Live from a deep assurance that you are fully loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love. Live loved.
If you were to write the definition of love, what would it be?
If you were to write the definition of rejection, what would it be?
Watch the Session One Video: Living Loved
Play the video segment for Session 1. As you watch, use the outline below to follow along or take additional notes on anything that stands out to you.
Jesus’ words on the Mount of Beatitudes were a proclamation that He had come and prophecy was being fulfilled.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus announced good news for the poor, the mourning, the rejected. The Messiah has come, and if we remain in Him, we can live loved.
This week’s statement to hold on to: Live from a deep assurance that you are fully loved and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love. Live loved.
Rejection never has the final say. With Jesus you are forever safe, accepted, held, loved, invited.
God is in our midst and will quiet us with His love.
The “live loved” quest: To get to a place of stable emotions, stable love instead of a downward spiral in response to circumstances.
When giving is from a heart whose real motivation is what we’re hoping to get in return, it’s not really love at all.
Living loved is sourced in the quiet daily surrender to the One who loves us.
The ballerina longs most for her instructor’s approval. Her daily return to her instructor is the key to her seemingly effortless soaring. Likewise, we need to return often to our Instructor, our Creator. His hand is daily poised to continue making us and to complete the good work He began in us. We need to spend time getting refilled by God in His abundant love.
God waits every day with every answer we need, every comfort we crave, while we’re out looking for love everywhere else. God wants us to slow down enough to receive from Him.
Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to Him those He wanted, and they came to Him. He appointed twelve that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. — Mark 3:13-15 NIV, emphasis added
We don’t need to manipulate our hearts to feel loved. Instead, we settle in our souls that God created us because He so very much loved the thought of us.
- What part of the teaching had the most impact on you?
Blessedness: What Does the Bible Say?
Remember, Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount is a fulfillment of prophecy, because Isaiah 61:1 says,
The Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. NIV
The use of the word “poor” here really means the poor in spirit, or those who are afflicted, humble, meek. Jesus came to tell us that He had good news in the midst of hard realities. Read Matthew 5:1-16 aloud, changing readers every few verses, and listen for the way He speaks to our hearts that are so desperate for acceptance.
- Who does Jesus say are the blessed? What surprises you about this list?
Why might we call these people blessed, even though their circumstances might not be producing happy feelings?
“Blessed” translates the Greek word makarios. It could be rendered as “happy” or “fortunate” if those words aren’t taken in a shallow, emotional way. “Makarios is a state of existence in relationship to God in which a person is ‘blessed’ from God’s perspective even when he or she doesn’t feel happy or isn’t presently experiencing good fortune.” Jesus isn’t exhorting His hearers to live a life worthy of blessing. He is saying that the people He speaks of are already blessed. “Negative feelings, absence of feelings, or adverse conditions cannot take away the blessedness of those who exist in relationship with God.”
Jesus is telling His hearers that they can be blessed even when they don’t feel good. They can live as loved, blessed people regardless of their circumstances.
In what sense are you blessed right now?
How would your daily life be different if you lived convinced, deep down, that you are blessed, that the kingdom of heaven belongs to you, that your hunger will be satisfied, that you are loved by the Maker of the universe?
- Read Matthew 5:11–12.
What does God’s Word say about times when we feel left out, lonely, or less-than?
- Read Matthew 5:14–16.
Do you see yourself as the light of the world? Why or why not? How does your perception of yourself affect how you treat others?
- On the video, Lysa said that the Creator may have planned the migration of birds for the very moment when He was going to point to the birds to illustrate His message. That’s how important His hearers were to Him. Do you believe that God loves you so much that He would do the same for you?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? — Matthew 6:26-27 NIV
Write down what this passage says about God’s deep love for you.
- Read Matthew 7:90-12.
What do these verses say about God’s love for you?
Living Loved in a Sea of Feelings
- Let’s take a small assessment and then look at Zephaniah 3 together. Which of the following experiences, if any, do you have on a regular basis?
