measure of love: how God loves His people (vv. 9-10)

                 a.  How do we know God loves us? vv.9-10

                 b.  Jesus love me this I know. . .

           2.  All that God is up to in the world is about His love for His people.

                 a.  While Satan is out to kill and destroy, God is out redeeming His people.

                 b.  Satan’s worst can’t undo God’s plans

                 c.  History cannot move unless it moves God’s people toward Him.

     C.  God loves, even when it Seems He doesn’t

           1.  Does God’s love change when we don’t get our way?

                 a.  A child punished for doing wrong might doubt his/her parents love

                 b.  If the child doubts the love, does the love go away?

                 c.  When we don’t get our way, even we adults sometimes doubt God’s love.

           2.  The Bible struggles with this question too

 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Psalm 73:1-3

You are always righteous, O LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? Jeremiah 12:1

           3.  To believe in God’s love when the evidence points away from it is peace.

                 a.  If we trust God’s love at those points, nothing can rob His love from us.

II.  Rely on the Love of God

     A.  We can Depend on God to love us

           1.  Whatever happens, God won’t stop loving you

                 a.  God loves you because he is loving.

                 b.  Nothing can stop his love—He’s God.

           2.  Whatever happens, it doesn’t mean God has stopped loving you.

                 a.  Whatever a tragedy means, it doesn’t mean that God’s love is gone.

     B.  We can Trust God’s love for us

           1.  God doesn’t just say He loves us

                 a.  He doesn’t manipulate us with empty talk about love

                 b.  He really and truly and completely loves us.

           2.  Whatever God calls us to, it will result in our own good and our own happiness
 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?  Deut. 10:12-13 (NIV)

     C.  We don’t need to be Afraid of anything

           1.  Love drives out fear (v.18)

                 a.  When we trusting God’s love we aren’t afraid of Him

                 b.  God’s love drives fear out of us.

           2.  Since God loves us, is all powerful and all knowing, what shall we fear?
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

III. Live in the Joy of God’s Love

     A.  God’s love for us is shown at the Cross(v. 9)

           1.  God’s love is shown on a daily basis.

                 a.  God loves us daily in millions of ways

                 b.  Food, clothing, shelter, health, friends...

           2.  His love is most plain on the cross

                 a.  vv 9-10

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV)

           3.  Jesus died for us. That is enough to settle the question: “Does God love me?”

                 a.  Consider the question settled.

     B.  Living in love is living in God

           1.  That’s what it says. (v.16b)

                 a.  v. 16b

                 b.  v. 12

           2.  To live in love is to breath God’s air

                 a.  v.13

                 b.  If what God is up to is love, when we’re loving, we’re doing what he’s doing.

           3.  Loving makes us more and more like God

                 a.  v. 17

     C.  Living in love, God lives in Us

           1.  Loving is evidence that God lives in us.

                 a.  v. 16b

                 b.  God’s love for us changes us into loving people (v. 19)!

           2.  When we love, God makes His home with us (v. 12)

                 a.  When we love we experience God within us.

           3.  When we love God’s people we are doing what God is doing: loving His people.

                 a.  You can’t love God and hate your fellow Christian.

                 b.  God says “Love each other.” (v.21)

                 c.  God loves you. That’s good enough for me

The Bottom Line:

Know and Rely on God’s love whole heartedly and Live in the joy of God’s love for You.

R#622 O How He Loves You and Me

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