From A Series Called “Bring Me Back” – Thoughts About Prodigal Things.
We have been invited. To us, the call has been made – to sit with the Savior. The amazing thing is that He has chosen to sit with us. The Savior pursues sinners. He sits with us, eats with us, teaches us and welcomes us to learn from Him. If Christ does not receive sinners, than none of us shall be received.
“This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
It has almost always been this way for us as humans. We have always found ourselves found and pursued by God. First as the magnum opus (the master-work) of created things – the wonder and fascination of the angels, and then as the paragon (the prize) of Christ as our savior. You see, we once enjoyed unbroken and unstained fellowship with God – no sin involved. We walked and talked, dined and learned from the omniscient one. It was His joy and His choice to include us in His love and awesome presence. We were created by Him and made to enjoy being with Him. Later, we chose to be apart from Him, and as a result we suffered. With Him, as we were designed to be, we thrived. Apart, we suffered in so many ways. In order to be restored to that place of togetherness and intimacy, He had to once again choose us to be united together with Himself. Sin broke us, salvation restores us. He must pursue, or we will never be found.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you..”
Thats what I mean when I say that we went from magnum opus to paragon. We were fine, and then we were fined. Sin broke us and we had no currency worthy to pay the debt for our sin. We owed a debt that could not be paid. Who can pay such a ransom? How to you fix something that is fundamentally and physiologically broken. How do you fix a broken soul when no man can manufacture such a remedy? Sin broke us, and broken things don’t fix themselves. It must come by the masters own hands. He made this battle His own and paid the price through Christ Jesus on the cross. Pure and holy blood to cover polluted and sinful hearts. His blood, purified impure hearts. He won. He gets the prize. Because He chose to do so.
Thats what makes passages like this one found in Luke 15 and John 15 so awesome. It doesn’t say that the sinners ate with Jesus, it says that Jesus ate with them – with tax collectors and sinners. He chose where to dine, and who to dine with. To the religious and wise, these people were the scum of the earth, and yet to Jesus, they were the prize – the trophy Christ had come to win. God gets what God wants, and if He wants you, then He has you. Welcome to the table – His table.
To Him it is a victory, to us it is a battle. We flail, but He fights, and when He fights, He wins. Some of us need to hear this today. He fights for you. He loves His kids – His creation and prize. We wander, and when sheep wander, they get lost. Lost people hurt themselves. Jesus finds lost sheep, and when He finds them, He heals them and welcomes them back with rejoicing. To Him, this love for you is natural – it is who He is for you and toward you. Listen:
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
So if others think that you have failed, that you are unworthy or if satan and your own mind have made you think that you suck. You may have done sucky things, but that is not what Christ hangs over your head. The banner over your head is Christ and His victory over your sin. Satan calls you worthless and unworthy – a tax collector and sinner! But God … He called and calls you “Saint!”, not sinner. To your Father in heaven, you are the lost one, pursued and found by Jesus Christ – purposefully.
Are you hurt or hurting? Are you lost?
What sin have you wandered into?
How far are you from where you want to be?
Maybe your not where you should be or how you should be?
How do we get back to where we belong?
Look! There He is. He is coming! With joy on His lips and singing in His heart to pour over you as He lifts you up from that place of refuse, and places you on His shoulders. He has come to bring you back, oh wanderer!
It is never too late to come back to God, in Christ!
Sin called you lost, but repentance sets you free.
Sin will keep you far from Him, repentance will place you on His shoulders, and He will nurse you back to health and bring you safely back into fellowship with the Father and His holy people, now and forever.
Can you say it? “Bring me back to You!”
The consequences of our sin have been felt and that road is rough, but the healer can make us whole again. We have been bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. His blood is a river that covers all sin and never runs out. Deep deep blood, it covers all your sin… all…your … sin.
It is always ok to come back.
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We all want Jesus as Savior, but do we want Him as Lord?
