TEXT: 1 John 4:7-21
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
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.
20 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?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Jerry Bridges said, “We cannot exercise love unless we are experiencing grace. You cannot truly love others unless you are convinced that God’s love for you is unconditional, based solely on the merit of Christ, not on your performance. John said, “We love because He first loved us”. Our love, either to God or to others, can only be a response to His love for us.”
A poor, degraded woman was being led from the police court. She was dirty, full of sin, and sobbing with hopeless distress. A Christian woman saw her, and moved by the compassion of Christ, swept up to her and hugged her. She had never been noticed or shown love by a clean woman for years. It broke her heart. She was soon released and nursed back to health in the Christian woman’s home. That Christian worker moved into a new experience in Christ, as a compassion for the unlovely possessed her.
Warren Wiersbe says: “Here it is for the seventh time: “If a man say …!”
We have met this important phrase several times, and each time we knew what was coming: a warning against pretending.
Fear and pretense usually go together. In fact, they were born together when the first man and woman sinned. No sooner did Adam and Eve sense their guilt than they tried to hide from God and cover their nakedness. But neither their coverings nor their excuses could shelter them from God’s all-seeing eye. Adam finally had to admit, “I heard Thy voice in the Garden, and I was afraid”
But when our hearts are confident toward God, there is no need for us to pretend, either to God or to other people. A Christian who lacks confidence with God will also lack confidence with God’s people. Part of the torment that fear generates is the constant worry, “How much do others really know about me?” But when we have confidence with God, this fear is gone and we can face both God and men without worry.
“How many members do you have in your church?” a visitor asked the pastor.
“Somewhere near a thousand,” the pastor replied.
“That certainly is a lot of people to try to please!” the visitor exclaimed.
“Let me assure you, my friend, that I have never tried to please all my members, or even some of them,” the pastor said with a smile. “I aim to please one Person—the Lord Jesus Christ. If I am right with Him, then everything should be right between me and my people.”
An immature Christian who is not growing in his love for God may think he has to impress others with his “spirituality.” This mistake turns him into a liar! He is professing something that he is not really practicing; he is playing a role instead of living a life.
Perhaps the best example of this sin is seen in the experience of Ananias and Sapphira. They sold a piece of property and brought part of the money to the Lord, but they gave the impression that they were bringing all the money. The sin of this couple was not in taking money from God, for Peter made it clear that the disposal of the money was up to them. Their sin was hypocrisy. They were trying to make people think they were more generous and spiritual than they really were.
Pretending is one of the favorite activities of little children, but it is certainly not a mark of maturity in adults. Adults must know themselves and be themselves, fulfilling the purposes for which Christ saved them. Their lives must be marked by honesty.
Spiritual honesty brings peace and power to the person who practices it. He does not have to keep a record of the lies he has told, and he is not using his energy to cover up. Because he lives in open honesty with the Father, he can live in honesty with other people.
If you are a Christian listening today, here are three things you need to do:
1. Confess and repent of your own sins. You already know what they are.
2. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ to repent of their sins and get back to their first love
3. Pray for souls to be saved, and do your part by witnessing to the lost.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please email that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.