Living As Loved Ones – Week Two of What’s Next

Last week, I proposed that the first “position” that Christians and communities of faith need to have as we move to a post-pandemic church is to be able to “be present in the moment”. In this week’s sermon, the challenge from God’s Word is to be people who are “living as ‘loved’ ones” – as those who know the transformative power of Jesus’ love in the way we show joy, in how we choose who to love, in the way we are known by Jesus, and in living into the identity of being “chosen”. Below are some clips of that sermon…

Living as Loved Ones – Excerpts from May 9, 2021, First UMC Huntington

After watching the clip, meditate or discuss the following:

In what areas of your life do you find yourself “looking for happiness or satisfaction” rather than bringing the joy that Christ gives to us?

The idea was not explained well in the sermon, however, Jesus’ words showing our love by laying down our lives for our friends can easily be understood as identifying who we think is worthy to be our friend by choosing whether or not we are willing to lay down our life for them. Do you struggle with loving certain groups of people or maybe some person in particular? How would “giving up your ‘self'” in their presence help to heal that relationship?

We can easily get caught up in the act of serving Jesus out of obligation rather than realizing that Jesus’ greatest desire for us is to be in a close relationship with us. How do you keep Jesus at arms length in your life?

How is it different to think that Jesus chose you rather than you having chose Jesus? You must certainly respond to Jesus’ choice, but how is it different knowing that Jesus is the initiator of your relationship with him?

Feel free to discuss any of these in the comments below as well…

Challenge for this week – find some way to remind yourself several times each day that you are loved by Christ.

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