Join J.N.Wheels as he makes a sandwich out of the Parable of the sower in Mark 4:1-20
This video is about Mark chapter 4 verses one through twenty (Mark 4:1-20) in the Bible (The Parable of the Sower). Not everyone who hears the gospel and the message of salvation wants to bow the knee to Jesus Christ as their Lord and as their Savior. More at jnwheels.com
I woke this morning and these three words were the first thought in my mind.
Awaken. Deaf. Ears.
I really believe that phrase. I believe that God wants that. Not because it popped into my mind this morning but because thats what He does. He’s good at this sort of thing.
But were good at other things, like deafening our ears and blinding our eyes.
I believe God is moving to cause this generation to hear Him and see Him.
But right now the many idols of our age are blinding us to the one who would become our rescue and salvation.
So many distractions exist in our lives. And the idolatry of self is a hard and mighty foe to cast down.
But, like passing through the eye of a needle, nothing is impossible with our God.
Do we still believe that God opens blind eyes?
Do we still believe in Jesus, the one who raises the dead?
Do we still believe that deaf ears can be opened?
Can the dead bones be raised to life and made whole?
I believe. I still believe that. Thats not ancient history, its a present reality.
We must now proclaim this reality that is ours in Christ, that He is Savior of the world. That he is the one who has rescued us from our sins.
Be bold believer. It is time. Its time to obey that great commission. To go into all the world and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.
What grabs our attention, better than most anything? Pain.
I believe that God is using the pain and realities of these times to bring us to our knees. To humble our hearts and allow us, by the grace and mercy of God, to see Him. To hear Him.
So, Where are the preachers?
Where are those who will go for him?
Where are those messengers who are willing to be counted as fools for His sake and for His Gospel?
He is saying, “who will go for me, who will I send?”
Where are those who will answer?
“Here I am Lord, send me.”
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A brief fireside chat through Proverbs 5. This proverb instructs us to love and be intoxicated with our own spouses and not another woman or man. Single, or married, young or old… listen up, this is such a good proverb!
Sin caused us to go from unashamed to filled with shame. From peace with God to fear of God. “I was afraid,” said Adam. In his nakedness, Adam realized that what he was now feeling, was not in God. He had become something else. He had become sinful and this was something he had never experienced with God. God was not this new thing. The contrast was obvious to Adam. God was pure and man was stained. There had been no shame with God… but now, with sin, He was scared with God. Scared of God, His Creator and friend. God, in the garden with man as a sinner, was a scary thing to Adam. He recognized the Holiness of God in contrast to the sinfulness in his own heart and mind. His consciousness was no longer at ease but it was bothered. “Hide! Hide Adam!” That was the new thought in his mind. Because he recognized that He would be judged as unholy in contrast to the perfect creator before him. He was now a broken vessel. The pieces were scattered across the floor. And the thought of standing before His first love – God, and accepting this fact was too much to bare… and so he hid himself.
But God was not scared. He was not afraid of these consequences. He pursued his broken man and woman. His masterpiece was not beyond repair. Even from the first, God was ready to put the pieces back together. Man was about to find out what love is, and what love can do. It can forgive the greatest and gravest of failures and mistakes. It can heal the wounded and most broken of hearts. It can calm the storms and fears that we all feel. We recognize the failure and He provides the reconciliation. He takes it upon Himself to cover the shame we all feel and He covers it by His blood. He sacrificed His own creation and clothed Adam and Eve in the skin of an animal for the first time. He created the covering that would ease their shame until Christ would come to cover us forever! We are the broken and He is the saving grace. Let that comfort you in your pain and help you to look at Him once again, as loving creator of all things. Your gracious and loving creator, friend, and God. The broken things can and have been restored.
So THIS is what happens when you take 60 seconds to show your sister in-law how to use the new PODCAST equipment and then leave all the wives/moms alone together for a few minutes… they become overnight podcaster’s! ha ha!!
