VFC Bible Study worksheet 22-Mar-2015


Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – March 22, 2015
Theme: Christian Maturity

Topic: An outflowing love

Main Texts: Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-37

Key Verse: Mark 12:33 – “To love God with all your heart … and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than … sacrifices.”

Introduction

The last, and one of the highest marks of Christian maturity we are considering is an outflowing love. It is significant that in the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus defines a neighbour as a person of another race who is in need. Compare this with Leviticus 19:18: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself.” Here in Leviticus, a neighbour was defined as “one of your people” – like saying someone from your tribe, or school mate, or even Church member. But Jesus Christ breaks that barrier in the story of the Good Samaritan.

Love is the central message of the New Testament. Love to God is to be manifested in (that is overflow in) love to others. If we were to ask ourselves how we have demonstrated this love to our neighbour, we would probably not have much difficulty citing situations where we have shown love to someone around us – a relative, our next-door neighbour, generally someone with whom we have some kind of relationship. More often than not, while reaching out to help, we have at the back of our minds that there is possibility of a reciprocal gesture in future. This is an unspoken
incentive to show love.

However, love that comes from a mature Christian reaches out for a different reason: That God is love, and that love must reach out to others. Many of us already know that the word “agape”, translated “love” in our context, means divine, unconditional and consistent love. It is divine because it mirrors God’s love. It is unconditional because it has nothing to do with what the recipient of that love has done or not done for us. It is consistent because it does not depend on how the recipient responded to it in the past. Most of us who are born again resisted God’s love for years before we submitted to Him in repentance. He could have given up on us all those years, but He did not because of the nature of His love. That is the love that needs to overflow from us.

The mature love is self-forgetful. It emphasises reaching out to others to touch them spiritually, psychologically and physically. If you have ever listened to a married couple making their case to some mediator, you would notice that each side is eager to state what the other party had done or failed to do. The parties are basically saying, “… because he or she does this, I cannot love.” This is a typical case of immature love.


Discussion Questions:

1. In John 4:1-30 we read of the encounter Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at the well. Why was this encounter unusual? List the qualities of love demonstrated in the encounter.

2. Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. Verse 13 states “… these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” In what order do we typically prioritise these three in our Church and in our individual lives, and why?


Prayer:

Father, take my loves and purify them from such things as jealousy and self-seeking. Make me mature in love, for I see then that I will be mature indeed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

{Partly culled from January/February 1993 edition of Every Day With Jesus by Selwyn Hughes, used by permission of CWR}