Family Bible Study lesson for June 2: God Wants Me to Be Loving
May 17 2002 by James Baldwin , 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:1-7; 20:4,14,17,42

Family Bible Study lesson for June 2: God Wants Me to Be Loving | Friday, May 17, 2002

Friday, May 17, 2002

Family Bible Study lesson for June 2: God Wants Me to Be Loving

By James Baldwin 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:1-7; 20:4,14,17,42

Gary Chapman has written a wildly popular book entitled The Five Love Languages. In this book Chapman suggests there are five different ways people express and understand love: words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, quality time and acts of service. He has expanded his thesis to include not only husbands and wives, but children and teenagers as well.

I believe the same principles can be applied to friendships. If so, then Jonathan was truly multi-lingual. In these few chapters of the Bible we find that he expressed his love for his friend David in all these ways.

Love's commitment (1 Samuel 18:1-4) I remember standing beside my school in the eighth grade, waiting for my bus to arrive. A boy leaned out of another bus and shouted at a girl walking across the parking lot, "I love you!" I thought to myself, "Now that must be true love." The next day the scene repeated itself. The same bus. The same boy. The same declaration of love shouted from the window. Only this time it was a different girl!

Love has to be more enduring than 24 hours in order to be true love! Whether we are talking about a romantic relationship or a friendship, love involves a commitment that goes beyond circumstances and emotions. Jonathan made a covenant with David. They had an agreement that they would remain friends for life. The Apostle Paul describes love this way: "Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (1 Cor. 13:7-8).

Love is a decision to continue acting in loving ways, even when you may not feel like it.

Love's active concern (1 Samuel 19:1-7) As an adolescent I had some friends who were less than loyal. We spent a lot of time together, and often got into mischief together. Whenever our escapades were discovered, however, they were quick to clear their names, leaving me to take the blame. After several occurrences, I realized that these friends, who were glad to lead me into trouble, were also glad to leave me there. I decided that those were not the kind of friends I needed.

Love is a risky business. Jonathan was forced to choose between loyalty to his father, Saul, or his friend David. Warning David of Saul's plans to kill him could have cost Jonathan his own life. Speaking up in defense of David might have made him a target of his father's wrath. Yet Jonathan stood by David, knowing all along that one day his friend would one day sit on the throne that rightfully belonged to him.

When you love others, you stand up for them regardless of the cost. You confront them in love when you see them straying, even though they may resent you for intruding in their life. You forgive them when they hurt you, knowing they may hurt you again.

Love's constancy (1 Samuel 20:4,14,17,42) Jonathan committed to David that he would do whatever he wanted (v. 4). He had David reaffirm his love for him (v. 17), and asked him to promise that his love would continue as long as he lived. He further asked David to promise that their love would be passed on to later generations (v.42) - whatever, whenever, forever. That is the nature of true love. The New Testament proclaims, "Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:38-39). Love that is like that of the Lord's knows neither limits nor boundaries.

The next chapter of 2 Samuel tells the beautiful sequel to this story of love between David and Jonathan. Long after Jonathan had died and David had assumed the kingship of Israel, David asked, "Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?" David was able to locate a crippled son of Jonathan by the name of Mephibosheth. He invited him into his home and treated him with love and compassion. "So Mephibosheth ate at David's table like one of the king's sons" (2 Samuel 9:11).

David had an opportunity to keep his promise to his friend to carry on their love into future generations.

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5/17/2002 12:00:00 AM by James Baldwin , 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:1-7; 20:4,14,17,42 | with 0 comments
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