• Matt Beaney

#248 – LOVE LEAVES HEAVEN (2/12/20)


I’m sure that we all have experienced that feeling of not wanting to get out of bed when the alarm goes off. We really don’t want to leave our warm, comfortable bed. Leaving what we love for the love of God and others is a central part of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus who left heaven for us.


Readings and reflections

1. As we approach Christmas, we will be celebrating how Jesus left heaven to become a man for us.

“No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.”(John 3:13)
“And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (John 17:5)

How was Jesus’ leaving heaven an act of love?


1. Love is measured by what it loses for others.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:14)

What is Jesus’ identity revealed to be?

Do you ever allow your status/pride to stop you from doing tasks you feel are beneath you and what would Jesus’ example say about this?

Jesus, who was spirit from all eternity, took on ‘flesh’ for the rest of eternity for us. He identifies with us in the most profound way. Are we willing to leave what’s comfortable for us in order to serve those who are struggling or lost from Jesus?


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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