God does love You (1 John 3:1)
Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, July 26, 2020
There is a show on Netflix it is called “Anne with an ‘E.'” The show is about “Anne of Green Gables.” It is a wonderful, cute show about an orphan girl who mistakenly ends up at Green Gables. They were expecting a boy. Here an older brother and sister are to take her in. Many of you may know of the book. The first episode is sad. Then she is sent away, back to the orphanage, as they think she stole from them. In reality she did not. When they find the piece of jewelry which they thought she stole they try to track her down. Finally, the brother finds her and tries to persuade her to come back. She ignores him, UNTIL he calls her his daughter. Then she comes back. Later they ask her to take their name. It was so exciting for her.
How special it is to have the rights and privileges of being part of a family?
Today, I plan to encourage you with the truth of God’s love. God loves us so much that He adopted us. We are part of his family. There is a lot of discouragement going around, isn’t there? Today, my goal is to encourage you.
There are certain lies we believe but these lies need rebuked with Biblical Truth. Here are some:
- Lie: “My WORTH = my WORK,” what I DO. NO! This is not true. I’m a human BEING, not a human DOING (Eph 1:3, 8):
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ… verse 8: which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight…
- Lie: “I’m all ALONE.” This is not true, see: Mt 28:19-20:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
- Lie “It’s all ON ME!” (Mt 11:28-30) This is not true, see Matthew 11:28-30:
28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
- Lie: “What I’m doing doesn’t MATTER. I’m making no visible DIFFERENCE.” That is a lie, see: Isa 49:3-4:
3 He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel,
In Whom I will show My glory.”
4 But I said, “I have toiled in vain,
I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity;
Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord,
And My reward with My God.”
Heb 11:13, 27, 39:
All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.
- Lie: “My BEST is not good enough.” That is a lie, see Jn 15:4-5:
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
Sometimes we feel like failures. You are not. This is a lie we believe. The world may make you think you are a failure. You are not. God loves you.
My theme is: You are not a failure, God does love you no matter what. He loves you so much He calls you His children.
Let’s read: 1 John 3:1: We are only going to read and focus on the beginning of the passage.
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
- See how great a love…
- I like the translation.
- It begins with “See.” It is as if this is saying, “Take notice”!
- Some translation would say, “Behold.” This is a really important statement.
- What are we noticing? What is of significance?
- We are noticing God’s love. This is God’s “great” love.
- Think about how you love people. Do you know people that you will love no matter what?
- Do you know people that you will always love?
- Do you have a love for people that is hard to modify? It is hard to find the adjective to describe the love. Maybe the love is a verb, it is action, and it is hard to find an adverb to describe the love.
- God loves us with a great love. It is hard to find adjectives to describe God’s love for us. It is hard to find adverbs to describe God’s love. God’s love has been portrayed in action. His love has been portrayed in the action of dying for us.
- In this case God lavished love on us.
- God Lavished on Us. The NASB says “bestowed.” The NIV says “lavished.”
- This is important.
- This has the idea of a rich gift.
- Think about it, who is God?
- What belongs to God?
- What power does God have?
- What rights does God have?
- What authority does God have?
- Just think about it. If we are to believe in God, which I do, then we have to believe He has all power, all authority, all rights, and everything belongs to Him.
- And He notices me.
- You are not a failure. God loves you no matter what. He lavishes you with His love.
- We are God’s Children.
- We are called God’s children. I like what the Archaeological Study Bible says: The underlying word of “sonship” is “adoption.” Adoption was common among the Greeks and Romans, who granted the adopted son all the privileges of a natural son, including inheritance rights (see “Adoption in the Roman World”).
- We have the privileges of being a daughter or son of God.
- What are these privileges?
- This can be quite a theological topic, but to just think of a few. We have eternal life with Him.
- We have a constant contact with God.
- God will not give up on us.
- I remember hearing my dad talk to my barber once and my dad was comparing his love for us to God’s love. My dad said, “I could never stop loving my children.”
- It is, maybe, easy to give up on some stranger, some employee, some neighbor, but it ought to be that you never give up on your child. You never stop loving your child.
- God loves us that much.
- In the Greco-Roman world there was an actual adoption process for your own children. You were considered a slave of your own parents, until at a certain age your parent chooses to adopt you and consider you their own child. Then you have the rights of the family.
- To some extent this includes rewards in Heaven. It includes authority in Heaven.
- That is the idea the Bible has in mind. God went through the process of adopting you.
- The Life Application Study Bible: 3:1 As believers, our self-worth is based on the fact that God loves us and calls us his children. We are his children now, not just sometime in the distant future. Knowing that we are his children should encourage us to live as Jesus did.
- Think of the following:
- You will face challenges in your careers, but God loves you and supports you no matter what. God is in your corner. God has your back.
- You will face difficulties in college, but God has your back. You are His child. Give Him a call on the prayer line.
- You will face family trials, but God includes you as part of His family.
- God loves you.
- God will never stop loving you.
- Your parents may stop holding your hand, but God does not (Isa. 41:10 and 13).
- We get older and our parents go to Heaven, remember that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us.
- God is there to hold our hand.
- God cares, He always cares.
- Regardless of your age, God loves you.
- Regardless of your mistakes, God loves you.
- Get rid of the idea that you are a failure, you are not. God is in your corner.
See what manner of love the Father has given unto us.
He lavished love on you.
Stop tuning your mind into these ideas that He doesn’t love you.
Stop tuning your mind into these ideas that you are a failure.
God loves you!
Remember the Joel Osteen illustration about the TV of the mind? Sometimes we are thinking about the wrong things. We need to use the remote control of our mind and change the channel. You are God’s child, tune into that channel.
There was a Little House on the Prairie episode about the Ingalls family adopting Albert. He was so happy to be adopted. It means so much.
You are adopted by God.
You are His child.
Do you know Jesus? Luke 9:23
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)
 Tyndale House Publishers (2011-08-01). Life Application Study Bible NLT (LASB: Full Size) (Kindle Locations 161133-161142). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.