Ephesus

Deur’s Main Idea:

Remember the passionate love you used to have and act your way into a new life of loving.

Ice Breakers

Superstitions are a big part of being spiritual or religious.
What are some superstitious beliefs you have?  Any superstitious actions or habits?
What are some of the more bizarre superstitions that you’ve heard of?

Transition

In writing letters to each city, Jesus through John used imagery and cultural context very familiar to them.

  • What was new or interesting that you learned from the message?
  • What questions do you have?
  • What kind of imagery or cultural context do you think Jesus would use to address us in the Tri-Cities or on the lakeshore?

Scripture

Read together 1 John 4:7-21

  • What’s something new that you noticed about this passage?
  • What problems or questions do you have about this passage?
  • How does this passage  shed light on Jesus’ letter to Ephesus in Revelation?
  • Does this passage have any implications for our lives now?  How?

Application

Ephesus stayed true to the challenges Paul left for them 35 years previously.  They didn’t compromise on their core beliefs and suffered for it.  Jesus affirms them for it.  But love for Jesus and each other isn’t there anymore like it was.  Their passion had been extinguished.

  • Share stories of relationships that you’ve had that started hot and passionate but you ended up in a cold, stale, perfunctory place.  Have you ever experienced that?
  • What happened to that relationship?  Were you able to turn it around?  If so, what did you do?
  • Have you been, or do you know someone who has been, “on fire” for God?  What did that look like?

We learned that “love does.”  Ephesians showed their passion by being counter-culturally hospitable and generous.  They rescued kids from human trafficking and adopting babies who had been left to die of exposure.

  • When you think of staying connected to Jesus and maintaining that relationship, what does that look like?
  • When you think of counter-cultural lifestyles and actions that seem to reflect a passion for Jesus and people in our day, what does that look like?

Next Steps

Jesus invites us through Ephesus to “act your way into a new way of loving.”

  • Take time this week, we’d recommend daily, to reflect on God’s passion and love for you.
  • Remember the acts of love you used to do.  List them.  Plot how you can make them new habits this week.

Laodicea

March 23, 2014

Philadelphia

March 16, 2014

Sardis

March 9, 2014

Thyatira

March 2, 2014

Revelation Worship

February 23, 2014

Pergamum

February 16, 2014

Smyrna

February 9, 2014

Ephesus

February 2, 2014

Jesus Speaks

January 26, 2014