God Is Love
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." (1 John 4:7-8)
Have you seen people wearing T-shirts with the logos and mascots of their favorite sports teams? We say they are "showing spirit" for their team, but what does that kind of "spirit" mean? It means they are enthusiastic about that team – they really, really like that team. That's how we show other people what we love – we "wear signs," in a way. You might see coffee-lovers walking around with travel mugs full of coffee. You might see horse-lovers walking around with cowboy hats. You might see a soccer-lover with a soccerball at all times, practicing his dribbling whenever he gets a free moment. The things we carry or wear, say or do, are signs that show people what things are important to us.
A T-shirt or a cowboy hat can be a mark of enthusiasm for a certain team or lifestyle. A coffee mug can be a clue that the person carrying it loves to have coffee along at all times. You can tell a man and woman are married to each other because they wear wedding rings as a sign of their love and loyalty to one another. A ring "marks" someone as married. A ring is a mark of love for a husband or for a wife.
Do you know what God is marked by? One thing God is marked by is His love. He is known for it. Everything He does and says shows His love. God IS love!
Did you know that love should be a mark of anyone who believes in God? That's true. 1 John 4:7-8 shows us truth about God, and the truth is that love comes from God, and that love should be a sign of someone who knows God. If you love God and know God, then your love for others should be a sign to people that you love God and know God.
Do you ever see someone walking around "wearing" or "carrying" love for God and other people? If so, God is the Source of that kind of love. Think of all the things God has done to show His love for you. Hatefulness and lying and gossip and arguing and pride are not from God, and He is not marked by those things. He is marked by His love. He IS love! And we should be marked by love, too, if we truly know Him. Our love for God and others should be a sign to people that we love Him and know Him.
God is love, and those who know Him should be marked by love.
» What loving things has God done for me and in my life?
» When people watch me, can they guess some of the things that are important to me?
» What needs to change in my heart so I can be marked as someone who knows and loves God?
Truth In Real Life
“The grace or love of God, whence cometh our salvation, is FREE IN ALL, and FREE FOR ALL”
John Wesley was born in England on June 17, 1703. Born the fifteenth child in his family, John was a “pastor’s kid” and was taught God’s Word from the beginning of his life. At age 5, like the other Wesley children, John began being home-educated by his mother. This education, along with other life hurdles, prepared him for serving God as an adult.
After being rescued from a burning church building at age 6, young John had good reason to think seriously about heaven and hell. He had always been known as a good child, a smart boy, and a bookworm. He loved school. As far as he could understand, his life must be pleasing to God, and he did not worry much about his soul then…for a time.
As a young adult, Wesley attended Oxford University. He founded the famous “Holy Club” with his brother, Charles. This club had strict rules for its members, including a rule that all members stop for silent prayer at least one time every hour.
In May of 1738, after many years of serving God, Wesley attended a prayer meeting and understood something for the first time. He understood that it by grace through faith in Jesus Christ that we can be genuinely converted. Jesus Christ does the saving!
Rather than being good on your own or being obedient to a strict set of rules, you can and you must trust Jesus to save your soul for you. Wesley began preaching this truth. Some people got angry with him, and others understood God’s love for the first time.
John Wesley was not trying to start a new type of church, but because he was preaching truth that was “new” in his generation, the Methodist Church began. At this time in history, the Methodist Church stayed faithful in preaching the Bible while other churches often preached false ideas. The teachings of many Methodist churches have changed since Wesley’s days, but the doctrines that are really drawn from the Bible will NEVER change!
Rules are not necessarily bad. Rules are necessary for things to be done “decently and in order.” But rules and laws can never save your soul or take away your guilt! Jesus Christ is the only Way to salvation. By God’s grace, through faith, have you truly trusted in Jesus Christ alone to save you?
John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”