Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on October 18, 2020
Passage: 1 John 3:11-19
This Sunday, Mike continued our journey through the book of 1 John by describing the kind of love that genuine followers of Jesus will display in their lives.
Looking back at your notes from Sunday’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time, caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Who is one of the most loving people you know? How do they show their love to you and others?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenged a number of the common teachings of the day on such topics as prayer, anger, divorce, and love. In Matthew 5:43-48, what misconceptions about love did Jesus address?
Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT2)
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
- What motivations do you see in this passage for loving others?
- What do you think it looks like in real life to love your enemy?
2. There are times when loving someone means exercising “tough love” – doing what is best for them even when they may not like it or appreciate it. The Apostle Paul had a personal “tough love” encounter with another great Christian, the Apostle Peter, in Galatians 2:11-14. After reading the passage, answer the following questions.
Galatians 2:11-14 (NLT2)
11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. 12 When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. 13 As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions?
- How does it strike you that these two “pillars of faith” would be involved in such an encounter?
- What could have been some unintended consequences if Paul had simply ignored Peter’s actions?
- How does the following passage help you decide when love calls for going the extra mile or drawing the boundaries of “tough love”?
2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 (NLT2)
10 Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” 11 Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. 12 We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. 13 As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. 14 Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. 15 Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister.
3. Wherever Jesus went, crowds flocked to Him. His response to these crowds earned Him the reputation of not only being a miracle worker but also a friend of sinners and outcasts. What do you notice about Jesus’ response to people in Matthew 9:9-13 and Luke 7:36-39?
Matthew 9:9-13 (NLT2)
9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. 10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” 12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
Luke 7:36-39 (NLT2)
36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. 37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”
- In our culture, do you think Jesus is still thought of as a friend of sinners? Why or why not?
- What are one or two practical ways we, as Christians, could show His love in such a way that people are attracted to Jesus, the One who truly loves them?
- Can you think of any things we should stop doing?
TAKE IT HOME
1. Think and reflect for a few moments on the level of priority you’ve given to loving people in your life recently. Have you given it the priority it deserves?
Do you think you need to make any changes? If so, what are they?
2. Is there a situation in your life requiring “tough love” that you would like prayer for?