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Having the Heart of Jesus: Discussion Questions for 1 John 4

When have you given up something you really loved for the good of someone else? What did you give up? What benefit did your sacrifice provide?

Read 1 John 4:10. In the middle of the verse is the word "sacrifice" or "propitiation". Use the following questions to discuss what Christ's sacrifice/propitiation really meant.

What did Jesus' death satisfy?
What did Jesus' death pacify?
What did Jesus' death alleviate?
What did Jesus' death settle?

What does Jesus' death teach us about true love?

According to this verse, God's act of giving up His Son is the definition of love. Can you imagine anything or anyone for whom you would put your child/children to death? What does this teach us about God's love?

1 John 4:7-8 make it clear that anyone who claims to be God's child must love like God does. Loving is not as simple as just saying, "I love you." What kind of sacrifices are required to love the people in your life (spouse, children, friends, neighbors, co-workers)?

Read 1 John 4:9. According to this verse, God sent Jesus to be like us so that we would understand how much he loves us. The theological word for this is to "incarnate". A more common expression would be to "connect with". (Read more in Philippians 2)

What does it mean to "connect with" someone?

When have you felt love because someone took the time to really connect with you or what you were going through?

What can you do this week to show someone love by connecting with them?


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In the past, I've written about and talked about the SOAP method of Bible study. This is a simple Bible study method which can be utilized by an individual or a small group. All you need is a passage of Scripture and 15-30 minutes (a journal is helpful).

Many churches use this method of Bible study for their groups. Some have modified the SOAP method by adding a Y. Read more about it below:

This Bible study is an intentional focused effort of growing in the understanding of the scriptures. This form of study will assist in the transformation of our inner lives as we mature in understanding and in faith.
Set aside 15 minutes every day for the study. You might want to take more time after you have gotten started. Don’t overload yourself in the beginning. Keep a “soapy” journal because there will be the need to write everyday. As you develop your routine, share what you are learning with your Discipleship Group, Sunday school class, Circle, other groups in which you participate, or …