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Hope

Hope

Sermons, Sermons by Pastor Jason Lim, The Real Life Series, Transcriptions0 comments

“And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” 1 John Chapter 3 verse 3

Download the sermon slides: SERMON-2014-11-09

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Sermon :

We continue our series in the book of first John. First John is one of the last few books of the Bible, so turn with me, if you could to 1John chapter 3 and we are going to look at a very very needful subject of hope. This is what we have spoken about a few times in the past one or two years and I find it helpful to just go through the Bible and at an appropriate time God’s Word speaks to us with an appropriate message and today we are looking at the subject of hope.

Everyone of us live on because there is hope, I experienced it profoundly myself in the national service in Army. As I shared before I hate the Army, I don’t like the training, the regimentation, the loss of freedom. But the reason I can tolerate Monday to Friday of training is because I hope I can be released on Saturday and Sunday. I look forward to the weekend where I can spend it with my family, my friends, my church mates. And so one of the most devastating thing my officer can say to me is cadet Lim Kim Guan, your punishment, is to be confined this weekend, and that absolutely shatters me. I can accept doing a hundred push-ups, I can accept doing before the spirit. for those who have been to Army, you know what I mean. I can accept all kinds of punishment, please, don’t take away my hope, don’t take away my weekends. All of us live on because there’s something at the end of it, that allows us to pull through the tough times.

Time stamp in audio 0:01:46.6.

Maybe today, are here and you’re going through hardships and difficulties and trials. The reason why you today are still living on is because, deep in your heart, you you have this hope. You say to yourself, it will be a better tomorrow, or in Chinese, the idiom says, tomorrow will be even better. And therefore someone said this wisely, we can live thirty days without food, three days without water, three minutes without air, but we can’t live a second without hope. Hope keeps us alive.

Not just physically but also spiritually. The Christian life is not a bed of roses. There will be challenges, there will be difficulties and we all need hope and God knows this.
Time stamp in audio 0:02:33.6.

So in His Word in the Bible, He speaks a lot about hope. Sadly, however, today, many Christians neglect hope. We talk a lot about love, we talk a lot about faith but hope is like that Cinderella, she is not invited to the party many times. So today I like us to invite Cinderella back into the life of a Christian. Hope is so vital to all of us and that’s why in the Bible, God calls Himself the God of hope. Yes, He is a God of love, He is a God of our faith, but at the very same time, the Bible calls our God, the God of hope, and John in 1John chapter 3, he says and every one who does hope in Him, purifies himself as he is pure,

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
(1 John 3:3 ESV)

Today’s sermon is extremely simple, short, I think concise because we are just looking at this one verse, that the Christian man who really has believe in Jesus Christ, who has this real life as we have shared the Zoe, the spiritual life, this is one thing about him, he hopes in God.

Now let me explain to you what hope is. If I were to ask you right now where you are, could you define hope for me, what would you say, what is hope, what does it really mean, if you were to phrase it, if you are going to craft a statement, a definition of hope, what would it be?

It’s important for us to know what hope is exactly because it shapes the way we think, it will shape the way we approach life and the future, so, it’s vital that you have a clear and good scriptural definition of what hope is. What I am going to do now is not to ask you, because that will be taking a lot of time, but I am just going to tell you what I think hope is from the Scriptures and then I am going to unpack the various components one by one, and by the end of the day, I hope it is clear for all of you, what hope is all about.

So hope I think is

The Confident Expectation of all the Eternal Good, Promised n Jesus Christ.

Very simple definition, hope is the confident expectation of all the eternal good, promised in Jesus Christ. Would you be so kind as to say together with me, it’s one thing for you to hear another thing for you to say and to hear one another, alright. So, 1, 2, 3, Hope is the confident expectation of all the eternal good, promised in Jesus Christ. Now let me share with you why I wrote these words or phrases in particular, number one, let’s look at the word eternal. Hope is about something eternal. It is, think about it. If the Bible only gives us hope for this life, it will be a tragedy. If you enjoy all the blessings of this life, answer prayers, privilege to serve God, privilege to study the Bible and to walk in intimacy with Him, privilege of being in a church of Jesus Christ and having wonderful, loving, brethren to challenge our lives and to grow together, if God says I give you all these things in this life, but when you die, you’re going to a Christ-less eternity, you will go to hell, that will be a most tragic thing isn’t it? If hope is only for the here and now, it will do us no good.

Time stamp in audio 0:06:21.7.

In fact, Paul says it very clearly

If in Christ we have hope in this life only,
we are of all people most to be pitied.
(1 Corinthians 15:19 ESV)

If Christianity is only about the here and now, we are the saddest people in this whole world, why? Because in this world you suffer, following Jesus is following a path of suffering, of dying to self, of persecution, so if you live live this life in such pain and after you die, there is nothing, you are of all people, the most to be pitied.

But hope in the Bible is not just for this life only. That’s why hope is about an eternal good. In fact, this is so exciting, what you experience today is not the end of all the blessings God is to give you, what you experience today is just a little foretaste, of the great and glorious wonders that is to come, and that thrills our hearts. It’s almost like having a meal, and all you have is the appetizer, so sad. I treat you to a French restaurant high class one and all you need, all you have is a few strips of vegetables, isn’t it, just so disappointing, I pay so much and I eat so little. But what if I were to tell you, what you eat is just a foretaste of the lavish meal that is to come, and this meal will never end. That’s what hope is after the first dish, after the journey in this life, you say, I want more and I know there is so much more. This is what hope is all about.

You see, God made us eternal beings. You and I who are human beings, you are eternal beings. You’re not satisfied, you will not be satisfied with the here and now because you’re always thinking about what happens next, you are, because, according to Ecclesiastes, God has set eternity in our hearts and we live and we will look to something beyond death.

Every culture looks at something beyond death. You have pyramids, you have two tombs, you have all these rites and rituals, throughout the world, regardless of what your religion is because, deep in our hearts, we are wired to think about the future, beyond death. Now, animals don’t do that, animals live for the here and now. Animals plan for winter, animals hunt for food, animals do all these things, but you never see an animal, a people, er not the people, a group of animals performed funeral rites, you don’t see them gather together to build a tombstone or a coffin. You don’t have a squirrel, who is the pastor, who conducts a service for for the fellows, squirrels. Now, they don’t leave for the eternal, eternal frame of things; humans do, because we are made in the image of God.

Time stamp in audio 0:09:25.1.

And so the Bible talks about an eternality for us and that’s what hope aims for. Now sure in this life we can pray that God helps us in our sicknesses, God can pull us through our trials and tribulations. But I suggest to you, if you’re thinking only to hear about the here and now, you have missed the point, because hope is about an eternal state.

Not just about something eternal, but it’s about something that is eternally good. God wants to give us something eternally good. So the question is what do you mean pastor by good because different people have different ideas about what life after death in heaven is like. Some of us think about life after death in heaven to be a great feast way I can eat all I want and I will never fat. Now that is quite a, quite a good dream huh. Or you can, you can enjoy all you want in heaven, and you will not sin. Well, those are possibilities, but maybe those are not the real things that should excite your soul.

