THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 10-19-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD IS FOR ME: GOD IS LOVE"
Thank you for joining us this morning, let me welcome you to the program. The Living Word is a work of our Lord, dedicated to doing God's Will in His Way! As always, it will be our privilege today to sing songs of praise and to study from His Word. In these acts of worship, may we all be encouraged, but ultimately may we each praise God according to the sacrifices to offer toward His Throne. It will also be our honor this morning to speak with God through prayer. Will you bow with me as we talk to our creator?
It's now time to start our songs of praise. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Mansion Over The Hilltop!"?
(SONG # 1)
Have you ever had one of those neighbors that are hard to get along with? I guess we all have at one time or another. However, how do we respond to those who don't treat us like they should?
I might also ask, why do we not like them? I know we have a good reason for why we don't like them. Maybe their kids play next to our property line and they actually get on our grass from time to time. Some might even have a piece of trash that blows over from the neighbors and messes up our flowerbed. Or possibly it is something as unbelievable as a person's culture, background or race that makes you automatically dislike what you see.
Well, what does God say about all of this through His inspired writers. Read with me from Proverbs 14:21, there it says, "He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he." Did you know you were sinning when you think, act and say these types of things in relationship to your neighbor?
Of course, all of this would make perfect sense in consideration of what Jesus said of a similar nature in the New Testament. There we find verse after verse that reminds us of how we should treat our neighbor. Wasn't it Christ Himself who said that the second and greatest command was to, "love your neighbor as your self," Matthew 22:39? This same Jesus told the beautiful story of the good Samaritan, who was willing to step outside the barriers which society has set up and to show the true spirit of Christ.
A final familiar verse I would like to mention is found in Matthew 5:44, where Jesus even went so far as to say that we are to, "love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." Well, by this time you might be thinking, but why, or you have got to be kidding. But the question I would like to answer is WHY!
Look at the same passage, Matthew 5, but now look at the next verse - 45, there we read, "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven...." Did you catch that? We treat others as we want to be treated because when we do we glorify the Father and hopefully they will see His Son in us.
So, how do you react to your neighbors in life? Do you say and do those things which cause them to see Christ? Are you willing to "go the extra mile," and "turn the other cheek?" The real question is can they see Jesus in you?
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. This morning, we will be continuing our study on "God Is For Me." Our specific lesson of the morning will cover, "God Is Love." So please stay with us and after our next song, brother Jerry Sullins will again be with us to lead us in this important study from God's Word. We thank brother Sullins for being with us and look forward to him guiding our thoughts from God's Word after our next song. Now let's join in that song together. The name of this hymn, "Fairest Lord Jesus."
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
Good morning and welcome again to "The Living Word" broadcast. It is really a joy for us to come into your home and we thank you so much for tuning in to this program every Sunday morning. We have been on the air now for over 30 years and we hope we render a service and we believe we're rendering a service to this community by simply presenting to you God's Word on many various and different subjects.
This morning we want to consider the subject of one of the again eternal attributes of our God and Father in Heaven and that is a Biblical subject, of course, which actually the Bible states forthwith and outright.
In 1 John 4 verse 8 the Bible says, "He who does not love does not know God for God is love." Now a few verses later, it again mentions this eternal truth that "God is love." We can see this in many ways which some of us maybe have not considered before as we look into God's Holy Word.
Have you ever considered that the very creation of this world was because of the love of God? Isaiah stated in Isaiah 45 verse 8 that God actually made the world to be inhabited. If you read there in chapter 45 you will be greatly strengthened by the truths that are presented there about God's design for creation and how He actually created the earth for us to inhabit it and to actually live a joyful and wonderful life.
It was in the Garden of Eden that God created the first things that we know of, as He created the world and created the Garden of Eden where He might also create a man and a woman. Their names were, as you know, many of you know of course, Adam and Eve. Now He made this garden in such a way that He would provide for all of the necessities of mankind. He placed within that garden the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and also a tree that would provide all of the things they would need for life and a garden itself. For what reason? For the pleasure of man. He wanted man to be happy and indeed man was very happy before Even gave in to the deception by Satan himself, ate of that forbidden fruit and Adam also followed suit and they were cast out of that wonderful place called The Garden of Eden where God really intended for all creation, for His creation to live and to be happy, what indeed is a blessing and that blessing is because of God's eternal love.
Also we see even a greater example of God's love in the manifestation of Jesus Christ the son of God. Now a verse all of us know, in fact all of us who claim to be religious and some of those who don't even claim to be religious, have been taught John 3:16. Exactly this verse says what the theme of this lesson is today where it says, "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."
Another statement was made by this same John in 1 John chapter 4 and we're going to read verses 9 and 10 where John said, "In this the love of God was manifested toward us that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that He might live through Him. This is the love of God, not that we love God but that He loved us and gave His Son to be the propitiation (which means the satisfaction) for our sins."
