In this series, we’re trying to figure out what it means to be a disciple and our definition is a Disciple is someone who:
- WORSHIPS God
- Is in COMMUNITY with others
- Is always on MISSION
Today is about COMMUNITY. A disciple is in COMMUNITY with others
So last week we said to be in community means “We love each other by knowing each other.”
But what is love? What does that kind of love look like?
In John 13:35 Jesus gives us a clear definition of what a disciple in community looks like:
John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples: if you love one another.
So today we’re going to look in 1 John again and see what this idea of community is all about.
Love like JESUS
John 13.34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus said to his disciples “the same way I loved you, love each other.” So if we’re recognized by how we love each other, how are we supposed to love?
What are some of the ways Jesus loved his disciples?
- Jesus was “with” them
- Taught them
- Ate with them (think about the length of a meal)
- Did ministry with them
- Sent them out
- Called them out
- Built them up
- Commissioned them
- Let them lead
- Traveled with them
- Served them
- Prayed for them
- Died for them
Acts 2.42-47 They devoted themselves’ to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved.
What stands out to you? What did these people do to love each other like Jesus?
- Breaking bread
- Were together and had everything in common
- Sold property to give to anyone who hand need
- Met together every day
- Ate meals in each others’ homes
What Jesus did the disciples did, and that multiplied the church. Jesus taught, ate, prayed, was with, did ministry, and gave to his disciples. They valued the same things and people were amazed. Why? They recognized the community they had and it was attractive. This love identified them as disciples and doing this added people to the family of God.
Love is ACTIVE
1 Corinthians 13.1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames but have not love, I gain nothing.
Speaking without love = flattery
- With love = genuine
Faith without love = arrogance
- With love = humility
Giving without love = self-benefit
- With love = generosity
1 Corinthians 13.4-8 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
There are 8 things this passage says love IS (and 8 things love is not). Let’s list the 8 that love IS:
patient…where there are differences
- or Pet Peeves (like the word “funner”…not fully erasing a chalk board…when people use words they don’t know the definition of…misquoting famous movie lines)
kind…where there are annoyances
- I failed this in High School when I punched another guy in my youth group. Was he annoying? Yes. Was punching him in the kidney this same “kindness” that IS love? No.
rejoices w/ the truth…where there are victories
- Celebrate with people, don’t just wish it happened to you (like Bailey telling me her friend stopped cutting b/c of a message at another church; like Alex telling me a kid at her school asked to receive Christ)
Always protects…where there are threats
- This is why I went off last week…
Always trusts…where there are accusations
- If you believe accusations, that’s called gossip. If you love one another, your trust makes you approach them about what was said instead of believing what was said (and no, Pearse doesn’t have a tattoo on his back of a dragon swallowing a battleship)
Always hopes…where you hear what makes you doubt
- Hope is confidence, not wishfulness. When hope is lost, all is lost. Hang on to hope as we learn how to love each other
Always perseveres…where love isn’t reciprocated
- Not everyone is going to love you back right away
Never fails…when people do
- We’re all broken people and when broken people try to do good things they can still break. But love is what Jesus has called us to, and He doesn’t call us to something that is broken. He rescues the broken people He has called.
Love IS all of these things. And this is what all of us can be & do as we work towards being in true biblical community with each other.
How Do We Respond To This?
To be a disciple is to be in community with others. And to do that, we have to know how to love one another.
The good thing is Scripture gives us a pretty clear list of what love looks like and what love does not look like, so now we are without excuse. Now we just have to start practicing this so we get in the HABIT of love.
Remember that a disciple is someone who learns by being in the habit of doing something. For us, our habits are WORSHIP God, be in COMMUNITY with others, and always be on MISSION.
Without community there is no discipleship.
So may you connect in community here. May you grow as a disciple of Jesus as one who truly loves their brothers and sisters in Christ.