The Root of Compassion

Introduction: Read 1 Corinthians 13

1. The Character of God: -1 John 4:8

A. If you could use one word to describe the Character of God what would it be?
B. Explain what John meant when he said "God is Love"?

2. The Quality of Love:

A. Think of the most loving person you know. What do they do that makes you
believe they are loving?
B. How is love defined in our society?

3. Words translated Love:

A. Phileo - to have ardent affection and feeling - Friendship love, family
1. What are some examples of Phileo love? (Rom.12:10)
B. Agape - to have esteem or high regard. - Love without regard to self-interest
1. What are some examples of Agape love? (John 3:16)

4. Agape will improve the lives of those you love with concrete action -1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

A. What aspect of love is the easiest for you to practice?
B. What aspect of love is the most difficult for you to practice?
C. Who can give an example of the patience of love?
D. Why doesn't love boast or keep a record of wrongs?

5. Compassion is an essential element of Agape: -1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
A. How can you know if your own giving is motivated by love?
B. What happens if generosity is not guided by love?
1. What does it become?
2. What does God think about it?

6. Love is the most enduring of qualities/gifts.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

A. Why does Paul contrast spiritual gifts with love?
B. How does love help us to grow up or mature?
C. Explain why love is greater than faith and hope.

7. Agape is Giving: Jn.3:16; Gal.2:20; Eph.5:25

A. God so love the world that he GAVE...
B. Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and GAVE...
C. The son of God, who loved me and GAVE...
D. List several ways you could express your love to fellow Christians by giving.