Today is Monday May 6th. Often times Churches and Christians rest on the laurel’s of “Well the world is going to hate us because the world hated Christ.” but the important thing to think about it why did the world hate Christ and why does the world often hate Christians? Just before this Christ called us to love. The love that Jesus calls His followers to is radical. To love selflessly those around you. This includes our enemies and those we are at odds with. This is radical even today. Christ showed compassion and love in the midst of his greatest suffering. Christians are hated because we are contrary to what the world wants. An eye for an eye. In a world and culture when many people dismiss those they disagree with, Christians are called to love. Even when someone hates us we are called to love. We are put at odds with a world that says cast out those who they believe are wrong. Many want to strike back when attacked. To pursue our own sense of justice instead of the Father’s. When someone stands with Christ they may be hated by people, but Christ encourages us to abide in love. Others may say “Fight back!” Do not be discouraged. Our response to hate is love not anger. Following the way of Christ will often be hard, but the way of Christ is love.
The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.
CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?
SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER (IN LARGE GROUP)
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
[ John 15.18-25 ]
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also.24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
_ Who did the world hate before you?
_ Why does the world hate you?
_ What does Jesus want them to remember in vs. 20?
_ Who do they not know in vs. 21?
_ If Jesus is hated who is also hated in vs. 23?
_ Why are they guilty in vs. 24?
_ What word in written in their Law in vs. 25?
PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_Are you hated? In what ways are you afraid of being hated? (Afraid of being disagreeable)
_How can you abide in love in the midst of hate? (Patience, grace, forgiveness, slow to speak)
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)