Beyond Belief, Session 2 (God is Loving): Additional Questions

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The Point: God’s love empowers me to love. 

Icebreaker  Questions

  • What is your favorite love story?
  • If you were writing a love story what would be the most attractive quality of the main character?
  • What is your favorite chick-flick or what film do you think portrays the most compelling love story?  What is it about these films/chick-flicks that is so attractive to our culture?
  • “Every person has an existential desire to love— and a need for love.”  What evidence do we see of this in our culture?  What signs point to this human craving we all possess?
  • Why is love defined so differently by people?
  • When was the last time you wrote or received a love letter?
  • What can you simply not live without?
  • What would you say are people’s top three needs?
  •  Describe the first time you fell in love? Do you think it was really love?
  •  What is the difference between romantic love and genuine love?
  • How has our culture over-valued romantic love above all other forms of love?
  • Who is the most loving person you know? How do they demonstrate love?
  • How does God’s love challenge you to be a better person?
  • How does God’s love inspire you to love others?

1 John 4:7-8

  • When have you experienced a desire to be loved?
  • What person have you desired the greatest amount of love from? What did it look like?
  • If you were to explain God’s love for you, how would you put it into words?
  • In what ways can we mirror God’s love in actions? Is this a hard or easy thing to do?
  • What are some ways we try to cope or fill the void when we don’t feel loved?
  • God is love. How should that affect the way we perceive God? How does that impact our view of the way He responds to us when we have sinned or strayed?
  • In what ways do people try to fill the void for love in their lives? (I John 4:7)
  • What is the difference between the statements “God is love” and “Love is God?” (I John 4:8)
  • Why do people have such a need to love and be loved?
  • How does the statement “God is love” go deeper than simply saying God loves?
  • John repeats the word “love” throughout this paragraph. What type of love is he referring to?
  • Who is the easiest type of person for you to love? Describe the type of person who is hardest for you to love?
  • How is love for others proof of God living inside of us?
  • How should the lack of love for others cause us to question if God is living inside of us?
  • How does God give us the power to love people we wouldn’t normally care about?

1 John 4:9-10

  • The Bible reveals the love of God, where have you experienced the love of  God?
  • In what ways does the “personhood” of God, through Jesus help us to better love people?
  • Without judging the world, in what ways was atonement needed for your own life?
  • Our need for God’s love is high, but what of God’s need of love? Do you ever find yourself loving God out of supposed requirements?
  • How can we explain the “sin problem” and God’s love to our friends and family?
  • “We can become whole and holy when we receive the Love of God into our lives and then give it to others.”  What does it practically look like for us to receive the love of God into our lives?
  • If God loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8)—in fact we were enemies of God (Romans 5:10)—how should that impact the way we view our personal enemies?
  • How was Jesus God’s ultimate expression of love? (I John 4:9)
  • How did God’s revelation of love raise the definition of love to a whole new level?
  • Is saying “God is love” the same as saying “love is God?” Explain.
  • How does Jesus’ sacrifice establish a new benchmark for love?
  • How does the sacrifice of Jesus establish a new standard for love?
  • Love often plays out in sacrifice. What have you sacrificed because of your love for others?
  • How does the example of Jesus cause you to love others more deeply?

1 John 4:11-12

  • Can you remember a time when you fell short of being able to love as God commands?
  • Can you think of a time that you showed God’s love because of the influence of the Word of God? What did it look like?
  • How does “being loved by God” shape the way you live? What does this drive you towards?
  • In what ways can you demonstrate your love for God by loving others this week?
  • “The first purpose of our lives is to be loved by God.”  How does that statement make you feel?
  • We are called to love others with God’s love and not by our own strength.  How does this change the way you view loving difficult people?
  • Without naming names, who is someone you really struggle to love?  Why?  How does this passage of scripture change the way you view that person and your response to them?
  • 1 John 3:16 says, “This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers.”  John is not telling us to literally die for others.  So, what does it look like for us to love others with God’s love and lay down our lives for them?
  • How does experiencing God’s love help you love others? (I John 4:11)
  • What traits in other people make them difficult for you to love? (I John 4:12)
  • What are the implications for believers of God’s attribute of love?
  • How can God’s love possibly be perfected in us when we love so imperfectly?
  • John insinuates God’s love is incomplete until it plays out in our love for others. How is love for others proof of God’s love for us?
  • How does love within the church serve as evidence for the existence of God?
  • How does the lack of love among Christians cause others to question whether God exists?

Speak Your Mind

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