MOM’S! What do you think?
What should they name their PODCAST????
Four Moms Podcast – Pilot & Trailer – Mom Talk Podcast (Not official name)
With Stephanie Wheelersburg, Lindsay Wheelersburg and Meghan Nicole Ritchey-Wilson.
A Podcast for moms where they share stories about family, kids, and the mom life. Straight mom talk that all moms will relate to and appreciate and maybe find funny! Brought to you by jnwheels studio https://jnwheels.com
Though Jacob has neglected God, God is still working, even behind the scenes. He is about to allow pain into the lives of Jacob and his family. The megaphone is coming. Though sin tries to derail the people of God from the best purposes God had for them, God is still sovereignly working all things together for His good purpose and pleasure.
The Pain of their own choices is about to become the ice water splashed upon their spiritually sleepy faces. God will use these circumstances to wake them up from their slumbering state. The fear of God has left them, but its about to return. They have taken things, dramatically into their own hands and yet God is about to bring them back. God is bringing Jacob to the end of himself. Jacob will be brought to pathetic and disgraceful lows… We must all get there, sometimes time and time again in order to look back up to God from our knees and acknowledge Him once again as Lord and master.
One more quote, and listen carefully, and then we will dive into our text.
From Lewis, once again:
“Let me implore the reader to try to believe, if only for a moment, that God, who made these deserving people, may really be right when He thinks that their modest prosperity and the happiness of their children are not enough to make them blessed: that all this must fall from them in the end, and if they have not learned to know Him they will be wretched. And therefore He troubles them, warning them in advance of an insufficiency that one day they will have to discover. The life to themselves and their families stands between them and the recognition of their need; He makes that life less sweet to them.
If God were proud He would hardly have us on such terms: but He is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him, and [(emphasis mine) then, in our broken state, we will finally] come to Him because there is ‘nothing better’ now to be had.”
Jacob is getting there. The Brokenness is coming and Potter is standing ready to make him right once more.
It had always been about “the Kingdom” – God’s rule here on earth. About God’s people living in and living out the fulfilled promise of the one and only true God.
This reality hinged upon the promises of God being fulfilled in a man, a king, a ruler that would be the deliverer of Israel – Gods people – a son and descendant of the son of David from the tribe of Judah. This would be the King of the Jews! The king of the people known as the praisers of God – for that is what Judah means: “to praise.”
The Jews were in fact to be the praisers and worshipers of God, and that is what the Messiah, the Christ, the Promised King would do, He would unite the people of God as worshipers of God and rulers with Him forever.
That is the promise, and what good is a promise unless it is fulfilled?
That promise and its fulfillment is what the entire bible is about.
Will God be true to His promise?
Will he fulfill His covenant with man?
And to us, the question is asked:
Will we accept His King? …even if it comes in the form of a
helpless baby? … born of an unwed mother?… in a barn, atop
a pile of hay, surrounded by animals?
Its easy to like the promise, but will we accept its fulfillment?
The Gift of a savior came… but it took some time.
Like most major changes throughout history, the gift of a savior king for Israel would not come without major opposition.
People fear change… it makes us feel uncomfortable.
It threatens our norm and moves us unwillingly a lot of times from our comfort zone.
The birth of a savior had been rumored as wise men had followed a star from the east to Bethlehem where they believed that THE Messiah had been born.
Upon this discovery Herod, the King and ruler of Palestine, fearful that he would lose his power and maybe even his throne, decided to take his fate into his own hands and he acted in a most desperate and wicked way.
He ordered that all male children in Bethlehem under the ageof two were to be murdered. (Jer 31:15)
Joseph, as we know had been forwarded in a dream and had fled to Egypt to keep his son Jesus safe.
Imagine, a father, protecting (or saving) his son, who would later become his Savior.
Like Herod, people who would protect their own power over their own lives – their own will and comforts, have always had and always will have a hard time accepting their own need for a Savior.
