Taking Off the Mask
Topic: Love Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:4–13:8, Romans 12:9–12:10, Romans 12:15, Hebrews 10:24–10:25, John 13:12–13:15, John 15:12–15:14, Matthew 18:15–18:18
Characteristics of love in action:
Love is safe - Romans 12:9 -10
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Love is sincere - Romans 12:15
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Love stirs and spurs - Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Love serves ¬ John 13:12-15
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
Love sacrifices - John 15:12-14
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
Love is fun – It just is!
Love faces conflict - Matthew 18:15-18
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
1. Briefly describe and discuss “the mask” and why it is so common to wear one. What are some of the dangers of taking it off and being “real”?
2. Describe in your own words the culture’s definition of love. How does the biblical definition of love differ? Is Biblical love really rare in our culture today?
3. How can a Life Group be the perfect environment for true love to be magnified? Describe some of the different characteristics of love in action listed above (along with the biblical reference). How do these characteristics fit into our discussion of true Christ-Centered community?
4. Discuss the statement “Life groups are supposed to be fun.” Sometimes we have the idea that “church gatherings” are to be kind of boring and stale. How can that caricature be completely disproven in a Life Group?
5. Discuss conflict. How can conflict hinder fellowship? What are some ways that conflict can be properly and practically addressed?