Church At Home
The Big Idea of this study is that love is more than thinking good thoughts about someone or something. It requires action. When we truly experience Jesus, we walk as he did.
Bob Goff wrote a wonderful little book a few years ago that caught my attention called Love Does. Bob is a lawyer and follower of Jesus. He has started a nonprofit that helps children who are in prison in underdeveloped countries get a fair trial. This series is based on a number of quotes found in his book that resonated with me. I have built this series around the quotes and have endeavoured to explore the Biblical values that they present.
In our text this week John is refuting a false claim by some teachers he has come across. While they were claiming to know God because of some kind of ecstatic experience with God, like a vision or mystical revelation, John maintains that if we really know God we will act like Jesus acted, or in his words, “walk like Him.” In particular, true believers will love their brothers and sisters in Christ and treat them as such. Loving behaviour is for John the acid test of truly knowing God. Everyone likes to be loved. Everyone likes to think about love and ponder the benefits of being in love, but followers of Jesus go beyond this to act in loving ways. Love does.
1. Have you ever caught yourself thinking about love but fall short of actually doing the loving thing?
2. Explain the difference between judging someone and discernment.
3. What is the most profound experience you have had with the Lord? These can be amazing and incredibly moving. John is not trying to depreciate these things but he is trying to put the emphases on our response to these kinds of encounters. Have you known people who have the big story about experiencing God but little follow-through in terms of love or “walking as Jesus did?” Why does this happen?
4. Discuss the idea that what John is saying is countercultural. Can you cite examples of how our culture puts such a huge value on individuality and personal freedom to determine truth?
6. How must we then live?
5. (Bonus Question for Keeners) Discuss how that second cultural shift in slide 10 (from goods produced at home to goods produced in factories) has affected raising and educating children and family values.
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