To acknowledge God, is to acknowledge that you are not superior in the universe.
If God exists, than He by default is more powerful than us, and
if He is more powerful than us than He rules over us, and if
He is Ruler, than He must have rules and If He has rules, than
one day we must be accountable to them.
And for most, that is simply unacceptable.
To acknowledge God as ruler and king of our lives would require us to accept His ways and change ours.
It would require us to acknowledge our state of needing Him and His rescue if we were to find out that we were indeed not perfect like Him.
If a holy God demanded that were unacceptable and unworthy of His kingdom in our imperfect and sinful, dirty state of being, than we would NEED a rescuer, an offering of forgiveness… a ransom.
Herod could not accept a ruler over his life, threatening his kingdom, and so he refused to bow the knee and violently resisted the will of God and took matters into his own fleshly hands.
But the will of God can not be thwarted.
God would fulfill His promises to usher in His Kingdom withthe promised Messiah seated on the throne.
Truly, the clay is in the Hands of the Potter, and the Potter will have His way with His purposed vessels.
Truly, the Kingdom of God was at hand and there was nothing man could do to stop it.
The Messiah and Savior and King had been born and He wasbeing raised as one like us – only without sin or imperfection.
The Kingdom of God was upon us all and God had sent a messenger to prepare the way….
He was not a normal man…
normal meant 9-5, vanity, well-groomed,
respected, a home owner, a car payment,
SHOES for goodness sake!
But not our messenger.
John was anything but normal.
He was a believer.
He was a disciple of God and a forerunner of the messiah.
He was truly willing to look a fool for the sake of setting the stage for the one who could save his own soul and the souls of those who would repent and believe.
It is in fact those who are weak and humble and willing to follow God, who prepare the way for others to meet their maker and Savior. Remember Paul’s words to the Corinthians about their calling
“26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,[c] not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being[d] might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him[e] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
1 Cor 1:26-31
God would use a man, clothed in camels fur and belted with cow skin and who lived in the dusty wilderness, eating grass hoppers and honey.
Not a great looking celebrity or CEO or viral sensation.
Not a rich man or an impressive man, but a CALLED man.
A man whom God had selected. A Humble man. A man willing to do the will of God. A man willing to forsake worldly comforts to afford others the comforts of an eternity with God.
A man willing to speak the truth even if it cost him everything.
A man willing to be laughed at and insulted and questioned and beheaded.
John was not a man chasing riches or popularity. He was chasing God. Longing to follow Him and do His will. To make Him know, even if it cost Him everything.
Herod had feared that the messiah would live to conquer his throne, but it was Gods desire to conquer the hearts of men.
His victory was to overthrow the sin and rebellion that man had become accursed with. His Gift to us in His coming was the gift of repentance and the fruit of salvation.
Changed hearts, leading to a changed mind that could finallyworship God without needing the continuing sacrifice of ananimal, but worshipers who could continually come beforeGod forgiven by the blood of their savior and sin-conqueringKing.
The Kingdom of God was upon us. God’s promise was being fulfilled and John The Baptizer was preparing the way!
It was the beginning of the Good News, coming in the flesh:
2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”
4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
John’s Message like a Truth Sword cuts through our armored skin and penetrates our souls.
His preaching and message was the truth from God, highlighting the chasm that sin had laid before us and the Father, that could only be bridged by the sacrifice of the son. Our sin kept us from the Kingdom of God and it was only through the Son could that bridge be repaired.
Sin was the injury. Repentance was the healing balm.
of our advent series we talked about our fall into the cursed life because of Sin and our desire for it. Joel highlighted our need for a Savior because of our being cut off from the righteousness that is needed to live in fellowship with a Holy God. That is what holiness is and what it does – it is cut off from fault and error and sin. You cannot live righteously and wrongly at the same time. In order for God to be right (holy), He must keep those who are wrong out of His Kingdom.
