Love | Week 4 – Show Me
Missouri is called the Show Me State. According to legend, in the 1890s, a congressman was not convinced by what he was being told. He responded to the group by saying, “frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.” When it comes to love, scripture tells us something very similar. When asked, Jesus said that the greatest of all commandments is to love God. That is easy to understand and is pretty straightforward. He then however, without being prompted, directly links the “greatest” to the second — love your neighbor. Throughout the whole of the Bible, God reiterates that we are required to love everyone. That includes, not only friends and family, but also and especially our enemies. He is quite clear, love that is only spoken is worthless unless it is backed up by action. Love is shown by what we do, not just what we say.
READ 1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Read the passage again and consider these related questions.
How does God back up his words of love with action?
There is a well-known expression, “talk is cheap.” How does that relate to this passage?
Read James 2:8; 14-18
1. In this passage, faith means believing in Jesus. Why must believing in Jesus change our actions?
2. What is the connection between faith, loving God and how it plays out in our lives?
Read Matthew 25:31-46; John 13:35; Matthew 22:36-40
3. What does this parable tell us about God’s connection to the marginalized in society?
4. Based on these three passages, do you think God takes loving others seriously? Why?
5. Describe how this kind of love is not transactional?
Read Romans 12:1; Isaiah 58:6-14
6. What does sacrificial living look like?
7. What kind of “rewards” does God give when we live sacrificially?
8. Distinguish between salvation through faith alone and the result of our salvation as evidenced by our actions.