We often think of our relationship with God as a personal relationship between us and Him. As Don explained in the sermon, there is a vertical aspect to our relationship with God, but there is also our horizontal relationship with other that affects that vertical relationship with God. Today, we will see how these relationships are intertwined and can not be separated. We will see that the way we deal with others directly effects how we interact with God. It is impossible to walk completely with God when we harbor hard feelings towards others or vise versa.
37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
GOAL FOR THIS SESSION
To ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts to see if there is any relationship that need to be mended either by giving forgiveness or receiving it from someone else.
- It is our love for God that leads us to love others unconditionally.
- When we procrastinate in righting a wronged relationship, we allow sin to take a foothold in our lives.
- The Fountains must be passionate about letting the light of the gospel shine for all to see.
There is no doubt that we can not control what others think of us or their actions. What we can control is our heart’s reaction to them. As believers, we are called to live in love towards all people. This is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. We have all been wronged and have wronged others because we are sinful people. The question is: what have we done to correct that relationship? Our feelings towards others cannot define our reactions, but rather love must define our actions towards them. This is true, not only too those who have offended us, but also to those we have offended. There may be a lot of “what if’s” that arise in the conversation, but we must hold to the truth that we must forgive as Jesus has forgiven us. When we harbor those feeling towards others we allow sin to establish a hold on our lives that will keep us from experiencing God the way God desires.
Session 4: “Forgive and Live”
Review the sermon in needed.
Use the questions provided in each session to facilitate your group’s discussion and application of each topic.
- What is the grossest thing you have ever found in your car? How did you find it?
- When we let things stay to long where they don’t belong, eventually they rot.
- Have you ever been mad at someone for so long that you have forgotten why you were mad at them?
- Do we ever love God conditionally?
- What do the first 6 words of verse 39 mean?
- Who is our neighbor?
- Do we love our neighbor conditionally?
- Is it possible to be right with God while we are not loving our neighbor?
- How does remembering the cross help us love those who have wronged us?
Key Point 1: It’s our love for God that leads us to love others.
- Is it possible to be angry and not sin?
- What happen when we allow anger to fester in our lives? Who is more harmed by the grudge we hold?
- How does that show in our attitude towards others? How do those attitudes reflect a foothold in our lives?
- Does any of this change because we were right to begin with?
- How does this verse exemplify the connection of our relationship with God and others?
- What action(s) does this verse call us to?
Key Point 2: When we procrastinate in righting a wronged relationship, we allow sin to take a foothold in our lives.
Help your Group identify and take their Next Steps with Jesus. Pray with them and for them. Ask them about their Next Steps later this week.
- Are you willing to do what it takes to move one step closer to Jesus?
- Is your Next Step to repent of holding a grudge against someone or forgive a person who has done you wrong?
- Is your Next Step to go to someone who believes you have done them wrong and ask forgiveness?
- Perhaps your Next Step is to talk with that person or to release the unforgiveness in your heart?
Pray for those in your group who are struggling with the questioned asked tonight. Pray for one another to take your Next Steps righting wrong relationship with others and God.