Becoming a Woman Who Loves

Becoming a Woman Who Loves

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by Cynthia Heald
     
 

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Jesus loved unconditionally, passionately, and sacrificially. How can we possibly love as He did? And what does such love look like? Becoming a Woman Who Loves by Navigator author Cynthia Heald is a topical Bible study in 11 sessions that explores the incredible nature of Christlike love. Discover how to be sure such beautiful love resides deep within

Overview

Jesus loved unconditionally, passionately, and sacrificially. How can we possibly love as He did? And what does such love look like? Becoming a Woman Who Loves by Navigator author Cynthia Heald is a topical Bible study in 11 sessions that explores the incredible nature of Christlike love. Discover how to be sure such beautiful love resides deep within your soul and how to let it flow more freely to others as you become more like Jesus. If using in a group, personal study is needed between meetings.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781617472633
Publisher:
The Navigators
Publication date:
02/27/2014
Series:
Becoming a Woman of ... Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
823 KB

Read an Excerpt

BECOMING A WOMAN WHO LOVES

A Bible Study
By CYNTHIA HEALD

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2007 Cynthia Heald
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7852-7243-4


Chapter One

The Supremacy of Love

* * *

There are three things that will endure-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT

Love is the most God-like state of the soul. God is not faith or hope; God is love. The Eternal does not believe or anticipate, but he does love-he is love. Love is the life of the soul. It warms every vein and beats in every pulse. David Thomas

In his first letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul addressed a group of believers who were preoccupied with seeking and practicing the most prominent spiritual gifts. To help them maintain a balanced perspective, Paul encouraged the Corinthians to pursue "a more excellent way" (1 Cor. 12:31 NKJV). The best way to minister to the body of Christ, he concluded, was to exercise the supreme virtue of love. Although he acknowledged the lasting value of faith and hope, even these would one day be eclipsed. For Paul to single out one virtue as the greatest, above all others, indicates that he had a firm conviction based on his own experience and his certainty of the heart of God. Categorically and boldly, he proclaimed that the highest, the loveliest, the preeminent virtue of all is love.

The Prominence of Love

1. To discover the heart of God and what He desires most for His children, we can examine His Word. What central theme is taught in each of the following Scriptures?

a. Mark 12:28-31

b. Romans 13:8-9

c. 1 Corinthians 13:13

d. 1 Corinthians 16:14

2. Of all the commands in the Bible and among all the great virtues, love reigns supreme. What do these passages communicate about why love is God's priority?

a. Romans 13:10

b. 1 Corinthians 8:1-3

c. Colossians 3:14

3. Our culture has given us many popular songs and sayings about the importance and beauty of love. List some of your favorite song titles or quotations, and then describe what kind of love is prized in our society.

Love being the most potent of forces, it is hardly surprising that the most overwhelming experiences of life should be those of being in love-first with God and then with another human being. There is no trick or a magician or spell of a witchdoctor, no drug or mesmerism or bribery or torture or coercion that can compare in power with the force for change unleashed in the human breast through the touch of love. Love is the greatest of teachers, for there is no authority more compelling, no power more hypnotically transfixing, no counsel more wise, no message we are more longing to hear, no other master for whom it is easier to give up absolutely everything in order to follow and obey. Mike Mason

The Highest Love

4. The world tends to glorify relational and physical love. But the greatest love, which Paul extols, is from a rarely used word in the Greek language, agape. It describes "a love that is based on the deliberate choice of the one who loves rather than the worthiness of the one who is loved." How do the following verses characterize this kind of love?

a. Psalm 145:8-9

b. Jeremiah 31:3

c. John 3:16-17

d. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them ... If I may dare the biological image, God is a "host" who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and "take advantage of" Him. Herein is love. This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves. C. S. Lewis

5. Agape love is self-sacrificing, desiring the best for another. How has God demonstrated this kind of love to the world?

How has His unconditional love shaped your life?

Author's Reflection

Some of my favorite old love songs are by Irving Berlin: "I'll Be Loving You Always" and "How Deep Is the Ocean." I grew up listening to Elvis Presley sing, "Love Me Tender," and many times I would find myself humming, "What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love." Browning's poetic stanza, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways," Tennyson's declaration, "It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all," and the saying, "Love makes the world go round" captured my attention as a young girl.

I remember watching the Academy Awards one year when a movie actress was so overcome with emotion as she received an Oscar that she repeatedly cried, "You like me!" It is, indeed, a precious gift to be loved, wanted, and accepted.

