To Love God And To Love What Is Evil
1 John 5:1-5
5 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who 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 burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Whenever we think of the word “Love”, we will always have a positive reaction towards the meaning of the word. To non-believers, I would not think that they will find anything negative
About the word “Love”. To them the word “Love” will always be a positive thing, and a good thing. There is nothing negative or bad with the word “Love”.
As Christians…children of God, can we find anything wrong or negative with the word “Love”?
Can we always look at the word “Love” in a positive way, and never in a fearful, negative way?
The truth is, when it comes to word “Love”, to the believer…there is a line we cannot cross.
Believe it or not, it’s true!
1 John 2:15
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Now that is one scary warning isn’t it! God is giving you and I choice, a warning. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” So, the believer has a choice to make here. “Love the things of the world, and the love of the Father is not in him”.
From our opening verse, we can see that, loving God has more to do with obeying Him than anything else. Our text (1 John 5:3) says, "THIS IS LOVE FOR GOD: TO OBEY HIS COMMANDS."
1 John 5:3
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
Obedience is the sign of our love for God. Jesus made this truth very clear when in John 14:15 He said to His disciples, "IF YOU LOVE ME, YOU WILL OBEY WHAT I COMMAND." It is very clear, our love for God is expressed through obedience.
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
Obedience is what God is looking for from you and I. Loving God has more to do with obeying Him than anything else. This obedience is exhibited in three areas of our lives and they are our concern this afternoon.
First is Believing:
We love God when we take Him at His Word, believing it and acting upon it. "When He says we are forgiven, we believe Him and unload the guilt. When He says we’re valuable, we believe Him. When He says we have eternal life, we believe Him and bury our fear. When He says He will meet our needs, we believe Him and stop worrying.
We express genuine love to God when we believe Him and act on His Word. God has made it abundantly clear in His Word that we are all lost sinners in desperate need of forgiveness and reconciliation. He has said that our sin is an enormous problem that separates us from Him.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God, because of His love for His children, made a Way. And that is through His Son.
Second, Holy Living:
Holy living is another way we profess love to God. Verse 3 of our text says, "THIS IS LOVE FOR GOD: TO OBEY HIS COMMANDS." "This leads us to one place, the Word of God. We must know His commandments and then obey them." This is the secret to loving God on a daily basis.
Our love of God is expressed by living the way He commands. Living the way God commands is what the Scriptures mean by holiness. Holy living is loving God.
1 Peter 1:16
16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
Of course this can only be possible if the One who is truly holy, is living in you. Without the work of the Holy Spirit… being obedience would be an impossible task. We are expected to live according to God’s ways and standards.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We must not live by the sinful ways and standards that the world finds acceptable. We are to please God by living in the light of His ways. Living the way God commands is a matter of obedience.
Living a holy life does not mean, instant perfection. We go through the process of what is called, sanctification. For as long as we are in the flesh, that is the process that we will go through. There will be days of failure and stumbling, but through all of those comes a great lesson to repent.
Holiness really is Christ-likeness. As such it is every believer’s calling, it is not an option. Now, listen carefully, you can hear messages, preaching, all day long for the rest of your life. Pastors, preachers, CANNOT!!! Teach you how to love God. I stand up here every Sunday and tell you to, “love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.” And it would not matter. I can have our media post every verse there is, every word of God on our powerpoint, and would not matter, if you don’t believe and obey what is written in front of you.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son”. God, in His power has ordained, predestined those who are His to be conformed in the likeness of His Son. Not the other way around. As we mature in the faith we are to become more and more like Christ. It is an ever-expanding openness to God. It is a growing, maturing, freely given conformity to the will of God. It is obedience and it enables us to become the people we were created to be. That is why He said, “And His commandments are not burdensome”.
We also love God by serving Him. Love serves. Now I am not just talking about joining a ministry, you and I serve God each day in the way we live our lives. Our we living selfishly, or are we living for God and for others.
In Luke 7 I know everyone here is familiar with this story. Jesus was at a dinner party. It was customary to wash the dusty feet of the guests upon their arrival.
Simon, the host, failed to do this, it was a breach of etiquette. He also neglected to offer the traditional kiss of greeting. Furthermore, he didn’t offer to anoint his guest with oil, a special amenity of the day. If you and I were living then and found ourselves in such a situation we would have concluded, and rightly so, that we were really not welcome guests.
But what Simon failed to provide someone else did in a most unusual and unexpected manner. A woman, hearing Jesus was there, entered, came to the table where Jesus was eating and showed her love for the Lord. She was weeping and with her tears she washed the Lord’s feet. And when she had finished washing she wiped His feet with her hair. Then, as Luke records, she began to kiss His feet and she anointed the feet of Jesus with an expensive ointment. What an example of love.
Jesus used this incident to teach an important biblical truth. He said that two debtors each owed the same creditor. One debtor owed 500 pence, almost ½ a year’s wages. Other debtor owed 50 pence. Neither were able to pay, so the creditor graciously forgave both debts. Jesus then asked Simon, the host, a question: “Which of them will love him most?”