Last week I was with my wife overseas, or we were going overseas and so we were preparing our children for the time both parents are not around for them. So I said to the, we said to the older one because the younger one has no clue what’s happening anyway, we said to Shawn, Shawn, daddy, mommy are going away this is our last trip together before you turn P1 and ah, why ? Wah, like very very important, okay, we will, we will be there, just a short few days, will be back soon and will be sure to get you something, I know you want a toy speedboat and I will try to look for a toy speedboat for you, but don’t worry Shawn, be a good boy, daddy and mummy will be coming back soon.

Time stamp in audio 0:11:11.8.

On the day we were about to depart, we were at Changi airport and my wife still decided to call back and to assure our kids on the very day itself, so she called back and said Shawn, do you miss us. Wah lao we have just left, I mean, we are just a few hours, cannot .. and, and Shawn first statement he said, guess what? Mommy, have you found my speedboat yet? (Laughter in the congregation)

Wow, Shawn all you are looking forward to is the speedboat. I think Shawn has missed the point don’t you? What he should look forward to, is daddy and mummy will be coming soon. But the problem with us like Shawn is that we think the good that is promised is speedboat, when is really our Abba Father, that we will be with God.

Time stamp in audio 0:12:08.9.

Sure in heavens above, we would have gates of pearl and streets of gold. Sure in heavens above, we will have a glorified body that will not decay or rot, it will be beautiful it, it is glorious, you won’t need SK-II, you won’t need all those cosmetics stuff, because you absolutely perfect and beautiful then. Those are great things, but I think John has seen something we don’t. And what thrills his heart is what I feel we should be thrilled with. In 1John 3 and verse 2, which is just a verse before verse three, he says, what do you hope in God for? What is it that you are so excited about?

we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
(1 John 3:2 ESV)

Well, when he appears, when Jesus comes again for me, this is the amazing, amazing thing, I look forward to, I would be like Him. What? I would be like Him. Sometimes you wish, you can play tennis like Roger Federer, you can sing like Jason, ah no, not like Jason Lim, huh, huh,huh, you can sing, you wish you are somebody else. I tell you what, we will be like someone else, we will be like God. This is unbelievable. What do you mean you that will be like God, you will be glorious like that, you will be splendid, you will be bright and radiant and you will be perfect and flawless, we shall be like Him, there will be no sin, no sin no filth in us and we shall see him as he.

Time stamp in audio 0:13:47.1.

No more, the suffering servant, no more the humiliated one but the glorious one, the victorious one, the all conquering one, who conquered all by love. I don’t really understand what this means, folks, I will be honest, I don’t think anyone of us really get this, but I’m saying to you when you look forward to the future, don’t talk to God, just for the speedboat but look to God for this beautiful reality we shall see Him as He is and we shall be like Him. That’s the eternal good, that’s what your heart has always been longing for.

You know today are longing for something in this world and they are just false substitutes for your hearts craving for God. One day it will all be perfectly satisfied and that’s what we refer to as the eternal good.

Time stamp in audio 0:14:49.5.

You say why is this available for me? Based on what? Did I earn it? Did I deserve it? No, you didn’t, you are a sinner, you are an enemy of God. You hated God. By yourself, you don’t deserve any eternal good, you only deserve eternal damnation, but yet this is given to you and this is what you can look forward to, because it is promised in Jesus Christ.

Hope is the Confident Expectation of all the Eternal Good Promised in Jesus Christ

This is amazing thing about the Christian faith. This is the amazing thing about the teaching of God’s Word, the Bible that all these good things, are given to those who would believe in Jesus Christ, it’s promised in Him. Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins, why? So that He secure for us eternal good. Given to those who would freely belief, repent and believe in Him. It’s by His perfect act on the cross, it’s via the blood that was shed, it because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that you and I can have this eternal good that is to come. You see Peter, he says, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His great mercy, not according to your great achievements. According to His great mercy He has caused us to be born again, he has given us this new life to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, from the dead.

Time stamp in audio 0:16:28.9.

The reason why you and I can look forward to this glorious day is because our Savior is risen. There is hope for tomorrow because our Jesus, our Savior is not dead, He is alive and now I know it is for me. It is promised in Jesus Christ.

The Bible has a lot to say about the return of Jesus Christ, a lot. You will be shocked, you would think that the majority of the Bible were focused on the first coming of Jesus Christ. People have actually done studies on that and they say, for every one verse about the first coming of Jesus Christ, guess how many verses is about the second coming? Anybody knows, I think I mentioned it before, for every one verse about the first coming, they are eight verses about the second coming of Christ. That’s a lot, don’t you think. In almost every book of the Bible, the second coming of Christ is referred to almost book, except for three. There are thousands of references about the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why? because it is vital for us to have this hope, and this hope is wrapped around the return of our Savior.

Time stamp in audio 0:17:51.3.

But the last component I like us to look at, not just about the eternality of it, the goodness of it, the promise of it, but lastly is about the confident expectation.

This is important. Hope is a confident expectation. Now this week, something, well, I would say unfortunate, or sad happened to me, on Tuesday I was with my son in a shopping mall and we were doing some things together and after a while, I turned and I realized, where is my wallet? Not, not my son, my son still with me, don’t worry (Laughter in the congregation) I, I turned around, where is my wallet? Now, this has happened to me before in life, I am a scatterbrain and usually, I will look around and wah, heng ah, heng ah (colloquial for lucky ) found my wallet. This time I looked around, no heng ah, heng ah, anymore, I looked for half an hour, up and down, I use my phone to be a torchlight, show signs here and there, crawled on all fours and my son went on all fours. Daddy, what are you looking for, and there it is, I lost my wallet wherein is my IC, driving license, ATM, credit cards, discount cards, EasyLink card and most of all, my wife photos. It’s all lost, it’s gone.

After half an hour of search, I decided enough is enough, brought my kids back, went to report at the police station. I suspect theft because if I dropped it, it would be there, I and I, I remember there were some people around me and so, was concerned that it might be stolen and went to the police, the next day I came back, hopefully could that I could see the CCTV recordings, I couldn’t see on the day, because they didn’t have the password to unlock it so they told me to come back. When I came back, they told me, it’s erased already.

You know, they don’t store too long recordings, but it is gone and ah, nevertheless, I was optimistic, I was hoping that I’ll get my wallet back. I mean, I was hoping someone kind would find it on the floor maybe or maybe the the person who took it would have a conviction of the Holy, ah huh, convict of sin and aiyah, I should return, I can take the money but at least, I returned his IC, his driving and all this stuff, lah. So I hoped and I hoped and a hope, and amazingly, on Saturday, no one called in. (Laughter in the congregation) you see, all along, I was hoping and hoping, hoping, I would get my wallet, but you know something, I never have the assurance I will get it.

Time stamp in audio 0:20:35.3.

I have no guarantee. There is no one who promised you will get your wallet back. When I said, I hope for my wallet to be returned, I was actually saying I wish it would happen, I wanted to be happen, returned, I desired it to be returned, but I don’t know if it will return. That’s not the hope of the Bible. The hope of the Bible is not wishing, it is knowing. It is a deep assurance, a confident expectation, it will surely come to pass, I have not seen it yet, but I know deep in my heart, all the eternal good promised in Jesus Christ, will be mine.

