• Matt Beaney

#592 (3/5/22) LOVE IS…

Updated: May 4




Love is one of those terms that needs to be defined. It’s often used to mean whatever we want it to mean. Too many of us are like someone who decorates a house without asking the owner what colour they would like! John Lennon in one of his songs defined it:

“Love is real, real is love. Love is feeling, feeling love. Love is wanting to be loved. Love is touch, touch is love. Love is reaching, reaching love. Love is asking to be loved. Love is you, you and me. Love is knowing we can be. Love is free, free is love. Love is living, living love. Love is needing to be loved” (Lennon, Love)

I’m sure that it's not just when that finds this kind of definition very obscure and impractical. We are told later in this book to “Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14). We are to ‘paint every room’ of our lives in love, but do we know what this means? We are told,

‘Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.’ (1 Corinthians 12:31)

God want to ’show you the most excellent way’ of love. He wants to teach us from His word. He defines Love as:


‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

As we saw yesterday: without love we are nothing! However, we must not be presumptuous about what love is. We must humble ourselves and allow our Father to show us this most excellent way!


RESPONSE

God’s word teaches us what love is. Our definitions do not come from the dictionary, our feelings, our experiences, our preferences, our culture, romantic films… We must allow God to reshape our minds on this subject. Paul sets us an example of prayer on this subject:

‘And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.’ (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Why not take a moment to pray that God would open your mind and heart, and that of your church, to His love. Pray that we would both experience, know and show the kind of love that we see in 1 Corinthians 13.

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

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

 

2. Icebreaker

Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?

 

3. SIV WEEK

This week is SIV (Serve, Invest and Invite) week and so we will focus on this together.


On Sunday, we began our study on 1 Corinthians 13. We saw how vital love is. Love is to be the motive for seeking to have and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit; without the motive of love, all of our use of the gifts of the Spirit is 'nothing'. We read,

'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. Love is patient, love is kind...' (1 Corinthians 13:1-4)

THIS WEEK IS SIV (SERVE INVEST AND INVITE) WEEK.

Let's spend this time sharing, thinking and praying about how God wants to work through us to help our communities to come to Jesus.


i) How would using the gifts of the Holy Spirit in love make us more effective in reaching our community with the gospel?

ii) How can we grow in greater love for our community outside of the church?

iii) Do you have any encouraging stories since our last SIV week?

iv) Do you have any plans for how you plan to serve, invest and invite in the places and people that God has given to you? Why not make a note so that you can pray and hold yourself accountable?

v) Are you planning to do anything together as a group?

vi) Let's pray for ourselves and our community together. Let's pray for the particular people that God is putting on your heart. Let's pray for the Holy Spirit to empower and direct us in how to Serve, Invest and Invite.










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