• Matt Beaney

#622 (14/6/22) LOVE ALWAYS TRUSTS



‘Love… always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.’ (1 Corinthians 13:7-8a)

What does it mean that love always trusts? Does it mean that we are to believe whatever someone says to us? Does it mean that we cannot mistrust anyone? Surely not! To trust without judgement is foolish and will lead us into all sorts of trouble. Rather, this is about trusting God. Our desire to keep loving people, particularly those who cause us despair, requires that we have faith in God for them.


DO WE TRUST THAT JESUS IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD?

If we are going to respond to The Parable of the Lost Sheep, that we looked at yesterday, we need to trust in God; why would we go to that lost sheep through persevering prayer, hard conversations and in giving our time to people if we didn’t believe that the Good Shepherd - Jesus- was able to work through our poor efforts? Jesus says of Himself:

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10:14-16)

RESPONSE

Firstly, love for God always trusts; worship and love for God means that we trust - have faith- in Him. Can we say that we trust Him for all of the circumstances of our lives? Do we know Him as our Good Shepherd? May our love for him ‘always trust’.


Secondly, Love for others requires that we always trust. Let’s ensure that we pray for those who are ‘straying’. Let’s ensure that we remember that it’s God who can restore them. May all of our efforts be fuelled by trust in God as the Good Shepherd.

 

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 aspect of love.


Please read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7


Last week we looked at how 'Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.' This week, we are considering the next attributes of Christian love: ‘Love… always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.’ (1 Corinthians 13:7-8a)


On Sunday, Jem told of an incident when, as they approached the beach, a younger member of his family, overcome with excitement, ran away and toward the sea. Jem - being the hero that he is! - dropped everything and pursued and ‘rescued’ him from potential danger. These final aspects of love are around the theme of protecting those that we love.


THE LOST SHEEP

The Parable of the Lost Sheep is a perfect illustration of what it means to always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere and never fail in our love.


Please read Matthew 15:1-7


Jesus is the perfect Good Shepherd. He left heaven and sacrificed so much in order to find each of us - we were the 'one'!


Like Jesus, we are to seek to love like him. Our love is to always:

i. Protect - We seek to bring the lost and those who are struggline back to Jesus and truth.


ii. Trusts and hopes and perseveres - We will be enabled to persevere if we trust and hope in God; our faith that God can change the person we are seeking to help will keep us from despairing and giving up on them.


Discussion questions

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

ii) What does The Parable of the Lost Sheep teach us about God's love for us?

iii) What does The Parable of the Lost Sheep teach us about how we are to love others?

iv) How do 'trust' and 'hope' keep our love from 'failing'?

v) Do you have experence of someone being like a good shepherd to you?

SIV - What effect will having love that 'always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres and never fails' 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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