Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: Friend Request
Week 2: Facetime
1. Continue to memorize our verse for this sermon series, Acts 2:46, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.”
2. Last week, we talked about the need to slow down. Pastor Dale said last week, “The way God gets his work done through us is by what He does in us, and the most significant part of what happens in us is determined by who we place around us.” What did he mean by that?
3. Read 1 John 4:7-12: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
4. What questions or comments come to your mind from this passage?
5. How does the love described in this passage differ from more common ideas of love that we see in the world today?
6. The focus of this sermon is the need to get real. If you’ve ever had an experience where you felt like people weren’t being real, describe how that felt for you.
We learn three things from 1 John 4:7-12….
…Real Love Comes From God
7. God isn’t just “like love.” God is love! How has God shown his love toward you?
8. Pastor Dale said that, when it comes to the Christian life, “Knowledge is not enough.” What did he mean by that?
9. What happens when you take the power of human connection and then invite Jesus into it?
…Real Love is Always Sacrificial and Messy
10. How has God experienced the sacrificial, messy side of love in His expression of love toward us humans?
11. If you were talking with someone who didn’t want to join a small group because they had been hurt or disappointed by church people, what might you say to help them give it another chance?
12. G.K. Chesterton said: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” What did he mean by that?
13. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Life Together, wrote: “Innumerable times a whole community has broken down because it had sprung from a wish dream. The serious follower of Christ, set down for the first time in Christian community, is likely to bring with a him or her a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, and with Christians in general, and if we are fortunate, with ourselves…”. What did he mean?
14. If you’re looking for the perfect Christian community, you’re always going to be disappointed. Community of Hope isn’t perfect. It’s full of imperfect people, and it’s led by imperfect people. Is it surprising to you that a Pastor would say this? Why, or why not?
…Real Love is Worth It
15. If you feel far from God, it might be because you’re doing Christianity by yourself. Look at 1 John 4:11-12 focusing on the words, “made complete.” How does the experience of loving another person make God’s love complete in us?
16. Read 1 John 3:18: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Describe how to live this out.