Do not be Surprised

Do not be Surprised     1 John 3:13-24

  • Our text for today Apostle John does not appeal to the sensitivity of his Christian brothers and Sisters 
  • The World hates you! – Meaning that you know you are in the enemy’s territory
    • The world will do whatever they can to destroy you in order to silence you 
    • John 15:18-19 (NLT) If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you
  • Don’t fall for the enemies lies, that the world approves of you or the things you do
  • This Word of God that you follow and are called to hide in your heart is very contrary to desires of the world – the desires of the fresh
  • As I read this, it’s like John was  looking through a lens and seeing America in its current state
    • And he is warning you that will be cancelled 
    • Simply put, cancel culture is the idea of taking away support for an individual, their career, popularity and/or fame because of something they’ve said or done that’s considered unacceptable. 
  • He is saying people of 2023 – Do not marvel if the world hates you 
  • He continues to tell the Christians – That they are loved by God, they have passed from death to live, and this is evident with how they  love each other. 
  • They are called to imitated our Father’s love and so are we 
  • John continues to remind them that if they don’t love for their brothers and sisters – in Christ , they are Spiritually dead (amplified)  
  • This love is from Jesus who showed us by example by dying on the cross for us while we were still sinners
    • Romans 5:7-8 (NLT) Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 
  • This love is not something that we force or master with our strength but it’s a byproduct (a reaction) to the love that is already shown to us by Christ 
  • 1 John 4:19-20 (Nkjv) We love [a]Him because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, [b]how can he love God whom he has not seen?
  • We are in a time when we must create a strong front – And this is for all of us in the Church 
  • Apostle John continues without skipping a beat
    • He has already called out the world, stating that it’s against God’s people, he has reminded the saints that they are enemy number 1 of the world, 
    • He has called out those that hate their brothers or sister’s murderers, 
    • And now he is stating that they need to lay down their lives for each other
  • Try to put yourself in the recipient’s shoes, this is a lot to process. I can hear some people saying, all am trying to do is follow the good teacher’s message and do the best I can do follow the law
  • And it seems like John understand this: Because in next verse he breaks it down
  • He is saying that there is not a demand for you to complete this obstacle course within 12hrs (Spartan) and the grand finale is laying your live for others
  • He advises starting with the basics.
  • 1 John 3:17 – But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
    • We know that we have passed from life to death because we love each other 
    • Next is if we see someone in need, material, financial or emotionally – let us be there for each other – And this is how we start 
    • We share the same love that we have been given by the Lord – we take care of each other
  • As Christians sometimes we are quick to make this Christian walk too complicated for someone on the outside to want in
    • One step at a time (Karen Flint Story)
    • Pastor Matt has said it often and its true, that most hospitals were started by Christians, school and so many other helping organizations 
    • The key is to make sure that we know that the root of all these is from God
      • Every good thing comes from the Lord 

Support each other.

  • We cannot be a people that works against each other 
  • The Bible has so much to say about this: 
  • 1 John 3:15 (Amp) Everyone who hates (works against) his brother [in Christ] is [at heart] a murderer [by God’s standards]; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
  • The Bible say that we are all in a race – that we should run a race with endurance 
  • Imagine that you are in race and someone tries to trip you as you run – that person would be working against you 
  • Now in real life if this person is tripping you making you sin and the Bible clearly says that the wage of sin is death, is it justified for them to be called a murder?
  • Remember what John said, we know love because He laid down His life for us 
  • Jesus said – Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they do
  • We are imitators of Christ and are called to show this same love of Christ 

Our Father who is at in heaven

  • Almost every day, before we start the day, my family and I pray and at the end of one of us praying, we usually say the “Lord Prayer”
  • Of late that has been hitting me hard – I am getting older and now I think I have more time to think things through
  • I never grew up with a father and its interesting because my example of a father was what I saw on TV, heard from other kids, what I read, imagined- Don’t get me wrong I had an amazing life I had people that love me – I just didn’t have a father
  • It wasn’t until I got kids that I asked God to teach me to be a father – AND HE HAS! – How I love my girls 
  • I have come to learn the love of a father, as I give it – and do I love my girls- I look forward to walking through the door and hearing them say “hey daddy” they used to run to me but now only the dog does. However, I still love to come in and kiss them 
  • When I pray “Our Father who is at in heaven” – It takes a whole lot of meaning
    • He, my father – the one that loves me unconditionally, One that is powerful, that is gentle and always there for me – He is my father and guess what – He is in heaven! 
    • Psalms 73:25-26 (Nkjv) -Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail. But God is the [a]strength of my heart and my portion forever
    • God has shown me how to be loved and how to love- How can I withhold such love to His children?
  • The world can mark me as an enemy but “ I have a father, he calls me His own’ – He will never leave me no matter where I go!!!
  • This evening, I see you, I see you – you who doesn’t know the love of a Father, (and its hard to even imagine it)  but from one who lacks an earthly father to who has discovered in in God 
  • There is one that the Psalmist attest to; Psalms 16:11 (Amp) You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. 
  • Psalms 145:18 – The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him sincerely and in truth.
  • I feel like this season that the Lord is asking us to go back to the basic – it’s interesting because most Bible believing churches are preaching on the basic principles
  • We have many people arguing thing that doesn’t matter,  which only end up bringing division in the Church and among brother and sister 
  • And this is not a new tactic of the enemy- it’s been there, and John is addressing this 
  • Let’s get back to the basics of who Our Father who is in Heaven is 

Our Father 

  • Unlike me, let’s not settle for what media, other people are telling us who God is – Lets look to the Book that is written by the one that truly knows Him – The inspiration of the Holy Spirit 
  • 2 Samuel 22:32-34 (Nlt) For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.  He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
    • In a world that hates you, what an assurance that He will make our ways perfect?
  • Isaiah 40:28 (Nlt) Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God,the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding
    • With the world grouping up to destroy the last ounce of Christianity, what a joy to know that our Lord is everlasting 
  • Numbers 23:19 (NLT) God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
    • With lies being the daily dose from media and everything else that is of the world – Lets lean on the one that doesn’t change – Side note (Get your hard copies of Bible- they can’t change that)
  • 2 Chronicles 30:9 (Nkjv) For if you return to the Lord, your brethren and your children will be treated with compassion by those who lead them captive, so that they may come back to this land; for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.”
    • The Lord is speaking to the Israelites after they have rejected Him and He is telling them, I am not human, I didn’t hold grudges – I keep my word- and I am gracious and Merciful 
  • 1 John 4:7-10 (Nlt)  Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
    • God is love, let us filter love through the Word of God- This is the only way we can truly love each other – we don’t love other by supporting their sin, we love by warning then &  snatching them from the fire using the Word of God as the standard
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9 (Nkjv) God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • John 3:16 – For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.
    • Here is the cool thing, the world hates you, but there is one who truly loves and want you- All you have to do is believe and trust Him 
  • John concludes in 1 John 3:23-24 ( Esv) And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps His commandments abides in God,[a] and God[b] in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

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