40 Days of Love – Week 6
Compiled by: Angel Torres
“Love is not easily angered.” 1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV
Love is not easily angered
- Resolve to manage it
- Anger is a choice. Why is it important to resolve to manage it in advance?
- “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” Proverbs 29:11 NIV
- No one can make us mad without our consent!
Discipleship // Weekly Goal #1 – We can choose to change-sometimes more than we want to admit. Just as uncontrolled anger is a learned behavior; it can be unlearned and managed. It’s a choice that requires commitment. Before examining the next five steps, ask yourself the three questions, “Will I resolve to manage my anger? Will I commit to the necessary actions below to make this happen? How will I rely on my small group or others to support these decisions?”
- Remember the cost
- When we remember the cost, we are motivated to manage anger. What are some of the costs when this is forgotten?
- “An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.” Proverbs 29:22 NIV
- What are some of the potential consequences that a hot-temper may ultimately lead to?
- Our unrestrained and uncontrolled anger can have severe consequences on the behavior of others. Children who develop bad and unhealthy tempers may have learned this type of behavior from the adults around them.
- “Not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:3 NIV – Although Peter was speaking to the elders within church congregations in this verse, what was said can still be applied to the family of believers. We should be leading by example!!
Fellowship // Weekly Goal #2 – When angry, we do things that we would never do. We say things that we would never say. A good reminder of the cost of a hot temper is: “I always lose when I lose my temper.” What are some of the important relationships in your life that are more valuable than a hot temper? Who do you love enough and value over angry feelings? Who are some people you can share the challenges of anger with and rely on for fellowship to help? Identify some people or a group you can securely share the challenges of anger with who can remind you of the cost.
- Reflect before reacting
- Anger is mouth control. How can waiting to react often calm a situation?
- Resist the urge to impulsively react to upsetting situations!
- “Set a guard over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalms 141:3 NIV
- How can the prayer above change reactions to anger when put into practice?
Discipleship // Weekly Goal #3 – The more we understand anger, the more understanding we will be. Reflecting before reacting is not letting something go unresolved. The Bible says we should never go to sleep angry; it should be addressed within 24 hours. What actions can you take that will allow for reflection before reaction? You can count to ten slowly, you can pray, memorize scripture, you can forgive or ask for forgiveness. Identify at least three commitments you will make to control reactions.
- Release my anger appropriately
- Aggression only produces more. Why does just “letting it out” never work?
- It’s all about how people release anger. What are some right ways? What are some wrong ways?
- “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 NIV
- How can talking low and slow calm a situation?
Discipleship // Weekly Goal #4 – There are three ways not to release anger. The first way is to suppress it or store it up inside. It will eventually blow up. The second way not to release it is to repress it. That is denying it even exists. This can often lead to depression which is not good. The last way is expressing it which comes out in the form of sarcasm or manipulation. The right way to release anger is to confess it. Is there anything that is making you angry? If so, what do you need to confess? Pray about it and take action. Confess this to a trusted individual and God.
- Re-pattern my mind
- How can God transform us?
- “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV
- What are some examples of changing the way that we think?
- “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered.” Proverbs 22:24 NIV
Discipleship // Weekly Goal #5 – When we change the way we think, then it’ll change the way we feel and it will change our behavior. Sometimes we think we can change others, but we can’t. However, we can change ourselves. Look what happens to an angry man according to Proverb 11:29. Is there an angry person or people you need to get away from? What behaviors and customs of the world might be influencing your anger? How can you remove these from your life? What action can you take to re-pattern your mind to changing the way you think? Pray about it and write down three commitments for change.
- Rely on God’s help
- What are some ways that God can help us with patience?
- “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.” Romans 15:5 NIV
- Why is patience the outer result when God’s Spirit is inside of us?
- The tongue describes the heart. How can God help what is in the heart?
