Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thanksgiving - 2016 - I Am Thankful For A God Who Loves Me

Temple Baptist Church - 10-23-2016
John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-19

A.  As we begin the Thanksgiving Season, I began to reflect on the goodness of God. 
1.  I am thankful for so many things that God has given to Barbara and I in this life.  The old song “Count Your Blessing” takes a long time to perform.  God has been good to all of us. 
2.  For the next few weeks, I want to reflect some spiritual things that I am thankful for.  We often say that “God is good all of the time,” and He is.  Good times, bad times, uncontrollable circumstances, times of understanding, and times when we do not understand—God is still good!
B.  John 3:16 has often been called “The Gospel in a Nutshell!”  It is the most famous and the most often quoted verses in the Bible.
C.  One of the most blessed truths found in the Bible is that of the love of God for sinners.  John 3:16 is possibly the most noted and quoted of all verses of scripture and the least comprehended. 
1.  When I see the world, I see the sin and sorrow that permeates it.  My heart is saddened by what is taking place in the world and across this great nation this morning.  With the reject of spiritual light comes great spiritual darkness.
2.  When God sees the world, He sees sinners in need of the Saviour!  As we get closer to Christmas, our hearts should be joyful because of the gift of God given on that night some 2,000 years ago.
D.  One of the most misunderstood of Bible doctrines is the Love of God.  God is Love! 1 John 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1.  God the Father’s Love is a Universal Love – 1 Timothy 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  (God sent His Son to die for all mankind. There is the misconception that God does not love all of mankind.  We refer to this as Calvinism.  It is a damnable heresy!)
2.  God the Father’s Love is a Limitless Love – 1 John 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  (There is no sin for which His Son to die for.)
E.  To properly cover the love of God would take more than one Sunday Morning message but I do want to tell why I am so thankful that God the Father loves this old sinner.  One of my favorite passages is found in one of my favorite chapters of the Bible:
John 1:9-12  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  (10)  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  (11)  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  (12)  But as many as received him, (I can type David Johnston in here) to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
1.  God the Father’s Love is a Providential Love - John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  (God the Father knew me before I was conceived and loved me before I came to know Him.)
2.  God the Father’s Love is a Sacrificial Love – 1 John 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  (God the Father gave His Son to pay for my sin before I even committed it.)
God the Father’s Love is often Undesired - John 1:10-11  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  (11)  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
3.  God the Father’s Love is a Personal love - John 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  (God the Father did not just love the world, He loved me!)
4.  God the Father’s Love is a Transforming Love – 2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  (God the Father knew what I would become when I was saved.)
5.  God the Father’s Love is a Contemplating Love - Psalms 40:17  But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.  (God the Father cares about every aspect of my life.)
6.  God the Father’s Love is a Correcting Love - Hebrews 12:5-8  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  (6)  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  (7)  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  (8)  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  (God the Father made provision for my faults and failures as a child of God before I even failed Him.)
7.  God the Father’s Love is an Unchanging Love - Jeremiah 31:3  The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.  (He planned to love me unchangingly throughout eternity.)
8.  God the Father’s Love is a Bestowing Love - 1 John 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  (God the Father knew that one day I would be like Him!)
9.  God the Father’s Love is an Influential Love – Romans 1:16-17  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  (17)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  (God the Father knew that I would one day be a witness for Him.)

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