Living by the Word

Church re-imaginedThe story is told of a large church in South America when the pastor got up to bring the mes­sage. He stood before the congregation and said,"Love one another;" then he sat down, Everyone just sat there and stared at him and then at each other No one knew what to do.

A few moments later he stood up, took his place behind the podium, and said, "Love one another;" and he took his seat again. Once more the congregation sat in stunned silence … maybe thinking, That’s kind of a short message.

He stood up a third time and said, "Love one another," and he sat down.Then a few people caught on to the rules of the game.They turned to the people around them and said, "How are you doing? Can I pray for you? Is there some area of life where you could use some help? Could I offer you some encouragement?" They began to extend love to each other right then and there!

That day a congregation heard the commandment of God in a whole new way!

Read 1 John 2:3-11

1. What are signs that people are walking in the darkness?

2. What are signs that they are walking in the light?

3. How has one of your relationships changed since you became a Christian and started walking in the light?

4. Describe a relationship that still needs transformation as you learn to live more and more in God’s light.

5. What is one relationship where you have a hard time expressing love?

6. How can your small group members pray for you as you seek a tender heart and loving spirit toward this person?

7. What actions could you take that would begin to express love toward this person?

Read 1 John 2:12-14
Try to read verses 12-14 not as if they were written to three dif­ferent age-groups, or maturity levels, but to apply to all Christians.

8. What does John say about us as Christians?

9. How does confidence of these truths empower you to be a per­son of love?

10. Describe how you are experiencing one of these truths in a deep and personal way in your life right now.

11. How would you like to grow deeper in your understanding of one of the truths?