Keep Yourself in the Love of God
26 July 2009
· 1 John 4:16 - Love is the Nature of God. Love fills the atmosphere of heaven
· The Love of God is constant and unchanging- it is His nature, who He is
· The Love of God is tangible – it can be experienced, it can be felt as spiritual reality
· The Love of God is practical – it can be experienced through acts of loving kindness John 3:16
· Our love for God is a response to first being loved by Him 1 John 4:19
· Ephesians 3:16-19 - God desires us to be rooted and grounded in the love He has for us.
Ø Rooted = 4492 = to become stable, strengthened with an extensive unseen root system
Ø Grounded = 2311 = to lay a foundation or lay a basis for a lifestyle
Ø The Love of God for us stabilises and strengthens us to serve God, act as ambassadors 2 Corinthians 5:14
· Jude 20 - “Keep yourself in the Love of God”, look for the mercy of the Lord Jesus
Ø keep = 5083 = to guard from loss or theft by keeping the eye upon e.g. focus
It’s something you and I have to do, our responsibility
Ø 3 Questions:
i) How can I experience the love of God?
ii) What must I guard against? What can take it away?
iii) How do I keep myself in the love of God?
· John 17:20-26 - Jesus prayer for believers – experience the love of God.
· vs 23 - “…world may know that you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me …”
· vs 26 - “… that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them …”
· Jesus prayer:
i) Followers/Believers imitate the love of the Father and to experience it.
ii) Followers/Believers express that love in ways that are evident to the world.
· How do Believers experience the love of God that invites and reveals Christ?
i) Personal Relationship by Faith in Jesus Christ:
· John 17:26 - “I have declared your name…” = to make known who Christ is like. Jesus revealed what God is like.
I) The Works of God – creation, miracles
II) The Life of Jesus – words, relationships, sacrifice
III) The Body of Christ – receiving the kindness and encouraging words
· Develop an ongoing relationship with Christ and the Father. Open yourself to Him, get access to what He has to offer
ii) Prayer and Openness to the Holy Spirit:
· John 17:22-23 - “the glory which you (Father) gave me, I have given them” = unity and love for people to see.
· Jesus has given to believers the glory which the Father gave Him.
· When did the Father give Him glory? What did He experience?
· 2 Peter 1:16-18 - “… he received honor and glory when such a voice came to him…’
· Matthew 17:1-5 - “… a voice came out of the cloud saying: This is my beloved son in whom I’m well pleased. Hear Him!”
· Luke 9:28 - As Jesus prayed the glory within Him was manifested
· Also the glory upon Him was manifested, radiant life and power
· Bright = to be composed of light, to shine forth rays of light
· There was a visible and audible manifestation of the glory of God
· Note the words:
I) Identity – Who I am
II) Love – Whose I am
III) Affirmation – How valuable I am
· Prayer opened the way to experience the glory of God.
· The work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the glory of God to us so that we are filled with God
· Learn to grow and pray to encounter God, have revelation who you are, unique, one and only. There are no limits unless you decide there are limits
· Jude v20 - “Keep yourself in the love of God” - make it a focus of your life.
· We have a personal enemy who seeks to steal God’s abundant love for us.
Ø Spiritual pressure on the mind, emotion, spirit
Ø Constant feelings - “Not good enough”
- “Loneliness and isolation”
- Awareness of personal lacks, short comings
Ø Constant nagging accusations in the mind
Ø Constant distractions – cares of life e.g. Martha Luke 10:40
Ø Temptations to find substitutes for God
Ø Stirring up wrong beliefs – acceptance based on performance
· Evil spirits keep up relentless pressure to distract and sabotage our life.
· Must choose to keep self in the Love of God.
· No one can do this for you, it’s a daily personal choice!
4. How do I keep myself in the Love of God?
Jude v20 - “Keep yourself in the love of God”
What are the keys that enable me to be conscious of the Love of God?
i) Constantly expect mercy from God:
· ‘Looking for’ = 4327 = to receive for one self, receive into companionship
· ’Mercy’ = 1656 = kindness, goodwill, deserve to come alongside and help
· Keep short accounts with God – expect to receive forgiveness and mercy Hebrews 4:15
ii) Meditate on the Love of God:
· Use your spiritual imagination to picture the truth of His love
· Use your imagination “to feel” your thoughts
· Constant repetition with expecting establishes a path in mind
iii) Manage your thoughts and Emotions:
· Guard your thought life – what are you focusing on, you open yourself to
· Identify emotions and challenge the thoughts that stir
· Choose to believe and embrace and speak what the Word of God says
iv) Open self to Receive Love from People:
· God reveals His love through acts of kindness and words and presence of people
· Don’t be limited at how God can touch you
· Allow God to love you through His people – connect – receive!
· Receive but don’t depend
v) Practice Loving People:
· John 14:21; John 15:10-12; 1 John 4:12,16
· It is easier to love God whom we don’t see than love people who we do see
· People have a way of uncovering our immaturity and lack of love
· Loving people defines that we are the children of God and challenges us to depend on Him