Scripture: Luke 6:27-38 (Common English Bible)
27 “But I say to you who are willing to hear: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer the other one as well. If someone takes your coat, don’t withhold your shirt either. 30 Give to everyone who asks and don’t demand your things back from those who take them. 31 Treat people in the same way that you want them to treat you.
32 “If you love those who love you, why should you be commended? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, why should you be commended? Even sinners do that. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, why should you be commended? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to be paid back in full. 35 Instead, love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing in return. If you do, you will have a great reward. You will be acting the way children of the Most High act, for he is kind to ungrateful and wicked people. 36 Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.
37 “Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. The portion you give will determine the portion you receive in return.”
For the month of February, we will commemorate Black History Month with a sermon series that focuses on what it means to be true to our God and true to our roots as a people. The close of James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” charges us to be “true to our God and true to our native land.”
In order to be true to God, we must not discriminate with whom we share God’s love. The measure we give will be the measure we get back.
Bible Study Lesson
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes).
Discuss the question: When do you remember first hearing “the golden rule?” Who did you learn it from?
Discussions Questions (Approximately 30 minutes)
- Jesus’ commandment to “love our enemies” is… (pick as many as apply)
- A fanciful notion
- A good idea
- Inviting harm
- A practice I need to get better at
- Something I work hard at
- Comes naturally to me
- Who has been the hardest person for you to extend love to?
- How do these verses help us to understand why Jesus calls us to “love your enemies”?
Prayer (10 minutes).
Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
You alone, God, are the source of peace and abundance. Forgive us when we have not been as generous as you call us to be. Just as you modeled humility and a self-giving posture of life, empower us to be people who offer extravagant love to all we encounter. Amen.