Sunnyside First Baptist Church
Who "I AM" - Love
      • Psalm 139:5NIV

  • Looking back...

    As we look back over the last several weeks, I hope that you have begun to grasp God in a different way.
    He doesn’t sit on His throne and take a nap with Jesus and the Spirit do all the work.
    God’s character, his attributes, God himself is active and engaged in our lives each day. He is active each day in everything from conception to our last breath.
    Psalm 139:13 NIV84
    13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
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    The Psalm was written hundreds of years prior to Jesus and more than a couple of thousand from us.
    The Psalmist explores the current, contemporary activities of David in Psalm 139. Since God is hemmed in by our constraint of time, what he says here is as vital NOW as it was when it was first written.
    Psalm 139:1 NIV84
    1 O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
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    Psalm 139:2 NIV84
    2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
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    Psalm 139:3 NIV84
    3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
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    Psalm 139:4 NIV84
    4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.
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    Psalm 139:5 NIV84
    5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
    Psalm 139:7–8 NIV84
    7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
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    Psalm 139:9–10 NIV84
    9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
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    God is acutely aware of all of our circumstances. He is intimately involved in our world, He is intimately involved in each one of our lives.
    When we sin He is there, He weeps at our sin, He weeps as we draw away from Him and His ways and go our own way.
    But yet welcomes each one of back and chooses to remember our sin no more.
    Hebrews 8:12 NIV84
    12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
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    He celebrates when we celebrate, He mourns when we mourn.
    He knows our EVERY next move… before we do.
    The population of the earth is 7.8 Billion. He knows the next move, next breath, next thought 7.8 billion times over. In less than a nano second, over and over throughout mankind’s time on this earth.
    Question — Does God care about the person that doesn’t acknowledge Him?
    Yes...
    Matthew 5:45 NIV84
    45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
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    Why, for what purpose..?
    He still made EVERYONE IN His image. Every one of us is at our very core related to God.
    I hope that we understand God enough to know that.
    He still sent His one and only Son to die for everyone. Not just believers but those that would become followers, believers in Jesus.
    God’s hope and prayer is that everyone would respond to his gift of Grace. Unfortunately that is not true.
    It’s our responsibility as people who have heard and responded to the Grace of God and become the elect generation to mold and mend and produce the next generation of believers and followers of Jesus.
    That’s a great big job… but it must be done! It must be done with urgency. It must completed before Jesus returns
    Matthew 28:18–20 NIV84
    18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
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    Let’s do our part… let’s make sure when Jesus returns, in a second, in day, in a year or 100 million years from now that we have participated in the Great Commission.
    We MUST participate in response to the LOVE of GOD that is only found in Jesus Christ. Learn to share, model and be excited about our faith. When people encounter us… Our whole demeanor should SCREAM faith in Jesus!
    John 14:6 NIV84
    6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    We are nearly entering Lent, just in a couple of weeks. It’ll be Ash Wednesday and then on to Easter 40 days later.
    We are continuing our study of the Attributes of God until the end of March and looking forward to Easter Sunday on April 4th.
    This week we are looking at the God of The Bible and His character that means “Love.”
    OK so it’s more than a bit cheesy… But I chose this week to think about God’s Love for us on Valentines Day.
    This week we are looking at Who “I AM” — Love
    I hope that you have been bringing your bibles to church, It’s helpful to follow long, mark a favorite verse to write a question in the margin. I’ve got to tell you… My phone has NOT been ringing off the wall so you must all get it… That’s great!
    Here is a working definition of Love...
    Agapē love is completely unselfish, Godlike love, it stands in total contrast to all other ideas of love in a fallen world.
    Other love is is manipulative, because largely it is self-centered and working for self-interest, self-gratification and self-protection.
    It is based neither on a felt need in the loving person nor on a desire called forth by some attractive feature(s) in the one loved; it is not afraid to make itself vulnerable, and it does not seek to get its own way by covert ruses and psychological ‘games’. It rather proceeds from a heart of love and is directed to the other person to bless him or her and to seek that person’s highest good.
    Its source is God, and its pattern and inspiration are Jesus Christ (1 Jn. 4:7–19
    Our passage this week is from 1John these are the little books found at the back of your Bible before the book of Revelation. OK since you are there, go to chapter 4, we are beginning in verse 7.
    Listen as I read
    1 John 4:7–21 NIV84
    7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
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    I grew up the 60’s in a small town in South Dakota, nowhere near Mt. Rushmore. By the time I was 8 my Mom had died and my german father who grew up in a completely different culture and time was trying his best to my mother and father. He had NO TOOLS with which to accomplish it.
    Consequently, I really did feel any love, of any kind. I got more from my pet cat that was cast in ceramic than I got from my father. He was not a candidate for father of the year. Although we made due and I grew up well.
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    Mine is not a unique story. many of you have broken parental relationships. By death, by divorce, by disagreement or by some other means.
