July 24, 2022 – Matt Slove, Pastoral Resident
1 John 4:7-21
Message Big Idea – God is love. If we are His children, we should do love. As we love, He participates and brings His love to full expression through us. Love is an action verb that is rooted in the identity of our Father in Heaven and all He has done for us. Love is intentional to see the needs of people and initiates the first move to be a blessing.
- Take some time and share with each other: What are you grateful for today? What are you struggling with today?
- What is the most loving thing anyone has ever done for you?
- Read 1 John 4:7-21 (Read twice – ESV and either NLT or Message)
- Go around the group and briefly retell the passage in your own words.
- What word or phrase “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most? Why?
- Could an observer learn from the quality and degree of love that you show to others (wife, husband, family, neighbors, church attenders, work) anything at all about the greatness of God’s love to you?
- What loyalties does the culture promote and defend that divide a heart fully devoted to a love for God?
- Love is defined as the commitment to sacrifice a most treasured possession for the gain of another. What possessions do you treasure? What possessions is God asking you to sacrifice to love others?
- Intentional love requires attention. Make a list of the top 5 people in your life that you can pay close attention to. What would have to change if you intentionally met the needs of these five people on your list this week?
- You can’t accidentally love. God’s illustration of love is the cross. It is also his most transparent display of self-revelation. What would others say is your greatest illustration of love? What would you prefer it to be
Live It Out:
- Read the poem:
LOVE CONSTRAINING TO OBEDIENCE – William Cowper (1731-1800)
No strength of nature can suffice
To serve the Lord aright:
And what she has she misapplies,
For want of clearer light.
How long beneath the Law I lay
In bondage and distress;
I toiled the precept to obey,
But toiled without success.
Then, to abstain from outward sin
Was more than I could do;
Now, if I feel its power within,
I feel I hate it too.
Then all my servile works were done
A righteousness to raise;
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
I freely choose His ways.
What shall I do,’ was then the word,
‘That I may worthier grow?’
What shall I render to the Lord?’
Is my inquiry now.
To see the law by Christ fulfilled
And hear His pardoning voice,
Changes a slave into a child,
And duty into choice.
Davie Donald, The New Oxford Book of Christian Verse
(Oxford University Press, 1981), p. 195-196.
- Mark 10:21 “Jesus look at him and loved him”. Find someone to look at today. Really think of how to love that person. Initiate the first move to love.