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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

God calls on us to love Him as a father desires his children to love him.  We are called into a relationship characterised by love.  This can confuse us.  We think of love in terms of an emotion, over which we have little control.  The love the Bible talks of is about our choices, our hearts and our passions.  The way we act demonstrates the object of our love.


The call to love God begins with the way we treat Him, and the way we give Him priority in our lives.


Bible Zone


The First Command

Jesus was asked by a leading authority on the Bible which command of the Old Testament He considered the most important.  Matthew 22:36-40

  1. How did Jesus answer the question?
  2. Jesus did not just say love God, but expressed certain aspects of love.  How could each of these aspects of love be seen in a relationship?
  3. Jesus says that all the laws are summed up by these two.  How do these two laws figure in the way you live?


Matthew 22:36-40   36 "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"

  37 Jesus replied, "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'*38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'*40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."



Love for God

At the last supper, knowing that things were already set for His trial and execution Jesus explained how they were to relate in the future after He rose from the dead.  John 14:18 - 24.  We will look at the passage in two parts.

  1. In what ways is Jesus going to express His love for His disciples?
  2. How will the disciples experience the love of Jesus and the Father?
  3. What is the characteristic of those who have experienced God’s love?


18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live.20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them."


Love responds to love with love.

  1. What distinguishes those in whom God lives from those who reject God?


  22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, "Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?"

  23 Jesus replied, "All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.24 Anyone who doesn't love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.


God’s Love for us

Our love of God is not through slavish obedience, but as an expression of His love at work in us.  Here is what John says in 1 John 4:7-12

  1. What is the origin of life and love?
  2. How does God show His love for us?
  3. How is our love an expression of God’s love for us?


7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

  9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

  11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.


The 10 Commandments Version

The first 5 of the 10 Commandments can be seen as a break down of how to express love for God.  They are repeated below with links to pages that draw out the significance of each in turn. Exodus 20  -


1st Command - God comes first in our lives.

  1. How do we know what place God has in our lives?


1 Then God gave the people all these instructions*:

2 "I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. 3 "You must not have any other god but me.


2nd Command - When we give our hearts to other things than God.  They are our idols.

  1. How do we know when something holds our hearts?
  2. Why would God equate such love of others with hatred of himself?
  3. How do we deal with false loves?
  4. In what ways do children inherit the false loves of their parents?


4 "You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those* who love me and obey my commands.


3rd - We honour God with our words.

  1. Can you think of how words have honoured or dishonoured in your relationships?
  2. What words will dishonour God?


7 "You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.


4th Command - If we trust Him then we can take seriously His call on us to rest.

  1. Why is time so difficult to give up?
  2. What does it mean for a day to be set apart for God?


8 "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work,10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.


5th Command - As we learn respect, of parents, so we can respect God too.

  1. What is special about parents that they should be honoured?
  2. What does it mean to honour your parents?


12 "Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.


LOVE GOD