Sun, Jan 26, 2014

Sacrificial Love on Display

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  1. Essential characteristics of authentic love.
    1. True love is sacrificial love (verse 16). Phil 2:5.
    2. True love is attentive (verse 17a).
    3. True love is emotionally responsive to need (verse17b).
    4. True love is a channel for God’s love (verse 17c).
    5. True love pushes beyond good intentions and nice words to action and truth (verse18).
  2. Challenges to loving well. Interview with Ken R.
    1. Not seeing the need.
    2. Responding out of our need not other’s needs.
    3. No heart response to need.
  3. How can we love that way?
    1. Meals.
    2. Helps / Moving.
    3. Benevolence.
    4. Presence and prayer.
    5. Community.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Why does true love need to sacrifice? Is true love inherently reciprocal? What is the difference between enabling love and sacrificial love?
  2. Is distraction a sign of lack of love? Is not noticing what we should a form of disrespect? What distracts you from seeing other’s needs?
  3. Have you ever felt so much sympathy that your guts were turning? If so what were the circumstances? How do you respond when you see people hurting?
  4. When we talk about being God’s hands and feet what does that mean? Is it our love or God’s? Can God give us a love we don’t have on our own? In that case whose love is it?
    Have you ever felt the love of God abiding in you toward someone? Was it clear to you at the moment that this is not me?
  5. Have you ever received offers of help but you could tell if the offers were not genuine? Why do people offer help that they don’t follow through on? Do they fell pressure in the movement to say the right thing but don’t actually have a plan to do it? Or is it speaking with our thinking? Can you remember offering help but then you didn’t follow through? Did it hurt a relationship?
    Should we simply discount statements like that and not take them seriously?
  6. How are you doing with seeing need? What do you notice? Are you as likely to see a need as you are a car or house? How do we avoid having people in need not just become scenery in our city?
    What does what we notice say about our values? Have you ever noticed we tend to notice what we value?
  7. Why do many people have strong preferences about how they engage the poor? Is serving the way we want to serve really serving? Can a sacrificial servant stand on their preferences?
  8. What should we do if we don’t feel anything when we see our brother or sister in need? Do our feelings produce action or do our feelings follow our actions? Which comes first? Hands then heart or heart then hands?
  9. What practical ways to engage those in need seem to fit your life the best? Which of the practical ways offered fit and which have you never done?
    What other practical ways to express authentic love to those in need can you think of?
    What keeps you from obedience?

 

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