Throughout history the incalculable value of love has been proclaimed in every art form and culture-personally, privately, and publicly. Certainly the Scriptures address the whole scope of love. Sexual love in the context of marriage is blessed by God, love between friends is prized, and agape love is presented as the highest and best to achieve.

C. S. Lewis offers a unique insight into this special agape love when he portrays God as the host who actively invites and welcomes His "parasitic" children to cling to and depend upon Him. The connotation of the word parasite is usually negative, because a parasite can ultimately destroy its host. There are, however, a few positive synonyms for the word parasite-"follower" and "attendant"-which perfectly describe those who choose to hold fast to the Lord God. Far from destroying this loving Host, God's children bring Him pleasure when they acknowledge and accept His kind invitation to be fed, protected, and nurtured by Him.

God has demonstrated the highest love for in Christ's sacrifice, He has accepte His dependent followers unconditionally. In this beautiful context of agape love, the "parasite" embraces faith, experiences hope, and receives eternal life. What an extremely gracious Host is our God, who generously imparts His love to all who desire to live with Him. In loving and clinging to Him, we can experience the greatest love that life has to offer.

We know but little now about the conditions of the life that is to come. But what is certain is that love must last. God, the Eternal God, is love. Covet, therefore, that everlasting gift, that one thing which it is certain is going to stand, that one coinage which will be current in the universe when all the other coinages of all the nations of the world shall be useless and unhonored. You will give yourself to many things; give yourself first to love. Henry Drummond

Love Imparted

6. As you review this chapter, ask the Lord what He wants you to learn concerning the supremacy of love. Is there a verse on which you need to meditate or a teaching about which you need to pray so that love can begin to dwell in your heart in a more powerful way? Write down your thoughts and pray for God's love to invade your heart and teach you about what you personally need to become a woman who loves.

Scripture Memory Verse:

1 Corinthians 13:13

(Continues...)



Excerpted from BECOMING A WOMAN WHO LOVES by CYNTHIA HEALD Copyright © 2007 by Cynthia Heald. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Becoming a Woman Who Loves: ``Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud....Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anne-B More than 1 year ago
Often books about love address one aspect of loving--the act itself, but not what is behind the love. It is the heart that is behind the love that matters and this is what Cynthia Heald digs into in this study. She addresses what love is, what it looks like, what it means to love one another, forgiving one another and reconciling, as well as how to speak to one another in love. I was blessed by this study as I have been by the others studies I have done by her. Her studies point you to the Word not to yourself or to popular psychology. This study would be a wonderful one to do to by yourself or with a Bible study. Often I find that small groups actually do "book" studies with questions attached that point people to the Word and to their own hearts and experiences. I would describe this book as one that points you to the heart of God--a loving heart. This study focuses much more on reading the Word than Ms. Heald's words. There are wonderful quotes and short stories which she shares, but the majority of the study is questions and reading the Bible to see what it says. I use Cynthia Heald's Becoming a Woman of series as part of my morning devotionals and I highly recommend them. They are biblical and don't read into the Word and infer things. It is hard to find good Bible studies that don't ask you to infer how the people in the Bible are feeling or expand what the Bible says. But, Cynthia Heald doesn't do that in her studies. She points you to the Word and has you read a lot of passages in the Bible (sometimes singular verses, but also a lot of passages). This one did include a lot more verses than passages, whereas the other books I've gone through had me look up a lot more passages. I enjoyed this study and I hope it will encourage you if you go through it! Please note that I recieved a complimentary copy of this book for review from NavPress.
KC2010 More than 1 year ago
Becoming a Woman who Loves by Cynthia Heald is a short, eleven chapter Bible study, that focuses on loving how Jesus loved. Each chapter uses numerous scriptures to show how important love is for a child of God. It gives you questions to think about and time for reflection. I liked that this book didn't just give you the scripture and allow you to read it out of the book, you had to look it up and search through the scriptures yourself. It also gave ample space to write out scriptures and thoughts. I found it would be an excellent resource as a personal study guide or to do in a small group setting. *Disclosure: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Navpress. I was not required to write a positive review.*
BeckyK More than 1 year ago
As far as Bible studies go "Becoming a Woman Who Loves" is a solid effort. I was given the opportunity from NavPress to review the study. I did this study on my own and must admit that while I could see great value in it for someone who really struggles with being loving this study was pretty typical. It used and sited all the verses you would expect. The questions posed are easily answered with shallow, let me get though this responses. I did like the general set up and pacing of the study. Where I would recommend this book highly is at a woman's Bible study. A group of woman going though it together that could discuss the points and passages a bit deeper I think would benefit more then doing the study solo. It also creates accountability in putting into practice what the study addresses, walking in love.