Series: Love Glue
Message: Application Instructions
Preacher: Dany Hernandez
Reflection: Mike Speegle
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Beyond: Brandon Kharns
Live Purpose: Vanessa Rivera
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Matthew 12:9-13 in the Expanded Bible (EXB). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Kids love the idea of a pet; they just don’t always love the reality of having one. A child’s first thought is, “It will be so much fun. I’ll take him on walks. I’ll play with her. I’ll feed her, I’ll clean up after him. I will love my pet!” And then . . .
If you’re a parent you’ve heard the pleas: “Please, please, please, can we get a dog. I promise to . . .” And you’ve also had the joy of walking that dog, feeding that dog and, yes, cleaning up after that dog.
Because, as a grown-up, you know that if you want a pet, you have to take care of that pet. (And even if you didn’t want a pet, someone’s got to take of it.)
A relationship is a lot like that; a two-way street that can feel like a one-way street at times. That’s just how relationships are.
When you are a kid, you can have a crush on someone (even if that person doesn’t know you exist); you can experience love that is so real in the moment.
What you lack is perspective, history, the experience of “being in love” multiple times. (At some point you begin to recognize this feeling as simple attraction.) Attraction is important— it gets us started on a possible relationship, but attraction isn’t all there is (or all there needs to be).
A huge part of our challenge to grow up in terms of our feelings of love and attraction is that we live in a culture that promotes ideas that are more childish than they are mature. (Soulmates, finding “the one” and the idea that love is always “oh baby” feelings.)
Having a pet can be a great thing for a kid; not only can they learn responsibility and the importance of caring for an animal that needs them, but they also experience the joy of love. On a bad day their pet still loves them, needs them, snuggles with them.
In our core passage for this month, Paul reminds us of a key life insight: “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11, NLT). Our experiences with pets remind us of the truth of that insight.
Recalibrate: Any childish ways you still carry with you regarding love, commitment, and marriage? Where and how did you pick them up and what impact do they have on your current relationship?
Respond: There’s a saying: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” What do I need to start today doing differently so that I get a different result?
Research: Take a look at 10 questions healthy couples constantly ask.
Remember: “Treat people the same way you want them to treat you” (Matthew 7:12, NASB).
Mike Speegle is the lead pastor for New Hope, an exciting, young, multi-ethnic Adventist Church in Fulton, Maryland. Mike became a follower of Jesus and an Adventist in his early 20s. Pacific Union College was the first Adventist school he ever attended; he met his wife Lorie there. Mike has pastored for 30+ years, served in the Ministerial Association of the General Conference, and has written a book, Big Questions, as well as a number of articles.
We find this week’s text in Matthew 7 and it is often referred to as the Golden Rule—“treat others how you would like to be treated.” Take time, set it aside, be totally present with your little one or ones. We all want to be heard and valued for who we are not what we can do, so sit, walk, play, spend time, invest energy and be truly present with your child.
Our Words to Remember for this week are “Treat people the same way you want them to treat you” (Matthew 7:12, NASB). How do you like to be treated? In our Bible story for this month, Abraham’s servant has to choose a wife for Isaac. Watch this video and see what Rebekah does.
Welcome to Sunday. Hey, I don’t know how your family keeps the Sabbath, or if they even do at all. But the chances are good that you are aware of it enough to notice that it’s one of those things everyone says is such a blessing even though they treat it like their favorite papercut. It’s almost as if what they really want to say when they talk about Sabbath is, “We all suffer together—no fun for you!” Don’t get me wrong—I love Sabbath. After that little rant you are probably thinking, “Yeah, right.” But I really do. I just think most Adventists have missed the boat. Just look at the way we say “keeping” the Sabbath. If we really meant deep down inside that it’s a blessing, wouldn’t we say “celebrating” Sabbath instead? It changes the way you think about it a bit, doesn’t it? I mean, it’s not like we say we are about to “keep” Christmas. I really believe God gave us the Sabbath to celebrate, and not hold up like a scar to demonstrate how much we are able to suffer.
Spend a moment thinking about how the people around you treat the Sabbath. Not just what they say but how they say it. What about you? Do you look forward to Sabbath? Why or why not?
I recently went to a restaurant with my friend in Chicago. Waiters tend to be very friendly in order to provide good customer service, but we didn’t expect for our waitress to go so over the top for our meal that day. She let us pick where we sat, she told us a joke before taking our order, and even gave us really detailed information about each menu item. The deep dish pizza we ordered was pretty good, but we were so pleased with the service that day that we both wrote Yelp reviews about the restaurant and its service. I knew it was her job to be nice to us, but she took duty to the next level. It’s so good to be treated with such care. Our Words to Remember are about treating people the same way we wanted to be treated. This week we will be discussing the importance of how we treat others. How do you treat those you care about? How about those you don’t care for so much?
Zan Long is GRC director for faith development groups. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and serves at her local church in nearby Kellyville.
Brandon Kharns is the family life pastor at Placerville Seventh-day Adventist church in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California near Lake Tahoe.
Vanessa Rivera is a therapist in a community mental health center in Denver, CO, and serves as the lead elder for Live Purpose at Boulder Church.