That’s what hope is. There is a hope that burns within my heart. You see, this is the reality of the Christian life. A Christian is not someone who just grasped things intellectually, he knows these things. No, there is a reality in the heart, there is a clear conviction. If you have the real life, you will have a real hope. It’s not someone, something that someone has to persuade you about. But you’re not fearful death, you are not fearful of what happens after you die. Now let me be clear, I am scared of dying, okay, I am scared because I can die in very sad ways, right, people can kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, wah can kick a knife, and goreng, goreng (colloquial meanings stirring) my tummy, and I .. wah that kind, I am very scared. I’m scared of dying from cancer, where the cancer is you up. Am I scared of that, yes, I am, but I am not scared of death in that I am not scared of what happens to me after I die. I have the conviction and the confidence and the obvious expectation Jesus will come for me, and all those things go away. So, did I psycho myself to believe that? No, I have never tried to, at least. And if you today are a child of God. If you have Zoe, if you have eternal life, you hope in God. Not just you wish God will be good to you, but you know, you have the confident expectation, God is good to you, because, He has given you His Son, it is promised in Jesus Christ and you look forward to the day you will be with Him, and you’ll be like Him all eternity.

Time stamp in audio 0:23:14.2.

This is the hope we are talking about. And when you have this hope, it changes your life isn’t it? It does. How does it change your life? Well, I just want to say two things about how it will change your life and people have been very clever to use this, HOPE as an acronym for something more.

Some people say hope that stands Hang On, Pain Ends. It’s a clever way to say it, it’s true, Hang on, Pain Ends. Why are the patriarchs, Abraham and so on. Why are they able to journey through life, journey through pain. Why are the heroes of the faith able to give of themselves, to be sawn asunder, thrown into the fire? Why could they go through pain? Because they all have hope, that faith, that God has prepared for them, an eternal city made without human hands. As we have sung earlier on, by faith, they saw it, they have this confident expectation, and so they say, we will hang on, this life is difficult, but we will hang on, because one day all pain will end and all glory will come, hang on.

Maybe you are in a tough ride today, an illness, a death, a crisis, a breakup, hang on, pain ends. I hate the army, it’s difficult for me, but hang on, pain ends. The Christian life is not an easy one, but hang on pain ends. If you have known God, there will be the hope that is burning in your hearts. While this is true and I think very, very useful for Christian walk, I must say this is not what John has to say. John’s priority in these verses, is another acronym. He says, Helps Our Purifying Efforts. He is saying, hope is necessary for Christian sanctification. The word sanctification means, to be made more and more like Christ, to be less and less like the world, to be more and more righteous and holy and pure in our living. He says hope Helps Our Purifying Efforts, because he said everyone who thus hope in him, purifies himself as he is pure.

And everyone who thus hopes in him
purifies himself as he is pure.
(1 John 3:3 ESV)

Time stamp in audio 0:26:00.8.

This is what a Christian is. He has real life from God. Now he has therefore this real hope from God and now he will pursue real holiness with God. He is so sure he will meet with God one day, he is so confident of that reality, he says, I cannot be slack anymore. If God is coming for me and He is pure. He’s holy, He has called me to be holy then I want to purify myself right now. Like a bride, getting ready for her wedding. She doesn’t want to be dirty,she doesn’t want to go near mud, she doesn’t want to walk with barefoot on the floor. She wants to be clean, because she knows that the groom is coming again. And if you are real believer of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will not just talk about being pure, you will really strive to be pure, you do it.

Now supposed today, I said to my son, Shawn go and clean your room, daddy will come in half an hour and check. My son says, okay, daddy, he goes in his room. Half an hour later I turn up, I’m not on his door and says, Shawn, how is it? He says to me, daddy, I, I, I studied what it means to clean my room. I found out what it means, I, I went to Google, I went to YouTube and I listened to messages on cleaning the room. In fact, I called my friends, and we did a study of what it means to clean the room. I had a care group daddy, it care group that told me what it means to clean the room, I had a care group that encouraged me to clean the room, I had a group that shared with me their struggles with cleaning the room and we pray for one another about cleaning the room and daddy, some more, I researched further and I, I found the Hebrew and the Greek word for cleaning the room and I cried about cleaning the room, daddy, I did all that, I understand it.

Shawn did you clean your room? My question to you is, Jane, John, Michael did you purify yourself? Oh, pastor, I really appreciate your sermons on Christian growth. Wah, I really appreciate those messages on how we count we can walk in the Spirit and how we must not fulfill the lust of the flesh, I, I, I listen to the sermons ten times already. I go back at our CG we talked about it. We always talk about our Christian lives and I, I have devotions and God spoke to me about dealing with the sin of pride and anger and pornography, wah God really works in my heart.

My question to you is, have you purified yourself?, I am not asking if you know the Hebrew, the Greek, now, all that is good and necessary, in its place, but if all, you are looking for is, fill your head with knowledge, talk and talk a lot about it, but you don’t do it. I tell you something, it shows that you never really had this hope. It might be that you never really had known Jesus Christ. Now, it could be that you are saved, but you are just not in a good state of life. But, I’m saying to all my brothers and sisters, it’s including myself, I am speaking to myself, because I am so guilty of this. We can know so much, talk so much, but we are not walking what God wants.

Time stamp in audio 0:29:38.7.

Today’s sermon is not complicated, it’s as straightforward as it comes. But my question to you is, are you doing what is already clear, you see that there is no difficulty in this verse. When Jesus was on earth, He preached one of the most famous sermons ever, it’s called the sermon on the mount, He concluded with these words, there were two men, one wise man, one foolish man, the wise man built his house upon the rock, the foolish man built his house upon the sand. I ask you today what is the difference between the wise man and the foolish man, what’s the difference? If you have never read the passage, you will immediately reply ah, the wise man is very clever, he knows he is to build his house upon the rock and the fool is the man who doesn’t know how to build a house, therefore he builds it on the sand. That’s absolutely not the point of Jesus Christ. The point that the master was making, Jesus was making is the wise man is someone who builds his house upon the rock because he hears, and he does what I’ve told him, but the foolish man is, someone who hears the exact same things, but he just doesn’t do it, he is a fool. It’s not here (pointing to the head), it’s here (pointing to the heart).

Time stamp in audio 0:31:07.0.

Supposed today you met a friend, she is in a horrible shape, her hair is messy, her mascara is running, she has this kangkong (a local vegetable ) between her teeth and she says (slurring in her speech), hello, how do you do ? She says, what’s up with you Mary, when did you go? What do you mean where I go, I came to church. If you look at yourself in the mirror? Yes I did. Then, what did you do about it? Nothing, because, all I thought I needed to do was to look at it.

You say, how ridiculous, Mary would be. You look at the mirror so that you can do something to change what is ugly. So often we read the Bible, we just want to look at it, I just want to look at myself, I just want to look at God. I am just in CG, just like to talk about these things, I like to be comforted with the fact that I went for a CG, I went for a Bible study group. Don’t be comforted by that. Jesus says that’s being a fool.