Easy question, Simon answered immediately: “I suppose that he who was forgiven the most.” “You’re right,” said Jesus. Jesus then turned to the woman and said “What she did she did because she loves Me very much.”(7:47) The one who has been forgiven much loves much.
Jesus was saying that if we love God we will do what He asks, willingly, joyously and freely. We will obey the command to serve Him. If no love exists then there will be little or no service or it will be rendered grudgingly, complainingly and unwillingly. The fact of the matter is that love serves. Those who love God demonstrate their love through acts and deeds of service. It is first and foremost a matter of love. If we love God we will serve Him. And not the fesh.
Loving God is our greatest responsibility and privilege. We must, however, always remember that our love for God is the consequence of His great, unconditional love for us. 1 John 4:19 says, "WE LOVE HIM BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.
1 John 4:19
We love Him because He first loved us.
Loving us He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay the just penalty of our sins. Through His love for us in Christ, we are offered forgiveness and reconciliation. We can live our lives of a higher, more fulfilling and satisfying life. We become, as Scripture says, “A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST”.
“We love Him because He first loved us”. Maybe that is the real challenge to some, how much do we love God? If we have not felt His love, how can we really love Him? How can we love the Lord our God with all our heart, if we have not felt His love?
Let me ask you this, how much have you been forgiven because of Gods Love? A little, a lot?
Past, present & future sins forgiven, washed by His blood, I say that’s a lot! No longer chained to sin, no eternity in hell! I say that’s a lot, right! So, now…measure the amount of forgiveness you have received, because of Gods love. And compare it to how much you love your God!
What I just said, was not a means to condemn you. it was meant to hopefully open your eyes, open your to God truth. In the beginning of this message, I had mentioned that, when it comes to “Love”. “there is a line we cannot cross. Believe it or not, it’s true!”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
This is a command, its non-negotiable! It’s a contract signed in blood. By His blood! There should be nothing in this world that can come between you and your love for the Lord.
If there is, there lies the problem.
1 John 2:15
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
So…what is in the world that can divide our love for our Lord. Remember, because of Gods love, we have been forgiven, and promised eternity with Him in heaven. So, what is in the world that can divide our love for our Lord? Well… lets have the Lord answer that…
2 Timothy 3:1-5
3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
“Lovers of self”. The selfish type of love. Where its my will be done, instead of God’s. My focus is me alone, my money, my property, my happiness, im only looking out for me! The word love is there. Scary right!
“lovers of money”.
1 Timothy 6:10
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The love of money, the love to want more of it, rather than more of God. The focus has become the career, overtime, no more time for worship. Now listen, there is nothing wrong with getting ahead of things, saving up for a rainy day, or in an emergency. But money, the love for money should never compete with your love for God.
25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
When is it enough? According to scriptures, we have just read them. Money will be your god. You will want all that you can have, and you will have them, but you will loose your soul. All the money in the world will be yours, but you will never be with the Lord in heaven. You cannot take that money with you, you cannot buy your ticket to heaven, with all the money in the world. You will keep chasing it and chasing, like a drug, it will be your death. Your downfall.
“boaster, proud, blasphemers”
For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Same area as loving self. My accomplishments are all mine. Everything I have is by my blood and sweat. Im a self-made man. I don’t need anyone, not even God. Jesus was talking about the religious leaders here, in this verse. No different than from our time now. Popularity has become a god.
“disobedient to parents”
That’s no surprise. If our children are not influenced by the parents to love the Lord. Our children will grow to love the world.
That still falls under self love. Never been changed, no new life, no born again experience. Still chained in sin.
“unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,”
All of that is the product of loving self, the things of this world, rather than loving God.
The scary part about all of this is…we will witness all of it. In the church, amongst our brothers and sisters. Our own family member, our parents our children, everyone around us.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but how much do you love your God?
Do love your God because you have felt His love and forgiveness?
These questions fall on me also, remember, it hits me first.
I do hope and pray that this message did open hearts, our minds to Gods truth. Satan tempted Jesus with the things of this world.
Jesus was hungry, satan tempted with food.
If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.
Satan offers you and I the same thing simply because we need food to survive.
(work, money, career, and so on)
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’
The devil took Jesus to the highest point of the temple and said….
“If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’
The devil tempted Jesus for His well being, will God really protect Him. Will God really protect you and i?
7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’
Gods promises are true. There is no need to test God when it comes to His promises. Because He is not a liar. If you are His, you are valuable.
“ Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
Satan offers the same thing, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” He offers the same thing to you and i. the whole world is yours, fall down and worship me” that’s the devil!
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’
So… “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Or take satans offer and love the things of the world and lose your soul!
To Love God And To Love What Is Evil, the truth is, we cannot have both.
The choice is yours, but to some of us here, God made the choice and the response is through obedience!
Pastor Richard Santos
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