Read 1 Corinthians 13. What part of this text speaks most personally to you?
Specifically, how is the kind of love described in Scripture different from the love of this world?
Read Jesus words as recorded in Mark 12.28-31, John 13.34-35, John 15.9-17, Matthew 5.43-48, John 14.15-21 and answer the following questions:
- Who is your neighbor?
- Who are your enemies?
- How does Jesus teach us to love both?
In your own words, describe how you “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and will all your strength.”
Jesus says “as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.” Describe the love of the Father for the Son.
In response to the answer above, how then does Jesus love you?
What’s the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of each believer? How do you sense the Spirit at work in you?
Read Philippians 2.5-8. In what ways does this text evoke worship and give you hope?
Jesus said to Peter, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” Matthew 16.18. What does this statement mean for the Church today? What does it mean for Sanctuary?
Read Galatians 5.1, 13-26. What’s the primary difference between sowing to the flesh and sowing to the Spirit? Describe a time when you sowed to the flesh? What was the outcome of that season? Conversely, describe a time when you sowed to the Spirit? What was the outcome of that season?
Read 1 Corinthians 12.24-26. How do you see a part of our body suffering? How might you “suffer with those who are suffering?”
Read and reflect on the words of Timothy Tennent, “Biblical love is not like the wavering flood of emotion that overtakes humans in some romantic surge; the love that God defines is a resolute disposition that acts on behalf of another, and does so relentlessly and redemptively. “
In response to the challenge in Sunday’s message, how are you taking one relentless and redemptive step on behalf of another?
In our world today, how do you sense “hell prevailing?”
What’s the job of the Church as it relates to hell? How do we “put hell out of business?”
How might your faith be expressed through love today?
Read, reflect and then pray the Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.