Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 11/07/17

Love "Othering"


STORY: Showered by Love

Just a few weeks after enduring Hurricane Harvey, I traveled to New Auburn, Wisconsin to lead a WordGirls Getaway. Even though I was there to encourage writers, they ended up showing such sweet love to me. You see, it rained almost the whole time. And these thoughtful ladies watched over me for any signs of PTSD—concerned the rain would trigger flashbacks of Harvey. Because of having such a loving setting, despite working 12-hour days, the rain relaxed me rather than causing stress. These WordGirls showered me with love, through their gifts, the way they looked out for me, and their helpfulness. Today I choose to practice othering by showering someone with Jesus-y love.

STUDY: Love One Another

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. (John 13:34-35 NLT)

  • The Law of the Old Testament provided structure for living and loving God. In the New Testament, Jesus adds a new focus of grace. With that comes a new commandment. What is it?
  • How are we to love each other?
  • What is the result of our love for one another? (Perhaps this verse was the inspiration for the song lyric that says “they will know we are Christians by our love.”)

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:12, 17 NLT)

  • Whose command is it to love one another?
  • How has Jesus loved you?

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (Romans 12:10 NLT)

  • What are two ways we can show love to each other?
  • How can we take delight when we honor others?

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. (Romans 13:8 NLT)

  • What do we owe others?
  • What does it mean to be obligated to love others?
  • What fulfills the requirements of God’s law?

And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. (1 Thessalonians 3:12 NLT)

  • What does Paul pray the Lord does with their love?
  • What is an example of growing love?
  • What is an example of overflowing love?

But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another. (1 Thessalonians 4:9 NLT)

  • In the same letter to the Thessalonians as the verses mentioned above, Paul goes on to show the importance of loving each other. Why do you think it is important?
  • How has God taught us to love one another?

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. (1 Peter 3:8 NLT)

  • What are the five verb phrases mentioned in this note?
  • Why do you think these actions are important to Peter as he writes the believers in Asia Minor?

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8 NLT)

  • In the same epistle as the previous verse, Peter emphasizes what?
  • How do we show deep love for others?
  • According to the end of this verse, what does love do? How do you think it accomplishes that?

And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. (1 John 3:23 NLT)

  • In this passage, John expands on the command. What does he say is necessary?
  • What does believing in Jesus Christ as God’s son have to do with loving one another?

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7 NLT)

  • Where does love come from?
  • What is an evidence of being a child of God?

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. (1 John 4:11-12 NLT)

  • How much did God love us?
  • How will others see God?
  • What empowers us to love each other?
  • What do you think it means for God’s love to be brought to full expression in us?

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. (1 John 3:11 NLT)

I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. 2 John 1:5

  • Even though John wrote often about loving one another, yet again in this second epistle, he reminds them of it again.
  • He says it’s not really a new commandment. When did it come to be?
  • Think back to all the love messages in the gospel of John and the three epistles from John. Why do you think love is a key theme for John? What was he known for, regarding his relation to Jesus?

STEPS: Sacrificial Love

We are to love others as Jesus loved us—sacrificially. How will you do that? Sacrifice something of value to you.

  1. Give time. Give of your time to someone who needs you to “do life” with them.
  2. Give finances. Look for a need you can meet, even if it’s a $10 gift card, given to offer encouragement to someone going through a tough time.
  3. Listen to them. Who needs you to truly hear them this week? Show love by not rehearsing your next words while they are talking—instead focus on what they are saying.

Copyright © 2017 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.

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