GET ACQUAINTED: What is your favorite love story? (movie or book)

SCRIPTURE: 25… but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”  (John 19:25-27 )

Open your time together with prayer. NOTE: This is only a guide! Feel free to select the points you want to discuss and adapt them to your needs.

OBSERVATION: In this series we are looking at the seven phrases of Jesus from the cross. The first three are about other people and the last four are about Himself. The first phrase was about forgiveness, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” The second phrase was about assurance of salvation, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” In this session we will look at the phrase of love.   We will learn what it means to love like Jesus and what Jesus does when we are in pain. Even while Jesus was enduring the great pain of crucifixion, He saw the pain and anguish in His mother and in His disciple. He demonstrated His compassion, attention, tenderness, care and concern for them by lovingly caring for their needs.

To Love Like Jesus I Must …

  1. … care for my own family. 

How does God command us to treat our parents according to the 5th commandment in Exodus 20:12 ? How does honor in particular show both love and respect for God and our parents?

Ministry: Caring for our own family is a ministry that God gives the highest priority. We’re called to use our gifts and talents to benefit others within the church family beginning with our own relatives, especially our immediate family. Take a moment and consider ways you can reprioritize your ministry and care for your own family while serving God and others.

  1. … treat my spiritual family like I treat my biological family.

In 1 Timothy 5:1-2 , what are some of the ways we are to treat fellow believers? Read Romans 12:10 and discuss ways we are to be devoted to one another.

Community: The bonds of God’s grace are stronger than the genetic ties of our earthly family.   God desires us to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ with even more respect and honor than family members because these are our eternal family members.  What can you do this week to treat fellow believers as spiritual family members?

  1. … learn to see others pain even when I’m in pain.

According to Philippians 2:5 , who should we model our attitude after?  Discuss how helping others can be helpful to take our eyes off our own pain.

Discipleship: Spiritually growing and becoming like Christ in character is gained by following Christ’s steps and example.  Spend a moment brain storming how you could reach out to someone who may be suffering this week (even though it may not be the best time for you also).

  1. … meet other’s needs even if mine aren’t met.

What should be our focus according to Romans 15:2-3 ?  Why don’t we care for other’s problems?  What happens to our problems when we focus on others?

Evangelism: Pray right now and ask God to help you as an individual and as a group to reach out to those around you.  Jesus said giving a cup of cold water to someone who may be considered an outcast, is as if we’re giving it to Him.  Think of people you and your group know are in need.  What can you do to help them?  It can be as simple as a meal or a hand of friendship.  Commit to reaching out to that person this week.  Remember, evangelism is a team sport! 

Personal application and commitment:  We have seen what it means to love like Jesus.  We also need to see how Jesus deals with our pain daily.  Jesus cares about your pain!  If Jesus was eager to meet the needs of others during His pain, how much more is He ready to meet your needs now?  The love that Jesus demonstrated on the cross lasts forever, unlike any other love you will encounter while you are here on earth.  God wants to give you His very best – but you can’t receive it unless you are close to him.  Mary and John were at the feet of the cross and we need to be at the feet of the cross also to receive His blessing.  God’s answer to your pain is always at the foot of the cross.  If we live our life apart from Jesus, we will miss His blessing.   You need a church family and a Life Group.  Learn to accept love from others.  There is no reason to suffer alone.  One of the best ways to get relief from you pain is to help others with theirs. 

Prayer: This week look and pray for someone that God would place in your path to help.  By helping others in pain, you will be healed.  This may seem difficult, and it is.  We don’t have the power to do this on our own.  Pray asking Jesus to give you the power to love like He did.  This week find one person who needs the love of Jesus in their life and care for their need like Jesus would.