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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1047. The Spirit gives overflowing hope to build a church of joy and peace (2/5/24)

On Sunday we had Dale Barlow, from the New Ground leadership team speaking on The Holy Spirit. This week’s devotionals are loosely based upon his message. Today we reflect upon how the Holy Spirit fills us with hope that Jesus is building a church of joy and peace out of diverse people. 

‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ (Romans 15:13) 

Lesson: The Holy Spirit wants to fill us with hope (expectation) that Jesus will build a church community of joy and peace out of people from diverse backgrounds. 


To listen to this devotional, go to:




The God of hope

Yesterday, we saw how God is termed, ‘the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort’. Today, we read that He’s called, ‘the God of hope’. What does it mean for God to be the God of hope? We get a clue as to what this means, in this context, from the previous verse - a quote from Isaiah:

‘And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations;  in him the Gentiles will hope.”’ (Romans 15:12) 

The ‘hope’ that Christians are to share is that all nations and people-groups will be brought together, by the gospel, in one church that, ultimately, reflects the new heavens and earth they will share together. In a world that was, and is, riven by ethnic, religious and cultural tensions, God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, wants to fill us with the ‘hope’ that He can build this kind of united church and will restore creation under His rule. 


God wants to Fill us with Joy and peace

Paul prays for them to be filled with ‘all joy and peace’. What does this mean? In this context, this seems to be about having a joyful and peaceful community. The Holy Spirit wants to help us to take joy in one another and to be at peace with one another no matter our differences. 


As you trust in Him

We are told that God fills us with joy and peace as we trust in Him. In this context this, it seems, is about trusting Jesus to be able to unite such a diverse group of people into a community of love and peace. To build a joy-filled, peace-filled and loving church requires that be believe that Jesus wants to do this and that He can do it by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. 


Response

The Holy Spirit wants to fill us with hope (expectation) that Jesus will build a church community of joy and peace out of people from diverse backgrounds. I guess that many of us as we read a text like Romans 15:13, apply it to our own need for joy and peace. This is okay, but I hope we can see that God wants us to be like Christ and to take joy and seek to be at peace in our diverse church family. The Holy Spirit wants to fill us with hope that God can build such a church - a church that reflects that future eternal state. He wants to fill us with His heart that such a church be filled with joy and peace for each other. The Holy Spirit wants to us excel at doing what we read earlier in this chapter: 

‘Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.’ (Romans 15:7) 
 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals, which are accessed in Church News, the Teaching button on the website and are now available on the major podcast platforms. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Our message on Sunday from Dale Barlow, was on The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been promised to us. By His power, we are enabled to believe on Jesus. He causes us to be Born again and receive a new heart and outlook. He wants to fill, empower and impart His hope and comfort every day. 

Dale used a number of stories and texts to talk about the Holy Spirit. I suggest that you choose one or two texts from below from which to discuss and pray together: 

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • John 14:16-20, 16:7, 7:37-39: What has Jesus promised us? How do we enter into and are we entering into His promise? 

  • What does Romans 5:1-5: What is our hope and how does the Holy Spirit help us to rejoice in it in all circumstances? 

  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: How does God teach us in suffering and what does this lead to?

  • Romans 15:13: What does the Holy Spirit enable us to do?

  • Romans 14:17: What are the attributes that mark out those who are in the Kingdom? 

  • SIV - How does the Holy Spirit lead and empower us into His mission? 

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to ‘SIV’; and pray for anything else that's come out of our time in God’s Word.

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