Love is the glue that holds us together.
Discuss some of the ways love holds your small group together.
This weekend, Pastor Chris continued in our series, Love is ___, with pointing out that we all desire to be loved. This is true both inside and outside the church. In reading the Bible, there is love on almost every page because God is Love! Pastor shared how the transforming power of the Holy Spirit radically changed him from a person who could neither give nor receive love to a Christ follower that freely loved others, even those who had harmed him greatly. He emphasized that love is “standard issue equipment” for believers and that when Jesus talked about the love of many growing cold in the last days (Matthew 24:12), He was not referring to the believers. Pastor challenged us to create a culture of love at Faith Promise Church- we need to be saturated with love not only at every campus but in every small group. Love is a command by Jesus, and it is a comittment and a choice. An easy way to start loving is to give honor to everyone. Love is the glue that holds us together, and honor is the gravity of the kingdom. Jesus loved those who hated Him, betrayed Him, denied Him, tortured Him and killed Him. In our strength this is not always possible. Ask God to give you love for others, to give you His heart for them and fill you with His Spirit.
Read John 13:34-35.
1. Why do you think Jesus referred to this as a “new” command when Loving others was already a concept seen in the Old Testament? (See Leviticus 19:18)
2. Jesus says that our Christlike love will show we are His disciples. In what way does your small group show that you are His? Discuss areas where you can improve. How about on the individual level? Ask God to give you His heart and fill you with His Spirit for those people in your life that are difficult to love.
Read 1 Corinthians 13:1.
3. 1 Corinthians 12 discusses unity in the body of Christ as well as the diversity as evidenced by the gifts of the Spirit. In chapter 13, Paul points out that spiritual gifts, no matter how exciting and wonderful, are useless and even destructive if they are not ministered in love. With regard to the first verse, describe how our “Christian language” can sound like just loud noise? Can you share a time in your life when you sounded like a clanging gong or a cymbal?
Read 1 Corinthians 13:2.
4. In the first part of the verse regarding the gift of prophecy and knowing all mysteries and all knowledge, how could sharing these gifts without love look? How would faith without love look?
Read 1 Corinthians 13:3.
5. Discuss what great personal sacrifice looks like without love.
6. How would all of these situations appear to the unbeliever?
7. In summary, for any spiritual gift to be effective it must be accompanied by _____.
Read I John 4:20-21.
8. Is this verse difficult for you? It is easy not love some people, but not all. Discuss ways that you can love those who are difficult to love.
9. Verse 20 starts with “if someone says”. This phrase means a warning is coming against pretending. Christians can fall in the trap of wanting to impress others with their “spirituality”, but this can turn us into liars. What steps should one take to achieve spiritual honesty?
Read 1 Corinthians 14:1.
10. In the first part of this verse, Paul commands us to pursue love. This indicates that love is a choice. What choices can you make that pursue love for others rather than self interest or apathy?