Here we are in Week 5 of the Believing Jesus Bible Study and it’s really just coincidence that we’re talking about “Loving More People, More” this week before Valentine’s Day! But what perfect timing!
Last week we dug into community. Our challenge was to ask ourselves two questions: What are our needs? And, what do we have to offer? So, what did you discover? How did you actively drop your guard, lean in, and become part of a community this last week? What did you discover in interdependence with others?
One of my favorite days of the personal study was the study of the friendship between Paul and Barnabas. Barnabas (“son of encouragement”) has always been one of my favorite people in the Bible because he was an uplifter, a come-along-sider, a believer in the best, and a smiling inspiration to those around him. I’ve always pictured him as a man like my dad, a hugger and a kisser who was always filled with a positive word to lighten the load of someone who was weary. We all need friends like Barney! Hopefully the same qualities he had are growing in us as well as we learn to love more people, more!
Hey, are you keeping up with your daily study? If you’ve fallen a little behind, don’t worry about it, just pick yourself up and keep going. You can do it! (There’s a little Barnabas exhortation for you!)
If you’ve yet to get involved, come join our Facebook Online Bible Study community and engage with other participants who are going through the Believing Jesus Study! We’d love to get to know you, hear your thoughts, and grow together.
This week we’re in Session Five “Loving More People, More”.
This week for the study you will:
1. Read Acts 6:1-7, Acts 8:26-40, Acts 10:1-11:18
2. Watch the video for Week 5 – either on DVD or by video streaming on StudyGateway (Make sure you’ve got a solid connection to the internet before you begin.).
3. Go through the discussion questions for Session 5 in the Believing Jesus Study Guide (pages 98-104).
4. For your personal study this week, answer the questions each day in the Believing Jesus Study Guide (pages 105-120, the light blue section).
Here are Days 1-5 in the study guide:
- Day 1: The Ethiopian
- Day 2: Our Friend Ruth
- Day 3: Cornelius
- Day 4: Age Doesn’t Matter
- Day 5: Samaritans
5. Recommended (but optional) reading for this week: Read chapter 5, “Loving More People, More” in Believing Jesus – the paperback companion book, not study guide.
Activity This Week
Loving more people more doesn’t come automatically. It’s a choice and one that can only be accomplished with the Holy Spirit.
You’re going to hear in the video this week Lisa tell a story about her precious Missy being mistreated on a playground. I’m betting most of us will have the same initial emotional response as Lisa did. I’m a momma to five (from tweens to twenty-somethings) and my sweet chickadee #5 was born in Ethiopia, so I’ve been through that blood-boiling and sad experience with my daughter, too, and sometimes I’ve responded with grace and wisdom and other times not so much. It’s made me have to face my own issues of preference and unfair bias which is such important spiritual work!
This week, let’s keep our hearts awake and aware of the Holy Spirit’s voice if we show any favoritism or partiality to certain individuals, or biases against others. Let’s set out to be the Family of God with those who are different from us and see what happens!
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, help us to open our hearts, lives, and arms to those around us who need Jesus just as we do. Help us to accept and welcome people we’ve built walls against. Help us to see people the way that You do, without our own biases, ignorance and intolerance, even if we’re unaware of it! Soften our hearts to see every skin color, size, shape, ability or disability, culture, or any other form of division and remember that we are saved by grace and that it’s the Gospel alone, not the Gospel plus our preferences! We love you, Jesus, and we want to be like You. Amen.
Join the Conversation
What can you do today to remind yourself, and the people around you, that every single person is worthy of God’s affection? Join the conversation about this week’s study on our blog or Facebook group page!