|“That’s what love does – it pursues blindly, unflinchingly, and without end.” ~ Bob Goff, Love Does
Love Does Study with Bob Goff
by Bob Goff, from Love Does
What do I do to live into the person that Jesus made me to be?… Do you know what the answer was for me? I did stuff! – Bob Goff, Love Does video
All of us have seasons of life when our relationship with God is really humming — those times where our faith and life sync up in all the right ways and everything just works. We also have the other kind of season. You know the one I mean: the season where faith and life seem to butt heads. Life gets hard, faith seems stale, and we feel stuck. If you’ve ever felt like that, then don’t go anywhere — the Love Does study is for you!
You see, this is a study about God’s love… and the most amazing thing about that love is that it’s not just a bunch of rules or stuff we have to agree with. God’s love is different. It changes things. It brings hope where before there was only despair. It revives faith that feels lifeless. It makes a way forward where there seems to be only a dead end. It’s active. It works. It risks. God’s love… does.
Tapping into this love requires a different skill set than what it takes to memorize answers for a test or to follow all the traffic laws so you don’t get a ticket. This isn’t a love you can earn, buy, or win. It’s something better. Something bigger. And it just might be something you discover more about by “doing stuff” too.
Watch the Video: Love Does Session 1 (8:23)
Love Does Session 1: I’m With You
Love is not just a bunch of stuff we agree with. Love does.
– Bob Goff
Have you ever had to do something you were afraid to do? Sure. Everyone has. It is a core part of the human experience. Whether it is jumping off a high dive, riding a bike for the first time, or even professing love, everyone at some point has to do something he or she is scared of — and that’s a good thing. Good because these experiences teach us important lessons about being human and about our life with God.
First, when we do things that we are afraid of we learn that courage is not the same thing as the absence of fear. The first time a child dives into a swimming pool, it is a terrifying experience and no amount of explaining, hand-holding, or encouragement will make the fear go away. To dive into the pool, the child will have to act in spite of her fear. That is the definition of courage.
Acting, even when you are afraid, is something people who are called to follow Jesus have to do all the time.
Second, after we do something that frightens us the first time, the second time is never as hard. And it is even easier the third time. Though the first jump off the diving board may be terrifying, by the third or fourth time you do it, it may start to be downright fun.
All this brings us to the third thing we learn. You may be thinking, I have a solution for this whole tension— I’ll avoid risky situations at all costs. The problem with this is:
(1) no one has that much control over life, and
(2) these moments of risk are when we truly feel most alive.
Have you ever seen a kid go over a skateboard ramp for the first time? Or watched someone complete a tall rock climb? Often you’ll find them screaming in celebration. Why? Because they just feel so alive! Because they did it! When we try things that seem daunting, our lives actually become more full and vibrant.
So, how does God factor into all of this? And what does any of it have to do with Love Does? The Love Does experience will encourage you to get out there and “do” things!
You will be invited, through the sharing and activities in each session, to engage in some holy risk taking. Please, take this invitation seriously and don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Like riding a bike for the first time, the more activities and experiments you try, the less scary they become — because they turn into things you do all the time. Furthermore, every time you participate in the hands-on portions of this study you’ll be training yourself to see the world as a place where you can act creatively for and with God.
You’ll become the kind of person who “does” love effortlessly, just as Jesus did.
Have you ever felt stuck trying to integrate your life and your faith? Maybe there was a time when following Jesus was exciting and vibrant, but now things have started to grow stale. One of the reasons our life with God gets stagnant is because we stop taking Jesus’ invitation to live risky, courageous lives. We stop trying to do the things Jesus calls us to because they seem too scary. This week Love Does is going to provide a platform for you to be fully alive, to take risks, and get involved in bringing heaven to earth. Are you ready? Well, actually, that doesn’t matter. Let’s just jump in with both feet. And if you need to scream… all the better!
Hearing the Word
Read Matthew 1:18-23. Then briefly answer the questions that follow.
Do you think it is good news to learn that “God is with us”? Why or why not?
This famous passage about Immanuel is heard often at Christmastime. As a group, can you remember other places in the Bible that God was “with us”? If so, what are they?
Watch the Session 1 video clip and take notes in your study guide. When the video ends, take a moment to reflect on one or two things that you learned, disagreed with, or were surprised by.
…Continue to our blog to watch the video, read the rest of the study, and read the remaining content.
Enjoy session one of Love Does by Bob Goff!