- “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Matthew 12:34 NIV
Worship // Weekly Goal #6 – The real secret for love that is not easily angered is the power of God to change us inside and our close relationship with Jesus Christ. We need a heart transplant. That means giving our heart to God so He can transform us. How can you worship God more? What can you do to praise Him more? Take the action step to commit or re-commit yourself to Jesus right now.
40 Days of Love – Week Five
Compiled by: Angel Torres
LOVE IS NOT RUDE. So…
- BE TACTFUL, NOT JUST TRUTHFUL
- We need to be respectful and thoughtful with our words. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t speak the truth, but rather it means that we should use our tongues wisely to build people up.
- It is critical to stop negative emotions such as rage, bitterness, and disappointment before they can spill out of our mouths and potentially hurt the people around us.
- “To answer before listening– that is folly and shame.” Proverbs 18:13 NIV
- Even though tv shows and movies may promote filthy language, us believers need to be aware of how we use our lips to communicate with others.
Discipleship // Weekly Goal #1 – It takes effort, practice, and time to grow in our ability to be tactful. How can we learn the fine difference between bluntness and diplomacy? Share some ideas for how we can stop interrupting others or keep from taking our bad day out on other people.
LOVE DOES NOT DEMAND ITS OWN WAY. So…
- BE UNDERSTANDING, NOT DEMANDING
- Kind, loving, and gentle words will distinguish us as followers of Christ.
- Our attitude will stand in stark contrast to the hurried, aloof, and often emotionally-charged behavior that is present in unsaved people. Because of this, people will take notice of the Christian who goes against the worldly grain. Our own self-discipline may even help lead people to Christ!
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up his divine privileges He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8 NLT
- Before we make an ill-advised quick judgment call about someone else, we should first consider their situation and “walk a mile in their shoes” so to speak.
Ministry // Weekly Goal #2 – Even in ministry, it is easy to place unreasonable demands upon the service of others. When we choose to be understanding rather than demanding, how is the message of Christ furthered within the body? What are some ways that we can show more understanding to others and try to relate to their situation?
- LOVE IS NOT IRRITABLE. So…BE GENTLE, NOT JUDGMENTAL
- How can we reconcile with others after making a mistake?
- Instead of casting down judgment on a person, how can we encourage them to make adjustments and ultimately build them up?
- “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” Galatians 6:1 NLT
- “So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.” Romans 14:12 NLT
Fellowship // Weekly Goal #3 – All of us are tempted to do wrong from time to time. How can we help one another flee temptation? If one of us should fall, how can the bond of fellowship help restore us rather than make us feel excluded? Think about a time when you felt comforted and restored by God’s love as shown by others.
- LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS. So…DON’T REPEAT IT, DELETE IT!
- We are to forgive and love others just like how God has forgiven us and loves us to this very day.
- “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25 NIV
- We would be hypocrites to deny others our forgiveness while asking God to forgive us of our sins against Him.
- “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” Proverbs 10:12 NIV
- Our love towards others can lead to healed emotional wounds and the reconciliation and rekindling of relationships.
Mission // Weekly Goal #4 – A choice to forget an offense done to us by another—whether a fellow believer or a non-believer—can have a great impact on our message to those who don’t yet know Christ. Share an experience when a decision to forgive and forget made a difference for someone else, possibly even winning them to Christ.
40 Days of Love – Part 4
Compiled by: Angel Torres
- Love people with honest words!
- “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)
- It is often easier to be nice than it is to be honest. It is better to tell people the truth than comfort them with lies!
- “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” Proverbs 27:5 (NIV)
- Ask yourself this question: what are some ways that people can find joy in the truth even though they initially may not want to hear it?
Weekly Goal #1 – Pray for someone who needs to hear the Gospel truth, and reach out to that person this week.
2. Love with careful words!
- Describe ways of how Satan could use our anger if we are not careful.
- “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV)
- When encountering a situation or conversation that could potentially stir up gossip, what are some ways that we could prevent it, or change the direction of the conversation?
