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April 19, 2015
“God’s Love, Our Love!”
1 John 4:13 – 5:5
Uniform Series: “Believe God’s Love”
PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy! Blessings.
(Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2010 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited)
Previously I wrote an article to which many of us can relate to. It was titled “God is for the Unloved” and it reads as follows:
“People can live without a lot of things in this world but love is not one of them. True love holds you in the good times and bad. Love is there for you when the storms of chaotic mess are ravaging your life. Love shelters when you feel as though your house is being blown in by the big bad wolf.
The strongest of all of God’s attributes is love. In fact, the Bible tells us, “God is love,” (1 John 4:8). With that in mind it is no wonder He is a defender of the unloved. God knows the inner man needs the nourishment of love to help him through the struggles of this life. He goes to bat for them filling the gap where man seems to lack.
In Genesis 29:31 we see someone who is struggling with feelings of being unloved. It seems no matter what she does she can’t get a break or find favor with man. Her attempts have gone unrewarded. Her heart lays empty from unfulfilled desire. “Oh, to be truly loved,” must have been her silent, lamenting plea that soaked her pillow with tears as she lay her head down at night.
Man ignored her and left her feeling hated. In such a condition, where would her life end up if not for the intervention of the Lord?
But, God . . .
He pays attention to those silent pleas. God sees the heart that is rend from the lack of human compassion and kindness. God sees the emptiness and He stands up to fight for her cause. “And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated (other versions use the word “unloved”), he opened her womb . . .,” (Genesis 29:31).
This really gives us a clear view of how much God wants us to be loved. It shows that no matter what man may or may not be doing to/for you, God is for the unloved and the hated. God doesn’t like to see people in a hurt condition, and if no one else will alleviate the silent suffering of this woman, then He would.
God’s love is no joke and how He people who are lacking love in their lives is no joke. God is for them. God is for you. Man may not always see the hurt that goes on inside, but God does. People will not always pay attention to your tears, but God has every one of them recorded. The psalmist said, “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” (Psalm 56:8).
God knows it all. Your hurts; your pain; your silent sufferings has not escaped His eyes of compassion. If you are feeling unloved, turn to God today. Unload every burdensome feeling on Him: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you,” (1 Peter 5:7).
God loves you and He wants you to feel loved. He stepped in for Leah and satisfied her need for love and He can do the same for you too. (©Word For Life Says/God is for the Unloved)
In a world of hatefulness, selfishness and condemnation, I personally believe we can never tire of hearing of the love of God. And, as Christians we constantly need to be on our toes; to be retaught over and over again the importance that we show the same love God gave to us to one another.
The ugliness of this world’s characteristics DOES NOT have to infect us the way it does the unsaved. We can shine brighter above it all knowing that we are loved in a special way by Him. With that knowing, we too can return what we have received of Him to others.
If God is for the unloved then we should be too. We are His real life examples to a lost world. We are the only Bible that same may read in their lifetime. Let the story they see in you and I be one of love.
1 John 4:13 “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because, he hath given us of his Spirit.”
False teachers will always try to usurp what God wants to do in the life of the Christian and how they ought to live. False teachers will always try to place their mark of opinion on what we know is the truth. False teachers are an enemy that John had to deal with and reeducate people on what God says is true and encourage people to follow that truth.
As a matter of fact, John opens chapter 4 with this warning: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world,” (1 John 4:1). After that he gives a summation of the contrast between the Christian and the world; “Ye are of God, little children . . .” (1 John 4:4), and “They are of the world. . .” (1 John 4:5). Immediately following this comparison of who is in truth and who is in error, 1 John 4:6 begins to admonish the saints how “we” ought to live. How the love of God is to be manifest in “our” culture.
Christians are to operate in a love culture. Verse 12 of this same chapter (not in today’s text) tells us, “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us,” (1 John 4:12). For John to keep pushing this key point of love means there must have been a serious disturbance going on in the church that made it necessary for this subject’s continual address.
“Love” is the key that opens the door to the reality in showing that we love Him. God will not “dwell” in an environment of hate and selfishness. If those are present, God is not. If we, as His children, are showing His characteristics of love, then we “know” that “dwell in him, and he in us.” Love or lack of it is the marker that shows one stance in his/her relationship with God. Anytime the individual or church is not operating in love, they are not operating in God and He is not in the midst.
There is a personal responsibility that John is pointing to for each individual believer to follow. Approximately 12x’s John uses the word “we” throughout this lesson alone, not including the rest of his book where there are many, many more instances. “We” identifies us. “We” states what we believe. “We” tells us our mission. “We” also have His “Spirit” living on the inside of us.
