• Matt Beaney

#604 (19/5/22) JESUS IS OUR MODEL OF LOVE



‘Love… is not rude (does not dishonour others), it is not self-seeking…’ (13:5)

Our ultimate model of love is Christ. Christ shows us what God is like in His perfect love. Jesus was and is not rude or self-seeking. A Christian or church in which the Spirit is working will grow in Christ-like love.


If we worship, seek to know and learn about Christ, we will become less rude and self-seeking. However, if we give our minds to rude entertainment we will become less considerate. We are encouraged:

‘In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…’ (Philippians 2:5)

We do not model ourselves on successful celebrities, business leaders, characters on the screen, social media influencers… we are to seek the same mindset as Christ Jesus. We are not left in the dark as to what having the same mindset of Christ means:

‘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 2:6-8)

Jesus served the Father and us by going to the cross for sin. Self-giving love is to inform our definition of God and what it means to be like Him; Martin Luther wrote:

'The cross itself will be the foundation and criterion of all thought about God.' (Martin Luther)

In Jesus’ death we see the glory of God - His love and nature - like nowhere else. Here we see how we have been loved. However, the cross also informs us how we are to love others. William Klein wrote:

'The wisdom of the cross, by contrast, serves others, no matter how much it costs.' (Klein, William)

Jesus was not rude (dishonouring) and self-seeking. He did the will of His Father as He went to the cross. In the Garden of Gethsemane, as He approach His death, He prayed the ultimate unselfish prayer:

‘Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’ (Matthew 26:39)

RESPONSE

Jesus was not selfish! He lived every day of His earthly ministry with a ‘your will be done’ attitude. We are to imitate Christ’s unselfish love. How do we start? Surely, a great place to start would be to pray, regularly, His great unselfish prayer: ‘Yet not as I will, but as you will.’

 

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. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians, looking at the next two aspects of love.


Please read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7


last week we looked at how love 'does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.' These are poisonous to our relationships. This week, we are considering the next two facets: 'love is not rude or self-seeking'.


i. LOVE IS NOT RUDE

Rudeness is to speak and act unbecomingly. To behave shamefully often sexually.

It's Immodest and tempts others to sin with our appearance, words etc. Rudeness is commonplace. Modern programming is filled with expletives. Our screens give the message that sex is free, easy and without consequences.


ii. LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING

Self-seeking is to seek, search for, desire, require and demand our will. If we are self-seeking, we will inevitably be rude because we are inconsiderate of others.


Instead of being rude and self-seeking, we, like Christ, are to seek the best for others by using our spiritual gifts, our words etc. to build the local church.


Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) This section on love is about the correct use of spiritual gifts; how will avoiding rudeness and self-seeking ensure that we use our gifts in a healthy manner?

iii) In what ways are we to use our words in order to love others? Do you have any personal experience of this?

iv) Why is listening to others and seeking to understand them so important to love?

SIV - What effect will the avoidance of rudeness and self-seeking have on our witness?

SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.










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