• Matt Beaney

#246 – WITHOUT LOVE I AM NOTHING (30/11/20)


I’m sure that we all have characters in history that are heroes or heroines to us. But who are the truly great in God’s eyes? On Sunday, we saw how a disciple is learning to love like Jesus has loved us. True greatness is found in loving God and others. Therefore, let’s be energetic to learn about what love is from God’s perspective.


Readings and reflections

1. God makes it clear to us that love is to be paramount in our ambitions.

‘If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.’ (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

What are the three negative things that God says about people who are not motivated by love?

Spend a few minutes meditating and praying out of this challenging text.


2. Love is vital, therefore, it’s important that we are clear as to what it is. It’s not just doing good to people. Love is, firstly, loving God and then loving people in the ways that please God.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

With what are we to love God and what does this mean?

Take a moment to think and pray about Jesus’ summary of how we are to love others.


It’s so important to grasp that our love is not pleasing to God if we are not loving God as our priority. If we love people but fail to love God we are in idolatry and our love will lose its bearings.


Let’s pray today for our love

It’s vital that we learn and then do what Jesus’ teaches. Therefore, let’s Pray, asking the Holy Spirit, “How do you want me to love you and show your love today?”


To memorise this week

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)


To consider this week

Who are you praying for each day? Who, both inside and outside the church family, are you loving through faithful prayer each day?

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - DISCIPLES ARE LEARNING TO LOVE LIKE JESUS


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

When have you felt most loved in the last month and why?


Introduction - please share in your group

On Sunday we saw that a vital aspect of being a disciple of Jesus is that we learn to love like Jesus.

The main text for our message on Sunday, which is also our memory verse, was,

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Love is a command, it's not optional for Christians. Love, a word often distorted, is to be defined by how Jesus has loved us. Jesus has loved us by leaving heaven and going to the cross for sinners - Love, therefore, is giving our lives for the good of others, particularly those who don't deserve it.

Love toward our church family (and this community group) is to be marked by sacrifice. Our love for the lost is to be marked by a willingness to serve and share our faith.


Discussion questions

1. Would you like to share anything that struck you or something that God spoke to you about from Sunday's message or the devotionals this week?


2. Please read John 13:34-35 and discuss:

i) In what ways can we practically express the love of Jesus to our church family? (Let's try and list as many as we can).


3) Please read Matthew 9:35-38 and discuss:

i) What did Jesus feel about lost people and why?

ii) What is plentiful and what does this mean?

iii) What is lacking and why do you think this is?

iv) How can we demonstrate Jesus' love to our neighbours and friends outside the church?

v) Finally, Who are you planning to invite to our carol service on the 20th?






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