Every true, born again Christian, has to possess the indwelling of His Spirit. The effective and powerful Christian life cannot be lived out without His Spirit. His leading and guiding on the inside is a separating factor between us and the world. The world caters to the things of the flesh; to the things of the devil while the “Spirit” hones in on the things of heaven; the things of God. Therefore, “he hath given us of his Spirit.”
1 John 4:14 “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
Here, we see the word “we” again. In this usage of the word, John is speaking from his personal experience with Jesus. John was not doing a retelling of a story passed down; rather, he was attesting to the real life knowledge of the ministry he witnessed following Jesus Christ personally for those 3 ½ years. This is a ministry that he has “seen” with his own eyes and now lives to tell about it, or “testify” to others.
And, what does he testify? “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world!” How incredibly AWESOME is that?! He knows and witnessed His workings while here on earth that He was no less than the Son who has come to save!
Jesus Himself told Nicodemus, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved,” (John 3:17). This, throughout every facet of His ministry, John gave witness to, testified of and wrote as a record in the books that bear his name.
1 John 4:15 “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
Earlier in this same book John wrote, “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father,” (1 John 2:23). This goes back to his combatting the false teachers and their teachings. He stated very bluntly in the verse prior to this: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son,” (1 John 2:22).
Not only are they a “liar,” but have been identified with the “antichrist.” That’s a heavy dose of truth. Christians have to be on guard where they are getting their information from and where they are allowing it to lead them. But, he that “shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
Peter also dealt with the issues of these false teachers in his book. He wrote,
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of,” (2 Peter 2:1-2; emphasis mine).
The false teachings are out there. Make sure we are following the way of truth.
1 John 4:16-19
16) “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19) We love him, because he first loved us.”
Here, the “love” issue is unwrapped and exposed for us to understand. What do we understand?
- “We know and believed the love that God hath to us.” – Before one can dish it out to another, they have to believe the love that God has for them. God loves you! We are more than familiar with the John 3:16 statement of love, but what about the Romans 5:8 statement of love: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were yet in our mess – God loved us so much to send His Son to the cross for us. Powerful love!
- “God is love.” – God cannot be separated from the character of who He is. Mohandas Gandhi said, “Where love is, there God is also,” (Quote Resource: Thinkexists.com). Love is not what God does, it’s who He is. Now, everything that the world identifies as “love” does not mean that God is in that. If it is in opposition to His Word, He ain’t there. Point blank. Plain and simple.
- “He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” – God’s love was a demonstrative type of love; one He put on display through action, particularly in the sacrificing of His Son. In John 15:13 Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He who possesses the same marks of love He did, has the same “God in him.” He that lives in the life of love lives in God.
- “Perfect love” – We experience His “perfect” love. When the “day of judgment” comes we can stand with “no fear” in us because we have already been covered by His love, therefore we fear so sense of judgment or separation. Romans 8:38-39 reminds us, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, no powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (emphasis mine). There is no fear in His perfect love. “Perfect love casteth out fear” therefore, if any remain in fear he is not in love and needs to reevaluate their relationship with God. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father,” (Romans 8:15; see also 2 Timothy 1:7).
- “We love him, because he first loved us.” – Make no mistake; humans cannot take credit for this. Love originates with God. “God loves you!” Throughout the pages of the Bible, the overflow of all He feels for us is pronounced over and over again. He has plenty of evidence to mark the extremes of His love for us. In Deuteronomy 23:5, He is noted as reversing a curse because He loves His people. But His ultimate show of love came when He initiated His plan to reverse the curse of sin once and for all. The plan was successful but it didn’t come without a price. His love for us cost the life of His Son, John 3:16. All that was done so that one day we might experience the joy of what it really means to be loved; such a tender embrace wrapped around us that can’t be felt anywhere else.
1 John 4:20-21 “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
God’s love is easiest made manifest in how we respond to others. Hate and love are opposites. You cannot have one foot in the door of both. Either you do or you do not possess this love that John is teaching about. You can’t straddle the fence on this one. One’s lifestyle has to match up with their profession. You can’t say one thing and do the opposite. This is contrary thinking and contrary won’t get you to the place of favor.
“How can he . . .?” is the question John asked. How can he say he is of Christ and not act like Christ did out of love? Philippians 2:5 tells us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus;” a mind that caused Him to take on the “form of a servant” and “humble himself, and became obedient unto death” (Philippians 2:7-8). Why did He do it? Because of love!
If one “hateth his brother” but claim to “love God whom he hath not seen,” John calls him/her a “liar.” Watch what you hold in your heart toward each other lest we come short of this part of the calling as well. If one claims to love God than he will fulfill His “commandment” and “love his brother also.”
