Sunday “E.Q.U.I.P.” is an exercise meant to better equip us for corporate worship on Sunday evenings. We want to help you reflect on the sermon passages and familiarize yourself with the songs we’ll sing.
This week’s passage is Luke 6.27-36.
E—EYES to the passage. Read Luke 6.27-36. As you have time, try reading Deuteronomy 19.21, or Psalm 9. Look at Romans 5.1-11 also.
Q—QUESTIONS for reflection.
- In Luke 6.27, what does Jesus mean, ‘I say to you who hear‘? Don’t all hear? Look at Luke 6.47.
- In Luke 6.27, Jesus says His disciples have enemies and, amazingly, He demands our love for them. But to do this, we need to know who they are. How would you describe these ‘enemies’? Why might they be our ‘enemies’? Look at Luke 6.22-23, as well as the immediate passage, particularly Luke 6.27-30.
- What does ‘enemy-love’ look like? I think Jesus gets at *at least 4 broad things in Luke 6.27-36—3 in Luke 6.27-30, and one big one in Luke 6.31-36.
- How does the golden rule work in Luke 6.31? Is this a ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ sort of deal? Think on this. Get help from Ephesians 5.29.
- Apparently, we don’t love simply for love’s sake. Enemy love maintains it’s virtue, indeed, it would be impossible without the motives that Jesus gives to it. What are the motives that Jesus gives to this love? I think there are at least 4, some more obvious than others. Read 1 Peter 3.8-12, and Romans 12.14-21, and see if you discover some of these.
U—UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4.3; also 4.13). How can we take this passage and use it to love one another, so that we’re knit together in love? Reflect on the following: 1) because we are all called to love our enemies, we aren’t alone in this, which is particularly encouraging when we are doing it and feeling the pain (as well as the blessing) of it; 2) by this love, we grow more and more assured that we are the blessed of God in this world. It shows the grip of the gospel upon our hearts; 3) there is comfort for us in the promise of heavenly gain, Luke 6.32-35.
I—IGNITE for Christ. What excellencies about Jesus ignite in us a greater love for Him that reaches out to all to make Him known? Consider 1) the gospel, that while we were yet sinners, God displayed His love for us, in that Christ died for us and reconciled us to God. 2) Consider also that He has changed us in that same love, so that we now desire to reflect it in our own lives to others. He’s made it possible for us to love like God, that is, with cruciform love. 3) Consider that all we need within (a new, love-filled heart) and every promise without (heaven, as well as the true knowledge of God’s justice in judgment; being the true sons and daughters of God, etc.) has been given so that we can love our enemies, and it’s all been given in Christ.
P—PRAY that we will love our enemies—relentlessly doing them good, restlessly seeking their eternal blessedness (happiness), radically preferring them over ourselves, and relating to them according to mercy (not merit). And pray that as we do, many would have their hearts melted by the kindness of God and the love of Christ that they see in us. Pray that they would repent, and be reconciled to God through Him.