4. The power to love one another
My wife has just finished preparing these journaling questions for a ladies retreat she is leading. Based upon Don McMinn’s book, The Eleventh commandment.
The Power to Love One Another: John 13:34
1. Review and meditate on the following verses:
1 John 4:16___________________________________________________________________________
1 John 4:7____________________________________________________________________________
1 John 4:19___________________________________________________________________________
Summarize what you learned about the power source of being able to love others:
2. Compare John 13:34 to John 15:12. Then go back and carefully read John 15:1-17.
Record your thoughts from this passage that help you understand why and how you are able (you can have the power) to love others:
The Pattern to Love One Another: John 13:1, 34
3. Look again at John 13:1. Especially think about these phrases: having loved his own …he loved them to the end.
a. whom does Jesus love? See also John 10:3,15,27, John 15:13
b. how did Jesus love? See also Romans 5:8, 8:35-39, 1 John 3:16
c. describe the length and depth of Jesus’ love for you personally: His love for me has been:
Fill in the blanks:
Having loved me over the years-by showing grace, mercy and patience with my_____________________________________________________________________________________-
and having loved me through tough times such as _____________________________________________________________________________________, so
He will love me to the end.
4. Having seen Jesus’ pattern of love for you, describe how you should be loving others: be specific! List some people you need to love better:
5. Pray Ephesians 3:16-21 for yourself, substituting your name. Then pray for someone else:
May God grant me, ________, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in my, _______’s, heart through faith, and that I, _______, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of His love], and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that I may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that I ask or think, according to the power that works within me, to Him be the glory in the church, and in Jesus Christ to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
The Practice of Loving One Another: Begin with Preferring One Another: Rom 12:10
1. Begin by reading John 13:1-17 again. Record any new reflections, from the foot washing, or from your reading:
a. Think about the connection between Jesus’ frame of mind (his attitude) as described in John 13:1-3, and his actions of washing feet-including Judas’ feet- in John 13:4-5.
b. In what ways did Jesus “prefer to honor” the disciples, as described in this passage, or other passages?
c. What do you think is necessary for you to know or remember (what does your frame of mind need to be) in order for you to eagerly, genuinely delight in preferring others?
d. What attitudes do you struggle with that may prevent you from preferring others? (self esteem, anger, etc)
2. Read Philippians 2:1-11 again.
a. What “one anothers” do you see hidden in this passage?
b. In verse 4, “interests” could include many things: health, happiness, reputation, food, etc. For example, “Let each of you look not only to your own health, but also to the health of others.” What other “interests” could you include that you are concerned about yourself as well as should be concerned for others?
c. What does “humility of mind” mean? How do you acquire such a mind?
d. What does it mean to “count” or “regard” others as more important than yourself? What might it not mean?
e. Meditate on the following examples of “preferring one another” found in Philippians 2:6-30. Based on your observations, how could you apply their examples to your own life? Be specific!
3. How might the following passages help you in practicing “preferring one another”?
James 1:19, James 2:1-13, Romans 12:3
4. Remember the context of Rom 12:10, “prefer one another”, begins with Rom 12:1. Take time now to pray for God’s mercy to be upon you, so that you might be able to genuinely love and prefer others. Revel in God’s mercies. Allow yourself to reflect on and be bathed in them.
The Practice of Loving One Another: Accept One Another: Rom 15:7
1. Read Romans 14:10 through Romans 15:7. Record your thoughts:
2. From the context of this passage, it seems clear that there are going to be differences among believers, even if we are all equally God’s creation and children (Gen 1:27, 2 Cor 5:15). Summarize some of the differences mentioned. Add what other differences among people you have personally encountered in your family, friends, churches, people in the Philippines and people in OMF.
Which differences seem most difficult for you to accept?
3. Paul also makes clear the point is not to remove differences among believers, but to learn to live with them. Using the passage, list what you personally can do about living with differences among your fellow believers:
What attitudes do you need: Rom 14:13, 14:17-18; 15:2, 15:3, 15:5, 15:6
What actions can you do: Rom14:13, 14:19, 15:1, 15:4, 15:7
4. What sources of help do you have to avoid judging, and to love and accept others? Romans 15:3, 15:4 How can you personally better appropriate this help?
5. Take time now to use Romans 15:5-6 as a prayer for you, and your fellow believers in OMF.
6. What does having the “same mind” mean? Does it mean that we always have to agree-why or why not? What values should we have in common?
7. According to Rom 15:6-7, what is the aim of accepting one another? What would that look like within OMF or your church?
8. Since we are to accept others as Christ accepted us, list ways Christ has accepted you:
9. List specific ways you need to be better at not judging others, and accepting others:
The Practice of Loving One Another: Greet One Another: Rom 16:16
1. Describe a person who has blessed you by greeting you on a regular basis:
2. How does that person compare to the father greeting his prodigal son in Luke 15? In what ways?
3. What struggles do you have in greeting others? Why?
4. Pray for God to bring to mind those you can greet in the next few days, and for the strength to initiate.
Applications for Practicing Loving One Another through the One Anothers
Write each of the ‘One Anothers’ we have studied in your own words:
Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another:
In honor, give preference to one another:
Accept one another, then, just as Christ has accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
Which of the ‘One Anothers’ on the complete list come most naturally to you?
Which of the ‘One Anothers’ on complete the list do you find the most difficult? Why?
Pick one of the most difficult ‘One Anothers’ you listed above to study and apply in the coming weeks. Circle it.
For each one of the four ‘One Anothers’ we studied this weekend, pick one person to practice secretly on in the coming week.
Find a One Another partner: someone whom you can trust to hold you accountable for practicing the ‘One Anothers’ during the next few weeks.
If you could “invent” a “One Another” that is not yet listed in Scripture, what would it be? Why?
Re-read John 13:17 in context. Then read the following passage from Xenos Christian Fellowship’s website:
The world says you will be happy when you get other people to treat you the way you want to be treated, but Jesus says you will be blessed-fulfilled-when you learn to love others the way he loves you. The world’s recipe turns you into a slave, in bondage to how other people treat you. God’s recipe makes you free, because you can always draw upon his love and choose to serve others.
Record your thoughts: how do you react to this passage? Do you agree or disagree? How?
May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.
May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.
May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.
May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.
May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.
May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.