I am going to Northern Ireland on Saturday until the following Thursday to preach in Cardy Gospel Hall.
My topics for the week is all based around the Christian, the love of God and how we relate to the world round about us.
Our main focus this coming week is going to be on the subject of 'love'. Last year we focused on 'the family'. This years topic includes the family but it is wider.
The unique characteristic of the Christian believer is love. So we are going to look at some of these topics:
1. The Love of God & Love for God
2. Falling in love or staying single
3. Marrying the wrong person!
4. Love for your fellow believer
5. The danger of loving the world
6. The danger of loving money
7. The need to love our fellow man
I watched a video clip this week. It was produced by Al Jazeera TV. It showed ISIS fighters training small children to use guns, hand grenades and Kalashnikov's in a mountain village. They were teaching them to kill and shoot in the head the infidels i.e. all who refuse to submit to Islam. This is so different from Christianity.
In Matthew 22:37-39 the Lord Jesus teaches that for every believer two priorities are approved of God. First priority - Love God, second - Love your neighbour.
What do we mean by love - the Bible uses mainly two words for love - Phileo, Agape. The world adds a third, Eros, which is mainly about sexual desire. God sees sexual desire within the context of genuine love.
Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary says "a biblical definition of love starts with God, never with us". You would agree with that when you look at 1st John.
The key is that 'The Love of God' will produce 'Love for God'.
The Love of God
1 John 4:7 - 'Love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God and knoweth God'
1 John 4:10 'He loved us'
1 John 4:11 'if God so loved us....'
1 John 4:12 - 'if we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us'.
1 John 4:16 'the love that God hath to us. God is love and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him'
1 John 4:17 'herein is our love made perfect that we may have boldness in the day of judgment'.
Love to God
This is seen in:
1. Confessing who Christ is, 1 John 2:22-24
2. Keeping God's word i.e. His commandments, 1 John 2:5,
3. Loving your brother, 1 John 4:20,
4. Enjoying the abiding presence of God, 1 John 4:16,
5. Refusing to love the world, 1 John 2:15,
6. Having boldness before God, 1 John 4:17,
7. Loving your enemies, from Matt & Luke as above.
For more information visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk