The Gospel of John: Session 1 (Spring 2021)
Session 1 – Small Group Study Guide
Word: How this truth should be understood
- According to vv. 7 and 8, what is the foundation of our love for others? What enables us to love? How does that foundation provide hope?
- How does the manifestation of God’s love through sending his Son in vv. 9 and 10 shape your definition of love? How does his love serve as a guide for our love?
Worship: How this truth affects your heart
- In the sermon there were three types of fake loves mentioned. In addition to the fake love of man’s approval, the fake love of sexual sin, and the fake love of sacrifice apart from Christ, where else do you see various artificial loves in our culture and which ones tempt you most often? What truth of the gospel helps you turn back to God’s love for you?
- In what areas of life is it hard for you to comprehend God’s story of redemption unfolding in your life? As Pastor Tim mentioned on Sunday, where does it feel impossible to say “in this is love” and let God’s love for us be the overarching story of our lives no matter what challenges we face? How might meditating on God’s love for you through the gospel help?
Work: How this truth works out in your life
- One essential for growing a deeper meditation on the Father’s love for us is to plan times of stillness with him. When might you be able to find that stillness to reflect on your life and say “in this is love” to cultivate deeper worship?
- Using the gospel as our guide, Lighthouse has defined love as “an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person that seeks their highest good, even at cost to self.” This definition ultimately is a description of God’s love toward us. As you consider this definition in your relationships consider the following questions to guide how you might practically grow in your love for others:
a. “Unconditional commitment” – How might you need to make your commitment to those God has placed in your life unconditional, without expecting anything in return? When Christ is the supreme object of our love we no longer love looking to receive, but simply to exalt Christ.
b. “Imperfect person” – How might you need to anticipate imperfections in your relationships and be ready to regularly love in the face of wrong?
c. “Seeks their highest good” – The highest good we can pursue is encouraging their worship of Christ, how might you better serve that need in someone’s life?
d. “Even at cost to self” – Consider the sacrifices you regularly make to look out for the interest of others. How might God be asking you to lay down your life in a specific way to display Christ to someone?
- Pastor Tim shared several examples of how to practically make our Savior’s love visible this season, which of the following do you most want to consider for your own life:
a. First, Where do you need to repent of a lack of love? Before considering how to move toward others, what sins do you need to confess and turn from so that you can move toward others?
b. Second, consider your decision making process for attending outdoor service. We understand that you have really good reasons not to come, but for some of you it’s just easier, easier not to come, and not prioritizing how your presence here is a way to bless and love others.
c. Third, let your love believe the best about others. Maybe you’ve reached out to people through text or phone call and haven’t gotten a response. Maybe your love has been met with silence.
d. Fourth, when you are able to connect with one another (whether that is over the phone, zoom, or in person, can you encourage gratitude. I think for us parents, as we model gratitude with our children in our home it teaches and models for them what a worship lifestyle should look like)
e. Fifth, Grow in patience with one another. When you see something wrong in someone else’s life, rather than moving away can you examine your heart to see if there is a log in your own eye that you need to remove, can you prayerfully consider how to gently come alongside them, and can you seek to understand and partner with God’s work in their life?
Sharing and Prayer
- The theme of our study in John is “to awaken and advance faith.” As you think about this season, what is one area in which you’d like to grow in living out your faith? Write this down and prepare to follow-up and track God’s work in our future sessions!
- What are some ways that you’d like to apply what you just learned to that one area you’d like to grow in living out your faith?
- Share other prayer requests.