    The statistic is this 40% of married people, married at least 10 years, feel loved in their marriage
    Should we be celebrating this..? That means that 60% and some studies show that 85% or more of married couples do not feel love in their closest relationships.
    WOW!! I was shocked and saddened by the statistic...
    Let’s look at some scripture and see what God has to say about our situation.
    1 John 4:7–8 NIV84
    7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
    Verse 7 - “Dear friends...” In some versions it says “Beloved.” It is a shame that we have that stopped using, Beloved. There is a warmth there that we have lost.
    There is no beating around the bush from John here
    Friends… Love one another!
    Love comes from God
    Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. — Whoever does not love, does NOT know God. Notice this God’s measure, not John’s but God’s measure.
    If there were a single definition of God, His character, His attributes it WOULD BE LOVE.
    This “God-Love” is showed to us with our every breath that we breathe. It is vital that we understand these next two verses. Get out your marker, highlighter or pen
    1 John 4:9–10 NIV84
    9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
    I wanted the love of my father growing up and maybe he was giving all that he could. But what I was truly looking for is not found in any human relationship.
    God’s love is expressed by sending the incarnate Jesus to earth… NOT so that that he could establish this one way street of love while we hung out. He shared love with us so we would love another.
    Verse 10 bears repeating
    1 John 4:10 NIV84
    10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
    The kind of Love that he is talking is deeper than the deepest trench in the Atlantic, further than the most visible star from us.
    God was willing be incarnate in Christ, come to earth, reach out to billions of people, looking for those who were looking for him. Then strategizing to reach the rest.
    1 John 4:9 NIV84
    9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
    IF… We live through Christ, our only desire should be for others to live through Christ too.
    --We think we got this one… there is only one way to reach people for Jesus. We must get them pinned against the wall, pull out our 4 spiritual laws and pummel then into submission with the “Truth” that will of course be accepted.
    --Another way that we think is this… I’m just not going to say anything. I’m going to work for 40 years in the same place and no one is ever going to know outwardly that I am a Christian. But they’ll get it just by osmosis...
    --I show up whenever the doors are open at church, I volunteer to help with junior high boys, I clean out the furnace room because the guys all are doing it together.
    Here is my best transliterated version of that Gospel.
    THAT IS GARBAGE!! THAT IS RUBBISH!!
    God has asked us to do the most difficult of things… LOVE!!!
    In case your not aware we are readying through the Bible in 2021. Each morning, Monday through Thursday at 10AM on Facebook. On this past Monday we read about a highly committed, redeemed father, who was going to be the father of a great nation. God instructed him to take his son, bring him to a mountain and sacrifice him.
    This father… HE DID IT! Almost, As he was raising the knife, an Angel of the Lord stepped and provided another sacrifice.
    This is what God is up to. When things ARE absolutely impossible, God steps in and
    LOVES!!
    He loves enough to provide a substitute for the sacrifice that is supposed to be us. Why… Because he loves us!
    The scripture asks a question… How do we know that God lives in us? We are a vile bunch, we are sinners, we trample over the Ten Commandments, we violate that most basic of God’s commands.
    BUT!!!
    We know because we have the Holy Spirit… Inspite of all our missteps, in spite of our sin, He still gives us a guide in our lives… If we will just listen.
    1 John 4:13 NIV84
    13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
    He gave us this Spirit to love one another
    1 John 4:11–12 NIV84
    11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
    Love is the crux of our relationship with God.
    We know people in our lives… who are living outside the bounds that God has given us in His Word. Those same people are family, friends, and neighbors.
    But...
    It is NOT our job to judge… It is our job to love. You see we don’t know the consequences for our sin and rebellion until we meet God face-to-face. We certainly have a good idea what awaits us. But we really do we know, do we want to know?
    People who are living outside the will of God have been reminded of that over and over. What we cannot understand is how God is going to respond. That’s God’s to know not mine.
    My strongest suggestion for you… Love everyone like you mean it and let God be God.
    Loving is our responsibility
    Judging is God’s job
    1 John 4:16 NIV84
    16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
    Don’t pin God down.. Yes, He is love but we know that all of “attributes” don’t come close to really explaining who He is.
    Some advice for you… I know opinions and advice are like armpits… we have 2 and they both stink!
    Fall in love with God’s Word… For the first time or the 100th time. Read, listen carefully for the Love of God
    Rewire your brain and your thoughts to align with God’s desire. Love is found in relationship with God through His Son Jesus.
    Whatever situation you’re in, family, friends, co- workers, enemies… LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
    Love should to be the easiest of God’s attributes to show to those around us. Yet it remains most difficult.
    Try this… leave your opinions, leave your judgments, leave your hate, leave your past hurts and wrongs you’ve done or had done to you.
    AND JUST LOVE!
    CLOSE
    You and I both understand that Valentines Day is just a made up day to sell cards.
    It is..
    But it is also a day to celebrate LOVE!
    On your way out… There are Valentine cookies in the lobby. Take 1 and enjoy.
      • 1 Corinthians 13NIV

      • Psalm 139:13NIV

      • Psalm 139:1NIV

      • Psalm 139:2NIV

      • Psalm 139:3NIV

      • Psalm 139:7–8NIV

      • Psalm 139:9–10NIV

      • Hebrews 8:12NIV

      • Matthew 5:45NIV

      • Matthew 28:18–20NIV

      • John 14:6NIV

      • 1 John 4:7–21NIV

      • 1 John 4:7–8NIV

      • 1 John 4:9–10NIV

      • 1 John 4:10NIV

      • 1 John 4:9NIV

      • 1 John 4:13NIV

      • 1 John 4:11–12NIV

      • 1 John 4:16NIV

      • Psalm 139:4NIV

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