Bill Stoner
July 11, 2024
Image of Love Never Fails

Read: I John 5:1-5

Reflect: Have you been listening to the sermons lately that Pastor Mike and Pastor Paul have been preaching?  Do you have any idea what they were about? I’ll give you a hint: it begins with the letter “L”. No, Paul did not preach on the Letters of Paul, or the Lives of early preachers, or even on the Leftovers from the first communion meal. The Pastors spoke, and continue to speak, about love! The love of the father, the love that saves us, and the love that allows us to live in God. (4:16).


With each sermon we (the congregation) receive more information about how we need to respond to such love. The Apostle Paul says in 4:11 “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought also to love one another.” Each sermon expands our knowledge concerning the part that the love of God plays in our lives – from our salvation, to our growth, and to the state of our relationships which we have with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Chapter 5 continues that teaching: how to live in God.


Paul begins the chapter by reminding us once again that “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God.” (5:1) And then he adds “Everyone who loves the Father, loves His children as well” This refers to 4:20 when Paul writes that “he who hates his brother is a liar.” Paul is quite consistent throughout his letter about who Christians are and what is to be expected from them.


Some may think that God is asking too much. After all, has God met some of the people who fill our pews each Sunday who spout nasty words and complaints concerning the church?   Okay, you’re right. God has met them and He knows us. Yet He has chosen us anyway to live in Him.

In verses 4 and 5 of chapter 5, Paul writes again to tells us what those who are born of God can do (besides testing the spirits, loving our brothers and sisters, having compassion for brothers who are in need, and just being able to love our heavenly Father). He says, “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (5:5).


Apply: So, what is it that you want to overcome? The entire world? Probably not. Maybe you are thinking about the anger problem which you’ve had for a long time. The anger that has gotten you in trouble many times. Maybe you’re thinking about your pride, and where that has taken you? Sometimes we need to reset what we want in our Christian lives. We need to remember where we’ve come from and how we got here. We need to live in Him.

It is our faith in Jesus Christ that has given us the ability to overcome whatever the world throws at us and what we are allowing to control our relationship to both God and to others. Last Sunday Pastor Paul made a statement which I will never forget. He spoke about that which God saved us from: He saved us from sin, and He saved us from ourselves. But it was the last one that stuck with me: God saved us from God! It took a merciful God to save us from Himself! What kind of love is that? It is the kind that by living in Him, He gives us the victory that overcomes the world!

Click here to hear Jeff Parker’s testimony of overcoming

Click here to understand better what it means to become an overcomer

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