Every other wednesday evening at 7:30pm the women of the Boston International Christian Church gather for a time of prayer, fellowship and teaching from the word of God. At these services I have the privilege of teaching and sharing from the scriptures. Most often God puts the lessons on my heart, I write them out, and then I share the message. Other times i’m inspired by another woman ministry leaders message, someone’s example of life and Godliness, first principles, a followup bible study, my quiet times, reading, or a personal experience. I have decided to post old and new lessons I have taught at the BICC midweek services here for other women ministry leaders to use, or to offer feedback on. I hope you enjoy the newest additions to my blog!
The following is a lesson from 6 months to a year ago, I will post more recent ones soon.
Women’s Midweek Service
My Sister, My Friend
Opening Exercise: Describe how to build a relationship
- How do you become friends with a person?
- How do you develop a deeper friendship with another person?
- Do friendships just happen, or do they require effort?
- A lot of people find it very hard to build great friendships, and often times’ people most commonly have acquaintances that they refer to as their friends.
- I would love for us to grow in our friendships; we should not have acquaintances or shallow relationships in this room, but true deep meaningful relationships with one another.
Friendship defined: a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
- Attachment B. Feelings of affection C. Personal regard
- How many women in the Church do you feel an attachment to, feelings of affection for, or have a personal regard or concern for?
- How many women in your life are attached to you, show affection for you?
Be a friend
Tonight I would like for us to examine some scriptures and really take to heart ways that we can grow in our friendships, and our love for one another.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
In this passage God teaches us what love is and what it is not:
He says it is:
- Patient- Long suffering
- Not envious
- It does not boast
- It is not proud
- It is not rude
- It is not self-seeking
- It is not easily angered (frustrated, short tempered, annoyed)
- It keeps no record of wrongs (We must be forgiving!)
- Rejoices with the truth
- It always protects
- Always Trust reliance on the integrity, strength, ability of a person or thing; confidence. We have confidence in each other.
- Always hopes
- Always perseveres (relationships can be challenging at times…keep trying!)
- Love never fails
This word love, or in KJV is Charity- In the Greek is “agape.”
The words in your bible: affection, good will, love, benevolence, and brotherly love can all be translated to agape.
Again God defines for us what love is in this passage, and he never once says it’s a feeling. Agape love is a decision. We decide to be patient, we cannot be patient only when we feel like it.
Love is an action.
Love is a decision.
Love is not a feeling.
I like the first part of vs. 8 as it teaches us that “Love never fails.”
We often face situations, and sometimes we don’t know how to respond.
Here is how:
- When your coworkers are in really bad moods: Love
- When people exclude you: Love
- When your husband is late: Love
- When your kids are out of control: Love
- When that person didn’t call you back: Love (call her again)
- When someone lets you down: love
- When you feel to tired to call the women your reaching out to: love
Love never fails.
How deeply are we to love?
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
We are to love so much that we are willing to die for each other.
Far be it from us to forsake Gods command.
- You say you are willing to love in this way….?
- Are you willing to write someone a card?
- Are you willing to serve?
- Are you willing to text or call someone just to say, “hi”?
- Are you willing to bring someone soup when they are sick?
- Are you willing to pray for each other?
If you’re not able to love by demonstrating little acts of kindness, are we willing to obey Jesus’s command and his standard of love? His standard is being willing to die for each other. He loves us deeply.
I really believe that we can grow in the way that we love one another.
One another passages: We really need to obey these passages. Often times when sisters are challenged to encourage one another daily, or build deeper friendships we can make excuses: very commonly the excuse of “I don’t have time!!”
We must make time to love.
Hebrews 3:13 encourage one another daily.
Ephesians 5:19-20 Worship God God together. Praise God. Sing. Have quiet times together.
Colossians 1:28-29 Disciple one another. Council one another with the scriptures (Have the heart to pull someone aside and tell them the truth in love)
Galatians 6:2 Help and support one another.
James 5:17Pray earnestly for one another… ask for prayer requests!
Further instruction on friendship:
1 Thess. 5:12-14 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
Are you a woman at peace in all of your relationships or are there any unresolved tensions?
Are you a woman who warns the idle?
A woman who encourages the timid?
Are you a woman who helps the weak?
This is what it looks like to be a friend the way God intended you to be.
Honesty, and a willingness to be vulnerable deepens friendship.
1 John 1:6-9
6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
True fellowship: Does anyone here want to have true fellowship, true friendship?
- When we are open about our sin, our weaknesses and about how we are really doing we grow closer to one another and the blood of Jesus purifies us.
Please see the handout, and have great discussions tonight on how you personally can grow in your friendships.