Time stamp in audio 0:32:13.0.

GLCC has a clear mission, leading generations into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ. This is not just for the unsaved. We have a deep burden to help those who are yet outside the kingdom to come to know Jesus. That’s our clear burden, but at the very same that if you today are a child of God, don’t be satisfied with that alone, I say I want to be more like Jesus and it is life changing relationship, it’s not just information but transformation. Because if you really have this life, you will hope in God and if you hope in God, you will purify yourself, you actually do it.

Time stamp in audio 0:32:59.3.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think sanctification or purification is mere humanistic efforts. No, no, no, please don’t get me wrong, we have shared before in this church, the only way you can be sanctified, is when it is all God and all men. I need to apply myself diligently to sanctification, but it is not done in fleshly power, it is done in the power of the Holy Spirit. But you need to apply yourself and a person who has this hope, will apply himself, he will.

A false believer doesn’t do this and hypocrite doesn’t do this.

In second Peter.

Scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ìWhere is the promise of his coming?î
(2 Peter 3:3-4 ESV)

It says scoffers, will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires, they will say, where is the promise of his coming? You see, those who were never born again, the false teachers, they say, aahh Jesus won’t come back, where is the promise of his coming, so let’s do all that our heart desires to do. So they talk Christian terms, they preach Christian messages, but they live sinful lives because they never really have this confident expectation. They never really had this hope.

But they who know the Lord Jesus hopes in him and purifies himself.

It is John Stott who says

unrighteous conduct is unthinkable in the Christian who has grasped the purpose of the two appearings of Christ. The fact of His first appearing and the hope of His second are both strong incentives to holiness.
John Stott

Why should I be holy? Because God loves me and gave me His Son. Why should I be holy? Because God is holy and He is coming for me again. And if you live between these two appearances they are powerful incentives for Christian sanctification, Christian growth and Christian purity.

It is Warren Wiersbe the who puts it this way.

No matter in which direction a Christian looks,
he finds reason to obey God.

If he looks BACK, he sees Calvary, where Christ died for him.

If he looks WITHIN, he sees the Holy Spirit who lives within and teaches him the truth.

If he looks AROUND, he sees the encouragement and examples from Christian brethren whom he loves

And finally, he looks FORWARD, he looks AHEAD, he sees the return of Christ!

No matter in which direction a Christian looks, he finds reason to obey God.

No matter, no matter in which direction a Christian looks, he finds reason to obey God say, you say, how? When he looks back, he sees Calvary, where Christ died for him if he were to look within. He sees the Holy Spirit who lives within him and teaches him the truth and if you were to look around, he sees the encouragement and examples from Christian brethren whom he loves and finally, when he looks forward, he looks ahead, he sees the return of Christ.

A true believer wherever he looks, he finds reason to obey God.

Time stamp in audio 0:35:42.9.

One thing I want to say, please don’t step out of this room and said to yourself, the first thing I need to do, the most important thing I need to do is to now change my lifestyle. Now, I think it is important, don’t get me wrong, it is necessary that you make certain decisions for your life. That’s what it means to purify yourself, decisions and steps of faith to obey. That’s necessary. But I actually think that more fundamental than the external change of behavior, is that you allow God to work in your heart. You give space in your heart for God to minister to you, because it’s only when the heart, the fountain of life is sorted out properly then the outward manifestations of life will be right.

So yes, I think there is a practical aspect by which we change our lives that is necessary, but please, don’t forget what is necessary in the heart. Now, let me just say, first of all, that this is where you have to look at hope. I think John is getting to something, he says, if you really want to have a pure life, you’ve got to have this hope and there maybe some of you today, do not have this hope and you may walk out of this place, saying, I know what, this Gospel Light Christian Church pastor is saying, he’s saying that if God is to give me hope then I need to live this pure life, then when I lived this pure life, He likes me then He gives me this hope, He gives me this salvation. No, no, no, no, if you do this, you are whole way wrong. You don’t be holy, so that you may have hope, that is not the order of Scripture. The order of Scripture is when you have hope, then you live holy lives. So, the fundamental thing today is I’ve got to have this hope. How to have this hope? Can I manufacture it? Can get it from someone, well, the only way you can have this hope is when your born again, according to God’s great mercy.

In other words, you need to repent of your sin, you need to come to Jesus Christ for salvation and life, you need to cry out to God, God have mercy to save me, have mercy to do a change in my heart, give me that new life and when you come to God humbly, believing in Jesus, His Son, He gives you new life and then there is hope and when there is hope, you apply yourself to purification.

Time stamp in audio 0:38:17.2.

John, did he say, anyone who, everyone who hopes in him has to now purify himself. He says anyone, everyone who hopes in Him will, or purifies himself, it’s the natural consequence of having hope. If you’re here today, you do not know Jesus, priority number one, come to know Jesus as your Savior, then your life will be one of thanksgiving and praise, you will praise God for that.

And for those of you who have already trusted in Jesus, but your hope is not strong. It’s flickering, what do you do, what can I do to have God pour this oil of hope into my flask once more. Well, the Bible tells us,

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
(Romans 15:4 ESV)

Hope is flamed or it is fanned when we find encouragement in Scriptures. So if you want God to work in your heart, you create space. How do you create space? You create space by studying the Scriptures and looking to God in His Word, because when you look at God, when you see God in the Bible, you are filled with this encouragement that He is so faithful to His people, He is faithful to the nation of Israel, He is faithful to the saints, He will be faithful to me. Scriptures, so whilst I say the point of Christianity is not Bible study alone, Christianity cannot flourish without Bible study.

I hope you get what we’re trying to get at. Not only should you study the Scriptures, but I think you need to pray, you need to pray that God will send this hope alive in you, because that’s what Paul prays for may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
(Romans 15:13 ESV)

Hope is not an intellectual thing alone, it’s not just the mechanics of thinking, it’s got to be worked through the power of the Holy Spirit in your heart. So when you pray and when the Spirit works, hope may abound, the word that is the super abound, it’s to super overflow and that is God’s desire for you.

Time stamp in audio 0:40:37.5.

So how can we have a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ, today. Well, you got to know Christ and if you already know Christ as Savior, then I say to you, pursue a deeper intimacy and walk with Him through the Scriptures, in prayer that He will and that He will fan that hope alive, and when it is so, you will live out purity, you will live out sanctification, to live for His glory. How are you doing today, how’s your hope, how’s your life? May God speak to you this morning, let’s bow for a word of prayer together.

I wonder, right here, right now, can you really say, there is a hope in your life, I want to say to you, you say, aah, I love this subject on hope. I want this hope, so what I do to get this hope, I know what I need to do I,I, I, I need to give my life to Jesus, I need to be a good person and I need to sacrifice myself and then God may see me, and like me and save me and give me hope. No, no, you gotten the order wrong. We don’t try to be holy, in order to have hope. It is when you have hope that you can really be holy. You say how can I have this hope? Well according to Peter, you’ve got to be born again. You got to be born again, according to God’s mercy. This morning, there is mercy available for you. There’s beautiful assurance and promise in the Scriptures, when God said, whosoever believes in Jesus Christ, shall not have, shall not perish but have everlasting life. God is saying, I’m going to give you this hope this confident expectation, you have everlasting life. How, if you are born again, if you believe in Jesus Christ.