But God’s purposes were not to keep us from Him forever, not even sin could separate us from the Love of God.
Randy emphasized the Prophesies concerning the coming of our savior. God not only planned our salvation, but He verbally predicted it for us in written form before it would even take place. He told us that He would save His people, and He saved and is saving His people through the promised Messiah – the Christ – The Savior of Gods people, just as He had promised. Jesus Christ.
Ryan reminded us that God’s ways are not our ways. Christ did not arrive with flashing light and a parade. He was born of humble means and circumstance. There was no room for Him in the inn. He was a baby. Helpless, needy, dependent upon His mothers milk and needing a blanket to keep warm. This was how God showed up in the flesh. Just as God had planned, sovereignly. The conqueror of Sin, born as a baby.
Josh shed light on the reality that the light of the world has shone in our hearts and he highlighted the emphasis in scripture that the people of God would be the bride of Christ. That Jesus as light of the world would shine in our hearts and give us life. That God has promised salvation and He has delivered on that promise.
What will you do with that promise?
Will you believe?
Will you Repent?
Belief itself is not without it’s evidence. Just as the proof is in the pudding, the evidence is in the fruit.
Salvation as a gift is to be received and the gift received leaves itself evidences.
The first being a repentant life.
Repentance is a deep inner change of the mind, heart and
That doesn’t happen without showing its evidence.
You can know who God is and be an unbeliever – an unrepentant person or being.
Example: The Devil.
A Person who has heard the truth and received (i.e. believed) the truth has experienced a miracle.
This is in fact, known as regeneration.
The gift of God to us, in removing the blinders from oureyes and the snares from our feet so that we can believeand see Him in His glory and grace and be recipients ofthe Gift of God – Salvation.
This Salvation is all of God alone.
Speaking of God’s Servants, Paul says to Timothy(2) (2:25-26) that
25 He must correct those who are in opposition with courtesy and gentleness in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and be led to the knowledge of the truth [accurately understanding and welcoming it], 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
When I pray for my unbelieving friends and family members, I pray that God, in His great kindness and mercy would grant them repentance as a gift of His great grace.
What was Johns message in the wilderness?
It was that the Light was coming into the world and that it was now time to confess our deeds and repent, that we might receive new life.
His message was direct, and bold and to the point:
To the religious, he rebuked, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear Fruit in keeping with repentance… Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
And to all:
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3
The change God seeks is the change of the heart and mind. He takes evil men and replaces their calloused hearts with fleshy hearts. He takes a perverted mind and purifies its thoughts. He takes and old filthy garment and replaces it with a new clean and spotless one. He takes our unworthy sacrifices and becomes the pure spotless lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
This was the coming Kingdom that John preached about. The Kingdom of God and Christ who would forgive the repentant sinner and make His kingdom in their hearts.
But the Kingdom came to those who would believe and receive?
It is both.
Many knew Jesus, but did not receive Him for who He divinely Is. They know Him, heard him, ate with him and saw his miracles, and yet they did not receive the gift of God, but instead rejected it.Even the demons believe, says the scriptures. Repentance was not a fruit of their lives but rather a hardness of heard. Rocky hearts do not grow on trees, fruit does. Those who are connected to the vine bear fruit and that fruit resembles Christ. Those who’s stony and prideful hearts keep them christ are not attached to the vine but remain on the ground, only observers but not partakers of the fruit. Though they may gather close to the branches, they are not part of the tree.
This is why it is so important for us to speak the truth as John did. He was a witness to the truth, faithfully preaching a baptism unto repentance, why? So That many would believe and receive the gift of God in Christ – Salvation.
Who do we call to repentance? Who do we ask to believe? Who do we pray for, that repentance might be granted?
We preach to all, we pray for all, and we love all.
“for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Who is the “whoever”?
We don’t know…. And so we preach the good news towhoever we can, and we pray that GOD, who is rich inMercy, would grant the same repentance to those hearersthat he has granted to us, even though we were sinners.
