Where love reigns, sin is unemployed.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was one thing you found particularly interesting, insightful, helpful or difficult to understand from this sermon?
- Read and discuss James 2:1-9. What do these verses tell us about us? What do they tell us about God? What encouragements, warnings or commands are here for us to heed?
- Why is “love your neighbor as yourself” referred to as “the royal law” in verse 8? Who does this royal law apply to? Who is your neighbor? In what way is this an impossible command? In what way is it possible?
- Why do we tend to trust in our wealth or possessions? How is this a false security? How does this affect our relationships?
- Can you identify an area of life where you struggle with favoritism, bias or prejudice? What would it look like to apply the gospel to this area?
- Discuss the implications of this statement: “Where love reigns, sin is unemployed.” Have you found this to be true? What are some examples? What are some examples of the opposite of this statement (where love does not reign, sin is employed)?
- How does the gospel compel us to “be neighbor to” those in need? Who do you need to see as your neighbor?
- Spend time in prayer thanking for His great love toward us. Ask Him to help you identify those in need whom you can “be neighbor to” and give you the grace to love them in practical ways.
LOVE AS VIEWED BY THE RECIPIENT
LOVE IS PATIENT: Thank you for being patient with my shortcomings, it makes me feel accepted by you.
LOVE IS KIND: Your kindness is more than I could ever wish as it makes each day something to look forward to.
LOVE IS NOT ENVIOUS: I have never felt your envy toward me which makes our relationship one of encouragement and not competition.
LOVE IS NOT BOASTFUL: You never speak highly of yourself which becomes an example for me to emulate.
LOVE IS NOT PROUD: Your humility landscapes the lives of those around you, and my life has been shaped by it.
LOVE IS NOT RUDE: There are no sharp edges in your speech or manners. I can express my thoughts without fear of attack.
LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING: The fact that you are not self-seeking makes me feel important and not just tolerated.
LOVE IS NOT ANGRY: You never seem angry which makes me feel protected and safe when I don’t measure up.
LOVE DOES NOT KEEP SCORE: I have the freedom to fail without being reminded of past failures.
LOVE DELIGHTS NOT IN EVIL: Your avoidance of evil is a moral safeguard in our friendship.
LOVE REJOICES IN TRUTH: Your pursuit of truth gives me confidence that you are making wise decisions.
LOVE PROTECTS: I feel secure that you desire to protect my reputation, emotions and the hidden fears of my heart.
LOVE TRUSTS: Your consistent trust in me removes any suspicion and replaces it with trust in you.
LOVE GIVES HOPE: When you give hope to my life I feel valued.
LOVE PERSEVERES: Your persevering love has been a faithful guide for my earthly pilgrimage.
YOUR LOVE HAS SET ME FREE.