Bible Project

Bible Project Series: Love

Reflecting on the biblical meaning of agape love



Bible Project love link

What does it look like to truly love and be loved? For this last week of Advent, we invite you to reflect on the biblical meaning of love. Listen to the recording, watch the video, open your Bible to 1 John, and interact with the discussion questions below. If you find this study to be encouraging, tell us on social media using the hashtag #BibleProjectAdvent. We’d appreciate hearing from you.


Audio download


Read and discuss

Part 1

Message Question How did Carissa’s message remind, challenge, or encourage you today?

It’s encouraging to be reminded about the powerful love of God, a love that changes us and comfort us, and move us to be a better version of ourselves. With a love like that within us, we are moved to love others as well, even if it requires sacrifice and hardship, and to be tolerant of others, especially people we cannot stand. I pray that I will have the awareness of God’s love in my everyday life and to spread that love around me. To leave people around me better or happier or more loved than before.

Video Question What surprises you about this definition of love?

It’s common to see love as this feeling or emotion that we express through movies and music in this era, but that’s not what love is about in the bible. Love is action and a choice to seek the well-being of others and without expecting anything in return. This generous love reflects the heartbeat of God. It’s about doing good unto others, especially people we cannot stand, and more so, expect nothing in return. This enemy embracing love imitates Jesus’ love, who sacrificed His life on the cross for us sinners.

Part 2:

Read 1 John 4:7–16

The God of the Bible doesn’t just express love, he is love. As a triune God — Father, Son, and Spirit — he has always been and always will be an others-centred, self-giving, communal being. Jesus fully embodies the love of God, and he demonstrated it most clearly when he gave his life on behalf of humanity. When people learn to trust Jesus’ love for them, they join in God’s community of life and love, and their very nature is transformed to live a life of love with him.

Question 1:

Before you begin to study, pray for God’s Spirit to help you understand his love in a fresh way.

Question 2:

According to the passage, what is the source of love? How did God show his love to us, and why did he do it? Why should we love others? Take time to rediscover and marvel at the answers the passage provides to these questions.

The source of love is God, to know God is to know what love is. Without love, we’re just soulless creatures roaming the Earth with spite and contempt. It’s a true blessing to know about God. He showed his love by sending his Son to die on the cross, and did it because He loved us. We should love others purely because God loved us, and with God’s love in our hearts, we’re able to do so.

Question 3:

Review 1 John 4:16. Have you learned to trust that God loves you? If so, describe your experience of receiving his love. If not, what do you think would change in your life if you fully trusted that God loves you?

I have had many blessings in my life, and I attribute all this to God, and his overpowering love for me. I think to fully trust that God loves us is a leap of faith, and I sometimes wonder if I have taken that leap myself, or just been programmed to believe I have taken it. It’s a fine line between telling yourself you trust God, and actually trusting Him completely.

Question 4:

No one has seen God, but God lives in the one who loves (vs. 12). In this way, God’s life can be seen through people who choose to speak and act in sacrificial love. How have you seen God’s life through people’s love for one another? How can you love and show God’s life to someone else today?

I have seen selfless people who sacrifice their lives in order for others to live a better one, and just seeing God’s love within their hearts. It’s tragic to see that some people can be so selfish, while others so selfless, and it’s usually the selfish ones who can do so much good.

Question 5:

Turn your reading and reflection into a prayer. Talk to God about how his love amazes you, be honest about how you struggle to trust it and ask for help to receive and share his love today.

Part 3

Read: Matthew 5:43–48

Jesus teaches his followers to seek other people’s well-being without expecting anything in return and to extend love to even their enemies. Sacrificial, selfless, and forgiving love imitates the very character of God himself.

Question 1:

How do Jesus’ words encourage and challenge you today?

I think it’s terrifying to think about a future where everyone is living in their own VR world, I think the world will become a colder place to live in. Even now with technology taking up everyone’s space of attention, it’s rare to have someone living in the moment and taking the time to help others who are in need. With everyone’s space of attention trapped on screens all the time, we barely even have time to extend love to our loved ones.

I just hope as technology grows, and we progress into a more advanced future, it won’t be a dystopian future where everything is bleak and metal cold, but a future where we live in harmony with nature and with technology, and love others.

Question 2:

Note how God himself is kind to people who commit evil. What does this say about God’s character?

Question 3:

Do you have a person in your life that you struggle to love? Take time now to imagine how God sees that person. What do you imagine he desires most for them? How do you think Jesus would personally address them, and how can you join him today?

Question 4:

Turn your reflections into a prayer. Express your gratitude to God for his merciful love and be honest about the ways you have withheld love from others. Pray for the people who have mistreated you and ask for God’s help to love as he does.




The bible tells you how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go. - Galileo