• Matt Beaney

#605 (20/5/22) LOVE SEEKS THE BEST FOR OTHER



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

The two ‘anti-love’ characteristics that we have been looking at this week - ‘rudeness’ and ‘self-seeking’ - are about self-service; people who are inconsiderate of others will be rude and self-seeking. The reverse of these two anti-love characteristics is to invest ourselves in others; We are to positively seek the welfare of others in the church and more broadly.


WE ALL SERVE OURSELVES

We are all ‘rude and self-seeking’ in different ways. Our ‘flesh’ - sin that remains in us - wants us to serve ourselves rather than God and others. This is a fight that remains throughout our lives. If we are not actively seeking to crush selfishness, it will grow like a weed in our lives. Our time, talents and treasures will become invested in ourselves and our self-interests. Paul writes of these last days - and we are all susceptible and infected by these traits:

‘But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…’ (1 Timothy 3:1-4)

HOW CAN WE INVEST IN OTHERS?

Agapé love means to give ourselves for the good of others regardless of their merit and regardless of our feelings. This is quite something! This is a high and difficult appointment that the Holy Spirit will help us with. Let us prayerfully consider how we can invest ourselves through:

  • Our speaking

  • Praying for others

  • Serving needs

  • Serving in the local church

  • Using our spiritual gifts

  • Rejoicing and mourning with people

  • Showing hospitality

  • Listening and seeking to understand

  • Going the extra mile at work

  • Etc.

Peter summarises the way that we should invest in others:

'Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’ (1 Peter 4:10)
 

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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