TEXT: Psalm 19:7; 42:1-2; Matt 517-20; 7:12; 22:36-40; 24:35; mark 12:28-31′ John 13:34-35; 14:23-24′ Rom 8:5-8; 12:2; 13:8-10; Gal 5:13-14; Col 3:2′ 1 John 5:3
KEY VERSE: Mark 12:30-31
Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”… Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these. ” (NIV)
The Bible says that by demonstrating a complete love for God and selfless love for others, a person will fulfil all of God’s laws and expectations. Of course,
it’s not the laws that save us, nor is it our own love. It’s God’s love that made the way for our relationship with Him. And it’s that relationship that enables us to love God and people in a way that would otherwise be humanly impossible.
This week’s study will help students investigate what it means to love God with every aspect of their being.
The study also highlights another commonly quoted but often misunderstood passage of the Scripture: “Do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matt 7:12).
As you prepare for the study, consider your level of love for God and others. Consider some of the choices you face right now and ask yourself: “Which course of action best demonstrates love for God and for others?” Then make decisions based on God’s laws of love.
The Basic Message: Explain to students…
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
By loving God completely and others selflessly, we fulfill all God’s laws.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Wholehearted love for God naturally results in a selfless love for others.
HOW DO I LIVE IT?
Give God the love He deserves and treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Activity Option: Read or have volunteers read the following passages and note what they tell us about the relevance of God’s Laws today:
• Psalm 19:7- God’s law is perfect and trustworthy.
• Matt 24:35- God’s Word is the one thing that stands forever.
• Matt 5:17 – Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. People who disregard it will lose their place in God’s kingdom.
Guide: Explain that laws constantly change, adapting to society and culture. But God’s guidelines for living will never change.
Though some Bible passages pertain specifically to cultural issues of the time, the principles of God’s timeless commands apply today as they did when He issued them.
Study Overview: Explain that today’s study considers…
• How Jesus sums up what it takes to keep all God’s commands.
• What it means to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
• What it means to treat others the way we would like to be treated.
Inform and Discuss
a). Love God Completely
Teacher Hint: Read or have a volunteer read Matt 22:36-40. Explain that God wants us to choose to love Him with every aspect of our being.
In this session, we will consider what these different aspects of our being represent.
1. WITH ALL YOUR HEART: Explain that someone’s heart refers to the core of his or her affections, attention, passion, and devotion. God wants to be the core of your life- the focus of your passion and purpose.
Discuss and list some ways your life might be affected if you love something or someone with all your heart.
Guide: Explain that whoever, or whatever, has your heart usually has control of your life. When God truly captures your heart, your relationship with Him is evident to those around you.
2. WITH ALL YOUR SOUL [Guide: Explain that your soul is the core of who you are -the “real you.” It’s the spiritual, eternal aspect of your being (Matt 16:26). In this context, it could represent your deepest motives, longings, and convictions.]
• Read or have a volunteer read Psalm 42:1-2. What does it mean to thirst for God? In what ways can we meet God? [Hint: A soul that truly longs for God will want to be with Him at every opportunity– through prayer, His Word, worship services, etc.
3. WITH ALL YOUR MIND: Explain that loving God is not simply a matter of feelings or emotion. It is a CONSCIOUS CHOICE.
Beyond words, it means submitting your will to God and making decisions that please and honour Him.
• Read or have volunteers read Rom 8:5-8; and Col 3:2. Ask students to describe contrasts between how Society wants us to think and how God wants us to think.
• Read or have a volunteer read Rom 12:2. How does having a renewed mind transform a person?
Hint: Thinking differently leads to acting differently. Too often people get frustrated trying to change what they do. But the actual problem is that they need to change how they think and what they think about.
Guide: Consider the following Progression:
thoughts>>ideas>>choices>>actions. Then explain that we need to be cautious about what influences our thoughts. For example, we should guard against exposure to corrupt ideas and images. And fill our minds instead with time in God’s Word, prayer, and wholesome activities.
Note: Loving God with your mind means not only having your thoughts on Him but His thoughts in you. Loving God with your mind means that your thoughts and decisions please and honour Him.
4. WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH
• What does it mean to love God with your strength? [Guide: Explain that we can use our activities to glorify God and choose activities that will help us grow spiritually. We must stick to God’s standard in a world where most people reject Him, and we must press on even when we don’t see immediate results from our spiritual efforts.
>>Note: The primary evidence that we truly love God is that we will obey His commands and teachings (John 14:23-24; 1 John 5:3).
b). Love Others as Yourself
Read or have à volunteer read John 13:34-35; and Rom 13:8-10. How are we to love others? What will this kind of love prove? [Guide: Explain that Christians’ love for people must be subject to, controlled by, and directed by their love for God. His holiness and standards must never be compromised in showing love toward people.]
>>Involve Them: Discuss with students the following specific ways they can treat others like themselves:
• Give them attention. Listen to them and look out for their interests (Phil 2:3-5; James 1:19).
• Give them care. Be kind, do good, pray for, and serve them, regardless of how they feel about you (Luke 6:27-28; Gal 6:10).
• Give them respect. Treat them with dignity and avoid unnecessarily offending them (Rom 12:10-14;1 Cor 10:32-33).
• Give them the benefit of the doubt. Consider the reasons behind actions, and don’t assume the worst (Matt 7:1).
• Give them the best. Give your best effort, share, and give them a first choice (Luke 3:11; 14:10; Rom 12:13; Heb 13:16).
• Give them the goods. Don’t withhold help, but meet needs when it’s within your ability to do so (Prov 3:27; 1 John 3:16-18).
• Give them a break. Be patient with them and don’t judge. Forgive without holding a grudge (Prov 17:9; Luke 6:37).
lnspire Them: Remind students of “The Basic Message” of this study (Pg. 69), explain WHAT the Big Idea behind the study is; WHY it matters; and HOW we can live the lesson captured in the study.
Ministry Activity: WHATS BEST FOR YOU
Distribute note cards and pens or pencils. Have students list two or three situations in their lives in which they have a decision to make. Popular advice says, “Do what’s best for you.” But that’s not God’s way. Give students time to ask themselves which course of action best demonstrates love for God and others. Then allow them time for personal prayer.
Conclude by encouraging teens to love God more than anything or anyone else. Remind them that we can love God and others only because God loved us first (1 John 4:19).
Teacher Hint: Ask Yourself…
1. Have students considered what it means to truly love God with all aspects of their being?
2. Have students take note of specific ways they can treat others like they themselves like to be treated.
3. Do students understand how loving God and others fulfill all of His Commands?
Daily Dew Drops
Mon: Love Is Preeminent – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Tue: Selfless Characteristics of Love – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Wed: Love Outlasts – 1 Corinthians 13:8-13
Thu: Going Beyond the Conventional – Luke 6:33-35
Fri: God’s Love Leads to Repentance – Romans 2:4
Sat: Walk in Love – 3 John 1-4
PS: I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We would appreciate it if you could drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.
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