So this morning, if you are here and you do not know Jesus, He calls you to repent of your sin and believe in His Son. Then, you will realize something changed, your heart changes, your thinking changes, there is that confidence about death and what happens after death, but you see this hope is the work of God in someone who is born again. It begins right here, turning from sin and believing in Jesus Christ. Are you today cold and slack in your Christian walk? Maybe you have not been looking enough, you been looking at your computer, you have been looking at your stock market, you been looking at your car, you been looking at your house, but you failed to look back to Calvary and maybe you have been looking at Calvary, but you have forgotten to look ahead to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Today, John reminds us everyone who hopes in Him, purifies himself. That is the natural consequence of someone whose eyes are looking Christ coming. He will come for me, and I want to live for Him right here, right now. But, mind you this is not just mental gymnastics, you got to look at Scriptures and you got to pray, by Your Spirit, God burn this hope deep in my heart. And brothers and sisters in Christ, that’s what I asked you to do today, I believe God’s call for us is not that once we step out of this room, we say we will purify ourselves. Now, that’s a good desire, but maybe, work more in the foundation at the source at the root, walk out of this place saying to yourself, I will pursue God in Scriptures, I was seeking and pray that He will really do that work of growing and burning and shining hope in my heart, so that when my fountain is right, the rivers of life flows, righteousness will be a consequence of His work in my heart, but come back to the first works, come back to communion with God, seeing His glory, His love, His faithfulness, His promise, may the Gospel burn deep within your soul.

Maybe there’s something you need to say to God today, there is a sin, you need to repent of, maybe there’s something about your devotional life. Maybe there’s covetousness that you need to repent, let this be a time for your heart to be healed, for your life to be changed. After all, it’s not information, but transformation. Father we thank You this morning, we can gather in a simple manner. Much has been spoken, but dear God we need Your Spirit to make this real. So we pray this day, that You bring those who are yet outside the kingdom to Jesus Christ that they may also enjoy and experience this beautiful living hope and I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ, that on this pilgrims’ journey, we will not lose sight of the fact that You are coming back for us again. May we have this hope, burning bright and may we then, be living right for You. Lord, do that work in our hearts this morning, would You, because we ask and pray all this in Jesus, Amen.

Behold, What Love!

Behold, What Love!

Sermons, Sermons by Pastor Jason Lim, The Real Life Series, Transcriptions0 comments

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John Chapter 3 verse 1

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Sermon :

As a church, as we go through the Bible and we are in the book of 1st John. That’s one of the last few books in the Bible in the New Testament. So if you can turn with me to 1John and chapter 3, we continue this wonderful book about real life, about the life, God desires for His people. Let me start with a simple illustration.

There is this company set up during Christmas to answer questions about turkeys, alright. So, during Christmas if you bought a turkey or you want to buy a turkey, or you want to cook a turkey, anything you want to ask about a turkey, you can call this hotline. And so one day, a lady called up and she said well, I, I am not sure whether you can help me, but this is my question, I just discovered that at the bottom of my freezer is a turkey I’ve kept for the past 23 years, do you think, I ca eat it ? The operator on the other end says, Well, ma’am, if your freezer have always been below 0, all these 23 years, it’s probably safe to eat. But I would also like to caution you because it’s been there for 23 years, it probably would have deteriorated and it wouldn’t be worth eating anyway.” The lady then says, “Ah that’s what I thought too, well, it’s okay, I can always give it to my church.” (Laughter in the congregation)

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Well, it is both funny and sad at the same time, because that’s how we look at God. That’s how we look at our relationship with God, we give Him our spares and our leftovers but this is in such a sharp contrast with the disciples of Jesus Christ, John the apostle is one of the disciples who left all, family and possessions to follow Jesus, and according to tradition, John followed Jesus and stood for Jesus, that he was even thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil. But then he never stopped living for his master, Jesus Christ.

Time stamp in audio 0:02:10.2.

What is the difference between a lady who wants to give the frozen turkey of 23 years and John the apostle, who gave his life for the cause of Christ. What makes the difference, what’s the difference, for you, what would make a difference in your life? I struggle sometimes in that question and I thank God for His Word in 1John chapter 3 and verse one. We catch a glimpse of the heart of apostle John, he says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God, and so we are.”

John is now giving an exclamation, “Behold, see, what kind of love the Father has given to us, he is shocked, he’s astonished, he is amazed in the depth of his being of God’s love for us. He says , “See what kind of love.” You say, what’s so special about what kind? Well it’s interesting because the original Greek, is one word, which is potapos, it’s not platypus, but potapos and what is a potapos, well, literally in the Greek, it means what country. So, if you read it, it goes like this, see what country of love the Father has given to us. It’s is a idiom, it’s an idiom, idiomatic expression and it says, wow, this is so out of the world, this is so unearthly, this is something that is never seen, never heard, never known before. This is off the charts kind of love, see what indescribable, outrageous, amazing love, the Father has given to us.

Time stamp in audio 0:04:03.3.

I suggest to you, that the difference between a lady who will give a frozen turkey of 23 years and an apostle John will give his life is that he has beheld that out of the country, potapos, indescribable amazing love of God.

Behold, What Love !

This morning, I have a very simple message, it is just these 3 words, in particular, Behold, what love! That’s it, and that is all we are going to look at this morning, but I believe that if we really get this in the depth of ourl beings, it will change our lives. You see all of us, must have tokens of God’s love in our lives. If you have known Jesus, if you have been seeking God, you might be able to say well, I experienced God’s love in my life because he answered my prayers, because he healed me, because he helped me out of a very difficult situation, because he gave these breakthroughs in life. Well, I for one have experienced God’s tokens of love in many ways.

Time stamp in audio 0:05:14.7.

One of the most significant ways in my life is in my son’s life, Shawn, he tells you his name is written, like this. There are four ways to spell Shwan, Shawn, Shaun, Sean, and Shone. Huh, huh, all right, but the right one is Shawn, all right, this is my son Shawn. Most of you know that when he was younger, he was diagnosed with autism and I regularly share that both my wife and I, we went through the, probably the most difficult points of our life, then. We felt that we were devastated, life is never to be the same because we were told that Shawn, would probably not be able to say anything. He would not be able to hug us, he might never be able to say, I love you and he might be dependent on us for the rest of his life. For me, I felt that the son, I knew died and in his place, is another one, which I best never expected.

Time stamp in audio 0:06:17.4.

