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Real Life Resources

Cultivate Love: Week 2

Cultivate Love: Week 2

Cultivate definition: try to acquire or develop (a quality, sentiment, or skill).1

• It is imperative that we understand that the fruit produced in the life of the Christian is a result of obedience and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Gal 5:22-23 (ESV) 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The world’s definition of love:

“True love is a strong and lasting affection between spouses or lovers who are in a happy, passionate and fulfilling relationship. An example of true love is the emotion shared between a couple who has been married for 40 years and who are still passionate about each other and care deeply for each other.”2

God defines love differently:

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (ESV) 1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

• Love is not optional. We must define it according to God’s definition.


• Feelings are attached to love, but love is not defined by how I feel.

Agape definition: “To have love for someone or something based on sincere appreciation and high regard”3

John 3:16 (ESV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

• God loves us because we are valuable to Him. We are valuable because we are made in His image.

As Christians, we love because the Holy Spirit works in us to help us understand the value of one another.

1 John 4:19-20 (ESV) 19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

• But Love doesn’t stop at just valuing each other… We are called to ACT on the love that we have for one another.


John 15:12 (ESV) This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

How has Jesus loved us? Jesus left Heaven to be a servant.

Matthew 20:28 (ESV) …the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

One of the first things we see happen in the early Church is people beginning to serve others as a result of the Holy Spirit showing up:

Acts 2:42-45 (ESV) 42And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

• Their focus changed from what can I GET to what can I GIVE. Imagine if we applied this in our relationships? (Marriages, Parenting, Friendship)


God doesn’t love you any MORE or LESS based on what you do or don’t do.

Romans 5:8 (ESV) but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

There are still consequences to our actions, but God’s love in constant towards us!

Proverbs 3:11-12 (NIV) 11My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, 12because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.


1. Are you dependent on the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in your life?

2. Have you been basing love on a feeling?

3. Has your love for God been conditional? Has your love for others been conditional?

4. Have you not made a decision to follow Jesus because you have had a broken understanding of love? Have you been believing the lie that God could never truly love you?

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV) 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails…


Passages to consider: Galatians 5:16-26; 1 Corinthians 13; Matthew 22:36-40; 1 John 2:3-11

Icebreaker: What are family rules or house rules you have for how you function as a household, or how to play a certain game?

1. What was important for you to hear from this week’s sermon?

2. Read Galatians 5:16-26 and Matthew 22:36-40. Try re-telling what one passage says to a partner. What do these passages tell you about who God is and His way of life?

3. Who is a model for you in expressing love for God and for others? What have you seen in them?

4. What helps you walk by the Sprit? A) When are you more likely to walk in the old nature/flesh?

5. How would you recognize the fruit of love being formed in your life?

6. What is your response to what God is showing you?