- What are some of the benefits of holding your tongue?
Weekly Goal #2 – Ask God for help in dealing with anger, and in choosing your words honestly and carefully.
3. Love with building words!
- Unwholesome and unnecessary talk should not come out of our mouths.
- Think about the benefits of building up others according to their needs.
- “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
Weekly Goal #3 – This week, apply the acronym T.H.I.N.K. to whatever it is that you plan on saying:
- T: Truthful
- H: Helpful
- I: Inspirational
- N: Necessary
- K: Kind
40 Days of Love – Week 3
Compiled by: Angel Torres
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 (NIV)
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:15 (NIV)
- Accept others like how Jesus accepts me.
- Jesus assures us that He will never drive away those the Father gives to Him (John 6:37).
- God receives those who have been forsaken and rejected (Psalm 27:10).
- “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7 (NIV)
Weekly Goal #1 – Find someone who is difficult to love, and make the effort to show them genuine love.
2. I must value others like how Jesus values me.
- God places immense value and worth on our lives!
- We are His beautiful handiwork, lovingly made in His image (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).
- “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7 NIV)
Weekly Goal #2 – This week, how can I show others that they are greatly valued and appreciated?
3. Forgive others like how Jesus forgives me.
- God blots out our transgressions for His sake and remembers our sins no more (Isaiah 43:25)
- “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1 NIV
- “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 NIV
Weekly Goal #3 – This week, offer forgiveness to someone who has hurt you.
4. I must believe in others like how Jesus believes in me.
- Has your life been characterized by faith, or by doubt?
- “that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12 NIV
- Our faith should encourage and build up the people around us.
- “Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” Matthew 21:21 NIV
Weekly Goal #4 – What can you do to demonstrate increased trust and faith in the people around you?
40 Days of Love – Week 2
Compiled by: Angel Torres
Three important truths about loving God and others:
- The best use of life is love!
a. Love validates our faith.
- “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8
b. Love compensates for sin.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
2. The best expression of love is time.
“Dear children, let us not love with words of speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
There is a big difference between when someone offers you their focused, undivided attention rather than half-hearted and insincere words.
Our love should be molded and influenced by how Jesus lived His life and ultimately died for us.
- We need to control and eliminate any distractions that may be diffusing our focus on loving people.
- There is no replacement for time when it comes to loving God and others.
3. The best time to love is now!
- “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10
- We need to live wisely and cut down on foolish habits.
Compiled by: Angel Torres
Most (if not all) people have an ultimate, high-value standard that directs and controls the flow of behavior in their lives. A believer’s correct number #1 value, however, should be to love God above all else! Jesus Himself acutely encapsulates this principle in this one precise verse:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)
Since we know that God is love, it will be impossible for us to properly demonstrate true love towards others until we first experience His unconditional and limitless love:
“We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Once we have a grasp on how deep and fulfilling God’s love really is, we can then apply our God-given talents and skills to serve the body of Christ, and each other, with full confidence and joy. Us believers need to demonstrate authentic love to others (even when it feels difficult to do!) so as to honor the commitment that we made to God. We can still act and demonstrate godly love to the people around us, even when we don’t exactly feel like loving them. We need to put aside our momentary feelings and move in such a way that will impact others for eternity. One simple act of love and kindness might just be what God uses to change a person’s hardened heart.
Love is something that a person can develop and grow over time, as they progress in their desire to care for others and serve in faithfulness and obedience. That right there is a sign of God working in a believer’s heart, and it is something that everyone should strive to do in their walk with the Lord. When we develop a servant’s heart and harvest a desire to love others, we are serving God by honoring the commitment we made with Him. This ultimately comes about, however, through natural progression and in forming the right habits. When we make it a habit to serve and love others, we begin to truly demonstrate the Fruits of the Spirit. The apostle Paul so succinctly captures the essence of what God wants us to show to the world:
“Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14)