Consider John 1-3 with an emphasis on the word receive.
If God’s good news of how He has loved you, and sent His Son Jesus to die for you has reached your ears and pierced your heart and has created the feeling of remorse for your sins for maybe the first time, than can I rejoice with you, that a miracle has taken place. That is a Gift from God for you.
Receive this Gift gladly. Accept this reality that God has allowed you to repent and turn from your sins and not only believe Him but to obey Him.
This is the fruit of a life reborn – regenerated and made to come alive for the first time.
Its not Just about believing, it’s about being born again of God alone.
John said toward the end of John chapter three, that
“He (speaking of Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease…whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true…whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life…”
John’s Gospel is the only gospel that does not mention John the Baptist’s death and his beheading at the hands of Herod. . .
It’s as if John the Baptist simply fades out of the picture just as he would have wished.
John simply described himself as a Voice. The voice of one crying out in the wilderness.
We all have a voice.
What will your voice give witness to?
John proclaimed the coming of his Savior and told people to believe and receive Gods Gifts of Grace: Repentance unto Salvation.
I cannot imagine a better way to be a voice, than to proclaim the Salvation that has come to us by God in Christ Jesus or Lord.
From the Sermon: Remembering His Great Love – a survey of Gods Love through the book of John
Text (BLOG) Below:
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
“16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”
The purpose of this exhortation this morning is simple. It is to encourage our hearts in the love of God.
Often times, we question whether we are loved by God or others. And, sometimes, we cannot find it in ourselves to love others or even ourselves, and so the question’s arise within ourselves from time to time, “Are we loved?” “How are we loved?” “Does God Love Me?” “Can I love myself and others?”
These questions do indeed come with answers if we listen to the right sources. If you want the answer – need the answer, go to the source. The source of Love has spoken and given the answers that comfort even the most distraught and hurting hearts. When we are broken or doubting in the area and need for love, it is comfort that we are in need of. It is really a deep question and enquiry of purpose and belonging.
What is my purpose if love is not some part of it? To be loved and to give love. We all want it. We all need it. And sometimes we need to be reminded of it. To be comforted by it, by the source itself. To be comforted by the love of God for us as His creatures and kids.
How are we comforted by God? We are comforted by his great love.
He gives it, He shows it, and He promises it eternally.
The comfort He gives is an eternal comfort and good hope, freely given – through His generous grace.
I want to answer a couple of questions this morning about the love of God toward us and for us.
1. Does God love us?
(take a moment and allow several scriptures to remind you of Gods love)
“39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should
lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up
on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that
everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him
should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the
The will of God is to bring all who look upon Him andbelieve into eternal life with Jesus – receiving the samereward: eternal life.
God has compelled Himself in love to save the otherwiseun-savable.
Does God love us? The answer is a simple yetresounding YES! Because He willingly decided to act upon His love for us by saving those who believe in Him.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life.”
The Simple answer to this question is yes.
God loves us and has set His desire to save us and glorify His Son and Himself by doing so.
Amazing isn’t it!?
Its incredible that being the object and recipient of Gods love can, in and of itself bring Glory to God, and in doing so give our lives and our love meaning and purpose.
But, how can this be? How does this happen?
21 “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
To love someone is to set your affections upon that person, and to be full of good-will toward that person.
The closest relationship I can think of, to give as an example of this sort of love, is that love between a parent toward a child.
It a pure love, wishing only good upon its recipient. No evil is wished upon the other, only good things and pleasant thoughts are extended toward your child.
The Love is reciprocated. It is received, recognized and aimed back at its originator. We call this Love, and it becomes worship for those who believe. As a result of receiving this love, we want to obey and respond in kind. We want to be like God was and is toward us – loving and lovely.
How is it that love exists in our hearts and in this world?
1 John 4:18-19
19 “We love because he first loved us.”
