1. In John 8:29 Jesus said that He always did those things that please the Father. 2. As followers of the Lord we need to strive to follow His example. 3. One thing that pleases the Father is "loving Him." 4. According to Matthew 22:37-38, loving God is "the first and great commandment." 5. Thankfully, the Bible teaches us "how we show our love to God." 6. In our lesson we are pointing out 2 ways we show God that we love Him. Discussion: I. FIRST, WE SHOW OUR LOVE TO GOD WHEN WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS
A. John emphasized this principle in his letter. 1. (1 John 2:3-5) Despite what a person might say, his response to God's commandments is a true indication of his love for God. 2. (1 John 3:22-24) To have a right relationship with God, it is imperative that we keep His commandments. 3. (1 John 5:2-3) A person who truly loves God will not consider His commandments to be burdensome. B. Jesus said that we show our love for Him in the same way (John 14:15; 15:14). C. Let us consider how 2 men responded to God's instructions. 1. God knew something about Abraham when he prepared to offer Isaac (Genesis 22:12; James 2:23). 2. God knew something about Saul when he did not completely destroy the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:10-11, 22-23). 3. God showed His love to both of these men -- which one truly loved God? D. God has reserved a special blessing for those who keep His commandments (Revelation 22:14). II. SECOND, WE SHOW OUR LOVE TO GOD WHEN WE LOVE OUR BRETHREN
A. John also emphasized this principle in his letter. 1. (1 John 2:9-11) Despite what a person might say, his love/hatred for the brethren determines whether he is in the light where God is (1:5-6). 2. (1 John 3:11-19) God knew something about Cain because of how he treated Abel -- the way we treat our brethren shows God something about us. 3. (1 John 4:7-12, 16, 20-21) The message for us is very direct -- God knows whether we love Him by our love/hatred for our brethren. B. John was present when Jesus spoke about love (John 13:34-35; 15:12, 17). Conclusion:
1. As we go through 2023, let us remember the lessons we covered today. 2. Let us follow the Lord's example by always doing the things that please the Father. 3. As we do so, let us show our love to God by: a. keeping His commandments b. loving our brethren.