But God is so good to us, by the way, if there are people in your life, that are going through struggles and not healed, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you. It’s just that, His ways are above our ways. But in our case, we are grateful to the Lord, how He has allowed Shawn, to move, and progress and grow in a way we never expected. For the past, for the past four and a half years, he is now 6, he has shown tremendous improvement and growth and and you know when he was growing up, we were told he could maximally handle one language, so we only spoke to him in English. But when he was able to pick up English, we, we thought let’s try Chinese and that’s quite late. So we decided to send in for tuition, I I know your few this, tiger dad or tiger mum, very kiasu, send, send and send, a lot of things, okay, we sent him for Chinese, enrichment not tuition, all right, I sent him for Chinese, enrichment classes, and I think he went through it, for the past one or two years. Three weeks ago, we got a report from the school and this is what the report says. Hao’en which is my son’s Chinese name, in English, it says, it says Shawn is a bright, cute or adorable and sensible boy. The words that struck my heart, deeply was the word told me, chong ming, (meaning, bright) because I never thought he would be, I never thought he would be able to learn and study and I was, I was really excited, so when I got home I told my wife, hey, have you seen his report card, have you seen his report book, I was so excited about it not because he’s bright or what, but because God is so good in Shawn’s life and as a answer to our prayers. I was moved, not because of his intelligence, or anything like that, but I was moved by God’s love.

Time stamp in audio 0:08:19.7.

Maybe, in your life, you can think of God’s provisions, answers, blessings to you and they are great tokens. They are great reminders of His love. But you know something, that’s not what John is talking about. Yes, God has been very good to Shawn, to Winnie and myself, but that’s not the kind of love, he’s talking about. You say, why? Because of its something even greater than that. What we have, yes it is amazing, but it is nothing, compared to what He has done for us.

You see, John, he says “See what kind of love.” John must have experienced, many kinds of love, many experiences and incidence of God’s love, but he says this is not what I’m talking about, what I’m talking about is this, very, very, unique aspect, shown in my life and that is, “We should be called the children of God.”

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.(1 John 3:1 ESV)

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You see, so often we think God’s love is seen when he gives me tio beh pio (sound like – and meaning colloquilly meaning I hit the lottery. OK, I hope none of you buy Toto. God’s love is seen to me when I have this sickness and He cured me out of it. Now these are great things. Let’s not say that they are not important, but, I am saying if you put this side-by-side with what he is saying here, these things pale in comparison to the amazing love of God in calling us His child. We don’t understand how rotten and sinful and filthy we are, so we failed to grasp how amazing this salvation is, that we were children of disobedience, children of wrath, we belong to our father the devil that he would now call us children. That He will cleanse us, wash us, justify us, forgive us and call us children. No more an enemy, not even a servant nor a friend. He says, my child, not a child of Bill Gates, not a child of a president or a king, but a child of God. He says this is amazing.

If you today were to adopt children, you go to the center and you, you want to adopt a kid, what do you look for? Almost invariably people look at the physical appearance of the child. They ask the parents, the natural parents, they ask the agency, does this child have any disease, can you tell me more about the parents? Why? because we want to adopt a child who is healthy and beautiful and wholesome. Nobody today would say, Oh, I know he has congenital heart disease, I want him as my child; very rare. Oh, I know he has genetic disease, he’s deformed, he has HIV and I want to adopt him, very rare. But you know something about God, He adopted us as children, when we were ugly, deformed, diseased, in our sins and He says, “You are My child, you’re My heir, you are co-heirs with Jesus Christ. Whatever is in Jesus bank account, is in your bank account, you’re joint account holders, you are heirs and co-heirs with Christ. I do not just call you a servant, I do not call you a friend, you are my child, you’re an heir and you have all things.

Time stamp in audio 0:12:02.2.

Most of all, you have Me. What, amazing potapos love and this is not just a legal transaction. This is an actual transformation, because he does not just say, you shall be called, but, so we are.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.(1 John 3:1 ESV)

So it’s just, not just a name or title, it is your nature that will be changed, not just a position you have, but your person is elevated, that He will save you from the power and a filth and the contamination of sin, to have a heart that loves Him. That you will have a heart hates sin, that you will pursue Him, that you will be truly glorious and righteous and holy, He made you really His son. This is amazing! And that’s why, throughout history people write Christian songs that center on God’s love. For example, when this song was sung before in church,

My song is love unknown,
My Saviourís love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take, frail flesh and die?

The writer says, my song is love unknown, he could have easily said, my love is love, my song is love, potapos, it’s out of this country, it’s out of this world, nobody has known this world, this love. What kind of love, my Savior’s love to me, love to the loveless shown, to those who deserve nothing, to those who are ugly, to those who are deformed, to those who will never love God on his own, He loved us why, so that we might lovely be.

God’s love is not given to the lovely, it is given to the ugly so that we might become lovely. That’s the magnitude and the amazing thing about God’s love and I say to you today, if you are truly a recipient of God’s love, if you’re truly a recipient of the good news of Jesus Christ, that He died, to save you from your sins, you will have a sense of wonder and awe in your life.

Do you really know you’re Christian, let me ask you, do you awe in amazement? This is the litmus test, because if you are a receipient of this astounding grace, you walk in your life, knowing this is miraculous, how could God save me?

Time stamp in audio 0:14:57.4.

Suppose today, in the good old days, when you work and are at the end of the month you turn up at the boss’ office and he will look at your work schedule and pay you, that you turn up like this one day, you say, boss, I work for 25 days this month and this is supposed to be my salary. And then he gives you your cheque, he gives you your cash, he gives you your money, when you take the money, do you say, boss, this is amazing, you gave me my salary, you are so good, would you do that?

If you are like that any boss would love to have you work for them. None of us do that, you say why? Because when you turn up at the end of the month, what you say, I worked for it. When you received that money, you say thank you, boss, this is what we’ve agreed upon, but you realized deep in your heart, you deserved it.
And if you are someone who things that Christianity, all the way to God is what you work for, you will never have the sense of wonder. So, you say, of course, I am a saved, of course, I am a Christian, I go to church, I helped the poor, I give to charity, I do so many things in church, of course, you are filled with a sense of wonder at yourself.

Time stamp in audio 0:16:16.3.

But, the true man or woman who has been touched by grace says, how can it be, that God, you will save me, this is astounding, amazing love. That’s what Charles Wesley, he says,

And can it really be, I mean, this is really beyond my comprehension, Wesley says that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood. Why, because I caused His pain, I brought nothing but pain, to my Savior, but He pursued death for me. He did not stumble into death, He pursued death for me. Amazing love, how can it be, that You, my God, should die for me.

And can it be that I should gain
An intírest in the Saviorís blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He says that he is amazed and shocked at the amazing love of God.

Time stamp in audio 0:17:16.3.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
(1 John 3:1 ESV)

See what kind of love, that amazing love, that filthy, disobedient ugly and deformed people like as we are, now the heirs of God, children of God, this kind of love. Is out of this world, because it is unconditional. The Bible tells us.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 ESV)

God loved us while we were still sinners, we were not seeking Him, we were His enemies, we hated Him, we would spit at Him, in our lives, but He loved us. The world has not known such unconditional love.

I was speaking to someone this week about adoption, she was adopted, I asked,why were you adopted? And she said, this is because my mother who adopted me, wanted to someone to take care of her when she gets old. That’s one of the ways people provided for themselves and of course there is love shown during the years of upbringing, but there is still a reason behind it. But God loves us, because He loved us. He didn’t need anything from us, He is not needy as if oh, you must love me otherwise I’m not satisfied, I’m not supremely joyful. No He didn’t need us, but He saved us and loved us.

Time stamp in audio 0:18:37.7.