Hebrews 13:1 admonishes us, “Let brotherly love continue.” Hebrews also tells us, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love . . .” God won’t forget the love you showed toward others even if they do. So, go ahead and show that love today!
1 John 5:1-3
1) “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
2) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
For every one who believes and is saved, a new birth occurs. Not only do we become children of God, we are also commissioned to “love the children of God.”
Division is a mark of the world and of the devil. But, God wants to steer His people to the continual path of love, particularly to those that are “begotten of him;” His children.
Some may feel this is easy enough. Sure, no problem. I love everybody! Really? But, what about when those who you are commanded to love come against you? What about when you are made fun of, reputation scathed and ruined, or when you feel unsupported in all that you are doing to love and help people?
This is what the false teachers were doing to the ministry. That’s what people did to Jesus. So, what do you do?
You continue to operate in love for it is His commandment. “When we love God” we “keep his commandments.” And, His commandment is that “we love the children of God.”
As a matter of fact, Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). Love for God and people mean everything.
Love is a working of the inner man. Love is a fruit produced on the inside to affect lives on the outside. Love comes from the heart. Love is the committing of oneself for the betterment of others. Love wants to close the gap of hindrances that prevent us from being in the relationships we were designed for.
That’s how love operates. Love is selfless, patient and kind (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Love is the greatest thing that any human can show to another (1 Corinthians 13:13). And, we are commanded to “love!” “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.”
“And his commandments are not grievous.” Jesus once taught, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” (Matthew 11:29-30). Jesus is not asking us to do anything He hasn’t already done. “Learn of me” He says and follow God’s “commandments.” What may seem hard to do is “not grievous” compared to the burden of the cross He carried. All for the sake of the same “love” we are commanded to show and share.
1 John 5:4-5
4) “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
5) Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
“Our faith” let’s us overcome the world’s system of hatefulness. “Our faith” leads us to love one another even during the difficult times. By this, we have the “victory!”
I have been in church a long time and have seen people identify “victory” with many things, but rarely do you see it testified of in the spirit of love. Since, we believe that “Jesus is the Son of God” we overcome the world when we do what He did. Love in spite of it all. That’s not the way the world operates is it? No matter. We are not striving to be like the “world.” We are striving to be like “Jesus.” That’s what makes us overcomers. When we are like Jesus!
Love is more than the flowery speech of some. It is commitment and devotion put into action for the whole world to see. This is the same kind of love God showed toward us and this is the same kind of love we are commanded to have toward others. Learn from Jesus, our best example, so that you too can be an overcomer of love.
(Click here for PDF: God’s Love Our Love Sunday School Lesson PDF Document, or simply click the print button below. Enjoy!)
Below are activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Draw the Scene: God’s Love Our Love Draw the Scene (Use this PDF link for accurate printing)
“He Loves Me – He Loves Me Not” (Object Lesson)
“How Much Are We Worth?” (Object Lesson)
“Let Us Love One Another” (Coloring/Activity Sheets)
“Love Bible Printables” (Yes, printables! Originally for Valentines Day but goes very nicely with today’s lesson. Enjoy!)
“Bible Lessons, Crafts and Activities about Love” (Several to choose from that can be nicely incorporated in this week’s lesson. Enjoy!)
“Love One Another” (How does making “friendship stickers” sound? This and another activity can be found on this link. What a creative way to show love! Enjoy!)
“Love One Another” (A creative classroom project which involves a big red heart and students’ self portraits. Very nice! Enjoy!)
“True Christian Love Activity” (Creating collages that demonstrate true love. Wonderful and easy if you have old magazines and such lying around. Click here to learn more. Enjoy!)
“Heart Crafts” (Several for Valentine’s Day that can be used creatively for our lesson. Enjoy!)
“As I Have Loved You” (Children’s Bible lesson and activities with printable sheets and group activities that include a “Sucker Relay,” “Bubble Popping,” and more. Enjoy!)
“God’s Love Letter” (Object Lesson)
“Teaching Kids How to Love God and Love Others” (Sunday School Lesson Help)
“Love One Another/Good Samaritan” (Using the backdrop of the Good Samaritan, we are shown how we are to love at all times. Couple easy crafts needing simply supplies accompany this lesson. Enjoy!)
“Love Bible Verses for Children” (Easy printable activity for kids. Enjoy!)
“Love One Another Printable Mobile” (AWESOMENESS! ENJOY!)
“Love Crafts” (Many unique love crafts to choose from that can be adapted to today’s lesson. Click to check it out. Enjoy!)
“Love One Another Craft” (Simply follow the directions listed and your students will have a special, beautiful reminder of today’s lesson. Enjoy!)