He lived (that is Jesus) among mankind to do good. This was the manifestation of God's love. He lived among mankind and He suffered for mankind. He eventually died on the cross of Calvary for all mankind. No other example can be given that would be greater than this example to show us that truly God is love. It really in many ways is difficult if not impossible for us to understand as beings who have only finite minds, or limited minds, to conceive that our Creator would love us to such a degree that He would give His likeness, His Son, to come to this earth to be persecuted on the cross and to be slandered, to be spat upon, to be mistreated in every way, being the Son of God Himself, for what reason? So that we might have opportunity for eternal life. So here we see again, God's love manifested and we truly know that God is love.
Another way, I believe the Bible shows us, that demonstrates God's love for us is the church itself. Now many people do not look at the church as an example of God's love, but I believe it is a great example of God's love. Let's turn to Ephesians chapter 1 and I want to read verses 6-10. I hope every Sunday morning when you tune in that you'll have your Bible because you know we're going to be going to the Bible because it is the reason for this program. In Ephesians chapter 1 beginning with verse 3 and I am going to read through verse 6. It says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ Himself according to the good pleasure of His Will to the praise of the glory of His grace by which He made us accepted in the beloved." He made us accepted in the beloved. He made it possible for us to be reconciled to Himself, that is to God Himself through whom? Through Jesus Christ! He is the one who is the satisfaction for our sins.
And what were we able to become? We were adopted as the Sons of God. We began to be referred to as the church, that is that assembly that is of Christ, the body of Christ, as the apostle Paul further points out here in Ephesians chapter 1 itself. So in it, that is God's redemption, in the church itself, we have what? We have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of our sins, as it states there in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 7. We are heirs together of the promises of God because God had such great love for us that He gave His Son to die upon the cross that we might become obedient to the plan of salvation and become members of His body, that is the church.
In fact, in Ephesians chapter 1 verses 22 and 23 it says, "He hath put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things to the church which is His body the fullness of Him that fills all and all." So God has put what under His feet? All things that pertain unto life and godliness and under the feet of Jesus Christ in a figurative way, and He has made it possible for us to become a part or to become the body of Christ itself. What a great demonstration that God is love because He made it possible for us to be His sons and to refer to ourselves as the children of God and the church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We also see another thing and we might be going backwards a little bit here because the Bible actually tells us of God's love. The Bible tells us of the church. The Bible tells us that Jesus died upon the cross. But have you ever considered that one of the greatest expressions of God's love is the scripture itself? Remember what Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3 verses 16-17. He said, "All scripture given by the inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God might be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." So what do we have in the scripture? We have the love of God demonstrated. Why? Because He has given us all things that we need to know within this book. All things that relate to doctrine, reproof, correction and for instruction and righteousness that we might be what? Thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
So what a great demonstration again in the mind of God by giving us His Word through the Holy Spirit. You know Jesus said before He left His disciples in John 16 verse 13, He said, "How be it when He the Holy Spirit is come, He will guide you into all Truth." Now the embodiment of that Truth that the Holy Spirit guided them into is found here in the New Testament of His Will, the New Covenant that Jesus Christ died upon the cross for and shed His precious blood. So what do we do? We keep in mind constantly our need for the Bible and isn't it a blessing that we have the Bible where we can go to it and as Peter so fitfully said that we can find all things that pertain unto life and godliness through Jesus Christ our Lord, through the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord,
Also a great blessing that we have which sometimes I don't think that we consider as much as we should is certainly that we have the promise of eternal life. What a blessing from God. This really shows God's love for us in every way, doesn't it? In fact, all of these things do, but this really does because can you imagine why the Father above would want us in His place forever and ever? Have you ever thought about that? Put your name in the place of God wanting you, that is your name, to be with Him forever and ever. Is that surprising? Well sometimes it is very surprising to me because I feel like I am so unworthy. Well, I will never be worthy enough. That is why Jesus died upon the cross to give me the opportunity to be forgiven of my sins. But remember again what God said or gave us through Jesus Christ our Lord in John 3:16. "He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that if we believe on Him we should not perish but have everlasting life."
So what does He want us to have? Everlasting life. My friend, you can have that. God did not leave us doubting about this subject. In fact, He told Jesus to give these words. Jesus said, "My words are from the Father above." He told Jesus to tell the multitudes or at least tell His disciples in the Great Commission and they were to send this message throughout the world, in Mark 16 verse 15-16 to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be condemned."
So can you have eternal life? Can you reap that great blessing that God has given you an opportunity to have? Yes, you can by confession that Jesus is the Christ as Jesus said, "Confess Me before men." By repentance of your sins, as Jesus said, "Repent or perish." By saying that you believe that He is the Son of God as we've seen, and by being baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins. Then you can have these precious promises that we have spoken of, and more and more will be revealed to you how truly God is love. So God is love. God is so many things, but one thing for sure, He loved us and gave His Son for us and truly how best could He describe His love for us than doing that very thing of giving His Son?
May God bless you.
(SONG # 3 - "Face To Face!")
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!
Do you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:
The Living Word
2540 N. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, Mo. 65803
Many of these items are also available on our website. That address: www.thelivingwordprogram.com
Or if you prefer, you may call us at:
How wonderful it is to know and experience the love of God. May we always be thankful for such a wonderful blessing and thus respond to the glorious love which God offers us.