It exists because God, among many other attributes, is a loving God who loves us as His own.
This is the agape love of the father extended to us – now made his children through faith, because of His reconciling us to Himself through Jesus, His son.
And so, does God love us?
2. How has God loved us? (How has He comforted us?) (How has He given us Hope?)
He has loved us by sending His Son into the world, specifically to fulfill the will of the Father in saving us and giving us eternal life with His beloved son.
The eternal curse of sin was deservedly upon us as trespassers and law breakers. And yet the penalty of that curse was undeservedly placed upon Himself in the flesh upon the cross.
Gods righteous judgement declared all sin to be punishable by death. It (sin) did not belong. Not with God, not in His presence and not in eternity.
Who could settle and satisfy Gods wrath and righteous judgement?
What propitiation could be made, allowing us to escape the wrath of God to come upon the sins of the world?
A solution to the problem did not exist. It does not exist outside of the One who can accomplish the impossible.
Unless God acts within Himself to remove our sins, they cannot be removed. Within our lives as unforgiven sinners, we were missing the best of Love… Gods love, and so we were missing the best of life… eternal life.
He could not simply remove the punishment.
That would not make Him just.
Simply, justice would not be served.
He also, could not declare righteous what had been tainted by sin.
That would not be right.
Justice had to be imposed.
But how could sin be removed and punished at the same time?
The penalty was death.
How do you cure death?
God took it upon Himself… (selah)
The Father of all creation, compelled by His own love toward those who would believe, made Himself to become the sacrifice that would appease His own wrath.
Rather than letting us face the eternal consequence of our own sin, He became sin for us and stood in our place before the Judgement seat of God, as the Son, paying the price for our sin, dying, though He had been eternal life Himself, and there, feeling the pain that should have been ours, allowed Himself to be tortured and executed as a slaughtered lamb at the hands of those whom He created, and who were corrupted by sin, and He was nailed, hands and feet to a splintery wood cross, and there the eternal wrath of God was thrust upon Jesus Christ, once and for all satisfying Gods wrath and delivering justice on the offenders who would look to Christ Jesus for salvation.
He did what could not be done by anyone else. He took our sin’s upon Himself – all of them, and then rose in victory – sin could not keep Him in the grave because it was not His sin that caused His death, it was ours!
What was impossible for man, was made possible by God Himself.
1 John 3:1:
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
We could not inherit the eternal spiritual life because in our sin we had become spirituality dead, and yet God in His love moved Himself to act on our behalf, sending us the promised rescuer, Himself, in Christ as Savior.
Does God Love you? You tell me…
1 Corinthians 15:50-55
50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
How has God loved us?
He has loved us by sending us His Son as Savior and by doing for us what only He could do – dying in our place and sharing with us His eternal reward – eternal life.
3. How has and does He show us His love? (What does Gods Love look like/Act Like?)
In John 1
Verse 38-39, 42
Jesus invites us to follow him, and receive a new identity in him. Like Peter, to go from a man led by the impulses of his flesh, to become a man led by and standing firm in Faith, proclaiming the truth that changes our hearts and minds and saves us for heaven, by the grace of God through Christ.
In John 2
Jesus defends and preserves His house, His presence, and His church and a place to meet and talk with God. In love, by grace we are invited as His children, to pray with Him. He preserves His house as a house of prayer, casting out those who would stand in the way of you and the Father. Christ has brought us to the Father, now and forever.
In John 3
Jesus reasons with us, offering us His salvation and the new life, causing us to be “born again” into an eternal spiritual life, and declares Gods love: “for God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
In John 4
Jesus speaks with the outcasts and marginalized – sitting down with and drinking water from the cup of the samaritan woman – an adulterous woman rejected by the jews, yet accepted and pursued by God, here at a well, found by her Savior. She had been looking for peace, but not until Jesus found her did she know it. Here, with love extended by God in the flesh, her life was now made whole.
