Grow Deep - Love Is... Edition Week 3

Week 3: April 19-25

Love Is … a Response

Memory Verse: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:9-10

When my kids were little, they were quick to volunteer to “help” me with chores. Whether dusting furniture or digging in the garden, they watched my moves carefully and imitated each task. How satisfied they were to do Mommy’s work! It was a natural response for them to be like someone they loved. Of course, their “help” often made more work for me, but teaching them and letting them practice prepared them for the responsibilities they would have as they grew.

This week we read how Jesus sends His disciples to imitate Him and carry out His work. We begin in John 4 with three examples of Jesus’ giving people the chance to respond to His love with bold actions. Though He was present and could have done the jobs more effectively Himself, He had His disciples perform baptisms, let an outcast Samaritan woman tell a whole town about her encounter with Him, and heal an official’s son from afar, giving that father the chance to share how the miracle came about.

We end the week with my favorite Bible passage, John 14:12-14 where Jesus declares that all who believe in Him will do greater things than He did, because He is going to the Father and will equip us with all we need to carry out His work.

Just as I taught my children, Jesus teaches us, through His Word, how to do the work He started and even greater things than these! He calls us to put into practice everything He prepared for us to do. Having experienced His love, why wouldn’t we want to respond with helping hands? Love Is our Response!

Sunday, April 19
Read: John 4:1-38
Though Jesus is physically present, He sends believers to demonstrate His love and give testimony to the living God.
Reflect: How did Jesus’ disciples, the Samaritan woman and the official respond to Jesus’ love in this chapter? How is Jesus calling you to respond to His love today?

Monday, April 20
Read: John 13:34-35
Jesus commands us to love one another … not with just any kind of love, but with the same unconditional love He has for us.
Reflect: How has Jesus’ unconditional love impacted your life? Who do you know who needs that same grace? How can you love that person as Jesus has loved you?

Tuesday, April 21
Read: Romans 12:6-13
Regardless of what kinds of gifts we have been given, Jesus calls us to activate them by the power of His love which honors others and remains faithful in all circumstances.
Reflect: How can you use your unique gifts to respond to people or circumstances that are difficult to relate to in a way that reflects the love and patience of Jesus.

Wednesday, April 22
Read: John 20:19-31
Jesus gives us His gift of the Holy Spirit which empowers and motivates us to do His work on earth.
Reflect: The Holy Spirit helps us believe in Jesus and His power to forgive. How can we put people in “touch” with Jesus by forgiving them ourselves?

Thursday, April 23
Read: Galatians 5:13-15
We all have been given free will—living to satisfy our own will destroys. Submitting to God’s will brings abundant life and love that restores us and others.
Reflect: How does selfishness cause you to divide and destroy? Where is Jesus calling you to submit to His will and respond to your neighbors with love and humility?

Friday, April 24
Read: Philippians 2:1-11
We are called to imitate Jesus with a love that is humble, sacrificial, tender and compassionate.
Reflect: Where do you need an attitude adjustment when it comes to serving? How does Jesus’ example motivate you toward compassion and sacrifice especially at this difficult time?

Saturday, April 25
Read: John 14:12-14
Jesus sends us to do the work He started and to do even greater things! He sits at the right hand of the Father with all the power to equip us. All we need to do is ask for what we need to demonstrate His love.
Reflect: Read that verse again. Do you believe it? What do you need to pray for today in order to carry out Jesus’ work?