This week, we are continuing our study of 1 John by looking at 4:7-21. This study is a part 3 of a 5 week Bible study adapted from a sermon series I preached in July 2011 entitled “In the Light.”
Week 3: 1 John 4:7-21
Intro to the week’s study:
If you are like me, you have probably been to a few weddings over the past year, and your daytimer probably has a few more on the docket for 2013. As a nearly 40 year old man, weddings are about the only place in my life where I currently:
- Eat cake with two inches of icing on top of it and drink punch with sherbet in it.
- Watch girls elbow, kick, claw, and jump to try to catch a bouquet of flowers, then watch every single guy in the joint suddenly get alligator arms when trying to catch the garter.
- Actually have the expectation that I will bust a move on the dance floor.
To break down the intricacies of numbers 1-2 above, it will take another post, but today, I want to focus on numero tres. I know this may surprise some of you who know me well, but I don’t dance much. By “much” I mean at all. In my case, Gloria Estefan was clearly wrong when she said that eventually, “The rhythm is gonna get you.” It has never gotten me. Because of this, I often find myself on the dance floor standing in a circle, doing the white man’s overbite, and doing something I think is dancing but probably looks like a full body dry heave. It isn’t pretty.
Because of this problem, it is always a joy when a song comes on that tells you how to dance. You know . . . one of those line dances. I have no idea what to do when “Billy Jean” is being played, but during the “Cotton Eyed Joe,” I just link arms and do what everyone else is doing. I love “Cupid Shuffle” because I simply follow the words of the song, “To the right, to the right, to the right, to the right. To the left, to the left, to the left, to the left.” It really is hard to screw that one up, and I love it! I actually would enjoy dancing if I just knew what to do. These line dances show me the way.
This thought is pertinent as we continue our series from the book of 1 John entitled “In the Light.” This week, we are looking at 1 John 4:7-21, a passage where John shows us the resources at our disposal to allow us to love others. In a sense, John tells us that loving others is like a “line dance,” we simply need to follow our Leader.
Most of us desire to have a life that is marked by love for others, we are just not sure what to do or how to do it. This week’s passage helps show us the way . . . dancing the line that Jesus has walked before us.
Hopefully that should be enough to whet your appetite for this passage and encourage you to read these verses over the next week and reflect upon their significance. Read the passage before you come and pray that God opens your eyes to its great truth.
- Read 1 John 4:7-21
- We are clearly called in 4:7-9 to “love one another.” What is the rationale or reasoning given by John as to why Christians should love one another. Is this motivating to you personally?
- Would those closest to you (spouse, children, roommates, co-workers, etc.) consider your life to be colored by the love of Christ?
- According to 1 4:10-11, our love for others is a response to what?
- Read Matthew 18:21-35. How does this parable relate to this section of 1 John?
- If you made loving others the default, not the exception, in your life, what changes would you have to make?
- In what ways are you particularly challenged to love others in response to this week’s verses?
To listen to the sermon online, you can listen below: