Level Up: Level Up Love
Family Meal Discussion
Greeting + Meal
Take the first 45 minutes to gather into the home, share some food, listen to each other.
Transition from the dining table to a more relaxed area, like the living room, if possible.
This weeks story to share:
*Taken from 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, 1 Samuel, & Matthew
Looking trough the stories and letters of the Men that followed Jesus, we see how we need to level up in our way we love one another.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! (1 Corinthians 13:12 MSG)
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 MSG)
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified. (Galatians 5:23-24 MSG)
When we look into the history of the Hebrew King David and how important his friendship with Jonathan was, we see what true brotherly love is.
By the time David had finished reporting to Saul, Jonathan was deeply impressed with David—an immediate bond was forged between them. He became totally committed to David. From that point on he would be David’s number-one advocate and friend. Saul received David into his own household that day, no more to return to the home of his father. Jonathan, out of his deep love for David, made a covenant with him. He formalized it with solemn gifts: his own royal robe and weapons—armor, sword, bow, and belt. (1 Samuel 18:1-4 MSG)
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. (Matthew 5:43-47 MSG)
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.(1 Corinthians 13:3-11)
3 Greek Words for Love
- Eros Love (Why does our culture seem to never go much further than a love with stipulations?)
- Phileo Love (What's the hardest part of loving everyone like a brother or sister?)
- Agape Love (Who are your enemies and what are some ways to love them this week?)
Closing + Goodbyes
Ask if anyone has additional thoughts or questions about the story or points. Close with an appropriate prayer time based on the faith level of those there tonight.
DNA Group Discussion
DISCOVER (PRE-WORK) Before and while you read these passages ask the Spirit of God to illuminate your heart and mind and bring conviction and clarity of his truth for your life. Take some time during your own personal study to read through these four key questions:
1. Who is God (what does this passage tell me about God’s character)?
2. What Has God Done (how do I see God’s character in action here)?
3. Who Am I (How does God’s character and action shape how I see myself)?
4. What Do I Do (if I believe 1-3 how would I respond and relate to others)?
QUESTION: What did you DISCOVER during your study?
NURTURE Confess out loud to one another areas of personal struggle or unbelief that the Spirit revealed during your personal study.
In light of this week’s sermon, consider these questions together:
- Why does our culture seem to never go much further than a love with stipulations?
- What's the hardest part of loving everyone like a brother or sister?
- Who are your enemies and what are some ways to love them this week?
QUESTION: How will you REPENT and BELIEVE the gospel?
ACT In light of your time together, what steps will you take to act on your new discoveries and affirmed beliefs?
Consider these questions:
1. What is a tangible way that you can bear witness to the gospel in your school, workplace or neighborhood this week?
2. How can you demonstrate God’s involvement in your life? How can you be more aware of it and draw attention to it?
3. What does it look like to bear witness in the midst of adversity? What adversity are you facing currently and how can you bear witness to God’s control?
4. Is there someone in your life that you think struggles with the secular narrative they hear around them? Who are they and how can you bear witness to the greater reality of the transcendent God this week?
QUESTION: What will you DO and who will you TELL about what God has done?
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