Note to leaders: We are trying a new format for this series. Each week we will be providing a series of questions. If you have feedback, we would love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Love Where You Are
It may seem random, but God actually placed you exactly where you’re supposed to be — to make a difference with people you are around every day! It's time to love where you are and get excited about all the good you can do influencing your family, workplace, and neighborhoods for God!
What were some of the rules in place in the home you grew up in?
This past weekend we were in the second part of our Love Where You Live series. Imagine what the world would be like if we focused on two things – love God and love your neighbor. There are so many moments painted for us in the pages of scripture that demonstrate the idea that people matter. No one lived this better than Jesus.
Have you ever written out a priority list for your family? If so, what’s on it? Why is it important for a family to clearly understand these priorities? What happens if they don’t?
Have someone read Matthew 22:34-38. In Matthew 22, the Pharisees approached Jesus with a question meant to test and trap Him. In His response, Jesus gave us what is known as the Great Commandment, the teaching upon which all of the Law and the Prophets depend.
The Pharisees expected Jesus to fold under the weight of all the 613 commands in the Law. Instead of buckling under the pressure, Jesus responded immediately by identifying the most important law. Part of His answer comes from the passage in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 known as the Shema, which means “hear” or “listen.” Every faithful, practicing Jew would repeat this twice a day, and it signified giving themselves fully- their heart, their soul, their mind over to God.
3. What makes loving God the greatest command?
4. The Great Commandment emphasizes loving God with all your heart, soul, and might. What do each of those aspects of a person’s being represent?
Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 22:39-40. Again, Jesus took a command from the Old Testament, this time from Leviticus 19:18, “Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.”
5. Who would Jesus say is your “neighbor”? What does it mean to love another person “as yourself”?
6. Read Matthew 25:31-40, where days before Jesus was about to die on the cross he’s teaching, and he talks about the end. Imagine a world where people were at times critical of us because of what we believed, became envious because of how we loved.
Just like Mark, who we heard from in the video, it may be a simple step of faith that shows your neighbor, your barber, your son, your daughter that they matter, and God loves them. Who comes to mind that needs that type of love and what one step could you take?
Landon challenged us to ask ourselves “what does love require of me?”
Share what most frequently stands in the way of you truly loving others? What are some tangible expressions of this kind of love you might practice this week: At your workplace? In your home? With your friends?
Share who you could give one of the ‘what love requires’ cards this week?
Break into groups of 2-3 and pray for the people that came to your mind. Pray that you would live out each day loving God and loving others. Pray for courage to hand out cards to those in your life that need to know they matter to God.