Think about a time when you found it really hard to love a person (please don't mention their name).
What do you think is the greatest evidence or test of true love?
"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven… If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?...”
Jesus speaking, as recorded in Matthew 5:43-46 in the Bible.
What is surprising about Jesus' teaching on love? How is it different to the standard of love that most of us would measure ourselves against?
How difficult, in your experience, is it to selflessly love someone you don’t like - or who has intentionally hurt you?
What sort of thing would need to happen in our hearts for us to be able to love others in the way Jesus taught – and to do so consistently?
Who can you think of that you might need to forgive?
Who could you show unmerited love to, just as God has shown unmerited love to us?
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me, even though I have done and thought many selfish and wrong things in my life. I don’t deserve your love and forgiveness– but you gave it to me anyway through Jesus, when I asked.
Thank you for helping me to understand your love, and for teaching me to love others selflessly just as you love me.
Help me to see where to start. Help me to see who I can love and help each day. Help me to make a difference in this world - starting with the lives of those I see every day. In Jesus name, I ask it. Amen.