This morning as I was taking a cab to this place, the taxi uncle, is is just venting his frustrations, so interesting. He says, aiyah look at this stupid wedding invitation, it’s in the afternoon, never say, I went in the night and it was all over. (Laughter in the congregation). And, he complained and complained and then he mentioned that his wife nagging at him, I say this, literally, his words, this old woman, this smelly woman, kept nagging at me, I cannot take it, I cannot take her nagging he says, “If only I could kill her” (Laughter in the congregation). Wow, I am in his car, he says, if, if, if I could, I would have killed her. Then, he says, is because of his karma, bad karma that he accumulated in his past life. He says, never mind, I would pay off this debt and when I pay off this debt of my bad karma, I would leave her.

Time stamp in audio 0:19:42.2.

He is married for 40 over years. (Laughter in the congregation). But, he is waiting for the day to divorce. I am sure, 40 over years ago, when they were patohing (colloquial for dating), they were going together and when they were married, she must be head over heels over her, oh, you are so pretty, oh, you are so beautiful. Oh, my life would be so happy and we would be happily ever after, he thought it would be true, but, 40 years later, if I could, I would kill you. (Laughter in the congregation).

Because she doesn’t meet his needs anymore, because he doesn’t find joy in her anymore, because he is irritated by her from now onwards and therefore he says, I don’t love you anymore.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 ESV)

This love is so out of the world, when we irritate not irritate, we grieve God, we rebel against Him, He gave His Son for you, it’s an amazing love. This love is in a sense unfathomable, do you realize that, there is no way you and I could really understand God’s love. Yes, we may talk about it, I’m even preach it, but there’s no way I can really understand fully God’s love, because Jesus tells me this love is, it’s so, so infinite in its magnitude, he says, God, I pray to You that the world may know that You sent Me and You love that even as You love Me.

Ö..so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
(John 17:23 ESV)

Can you start to wrap your head around this simple phrase that You love them as You love Me. I say nobody here can really understand how much the Father loves the Son, no way, the infinite God, Who is love, would love the infinitely worthy Son of God. Wow, I can figure it out. And that same love is the love God has for you; it blows my mind. And if you still don’t get it, he prays again that the love with which you have loved me, may be in them.

I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.î
(John 17:26 ESV)

Why, shocking, matchless, infinite love, therefore, Paul prays :

óthat you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
(Ephesians 3:17-19 ESV)

I pray that you will understand more and more and more about the dimensions of God’s love, but let me tell you something, it surpasses knowledge. He says, I pray that you know more and more and but like the galaxy is always expanding and expanding and it is endless. It is, it is boundaries. There is no boundary, it’s the infinite matchless love and again, the songwriters help us so much, this song, the love of God, is apparently scribbled or scrawled on to the walls of an asylum.

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endureó
The saintsí and angelsí song.

People feel this guy is a mad man, but he wrote these words in an asylum, he says,

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.

God’s love reaches to the most defiled, exceeds all sin and guilt.

The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Time stamp in audio 0:23:47.5.

Everyone of us a scribe, every blade of grass, a pen, every stretch of this heavens, a parchment and every drop of water in the oceans, ink, we could never finish writing about the love of God. We could never, unfathomable, unsearchable, love of God.

He goes on to say,

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endureó
The saintsí and angelsí song.

This is an unbeatable love. It is an everlasting love,

the LORD appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
(Jeremiah 31:3 ESV)

This is a word spoken to Israel, Jeremiah, spoken to Israel. I tell you, today, look around you in the world events, look at world history and God is saying, look at my people Israel, they are the evidence of my undying love for Israel. By the way, Israel messed up big time, many times, messed up. Really, really rebelled sin against God, but you know what God never gave up on Israel.

Time stamp in audio 0:25:02.0.

So, God is using, all these tokens and reminders of His amazing love for us and so, Paul with great confidence is saying,

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39 ESV)

I am sure that neither death nor life nor angels or rulers nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is an unbeatable love.

Nothing separates you from God’s love, because it was unconditional to begin with. It is deep and wide in its magnitude and it lasts forever more. Even when we fail Him, even when we disappoint Him, even when we grieve Him with our sins, He doesn’t stop loving you. He doesn’t stop, He doesn’t love you any less, even when you fail, that’s why so out of this world.

Time stamp in audio 0:26:01.4.

Back to Shawn, I was teaching Shawn maths. Okay, this is the kiasu parent again, Chinese, English, mathematics, I was teaching Shawn maths. Three weeks ago, I hate to teach him maths, because it really gets me, how come you can’t get it, so, I was teaching him addition. Addition, in a tens, So 57+23, you are supposed to add up, la, of course not mental sums, but writing it down, you have written is it? So, I was teaching him mathematics, I did it over and over again and every time, the question is set, he looks around and, you know, he gets distracted, he doesn’t quite pay attention and I taught and I taught and I taught and I taught until I tor (colloquial for vomit) (Laughter in the congregation), until my blood began to boil. I know I wanted to help Shawn of course, that’s why we started maths, I wanted to help him think, acquire some skills in logic and thinking and I realized I’m getting nowhere, I got frustrated, I got really impatient and began to shout at him.

Time stamp in audio 0:27:12.9.

When you’re teaching, you shouldn’t shout lah. (Laughter in the congregation) but I shouted at him, I even begin to hit him. I was really worked up. I was so very… One thing that really gets me with worked up today is teaching mathematics. (Laughter in the congregation. Seriously, I lost myself, I think. I just shouted at him and he became, he, he was terrified.

I know you look at me differently from now onwards, (Laughter in the congregation) but, he was really terrified. He started to cry. Well, we, we, well we got through the exercise. I think he learned something and for the next day and that was Saturday and the next day, on Sunday I was playing with Shawn, I said Shawn come, look at daddy, Shawn, daddy wants to say, I am sorry. He look at me and says, why? he is clean forgotten that day, yesterday because he is playing with his Lego and stuff like that. He says why? Because, daddy shouldn’t have shouted at you and hit you yesterday. I was angry for the wrong reason. Honestly, I love you, Shawn, and I’m sorry. He didn’t know how to react, (shook his head in a funny way) (Laughter in the congregation) Paiseh (colloquial for embarrassed) I don’t know what, but I think he had a tear in his eye. Now I love Shawn. I love Matthias, I love my kids, but is not the same kind of love as God’s that is unbeatable. Frustration got the better of me, impatience got the better of me and when I think about God’s love for me and I think about what I did to my son, I said, “This is out of the world.” So constant, so deep, so infinite, so matchless, so unconquerable, the amazing love of God, see what kind of love. John says

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
(1 John 3:1 ESV)

This is not of the world love, it’s not just God’s healing you of cancer, not, these are great things, don’t tell wrong but when you put it beside how Jesus came to give you sonship, to give you heirship, it’s amazing.

Time stamp in audio 0:29:47.9.

I want to and with one word here in this verse, it’s the first word “see”

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
(1 John 3:1 ESV)

The word means to behold, to inspect, to examine, to study, to discover, to discern, to look very closely. It means, don’t just glanced over it, don’t just gloss over it, but to really work into your heart, to really, really get it. And by the way, when John wrote this in the Greek, this is in the imperative mood, the indicative mood and in imperative mood are that indicative is about a suggestion, something that is suggested to you, but the imperative mood is something that is commanded of you.

