Monday, June 24, 2013

ALARM BELLS: "I am Unloved"

Here are the notes from yesterday's message at New Life Community Church.  This is the third in the series ALARM BELLS and is entitled "I am Unloved".  If you desire to listen to this message, you may do so by going to our website at  God Bless!

Alarm Bells, Part 3                                                                                        Sunday, June 23, 2013
“I am Unloved

But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape, just as the Lord has said. These will be among the survivors whom the Lord has called.  Joel 2:32 (NLT)

We all love someone or something.  But do we always feel loved back?  Can we say, “I know how much God loves me, and I am secure in the love of people around me?”

We are surrounded by a world that invites us to love people or things.

What do you love?

Love is determined by what you SEEK out and SACRIFICE for.

Show the pictures again.

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  John 15:12-13 (NKJV)

14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.  John 15:14-15 (NKJV)

Friendship with God

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  I John 3:16 (NKJV)

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8 (ESV)

Psalm 142
I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord.  I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him.  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path.  In the way where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.  Look to the right and see; for there is no one who regards me; there is no escape for me; no one cares for my soul.  Psalm 142:1-4 (NASB)

Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.  Isaiah 43:4 (ESV)

There are three reasons why people doubt the love of God for them:
1.     Past SINS
2.     Past PATTERNS
3.     Present CIRCUMSTANCES

Principle:  When you DOUBT God’s love for you, you will also QUESTION man’s love for you.  When you are CONFIDENT of God’s love for you, it will FREE you to RECEIVE the love of others.

… For it is good that the heart be established by grace ...  Hebrews 13:9 (NKJV)

13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”),  Mark 3:13-17 (NIV)

Why did Jesus call James and John “sons of thunder”?

But there was another nick-name for John in the NT:  the disciple whom the Lord loved

Five times in the Gospel of John, reference is made to the disciple who Jesus loved.  According to John 21:24, that disciple is identified as none other than the Apostle John himself.  So, in writing his account of the life of Jesus, John always refers to himself as “the one who Jesus loved.”

John 13:23
John 19:26
John 20:2
John 21:7
John 21:20

Why did he do that?

Several suggestions have been made:
1.      John was trying to be humble.  He didn’t want to give his name so he made up a nick-name.  That doesn’t make a lot of sense, because if he was trying to be humble and self-effacing he could have used a different nick-name than that. 
2.      It wasn’t John actually writing, but instead a scribe who was writing for John.  Dictation.  And every time his name came up, the amanuensis would write in a complementary name for John.
3.      John was trying to make a point.

Why is it that John wrote so much about the love of God?  Could it be that he had the hardest time learning this lesson?

What makes a person lovable? 

Let’s take a look at John’s personality:

John’s Personality

1.     John was COMPETITIVE

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.  21 “What is it you want?” he asked.  She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”    24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.  Matthew 20:20-21, 24 (NIV)

2.     John was EGOTISTICAL

49 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”  50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”  Luke 9:49-50 (NIV)

3.     John was VINDICTIVE

52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them.  Luke 9:52-55 (NIV)
This is the guy that was “the disciple who Jesus loved.”  It wasn’t because he was so lovable.  It was because Jesus was so loving!
Interesting that John begins calling himself “the disciple who Jesus loved” during the Lord’s supper.  From that point forward, he proceeded to mess up.  Did not speak up when Jesus was being attacked.  Fled into the night in fear. 
Went back fishing in John 21. 
1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.  It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.  Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.  John 21:1-4 (NIV)

He called out to them, “Friends …  John 21:5 (NIV)

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