- I am often a slave to my runaway emotions and assumptions.
- I don’t think rejection is currently affecting me, but I have had deep hurts in my past.
- The moods of other people greatly affect my mood.
- I easily feel rejected.
- I’m afraid of telling other people “no” for fear that they may be disappointed in me and eventually reject me.
- I find myself assuming people are thinking the worst of me.
- I have a nagging feeling of disappointment in my soul that I’m aware of when I slow down.
- I keep moving fast, and that distracts me, so I honestly don’t know what I might be feeling if I got still and quiet.
Too often we allow our rejections to scream louder than the truth of God’s Word. Read Zephaniah 3:17 as a group:
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing. ESV
What do you think it means to be quieted by God’s love?
There are two groups of people this verse can give deep assurance to:
1) Those whose past or present rejections scream so loudly that it’s impossible to live loved when they are constantly feeling the sting of others’ hurtful words.
2) Those who aren’t currently feeling rejected but whose past hurts and rejections are affecting them more than they realize. Or those who are typically confident yet can’t understand why they shy away from certain groups of people and situations that give them some sense of not being fully welcomed in as they are.
Either way, here’s the assurance: Whether the scripts of rejection are screaming or whispering in your mind, all can be quieted by His love. And not just gentle whispers of love but “loud singing” where God Himself exults over you. He wants His voice of love to be the loudest reality in your life.
This reality doesn’t rise and fall on your ability to feel loved. It rises and falls on your belief that He is more powerful than the rejection you’ve faced. There are things in you that need to be quieted. It’s His promises, not your performance, that quiets them.
- Have you rehashed your hurts more than you’ve rejoiced in God’s love? How can Zephaniah 3:17 help you change that pattern?
What is a daily way you can dwell in the deep assurance of His love so His voice is the loudest in your life?
Say this out loud together:
“Yes, we’re going to deal with our rejections, but we’re not going to dwell on them. We will
dwell on the loving declarations of God’s love. Therefore, we can live loved.”
- Think about the past twenty-four hours. What got in the way of your living loved? anything help you live loved? If so, what?
- What mental picture represents living loved to you?
- On the video, Lysa said we can be like the ballerina who moves with such grace that she seems to fly because she returns every day to her instructor, who in love tweaks and trains her in the quiet studio. Jesus promises to be our Instructor. He promises to continue His good work in us until it is completed (Philippians 1:6). How is His love training you? What part do we play in the training process? Consider the passages in the quotation box below.
I needed to reconnect with the One who knows how to breathe life and love back into depleted and dead places. Jesus doesn’t participate in the rat race. He’s into the slower rhythms of life like abiding, delighting, and dwelling — all words used to describe us being with Him.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7 NASB).
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 ESV).
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]” (Psalm 91:1 AMP).
Did you catch the beautiful filling promised in each of those verses? When we abide, delight, and dwell in Him, He then places within us desires that line up with His best desire for us. Therefore, He can give us whatever we ask, because we will only want what’s consistent with His best. He can fully satisfy our hearts, because they are consistent with His heart. He can promise us stability, because we’re tapped into His consistent power.
~ Uninvited, pages 37–38
- Lysa says, “Living loved is sourced in the quiet daily surrender to the One who loves us.”
Write down some ways that you might go about that quiet daily surrender. What actions are involved? What attitudes are displayed?
How dangerous it is when our soul is gasping for God but we’re too distracted flirting with the world to notice. Flirting will give you brief surges of fun feelings but will never really pull you in and hold you close. Indeed, the world entices our flesh but never embraces our soul. All the while, the only love caring enough to embrace us and complete enough to fill us, waits…
We just have to turn to Him. And sit with Him. No matter what. Even if our toes bloody from the constant wear and tear from desperately running to Him. Get to Him daily.
How it must break His heart when we walk around so desperate for a love He waits to give us each and every day.
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Come share your thoughts on Uninvited and living loved with us in the comments below!