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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1068. The Holy Spirit will give us power and words (31/5/24)

This week in our Luke series, we are focussing on Luke 12:4-12, where the theme is on how we are to deal with the pressure to hide or compromise our faith. Today, we finish with the promise that those who are attacked for their faith will be given words by the Holy Spirit. 

‘“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,  for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”’ (Luke 12:11-12) 

Lesson: We will all face pressure to compromise or hide our faith. However, Jesus wants to give you courage by promising that He will give you the help of the Holy Spirit when you are under pressure. 


You can listen to this devotional at:



‘When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities’

This text has an implicit promise. He is intimating that we will all face difficulties and persecutions. We live in a fallen world, where ‘the prince of this world’, the devil, is at work. He is seeking to accuse and undermine the confidence of Christians and His church. He will do all that he can to take us off course, and off of God’s mission of helping to bring others into The Kingdom of God. 


We are all under pressure to stay silent and live a quiet life. We are tempted to hide our faith and treat it as a private matter. However, Jesus tells us:

‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”’ (Matthew 28:18-20)

This is our mission and commission. But many seek to oppose this, and behind this opposition is the work of the devil. You and I need to recognise this. In the places and relationships that you are in, there is great opportunity alongside opposition and pressure to lose confidence. 


‘Do not worry’

Jesus commands us not to worry. This is easier said than done! Rather like you finding yourself on a tightrope, high above the ground and being told, “Don’t worry!” So how are we to overcome worry? Jesus makes this promise of the presence and power of the Spirit, who will give us the words that we need. 


‘For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.’

We can refrain from worry by trust that He will give us His presence and His words when we need them. In Acts 1, we are promised something similar:

‘“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”’ (Acts 1:8) 

So if we are worried as I’m sure that we all are, ask for the Spirit to fill you. Ask Him to fill you will courage, love, wisdom and words. We want to help to bring people to Jesus, so let’s pray for wisdom so that we can use language that people outside of faith can understand. Pray for grace and listen to the Spirit, so that we can listen and serve people well.  


Response

We will all face pressure to compromise or hide our faith. However, Jesus wants to give you courage by promising that He will give you the help of the Holy Spirit when you are under pressure. Will we take the opportunities that God gives to us? Will we step over the ‘fear line’ because we trust that the Holy Spirit will give us words? Most of us feel unqualified, and the truth is that we are! None of us can change someone else! Only The Spirit can save, but He uses us as we share the simple gospel and our story of coming to faith.

 

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 everyone is aware of our week of prayer next week (3rd-9th June) and how to get the Zoom Link. 


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 from our series in Luke on Sunday was based upon Jesus’ teaching from Luke 12:4-12. Here, Jesus is teaching Christians on how to deal with fear, and the pressure to keep silent about our faith. There is a lot in this short text and you may not have enough time to cover it all. However, our devotionals this week go into more details so please use these so as to think more deeply about these challenging words. 


Please read Luke 12:4-12, and discuss: 

  • What would you say is the main message and application of Luke 12:4-12? 

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

  • How do verses 4-7 teach us to overcome fear of people? 

  • Verses 8-10a, warns us against allowing fear to keep us from sharing our faith. Do you allow fear to stop you from sharing the gospel? 

  • Continuing from the last question, if we have failed to ‘publicly acknowledge’ Jesus, what is the promise for us who have, in being ashamed,  ‘sinned against The Son of Man’? 

  • In verses 8-10, Jesus compares sinning against ‘The Son of Man’ (Jesus) and The Holy Spirit. What is the sin against the Spirit and how can you help someone who is worried if they’ve committed it?

  • In verses 11-12, What is the promise and how does believing this help us to overcome fear of sharing the gospel?  

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

  • SIV - Spend some time together talking and praying about who and how you are seeking to bring your community to Jesus. 

  • 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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