How can you build healthy, vital relationships with God, your families, and your friends? How can you satisfy your deep need to give and receive love? This Fruit of the Spirit Bible study explores the “most excellent way” into the hearts of those you care about. You’ll discover how to develop a love that affirms, a love that forgivesa love that lasts.The eight-volume Fruit of the Spirit Bible Studies series not only helps you discover what the Bible says about the vital traits that the Holy Spirit produces in believers, but also moves you beyond reflection and discussion to application. Designed for use in small groups or personal devotions, the interactive format will help you grow in your ability to reflect the character of Jesus.Revised to include:Expanded leader’s notesBetween-studies applicationsSuggestions for prayer
About the Author
Peter Scazzero is the founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York City, a large, multiracial church with more than seventy-three countries represented. After serving as senior pastor for twenty-six years, Pete now serves as a teaching pastor/pastor at large. He is the author of two best-selling books—The Emotionally Healthy Church and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. He is also the author of The EHS Course and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day. Pete and his wife, Geri, are the founders of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a groundbreaking ministry that equips churches in a deep, beneath-the-surface spiritual formation paradigm that integrates emotional health and contemplative spirituality. They have four lovely daughters. For more information, visit emotionallyhealthy.org, or connect with Pete on Twitter @petescazzero.
Read an Excerpt
LoveBuilding Healthy Relationships
By Peter Scazzero
ZondervanCopyright © 2001 Zondervan
All right reserved.
Chapter OneLOVING JESUS
In the book Too Busy Not to Pray Bill Hybels writes, "To people in the fast lane, determined to make it on their own, prayer is an embarrassing interruption.... Where does the still, small voice of God fit into our hectic lives? When do we allow him to lead and guide and correct and affirm? And if this seldom or never happens, how can we lead truly authentic Christian lives?"
God calls every believer first to himself and then to ministry. One of the greatest dangers facing us today is our tendency to be so involved in various activities that we lose that "simple and pure devotion to Christ" spoken about by the apostle Paul (2 Cor. 11:3). God wants us to be filled with passion and love for his Son, Jesus Christ.
This story of Jesus and the sinful woman illustrates the kind of simple devotion that God desires.
1. Think of a person who has "fallen in love." How are his or her attitudes, priorities, and other relationships affected?
2. Read Luke 7:36-50. How would you describe the setting of this story (the place, the people present, the atmosphere, and so on)?
3. In what ways does the woman demonstrate lavish devotion to Jesus (vv. 36-38)?
4. Imagine yourself at the dinner table. What might you feel during this woman's interruption?
Why do you think her actions offend Simon the Pharisee (v. 39)?
5. In what ways could we express extravagant devotion to Jesus today?
How might that upset some people around us?
6. What does it cost this woman to publicly show her love for Jesus?
What are the costs for you?
7. What point does Jesus make for Simon in the parable of the two debtors (vv. 40-43)?
8. Why does Jesus compare Simon's hospitality with that of the woman (vv. 44-46)?
Excerpted from Love by Peter Scazzero Copyright © 2001 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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