• Matt Beaney

#233 – POWER FOR NATIONS (11/11/20)


When we think of the Holy Spirit’s work, it’s important that we gain a biblical breadth of understanding as to His effects. Oftentimes we can become one dimensional in regard the Spirit’s work. The Spirit does many things: He testifies I’m God’s child; He convicts of sin; He sanctifies; He regenerates; He empowers gifts and ministry; He teaches… The Spirit does lots of things for which we need to aware and experiencing. One aspect of the Spirit’s work is His desire to unite all people-groups in Christ.


Readings and reflections

1. After the resurrection, Jesus promises that the Spirit would come and empower His people to reach the nations with the gospel.

'Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.  He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,  and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”’ (Luke 24:45-49)

What will be preached in all nations?

Where does this mission begin and what does this say about where we need to start?

Jesus had promised them the Holy Spirit. What amazing phrase does Jesus use to explain how the Spirit’s coming will affect them?


2. Here is another very important text that speaks of the Spirit working in and through the church to unite all people-groups in Christ.

‘He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  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 1:7-8)

Thinking about Jesus’ return is important and we are to be prepared. However, What does Jesus say here about how we are to avoid the dangers of unhelpful speculation?

What will you and I become when we are filled with the Spirit?

How will you respond and how will you pray as a result of today’s devotional?


To memorise this week

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)


To consider this week

How will you expand your awareness, heart and involvement in reaching the nations?

Downloading the ‘Operation World’ App. is a good place to start.


Here is the vlog that Jem mentioned on Sunday by Sam Hēnare (New Zealand) as he speaks about contextualising the gospel to reach the Māori community.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb68ashJXUo&t=253s&ab_channel=Unreached%3ARepresenting.Resourcing.Releasing.

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - GO TO THE NATIONS


Notices

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


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Where would you most like to visit in the world and why?


Introduction - please share in your group

On Sunday, we continued in our series on discipleship.

We saw how Jesus, in His Great Commission, commanded all Christians to be involved in reaching all the people groups of the world.


Let's remind ourselves of Jesus' words,

‘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)

Of course, we will be involved in differing ways; for some, it will involve actually going to a different nation, for others, it will mean giving, prayer, support...

We all have a part to play and it's important that we take the time to prayerfully seek God's guidance in this regard.


Jesus made the promise,

‘He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  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 1:7-8)

A church and any individual Christian who is filled with the Spirit will be involved in reaching the nations. As we ask for and receive the Spirit, He will lead us into ever greater involvement with the nations of the world.


Discussion questions

1. Would you like to share anything that struck you or something that God spoke to you about from Sunday's message or the devotionals this week?


2. Please read Matthew 28:18-20 and discuss:

i) How much do you pray and think about your involvement in reaching other people groups for Jesus?

ii) What are the things that distract or diminish our faith for international mission?


2. Read read Revelation 7:9-10 and discuss:

i) Jesus wants us to have a vision for reaching all nations with the gospel. We need to see this with the eyes of faith. Who, according to this vision, will be included in God’s Kingdom?

ii) What are they crying and what does this say about the content of the gospel message?


God’s Kingdom will include people from ‘every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages’. This means that the message of the gospel will be taken to these people. In this age of travel and digital communications, we can see how God is building ‘highways’ for this to be achieved.


3. Is there anything that you want to pray about?


4. How can we pray for you as you seek to reach out to your community for Jesus?

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