Connect Recap Notes: February 24, 2019
Speaker: Nate Heitzig
Teaching: "Love like Jesus"
Text: 1 Corinthians 13Path
Behind every statistic, there is a story; behind every hand, a heart; behind every number, a name. As Christians, our goal should be nothing less than every heart, every hand, and every home won for Jesus. But there's something that must resonate within each heart and home—love. In this teaching, Pastor Nate Heitzig expounds upon 1 Corinthians 13, encouraging us to love like Jesus.
I. You Never Look More like Jesus Than…Points
II. When You're Kind, not Selfish
III. You Never Look Less like Jesus Than…
IV. When You Judge in Your Heart
You Never Look More
like Jesus Than…
- The Bible teaches that the world will know that we are followers of Christ by our love for one another (see John 13:34-35).
- The "least of these" from Matthew 25:40 are those hearts that are broken, unloved, and shunned. There are many who need our love—the forgotten, the marginalized, and the oppressed.
- The benchmark for love is Jesus; He loved those the world hated, touched those the world shunned, and reached out to those the world avoided.
- Love is shining the light of God's love upon the world. As Jesus said, Christians need to "let [our] light so shine before men" (Matthew 5:16). Love is active, not abstract.
- In 1 Corinthians 13:4 (niv), the apostle Paul began his discourse on love with the word patient, which means long-tempered. Patient love "turns the other cheek" (Matthew 5:38-39).
When You're Kind, Not Selfish
- If patience will wait for others, kindness will give anything to others. Kindness is active goodwill. If kind love is learned but not lived, it is a lie.
- This is emphasized by Paul in Romans 2:4: "Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness [goodness] of God leads you to repentance?" (nasb) Sadly, many in the church forget kind love; we immerse ourselves in productivity, forgetting to love people.
- Tim Keller put it this way: "When the world sees the church doing evangelism, making converts, it only sees us increasing our numbers and increasing our power. When it sees us sacrificially serving the needs of our neighbors, whether they believe or not, then it may see that we are motivated by love not the desire for power. We must both preach the gospel and serve those who can do nothing for us in return."
- You don't need to sacrifice your convictions for compassion—follow the Bible and love people from all walks of life.
- As Pastor Skip has said, "If God's love has flowed into our lives, it ought to flow out of our lives."
You Never Look Less
Like Jesus Than…
- We've discussed the positive aspects of love. What should we avoid? See verses 4-5.
- Rudeness: This is when we dishonor others. We might not understand certain things about people, but this does not give us license to be rude.
- Provoked: Love should guard against being irritated, upset, or angered by things said, or done, against it.
When You Judge in your Heart
PracticeConnect Up: Because God is love, does it mean all love is of God? C.S Lewis would say no.1 A love of pizza is not the same as love for a person. Think about the perfect love God exhibits; the Bible calls God's perfect love agape. "God is love" (1 John 4:8). The word used for love is agape, a benevolent, godly love; it is unconditional love. Discuss the other loves often referred to in the Bible, and talk about the similarities and differences:
- What to avoid when loving people:
- Thinking no evil: As Christians, we need to see people and love them, leaving judgement to God. As Jesus implied in Matthew 7:3, our judgment should be tempered: "Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye…"
- What we should do according to 1 Corinthians 13:7:
- Believe all things: Love is not suspicious or cynical. We should be for people, not against people. On our worst day, God still calls us "beloved".
- Endure all things: Love refuses to surrender—to stop loving or believing in people.
- Thoughts for those spurned by a church:
- Encountering an unloving believer doesn't excuse unbelieving behavior; each person must give account for themselves to Christ.
- Jesus wants you to bring all the baggage in your heart to Him.
- To love like Jesus means both sacrifice and commitment. We should:
- Remember the forgotten, pursue the marginalized, fight for the oppressed, and love the outcast.
- We should:
- Love those the world has forgotten, love those the church has marginalized, love those the government has oppressed, and love those that society has cast out.
Connect In: Share a story of love seen within the church. When have you experienced deep agape love from Christians? How did it make you feel? Now talk about a time when love was not shown. How did an unloving attitude make you feel? How did the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 come into play? As a reminder, love is defined as:
- Storge love—an empathetic bond, or fondness
- Philia love—an affectionate love, as with friends or siblings
- Eros love—sensual or erotic love
Connect Out: Think of a person you've been unloving toward. Confess your unloving attitude to your group. Take time to pray for yourself and that person, then do as Pastor Nate suggested, and act upon love: Go to the person, asking for forgiveness, letting them know that you did not represent the love of Christ.
- Patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, self-seeking or angered, keeps no record of wrongs, and does not delight in evil, rejoices in truth, protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres, and never fails.
1 The Four Loves, February 8, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Loves
, accessed 02/25/2019.