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Be Rich 2016, Part 3: Love vs Everything by Andy Stanley

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What if God wants more from us than vertical morality? What if he cares about our horizontal relationships?

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We all assume that we can behave and confess our way into a barrier-free relationship with God. If we sin against someone, we can just pray for God’s forgiveness and we’ll be back in his good graces. But what if God wants more from us than vertical morality? What if he cares about our horizontal relationships?

“Everybody is sombody for whom Jesus died.” – Andy Stanley

Ever since Jesus introduced a new covenant, our relationship with God hasn’t been measured against our obedience; it’s measured against how we treat others. Jesus calls us to love those whom God loves . . . even when that’s difficult to do. The way of love is far less complicated than obeying a long list of rules, but far more demanding.

So, what does love require of you?


Scripture: 1 John 2:9–10 — Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Be Rich 2016, Part 3: Love vs Everything

INTRODUCTION
We all assume that we can behave and confess our way into a barrier-free relationship with God. If we sin against someone, we can just pray for God’s forgiveness and we’ll be back in his good graces. But what if God wants more from us than vertical morality? What if he cares about our horizontal relationships?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. When have you asked yourself or someone else if a particular behavior was a sin? What motivated you to ask that question?

  2. How do you think the reputation of the church would change if Christians focused on loving others the way Jesus loved others?

  3. To what extent do you currently believe that your relationship with God is based on how well you obey him? How do you think that influences the way you view God?

  4. Read 1 John 2:1–11. If you took this passage to heart, how would you treat people differently than you currently do? How would it change your relationship with God?

  5. During the message, Andy defined horizontal morality: “If it’s not best for them, it’s sin.” Does that standard sound reasonable to you? Why or why not?

  6. Who do you need to love better right now? What does love require of you in that relationship? How can this group support you as you do what love requires?

MOVING FORWARD
Ever since Jesus introduced a new covenant, our relationship with God hasn’t been measured against our obedience; it’s measured against how we treat others. Jesus calls us to love those whom God loves . . . even when that’s difficult to do. The way of love is far less complicated than obeying a long list of rules, but far more demanding. So, what does love require of you?

CHANGING YOUR MIND
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 1 John 2:9–10

Andy Stanley:
Communicator, author, and pastor Andy Stanley founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995. Today, NPM is comprised of six churches in the Atlanta area and a network of 30 churches around the globe, collectively serving nearly 70,000 people weekly. As the host of Your Move with Andy Stanley, with over five million messages consumed each month through television and podcast, and the author of 20-plus books, including The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating; Ask It; How to Be Rich; Deep & Wide; Visioneering; and Next Generation Leader, he is considered one of the most influential living pastors in America. Andy and his wife, Sandra, have three grown children and live near Atlanta.

 

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