Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Crazy Love

This is the fourth and last small group study discussing the topic of relationships. It is appropriate that we conclude by focusing on the power and importance of God's extravagant love. 

Big Idea:
Your relationships will mold you and contribute to who you are: however, it is your relationship with Jesus Christ and the impact of His crazy love that will impact and forever change your very soul and spirit.

Summary:
God’s crazy love for us is commonly referred to as “agape” love. The Greek language has three words for love, which enable us to distinguish agape love from passionate devotion (eros) and warm affection (phileo). Agape love is a gracious, determined, and active interest in the true welfare of others, which is not deterred even by responses of hatred, cursing, and abuse, not limited by calculation of results, but based solely on the nature of God. It is crazy because it is love with no boundaries and no end.

There are two important characteristics of agape love. First, crazy love is intentional. God didn’t accidentally send His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sinfulness. No, He intentionally exhibited His agape love to us. “For God so loved the world that He gave.” If you are not purposefully pouring unselfish love into your relationships, then you are not following God’s example of intentional, crazy love. Love that heals our hearts, transforms our homes, betters our marriages, guides our relationships, and saves our souls is intentional love. Second, crazy love is relentless. Love that changes lives and the destiny of souls is unconditional and eternal love. Agape love doesn’t give up because the going gets tough or because it is not immediately received. This is Energizer Bunny kind of love – it keeps going and going. Just like Jesus Christ intentionally and relentlessly came for you and to you, you must also demonstrate His crazy love to others. This is how people are drawn to Christ and away from spirit of this fallen world. This is how lives are changed and nations are won.

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Discuss how agape love is different from other types of love. How can these qualities of crazy love be demonstrated in our relationships? What makes it hard to show this kind of love? Why is it possible?

John 1:14 & John 3:16
These passages show the intentionality of God’s love. Share how God has shown you His agape love. Discuss how we can follow Christ’s lead and intentionally show love to others. What does that look like?

1 John 4:7-21 & John 14:15-21
What two principle outcomes of God’s love are presented in these passages? How do we know we have received God’s love? How do obedience and love relate to one another?

Taking Action: Have you accepted the crazy unconditional overflowing love of Christ? If not, do it today. Your LifeGroup will pray with you and your life will be changed for all eternity. If you have been changed by this kind of love, then pay it forward by demonstrating crazy agape love to others. Be intentional and be relentless.

Ministry Time

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