Our week three guest post comes from Jennifer Johns, who loves learning, living and sharing the encouragement of a spiritual life in God with others. Jen writes GoingByFaith.com and prays you’re blessed by this study! You can find Jen on Twitter @GoingByFaith.
In Week 3 of Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore, we study how love exudes from every one of the nine characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, but it is a love we can’t generate ourselves; this kind of love comes only from God. He develops this foundational fruit in our lives through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Our reading this week starts off with two types of worldly love: eros (grasping love) and philos (friendly love). Eros love is linked with human sexuality, longing and desire, and philos love is linked with friendship, as it literally means “the love one has toward a friend or companion.”
Even with their positive attributes, neither of these forms of love are examples of God’s type of love. For example, how many times have we seen friendships form out of unsavory common interests or grow sour from betrayal? How often have we seen sexual love taken to destructive extremes or used to control and manipulate?
Standing in a class of its own, we learn that agape love, or the divine love of God, is an act of the Holy Spirit that results in our obedience. As Moore puts it, agape is not as much a feeling as it is a response. It’s not an emotion we feel, but a command we are to follow. Unconditional and aligned with the highest interest, God pours agape love to us and through us via the Holy Spirit. It is because we were loved in this way first that we can love God and others.
On days three and four of the study, we read about the 14 characteristics of agape love and how God uses it in our lives. By day five we find a perfect demonstration of agape love in the life of Jesus Christ, and realize that having the capacity to love God requires a supernatural ability. How blessed we are to know we can call on the Holy Spirit to fill us with God’s love!
Week three of Living Beyond Yourself is a time when we see a real commitment for this study. We encourage you to stay the course. Pray for God to light a fire under those who are falling behind or tempted to stray from the study.
On page 60 in the workbook, Beth writes about a special prayer. She asks the Lord to give her a supernatural love for the people she is teaching. Each day this week, pray and ask God to give you a supernatural love for your family, work or community.
We welcome any prayer needs from the group and ask that you will print a copy of the prayers, place them, in your workbook and pray for these women. If you have a prayer request for our prayer wall, please click here.
Beth Moore Quotes
- Prayer is the hallmark of intimacy with Christ.
- Satan is out to destroy the church, which is best accomplished through destroying the family.
- Love one another as if “blood-related.”
- God invites His children to be more than just friends. He wants us to love as brothers.
- By the time we are emotional enough to quarrel over an issue, pride is always involved.
- Humans revel in recording the failures of others.
- Agape begins with a response and ends with a feeling.
This Week’s Scripture Verse-NIV
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7
I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. John 17:9
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. 1 Corinthians 14:1-3
For Next Week
- Listen to the Session Three Audio (optional)
- OR…Listen to the Session Three Video (optional)
- Read Week Four in the workbook
Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like
- Read 1 Corinthians 13 aloud. Each time you see the word “love” replace it with the words “divine love.” (agape)
- In Christ we are blood relatives. How should our kinship affect our relationship to one another? (page 57)
- Proverbs 13:10 says “pride only breeds quarrels.” The last time you quarreled with someone, was any pride involved on your part? (page 62)
- Share something memorable from this week’s lesson. (we call these Garden Tools)