Lord, Change My Attitude Before It’s Too Late – Week 8 Love

August 14, 2004

I.  God Expects Us to Demonstrate Love to Others

Q: Why?  -- because He is a God of love and He demonstrated love to us first (modeled it!)

-  This particular lesson is a good one to end on because learning to love people is the 2ndgreatest commandment

  • Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' 38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'

Q:  Is this commandment all-inclusive?  – i.e. does it require that we love EVERYBODY?

Yes – explain loving even your enemies [Matthew 5:44]

[Read 1 Cor. 13]

- There are 3 different Greek words for love

1)  eros (sensual love) /

2)  phileo (brotherly love) . . .

3)  The most common agapa = selfless love, giving love, an act of the will or a choice I make

Love” = giving to others needs without having as my motive personal reward (unconditional)

>  The love of 1 Cor. 13 is agapa – showing love for the glory of God! (right opinion of God)

Note:  Look at what Paul compares genuine love to in the text

Input: Complete this phrase:  Love is more important than __________.

> Speaking with the tongues of men and angels (i.e. this is NOT a specific language of the angels, but the fact that they were divine messengers for God, even if he spoke that way, yet don’t have love, it’s worthless!)

[Read p. 22 last paragraph before “Another Barrier”]

more important than v. 2

more important than v. 3 – giving all my possessions to feed the poor, or my body to be burned

Point: You can talk, talk, talk, and be BUSY – but fail to love God and love people!

[discuss the issue of loving people and reaching out to them]

Q: How, where, and when can this be done?

* Mention HOME FELLOWSHIP August 29th

* Mention CHURCH FAMILY NIGHTS

* Mention greeting people before / after church – in the lobby

* Mention INTRO TO FAITH

Input: What has to happen first before we’ll show love this way?

> we’ll never do that if we don’t grow in our love for Him

**Share ABF stats [see handout at the end of lesson] – Q:  What does that tell you about our ABFs being an assimilation and discipleship tool?

II. What Does Love Look Like?

- we don’t’ have time to do a detailed study of each one of these, but let’s at least touch base and consider each one that Paul mentions:

love is patient - * “macrothumeo” = long fused > long tempered/not quick to get angry

  • negatively -- not getting sinfully angry
  • positively -- enduring the failures and/or offenses of others

>  God’s answer for impatience is love – God’s love is the exact opposite of impatience

1) It focuses on the welfare of others!

2) It is more willing to be taken advantage of than to take advantage! – Romans 12:17-21

love is kind

  • useful, gracious >> opposite of severity, harshness, cruelty
  •   Kindness is active servanthood.

- it not only wants to do something, but kindness DOES something

love is not jealous = to set one's heart on something (it could overlap with coveting (Jas 4.2)

> jealousy is more wanting what somebody else has 

> coveting is more wanting what somebody else has and wishing they didn’t have it!

love does not brag = root word -- vainglorious

  • be conceited
  • to parade one’s self before others

Point:  Biblical love refuses to “show off” or speak of personal achievements, qualities

love is not arrogant= root word – bellows

>  puff one’s self out (like bellows)

Point:  Biblical love is characterized by HUMILITY

  • not referring to “false humility” (just looking down on yourself)
  • but REGOGNIZING THAT GOD AND OTHERS ARE ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACHIEVEMENTS IN MY LIFE

love does not act unbecomingly= lit. deformed, ugly

- the word means to behave improperly or indecently

  • Negative:  act improperly, to be rude, behave disgracefully, dishonorably (1Co 7:36; [1]
  • Positive:  proper, courteous; does the right things at the right time

Point:  Love does not act uncharacteristic of a gentleman or a lady!

* Summarize the rest – note “believing all things” is giving the benefit of the doubt, giving the best interpretation until all the facts are in (apply this to a judgmental attitude toward others)

Input: Which one do you struggle with most?



[1]
Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.