John wrote this in the imperative, he is commanding us, look,see, behold, examine, don’t just gloss over it, because it’s so short, don’t just forget it, because you take God’s love for granted, but really get it, see it, examine it, because this is what you need. You know when I prepared, I was preparing 1John and I did glance and gloss over over verse one, wow, this is so common, we’ve always been talking about love in this church, but I said, I can’t do that, if he says this is a command. Behold, and this morning, as a church we need to behold, we need to behold because we really to, because we live in a very broken and hurting world and some of you are living with scars. What scars, past hurts and it is deep in your life today, and you know it. You may come from a broken family, your parents are divorced and you always had that sense of inferiority. You, you feel that you are ugly, not accepted because you have a broken home. Or, maybe some of you today are divorced, you are a divorcee, there is a scar in your life and maybe, as a child have been abused, you never had love from God, errr from your parents, or, maybe when you are young you were deprived of certain things then and you grew up with this struggle with identity, with acceptance, and, and you feel inadequate, you feel unloved and so, in life, you’re craving, and grabbing love, but deep down down inside, you are struggling, you try to be someone you are not. And you are tired, and you are frustrated because you been looking at your scars.

Time stamp in audio 0:32:16.6.

John says to you, look at God and His love. We all have scars, but when we were ugly and deformed and diseased, He still chose to love you, He pursued death for you. He gave His Son for you, let this love be assimilated into your life, let this love fill your heart, don’t just gloss over this. This is therapeutic, this is healing, this is God’s Word speaking to you, He is calling you to finding joy, supreme joy in Him.

Time stamp in audio 0:32:56.1.

Some of you today, struggle with present struggles, not past, but right here, right now. You struggle, because you’re going through some trials, your father is sick, your son is not well, your company is folding, your relationship is breaking up and you feel like nobody cares. Your family has forsaken you, your friends have forsaken you and you feel like nobody cares. See what kind of love, not just a sentimental feeling, but there is something very objective, something very clear, that 2000 years ago, Jesus came for you and God is saying, I love you, even as you go through the sufferings of life.

Some of you here are single people and you struggle with love, because, as singles, unless you are a 15-year-old and then, no problem, but if you are older, you are single and you say, I must have a partner, because otherwise I’m not loved, I cannot experience love. You know, someone wisely said, God never promises us a spouse, He doesn’t say that in the Bible”, so what if God has called you to singlehood, does it make it seem like God doesn’t love you as much? No, he says, behold, my love.

Time stamp in audio 0:34:29.8.

Some of you today are in strife. You are disagreeing with someone, bad blood has come about and your mind today is transfixed on his picture, his face. If you could, you print it out and paste it on the wall and you can can play darts on it. I want to get back at him. You know, if are fixated on the man and you are not fixated on God’s love, you will never be able to forgive. See what kind of love.

Maybe today you want to grow as a Christian and you are frustrated with your own spiritual journey, you say, where do I start, how can I be a better follower of Jesus Christ? Luther says one of the necessary things to discipleship to Jesus is to know the Gospel and to teach the Gospel. He uses very violent terms, he says, you must beat the Gospel into your head, wah, quite violent but it’s true, you could be drive it into your head and into your heart. He says, you need that because the devil, the world and the flesh is a powerful triumvirate to lead you away from God, through lies and deception, he weakens you and the best counteroffensive to that is that we will be filled in the heart with the love of God in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Time stamp in audio 0:35:53.0.

You see, christian living is not about following a set of rules and regulations like why can’t I do, but that you are motivated on the inside by God’s love and you say, how can I even do that if God loves me. You see, it is not about outward legalism, it’s the expulsive power of a new affection and the expulsive power of a new affection comes when you realize, see what kind of love the father has given to us.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
(1 John 3:1 ESV)

My friends, that’s the key to giving of ourselves radically to discipleship to Jesus. This is the key to us living a self abandoned life that will serve Him, will not give the turkeys of life when it’s convenient, when it’s easy, when whatever I have left in my pocket or in my time I give to God. No, you’ll be like a John. You are so amazed by love that even if God calls you to enter the cauldron of boiling, you say, I will go, because I’ve seen and my heart is absolutely stunned and shocked and amazed and blessed and enthralled and thrilled, with the supreme indescribable love of God.

Time stamp in audio 0:37:15.9.

How’s your heart today? My friends, would you, would you have the Gospel saturate your life, would you read the Scriptures to see God’s love, would you read good books today about God’s love? Would you be with God saturated people and to share and to teach and to say to one another God, would you preach to yourself, God’s love, would you sing about His Majesty would you meditate, would you ponder, would you soaked yourself in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, would you do what John commands, See what kind of love.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
(1 John 3:1 ESV)

You want to be a lady that gives 23 year old frozen turkeys to God, or would you want to be like a John, who will give yourself to Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ gave Himself for you, behold what love, it begins right here.

Let’s bow for a word of prayer together. I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene and wonder how He could love me a sinner, condemned, unclean, how marvelous, how wonderful and my song shall ever be. Is that the song of your life, is that the language from your mouth, is that the direction of your discipleship, how marvelous, what kind, what country of love is this.

Maybe today you are having scars or struggles, or you sincerely desire closer discipleship to Jesus, you want to give your life for Him and though you theoretically say you want to but you never been able to. Maybe it’s because you’ve been trying too hard in your own strength, would you begin this morning and say, God would you help me to really behold, your love, not just this morning, but every day of my life. Then my Christian journey will be a work of wonder, of amazement that your love for me, that calvary would not become an old, old story, but it will be my story every day of my life.

My song is love unknown my Savior’s love for me, love to the loveless shown, that they might be lovely, what love to make You love me today, you lovely people would you love and would you live for you lovely Lord. Behold what love, there is healing, there’s comfort for your soul today. There is strength, there’s passion that can be ignited with God’s love today, wherever you are, would you come to God that we, that He will make you a lovely person, made in the image of Jesus Christ, beyond your scars, beyond your wounds, beyond your hurts. What a joy, what power and what grace.

Maybe today, are here and you say, I do not know this love. What can I do to get this love. Do I have to earn it? No, you don’t, you can’t, you never could deserve it. But this love is poured out to those who would repent and believe in Jesus Christ. So my friends, if you’re here today you do not know Jesus, I say to you, the Bible tells you to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. Because Jesus tells you, come unto me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest, because the Bible tells us, look unto me all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved. There is salvation, there is the offer, the genuine offer of God’s love for you today if you would turn and believe. Jesus loves you, for God so loved the world He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. May this be the day for you to repent and believe in Jesus Christ.

Father, we thank You for Your Word, we failed to really grasp Your love, You know it. And so we pray this morning that Your Spirit will take whatever has been taught and heard and received and drive it deep into our hearts, anchor it there that we will always live and serve from that foundation of amazing love. May our lives be radically transformed and loyal and given for You because You 1st loved us. We asked this in Jesus Name, Amen.

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