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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#249 – LOVE CARRIES A CROSS (3/12/20)

Our memory verse this week reminds us that our love is to be modelled on Jesus; He said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”. To love like Jesus is to be willing to go to the cross like Jesus. Love is a willingness to sacrifice. Carrying the cross, as Jesus commands us, is a commitment to live for Jesus in everything; this is made real in the many, sometimes painful, decisions that we make throughout the day.

Readings and reflections

1. To love is to always be carrying a cross.

‘Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”’ (Matthew 16:24-25)

What two things must a disciple do?

Who are those that find life?

The carrying of the cross means that we ‘deny’ ourselves and ‘lose’ our life; this is about total surrender to Jesus even if it costs us our lives! Take some time to meditate and pray from this text. Are there small or large compromises that you need to nail to your cross?

2. An incredible text regarding Jesus’ sacrificial love is Philippians 2,

‘In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!’ (Philippians 2:5-8)

What attitude are we to adopt in our relationships?

Who was Jesus and how was His love expressed?

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?




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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