Date: June 4, 2017
Title: Love Like Christ
The Point: Base every relationship on the unconditional love of Christ.
Get Into the Study
The following is an alternate illustration and Question 1 to begin your session.
In March, the movie Beauty and the Beast came out in live action. This was an event many people anticipated. The story line is simple and is based on two people, from different worlds, learning to love each other. The most unlikely of characters, an independent young woman with a love for adventure and a lonely, cold-hearted man, whose selfishness got him isolated from the world, eventually become friends and fall in love. The baseline for the plot is Belle’s ability to see past the outside beast and into his heart. She chose to love him when many would be scared.
This week we are talking about loving others and abiding in Christ’s love. As your group gathers ask: “Without naming names, what are some characteristics of ‘beastly’ people in our lives? How can we love them?” This could be as simple as saying “hello,” grabbing coffee together, listening about a work project, making play dates with their kids, jumping into a pickup game of basketball, and so much more. Allow time for discussion.
Use your discussion of Beauty and the Beast and your discussion of loving even “beastly” people in our lives as you jump into John 15.
Dr. Beth Masters works with college students at Mississippi College where she is the Director of Christian Life and Ministries. She has a PhD in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Beth loves young adults, baking, and coffee.
Study the Bible
Use the following to supplement your group’s engagement with John 15:12-13 and Question #3.
Martin Scorsese’s film Silence was recently released on DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming. Silence, based on the book by Shusaku Endo, follows two Jesuit priests in 17th Century Japan. It tells the story of the persecution and execution faced by Christians in Japan at that time. The film itself is an interesting choice for Scorsese — an acclaimed director whose films typically have a larger and more diverse audience than those produced by Christian movie studios.
Many non-Christian viewers may wonder why the characters in this film would risk torture and even death to share and practice their faith. As Christians, the scenarios presented in the film may seem archaic, but as a recent report from the International Missions Board shows, there are areas all over the world where speaking out for Christianity or against a specific state religion still brings the penalty of death.
Ask: Why would Christians knowingly put themselves in danger by entering these places? How does this impact your answer Question #3 from the Personal Study Guide: “What does it look like to love others the way Jesus loves us?”
Nikki Wilbanks is a stay-at- home mom, writer, Bible study leader, and commercial real estate appraiser/investor. She graduated from Pepperdine University and lives with her husband and two children in Murfreesboro, TN.
- When is technology a barrier to family closeness?
- What are some key ingredients to healthy relationships?
- When did someone go the extra mile for you?
- What does it look like to remain in Jesus love?
- What is the link between love and obedience?
- How does obeying God’s commands demonstrate our love for Him?
- How is obedience a source of joy?
- What does it look like to lay down our lives for one another?
- What does it look like to love others the way Jesus loves us?
- When has someone expressed Christ-like love to you?
- What makes Christ command so hard to live out?
- In what ways can our demonstrations of love for others be a tangible representation of our love for Christ?
- What often hinders us from from obeying Jesus commands in these verses?
- What is produced in our lives when we love as Christ commands us?
- What do you think the church would look like if we obeyed Jesus and loved each other well?
- What does it mean to be a friend of Jesus?
- What is the fruit Jesus wants us to bear?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: When Social Networks Become Anti-Social
Here’s a brief five-minute teaching video about this session: Session 1 Video