John wrote out of a relationship with Jesus where he was the one loved by God. He wasn’t always known as a lover of people or anything. He was called a Son of Thunder.
• After spending time with Jesus, he changed from a driving carnality to a whole different person.
• He wrote this epistle when he was 90. In his life, he had been tortured, seen friends die, almost died himself, etc. So he’s the last of the 12 disciples—the ones who were actually with Jesus. He was a mentor of people who would build the church in that century. The context of this epistle is that people were preaching false doctrine about earning and doing. John’s message to get everyone right is “the love of God.”
Theres a theme to John’s epistles: God is light. God is life. God is love. If you walk in the light and understand that Jesus is life (not doctrine). It’s about the life of Jesus not just the behaviors of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 13 is for us to learn how to love and how not to love. But 1 John makes some bold statements about love.
How you’ve been loved determines how you will love.
THE LOVE EXPERIENCE:
— Unloved: never felt it or had it
—Abusive love: manipulated, controls, teaches you the wrong thing—to close off God and everyone else
— Shallow love: never went anywhere with it
—Selfish love: always about the other person never about you. You end up feeling used
—Broken love: tried to love but got crushed so withdrew
— Disappointed love: disappointed when you finally open yourself up to someone
— Unfulfilled love: you can’t find a way to fulfill your love and so turn to unhealthy things
A person can be so messed up that when someone says, “God loves you,” they say, “What do you mean? I don’t buy it. How does He love me?”
1 John 3:1 NKJV
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us,because it did not know Him.
1 John 3:1 MSG
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.
1 John 3:1 NIV
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
“What manner…” = What sort of thing could this love be? Come again?
DEFINITION OF LAVISH LOVE:
The lavish love of God towards us is an extravagant unrestrained excessive love that holds back nothing; an abundant outpouring of his favor with unexpected surprises and rich provisions.
• When does God’s love come toward us? It comes even when you don’t want it or deserve it. He loved us while we were yet sinners. It doesn’t wait for you to be ready to receive it.
The lavish love of God brings life transformations that start you on the right path for love.
• “Thy kingdom come thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”—not earth earth, but earth heart.
There’s shallow soil/hearts, weedy soil/hearts and good soil/hearts. • Unless you get the kingdom of God in you, it can’t come from you. — You are the earth. If you’ve never experienced the love of God, it can’t come from you.
• If the love of God centers a person, everything else comes out fixed. • The church can be fixed if we understand how God loves us and then turn around and love others that way.
THE LAVISH LOVE OF GOD THAT COMES TO YOU IS:
• It’s affections that Jesus brings without limitations and you can’t earn anything he brings to your life. It’s unearned territory.
• Most of what we experience is conditional so it’s hard to understand the agape love of God.
• There are no conditions that can make God stop loving you.
• When you receive that kind of love, you want to please the person who loves you so wholly. It will form your mind and your heart.
2) ABSOLUTE & ABSOLUTELY FOCUSED ON INDIVIDUALS (NOT GROUPS)
• Jesus’s whole ministry was about individuals: Jesus talks about going after the one instead of the group. — You see this in the story of the lost sheep, the woman at the well, and the leper at the bottom of the hill, the man with the lost son, etc.
• Christianity isn’t about the masses; it’s about the church meeting the need of the one.
• The ripple effect on society is more than what you would get with a track or a sermon.
Deuteronomy 7:7 NIV
The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.
• There’s no “because” to his love. He doesn’t love you because of anything. He loves you the way you are right now.
Ephesians 3:17-19 MSG
And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
5) FULL OF SECOND CHANCES
• There are no limits to second chances.
• God never says you used up all your chances. They’re new every morning.
• Love people because of who they are not what they do.
• There’s no “fair” with the lavish love of God.
• The love of God in you will cause you not to become that person who abuses others, takes advantage, et cetera, because we’re approved, not rejected, we’re valuable.