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Just as Christ our shepherd laid down His life for us, we ought to do whatever is necessary to care for the needs of those God brings into our lives. This is true for a relative, friend, brother, colleague, stranger or neighbor.
1) God's Command For Us to Love Others
Loving others is a command from God. As children of God, we are enabled to love others because God’s love fills our hearts.
God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us (Romans 5:5).
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God (1 John 4:7).
Notice how God commands us to love others as we love ourselves. “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14).
Love is the opposite to self-centered living. We need to retrain ourselves to consider the needs of others above ourselves and to be attentive to those needs.
2) Seeking Other Sheep
Jesus said, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also” (John 10:16). Jesus was speaking mostly of non-Jews here.
How does Jesus bring those sheep into the fold? Give one or two examples of someone doing this.
3) The Need to Love Others in Truth and in Action
If anyone has material possession and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3 17-18)
It is very easy for us to say to someone that we love and care for them. But how often do we really pour out our love for them in action?
Jesus demonstrated His love for us in action by dying on the cross to save us from eternal death. How can we love others in action today? We can spend time with them, pray for/with them, and give them a helping hand when they are in need.
As God's children, we must love others in action and in truth, so that God can be glorified through our testimony.
1) Identify any ‘sheep’ that you are responsible to show God’s love to. This might include children, a widow, spouse or some friend.
2) Do you think of your responsibility to provide spiritual care to others? A pastor of course must ‘pastor’ God’s people, but God has also given all of His disciples the responsibility to be part of the means He shows spiritual care to others (Matthew 28:18). Name one or two ways that you spiritually care for others.
A strategic basic discipleship series designed to help Christians grow not only in their relationship with God but also with other people. Each section uses a familiar relationship to bring out basic but very practical Biblical teaching.
We highly recommend getting the BFF Discipleship #1 Digital Library which not only includes the Relationship Discipleship book, but slides, summaries, user guide, teacher's reference, etc. This D#1 Library also contains all our other Christian training resources for new believers.
These Christian media-enriched resources can also be purchased in the BFF Resource Center.
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988