Love Boldly: Book Study – Chapter 7

23 February, 2015
Duccio di Buoninsegna -Healing of the Blind Man

Duccio di Buoninsegna -Healing of the Blind Man

We’ve spent a few chapters now talking about what it means to be a beloved child of God. We’ve discussed how God as a Trinity is important to our concept of love. The Father, Son, and Spirit have loved each other for eternity, and we are brought into their love. We are invited to love, to be loved, and to belong.  In His choosing to love us we have been set free through an amazing infusion of His grace.

This chapter discusses how we are set free to love God and others boldly. Sometimes we think we have nothing to offer, or that we can’t love someone as much as Jesus. That’s true, we need this infusion of Grace, because our love by itself is not enough, but His love is always enough. Therefore when we love someone we aren’t offering our own love, but His. God doesn’t give us his love for the sole purpose of our receiving, but so that we can love Him, and so that we can give it to others.

This chapter shares the story of Jesus who loved boldly. It also shares the stories of Mother Theresa, and Sarah, two women who loved others with a profound and tangible love. For Jesus, this love led Him to redeem creation and to the cross. For Mother Theresa this love led her around the world to care for others, and for Sarah it led her to public transportation where she could meet and love others. God leads each of us into His loving relationship and guides each of us into other relationships where we can love others boldly.

Study Questions

1. Review pages 102–4. Discuss the role grace plays in our lives, as we are becoming people who love the world the way Jesus does?

2. In this chapter God is described as the first object of our love. Rick then explains that we love our Triune God in the face of Jesus, and we love Jesus in the face other people. Do you agree with this description? Discuss.

3. Think about Sarah, who made a choice to ride public transportation in order to see the face of Jesus in the face of others. What can you begin to do in order to see the face of Jesus in the face of others? To love others by joining Jesus as he loves them?

Previous Chapters

1. http://rickmckinley.net/the-cry-for-freedom

2. http://rickmckinley.net/live-fully

3. http://rickmckinley.net/god-is-love

4. http://rickmckinley.net/being-the-beloved-book-study-chapter-4

5. http://rickmckinley.net/a-grateful-rebel

6. http://rickmckinley.net/a-generous-life-book-study-chapter-6

6 Responses to “Love Boldly: Book Study – Chapter 7”

  1. Wes

    #1. My first experience of what I have now understood as being love from God happened when I was 18 or 19. I was at a men’s retreat at a lodge in the Rocky Mountains above Sheridan, Wyoming. During a break I had wondered away, alone, into the woods. It was late Fall and the snow was deep, not a cloud in the sky, and the sunlight glared off the whiteness around me. And as blinded as I was, the silence was as equally deafening. I stood there trying to see it all without sunglasses, my eyes squinting, when this feeling overwhelmed me for what seemed to be several minutes. As a child, I had not experienced much love, and so even though I thought that it was, I was denying it. I remember asking myself if this was God or?
    I spent about the next thirty years believing the “or.” That could not of been God, I want to live my own life anyway. I’ll catch up with Jesus before the lights go out, just in case, on my deathbed, I’d give in.
    But in my late forties I understood the difference between Light and dark, and to make a long story shorter, God’s Love, with all caps this time, completely and powerfuly changed my life.
    From that experience I learned that Grace comes to me the strongest when I am not holding on to myself. “Grace is something God created so that we could be brought into his love.” p. 104
    I have served on a ministry team at another church and whenever I prayed for someone, what I experienced the most was God’s love flowing through me and out to whoever I was praying for. And I thought of myself as nothing more than a vessel, because I knew that I couldn’t love someone like that.

    Reply
  2. Erica

    3. I loved the sermon a few weeks back about having space in your life so you can respond to things that come up. When I was a college student at Multnomah I was driving down I-84 thinking about how I was going to spend another lonely Valentine’s Day. I was heading to my work at a coffee shop and before I left I would get a beverage for a homeless man who sat on the corner of the onramp. His name rhymed with his drink; DC- Green tea. Stopped at the light I’d always hand it over and he’d say how he was before the light turned green. We struck up a friendship. Seeing the homeless each day brought them to my heart. So on that day driving in loneliness I suddenly wondered how homeless people would be spending the day. Who loved them? I set out and made Valentine’s Cards and spent the holiday downtown handing them out. The crazy thing is, I felt so much love back. Almost everyone wanted a hug. A little boy gave me a rose. I was able to stay with a man who fell off the max and hold his hand til an ambulance came. At the end of it I wished everyday could be like that. And maybe that’s what following God really means.. that everyday can be like that if you look for him in your day.

