November 24/1John 4

Happy Thanksgiving Day! Be thankful that God loves you with His ‘Real Love’. A love that isn’t based on anything that you have done or not done. God loves you simply because he loves you. Love is His nature. The Core of God is love. His love gives us the same standing with Him as Jesus has! Yes and pass the turkey please.

I was watching an 8th grade basketball game the other day because a couple of our Hilltop girls were playing. I noticed another young girl on the same team as our girls and I turned and asked one of the fathers present what kind of home this girl came from. He said that it was not a good home. Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives me insight into a person’s life and as I watching it seemed like the Holy Spirit was saying that this girl isn’t loved. I saw that in her play. She was tentative and hesitant and it wasn’t because she didn’t have the talent. She looked like she was afraid of making a mistake. One would not use the word ‘confidence’ to describe her. This brings me to verse 18 in our chapter today.

1 John 4:18 (NLT) — 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

Real love gives a person confidence. If God loved me while I was still a sinner, and he did because he sent Christ to die for me; well then no matter what I do now he is still going to love me. That means I don’t have to be afraid of making a mistake and it gives me the confidence I need to live this life for him. If I make a wrong choice His love encourages me to choose better next time. If I make a bad decision his love gives me the confidence to make a better decision next time. He is not going to condemn me and use my miscues to put me down and make me feel small.

See John 21 > When John told Peter that Jesus was on the shore; even though Peter had denied Jesus three times he was not afraid to dive out of his boat and swim to Jesus. Why wasn’t he afraid? Peter knew that Jesus loved him. In fact all Jesus wanted to know was if Peter loved him. When that issue was settled Jesus told Peter to go and teach other believers. There was no ‘I told you so, or how could you deny me, or you’ll never amount to much’, no all there was, was Real Love. And it gave Peter the confidence to go and live for the Lord without looking back over his shoulder to see if Jesus was ready to pounce on him if he made another mistake. Jesus is not here to punish us. He loves us.

John 3:17 (ESV) — 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.

So don’t be afraid to take a risk for Jesus. Speak up if you have a word on Sunday morning. Tell of the vision you are seeing. Pray for the person when you are prompted by the Holy Spirit. Don’t say, “Well I wasn’t really sure it was the Lord. ” So what, even if it wasn’t He loves you anyway and so do I and so the does the Hilltop family. If you hold back we miss out on the blessing. Love allows a person to make mistakes. At Hilltop you have the freedom to make a mistake.

Parents love your children with Real Love; just love them because you love them. Love them when they do well and love them when they don’t. Please don’t put them down, laugh at them or condemn them or make them feel small or tell the other siblings. Allow them to make mistakes. Correct them in love. Let your correction be to build them up. If you don’t love them with Real Love you will raise hesitant, unconfident and perhaps bitter children who will always be looking over their shoulders to see who is watching.

My heart went out to that little 8th grade girl whom I didn’t even know; but what I did know was that she needed Real Love. I got her name and I am praying for her. Listen to what Peter says:

1 Peter 4:8 (NLT) — 8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    The start of this chapter points out a test for some of the pseudo Christian denominations. Some admit Jesus was God but deny he was human while others state he was just human. If you deny the cornerstone then the rest of the building will be unbalanced.