Gods love shows itself in His love for those hurting and the outcast, as He healed many who were hurt, lame, diseased, blind, poor and even the demon possessed.
In John 6
With great compassion for those hungry, who followed Him, He twice, miraculously fed them with fish and bread, to satisfy their physical hunger, simply because He cares for them and He cares for you. It may just be that simple, that God takes care of you because He Loves you. He Loves you now and into eternity.
Do you trust Him? Do you trust that He Loves you?
26 “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor
gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by
being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the
lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass
of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into
the oven, will he not much more clothe you…?”
And not only does He satisfy us with physical bread for our bodily hunger, but He becomes our very sustenance and life, being “the bread of Life”:
35″ Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever
comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me
shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me
and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will
come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will
but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him
who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has
given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will
of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and
believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him
up on the last day.”
He is also the Living Water (John 7:37), providing not only for our physical hunger, but satisfying our spiritual thirst eternally. He has given us His Spirit – inside us, to give us life and keep us for God eternally.
In John 8
God comes to the defense of a women caught in the very act of adultery, and forgives her of her sins. He is not ashamed to humble Himself in coming to our rescue. The woman would have been stoned otherwise, if Jesus had not intervened.
What sin is so big or so condemning in your life, that Jesus would not stoop to the ground and lift you up from your mess?
Just as He did for the Women caught in the very act of adultery, He has done for you. He has and will come to your rescue.
38 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor
rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will
be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus
No sin is too great, no one has become so backslidden or gone too far into the darkness that Christ cannot redeem or rescue you by shining His very light of forgiveness into your life to bring you back into His glory and grace. For that is His mission – Gods mission – a rescue mission.
In John 8
He is the light of the world and whoever follows Him will not walk in darkness but will have the very light of life.
Do you need to walk into the light? He loves you, for that is why He came, and comes to your rescue.
In John 10
God reassures His love for and eternal protection over His sheep, even laying down His very life to win you back to Himself – dying to protect you from the enemy of your soul.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came
that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the
good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for
the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd,
who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and
leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and
scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and
cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I
know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father
knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for
the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold.
I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So
there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the
Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take
it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of
my own accord.
In what other ways has God and does God express His Love for us?
In John 11
Jesus weeps with those who have lost a loved one (Lazarus). Not only does he weep over our lack of and lapses of faith, but he takes it upon Himself to increase our faith through miraculous acts of His grace upon our life. Here, He raises a dead man, Lazarus, not only restoring life, but increasing our faith.
He walks on water and calms storms, He makes wine for celebrations, He washes the feet of His followers, He defends His disciples against the attack of the legalistic pharisees, He promises His Spirit as the keeper and sustainer of our salvation, bringing us home to heaven. He fulfills His promise to us, by laying down his life for us on the cross, and pleasing His Father, and finishing His mission.
He forgives those who persecuted Him, and He forgives and restores Peter, who betrays Him 3 times. . .
Does God Love You?
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
Does He Love you? Are you loved?
The answer is a resounding YES! Y.E.S!
Look at what great lengths He has gone to, to show you His great love for you, and in doing so, Jesus has completed and satisfied the will of His Father, giving God glory.
And finally, in Love, He redeems our praise and brings us into worship. Our Response is to Love as He has loved us. To forgive others. To be instruments of His Love, Mercy and Grace.
6 “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult
and give Him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
9 And the angel said to me,
“Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
Be reminded now, and make no mistake, that you are eternally loved, oh child of God, and blessed forever.
J.N.Wheels talks with guest Jeremiah Jasso about the importance of keeping with sound doctrine in the the church for this generation and future generations. Should we be scared of Doctrine? Should we as christians embrace and teach doctrine? What is doctrine anyways? Find out on this episode of the 3M Podcast w/ J.N.Wheels.
To listen to the full episode click HERE and find the 3M Show on your favorite Podcast platform.