Listen to the message
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Series: Kingdom Evangelism; Love
Sunday am 18 November 2012 – Kobus Swart
1 John 4:1-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Luke 2:41-49; (Rom. 8:19-22); (2 Cor. 5:16);
(Eph. 3:1-11); (Col. 1:27); (Isa. 9:7); (Heb. 12:4-8); (John 13:35); (John 3:16)
When Moses was at the burning bush where he met God in a very spectacular way, God commissioned him and Moses asked, “Who should I say sent me?” God said, “Tell them ‘I Am’ sent you” (Ex. 3:13-14). Did you ever ask why He said that? Maybe we will get closer to the answer if we listen to this word.
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. … (Heb. 1:1-3). Everything we are doing as a Church that is not building or unlocking the image of the SON is a waste of time. In this time of chaos and turmoil in the world, the question that people in the Church at large are asking is, “Where is Jesus?”. Mary thought Jesus was lost (Luke 2:41-49), but she was actually ‘lost’. Jesus was doing what He was called to do. Perhaps we should ask the question, “Where is the Church and is the Church fulfilling their mandate in a world full of chaos?” God wants to speak through the corporate Son, and unless the Son functions in every area, every nation, every city, chaos will increase. In fact, creation is going to react. All creation is in travail waiting for that manifestation of the Son in the sons (Rom. 8:19-22).
The question, “Where is Jesus?” should be rephrased. Where is Christ? (Cf 2 Cor. 5:16). Paul spells out his mandate, ie. to de-code the mysteries of the Christ (Eph. 3:1-11). He explains what we refer to very glibly as the Body of Christ, the Church. Christ in us is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27)to a world in chaos. There will be no peace in this world without the manifestation of the kingdom; without the King manifesting in kings and priests which is the kingdom of God on earth. His government will bring true peace (Isa. 9:7).
Something has to change in the way we pray. Prayer is engaging God in the spirit. We must stop praying for things to change; our prayer must now become a manifestation of a Person. No longer just praying for the Lord to solve a problem; but praying for the manifestation of Christ in us, in the world. That will take care of every problem you and I face. Whether financial, relational, health or other pressures, the solution is Christ in us. Our prayer becomes the manifestation of Someone, not the solution of something.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. By this the world will know that we are His disciples, if we love one another.
Do we want Him to speak through the corporate Son to the world? What qualifies us to be part of the corporate Son? Amongst other things, if love is in us and we love one another. What is it that the world will be attracted to? The world will be impressed by nice programs only for a while, but ultimately the bottom line and the convincing thing to show that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world, will be the true agape unselfish love of God which is found in His Church.
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4:14-16). This is weighty enough for any church and any group of Christians to stop everything they are doing and evaluate if this is true of them. May we not rush over this! Churches are different; the style of church meetings differs from one group to another; that is irrelevant. By this the world will know that we are His disciples, if we truly love one another (John 13:35). It is not talking about selfish love, “I will love you if..” or “I love you because..”. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son (John 3:16). This is the kind of love God illustrates here, that He wants to be manifested in us and through us.
… as He is (not was), so also are we in this world. We have grown up postponing everything. Judgment has begun in the house of God. As He is so are we in this world. In the old days God spoke to the fathers in the prophets, in these days God is speaking through Son. What is the language? L O V E! We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. We are going to be tested in every household. Do I love my brother who may think differently to the way I do? Can we demonstrate that love? We must demonstrate agape love to see the Son functioning in every area, because as He is, so are we in this world. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also (1 John 4:17-21).
Jesus said this is why you are here: be the salt of the earth, be light of the world. And the basic ingredient is love. Of course, we are not going to compromise fundamental, foundational truths in the name of love. The truth is ultimately a Person. This God who loves us can at times find it necessary to chasten us because He loves us and treats us as sons (Heb. 12:4-8).
In these last days God wants to speak in His corporate Son. As He is, so are we in this world. God is love, so we are to be a demonstration of His love in this world. By this the world will know that you are His disciples.
Go and think about it and think about your attitude towards one another. Let’s start in this house. Think about sharing agape, unselfish love; then take it further than the boundaries of this house.