    Reply
    • Rick McKinley

      Great story Erica! Yeah I think that is what it can be like when we see Jesus in the face of others.

      Reply
  3. Heidi Dahlin

    3. Before attending Imago, we ministered in a small church in our community. Being part of a small church was very different in that everyone knew what everyone was doing, so serving Jesus was very public. When we started attending Imago, I found my way to Refuge, as I posted earlier, and one of the assignments given to us by Ben was to read Pastor Rick’s book Jesus in the Margins. I love that book. At the time I very much related to a person living in the margins of life and as I went through the healing process, I felt that Jesus was asking me to stay in the margins. Since that time, I try very hard to notice the people living in the white spaces of life. I love serving in Refuge every week, watching brave people work through the messiness of life. In a way, I still feel invisible, too. I feel that nobody notices us–it’s a pretty low profile ministry and that’s okay. I make cookies every week and as I make them, I pray for the people and ask Jesus to put a little love in each cookie, so that those who attend will feel loved and comforted. It’s a small thing, but I think that if Jesus attended, he’d want a cookie.

    I teach at a middle school and every year I work with about 150 students. As I teach I watch their faces and look into their eyes. I look for pain, I look for questions, I look for those who are living in the margins. I look for Jesus and find him. I see them, listen to them, believe in them, endure with them, hope for them. This week I had to mourn with them, as one of our students died a few miles from our house in a car accident.

    Each person at Refuge and each child in my classroom takes a piece of my heart, but Jesus fills it back up. Sometimes it’s hard, but the question that keeps me going is “Who will be Jesus to them?”

    I want to do more. Once I was going to a Refuge potluck and we had a flat tire a few blocks from the church. Dave heroically stayed to change the tire and I walked to church with the food. I passed a homeless man on the way and he asked if I had food. I gave him a plate of chicken and a few cookies. “It’s still warm,” he said incredulously. I want to do more of that, minus having the flat tire. I wish I was more giving, more loving, more observant of those in need around me. I can only pray for Jesus to give me his eyes to notice those in need around me.

    Reply
    • Rick McKinley

      Heidi, Thank you for sharing. Working with children can be very difficult at times. Your class is blessed to have you as part of their lives.

      There are so many great stories coming out of Refuge; and so much gratitude for those that give of themselves to that ministry. Your responses are a great reminder that we can take part in God’s loving others in so many different ways.

      Reply
  4. Ruben J. Alvarado

    #3– In order to see the face of Jesus in others, it clearly will take a bold love. Rick gives us 3 examples of bold love. Jesus loved us boldly enough to die for us. We can love him by boldly loving the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the homeless, the sick, and the imprisoned It is in them that we will see the face of Jesus. This love will be at a bold cost. We will have to give up time, effort, and our resources. We cannot be burdened by these or we will not be free to love them. Jesus gave up his life for us. Mother Theresa lived in abject poverty in loving those the world finds difficult loving. Jesus bolstered her courage, patience, and perseverance every day to enable her to see His face in them. When asked why she loved thus, she said not that we do this FOR Jesus, but we do it TO Jesus. Emboldened by seeing His face, she was set free to love them. Sarah had undergone the suffering of having had breast cancer. It developed within her a sympathy for those who suffer. It opened her eyes to see those invisible people others chose not to see It opened them to also see the face of Jesus in them. It opened her heart to love them boldly. These examples, Rick shared in this chapter, shows me that that loving others will be a bold love for it will also be a bold cost. We all have a unique experience that will free us to love, to enables us to find the face of Jesus in others, and bolsters us in serving those the world doesn’t notice. As Rick, says we love others by joining Jesus as he loves them. He gave his life for us,such a bold love. Yet even today he continues to love us boldly so that we may not only be FREE from our sins and sicknesses, but free to love boldly by seeing HIM in others. What a blessing to be able to see Jesus.

    Reply

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