1. Review

Last week was Christian Community part one. The following is Danny’s review:

I would like to highlight a few of the points from last week for those who weren’t here:

  • Community, was Gods idea right from the very start.

God wants and desires each of us to be an integral part of His community – the Christian community.
We have a record of the New Testament church found in Acts 2, where they devoted themselves to:

  • Joining with the others believers. (unity)
  • The apostles teaching.
  • Fellowship with each other.
  • Remembering the Lord in communion.
  • And to prayer.

And as a result of this, they had a heart transformation.

Their love for God and man entwined, because the Holy Spirit was transforming them from the inside out, into the individuals and collective church that He wanted them to be. And as a result:

  • The shared what they had – time, food, possessions and money.
  • They gave to those in need.
  • They worshipped and gave thanks to God together.
  • Met in each other’s homes for a meal, remembering what Jesus had done for each of them – with great joy and generosity.

Committed everything to God in prayer, which was the underlying foundation of all that they did.
Can you imagine, what that church must have looked like? People could actually feel the love, because it was the real deal. That is when church changes from a place to a community. When people know that they are loved, by not only our words but more importantly by our actions .That is the kind of church God wants us to be

And for church to be like that, we as the individuals need the heart transformation. Because we as the individuals are the church – it’s not the building, nor the programs, not the service – but us the people.

2. Introduction

What is ‘Love’? Write down your definition of ‘Love’ in the context of the “Christian Community. Can there be different kinds of love between people? What about out there in the world, is it different?

3. The Value of Love

Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. What insights does Paul give to the value of living with or without love?
What is it about love and why does love make a difference to doing the things mentioned in the above passage?

Discuss in your group the following:

Our society confuses love and lust. Unlike lust God’s kind of love is directed outward toward others, not inward toward ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This kind of love goes against our natural inclinations. It is impossible to have this love unless God helps us set aside our own natural desires so we can love and not expect anything in return.

Taken from ‘Life application Study Bible’.

4. The Source of True Love

Read the following: 1 John 4:7-8, 16. Is there a difference between ‘God is love’ and God doing loving things’? If so what is it?
Discuss the following:

Volumes have been written about the characteristics of God, but when it is distilled to the most basic categories, He is love (1 John 4:8), life (Jeremiah 10:10; Revelation 22:1), and holiness (Psalms 99:9). And in reality, His life and holiness are based upon and are an expression of His love: love gives, so He gives life; love desires the best, so holiness proceeds from Him.

Love is not something he chooses to do or give. It is the very essence of who He is. He doesn’t just love-He is love (1 John 4:16). It motivates His every action, directs His activities, and reflects His desires (1 John 4:10). Love is the greatest and purest essence of who a person is and its proper expression brings fulfilment. Read more on this here.

5. Rely on the Holy Spirit

Read Galatians 5:22-23. What does Paul mean when he uses the word ‘fruit of the Spirit’ compared with Galatians 5:19 ‘work of the flesh’ (rsv.), ‘Acts of the sinful nature’ (niv.), ‘following the desires of your sinful nature’ (nlt.)? What is the difference between the two?
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and discuss the following

Everyone believes love is important, but love is usually thought of as a feeling. In reality, love is a choice and an action as 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 shows. God is the source of our love: He loved us enough to sacrifice His Son for us. Jesus is our example of what it means to love: everything He did in life and death was supremely loving. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to love: he lives in our hearts and makes us more and more like Christ. God’s love always involves a choice and an action, and our love should be like His. How well do you display your love for God in the choices you make and the actions you take?

6. Love in Action

How is love demonstrated in the following?

  • Mark 6:30-32.
  • Mark 6:33-43.
  • Luke 10:29-37.
  • James 1:27.
  • John 13:12-15.
  • 2 Corinthians 8:1-5.
  • John 8:1-11.

Romans 12:17-21.
Consider and discuss Danny’s examples of showing love at churchatpv.

How can we show love to each other with our actions?

  1. Embrace everybody (love every single person, regardless of what you may actually think of them – they may smell different to you, come from a different social, ethical or cultural background)
  2. Give people time to talk and then listen (God has given us 2 ears and 1 mouth in that ratio for a very good reason)
  3. Include others (in an outing, the movies, camping, going on an errand) rather than sitting in the same old group in the café, invite others to join you – don’t be a clique.
  4. Sit in another spot in the church or café (if you see someone sitting by themselves invite them to sit with you (strangers are only friends you haven’t met yet)
  5. Look for ways to create community – not isolation (look for people who are by themselves and go have a chat to them – I bet they are as nervous as you)
  6. Live life with others, be empathetic to where people are at in their lives, walk with them in their life’s journey.
  7. Stop being so selfish and focussing on ourselves, other people have tough lives as well – they just might not tell everyone about it.
  8. Hospitality, invite people for a meal, or a cuppa – it doesn’t have to be fancy
  9. Invite people to your bible study group – it should not be ‘clicky’, be inclusive, spread the love.
  10. Look at ways to mentor and encourage another person.
  11. Go and see or call people who are sick or are too frail to come to church – they would love to talk to someone.
  12. Choose to love, regardless how you actually feel and ask the Holy Spirit to change you from the inside out (you don’t have a wash before taking a shower)
    Friends, brothers and sisters, we are each called to serve each other in love.


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