• Matt Beaney

#625 (17/6/22) LOVE NEVER FAILS



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

Sometimes I will go and visit certain coastal cliff paths only to find that erosion has meant that they are very different from my last visit. Routes which I’ve enjoyed are now fallen into the sea or too dangerous to use. Sometimes, near these routes, you can see houses fallen or close to falling into the sea. Our love can be like this. We can lose love for people. Once close friends can become distant through conflict or neglect of the relationship. God’s love, it’s good to know, never fails.


‘Fails’ (piptó) Could be translated as ‘falls’ ‘fall down’ or ‘ends’. We see this idea expressed in Jesus’ teaching regarding the houses built on the sand or rock:

‘Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall (the same word used here), because it had its foundation on the rock.’ (Matthew 7:24-25)

True Christian love: that which is birthed by the Spirit in our hearts. Will never, no matter the storms, fall down. Christians will persevere in loving God and others. Love never ‘falls down’.


RESPONSE

Love never fails or falls down. God’s love for us stands against all of our failures and demonic accusation. Our love is to be like this. Our love is not to crumble and fall down. Our love for God and others is to stand against all storms. How are we to do this? Well, the answer is given in Matthew 7: let’s build our lives on the rock of Jesus’ teaching.

 

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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