The following is my notes of Michael Lopes “Discover” message at George Washington University
Bear Bryant was out shooting ducks for 3 hours and after missing a duck he looked over at John McCay an says, “Look there is a miracle. A flying dead duck.”
Bryant had confidence in himself but how do we have confidence in God?
I was a rebellious child and God was not spoken of in our home until I did something wrong. My Dad would say, “Son, you know that God knows what you did.” No matter what I said I was going to be grounded.
My parents never granted my requests when I was grounded.
What is the connection between prayer and our confidence before God? I want you to know the confidence we have in approaching God in prayer. That is my topic for tonight.
1 John 3:16-22
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. (1 John 3:16-22)
How do we know we are of the truth?
It could be your heart is condemning you today. Our hearts condemn us when we sin. On top of that we have Satan condemning us.
If this true, then how do you persuade your heart.
John gives 3 reasons why we should have confidence before God.
1. We Know The Love of God Who Laid Down His Life
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16)
True love is laying down your life. Do you know this love? Is it personal?
We have all sinned. We are going to stand before a king one day and he will judge us. But God came down. He gave himself for us. He lived a sinless life. He died a sinners death and rose again.
The first way we know God’s love is an objective fact. Do you know this love?
How do you know that God loves you? Would it be this answer John gives here?
If you are a Christian than repent of your sins of loving yourself and see that Christ has laid down his life for us.
Praise God he did not leave assurance up to our feelings but objective facts.
2. God Is Greater Than Our Heart
for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart” (1 John 3:20)
God is not bound by how you feel. His mercy is greater than any mercy we would give ourselves.
3.He Will Not Change His Mind About You
he knows everything. (1 John 3:20)
How is this comforting? He knows all and sees all?
He knows not only all your sin today, yesterday, and tomorrow but he also knows all that Jesus did for you. He also knows your future glory in heaven.
Thank God he is never surprised by your sin and will never change his mind about you.
He knows all is comforting for a Christian, but discomforting for those who are apart from Christ.
Let your heart be persuaded by the love of Christ.
So then this should lead you to confidently pray like a son approaching a father and not like a convict approaching a judge.
How can whatever your doing this summer be saturated with prayer? Pray about joining a church. Pray about evangelism opportunities. Pray for a deep communion with Christ.