#263 – THE COMFORT OF THE SPIRIT (13/1/21)
This week we have been considering the second of the Beatitudes in our discipleship series. Jesus promises,
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’ (Matthew 5:4)
This is a promise of Jesus that can be completely trusted. No matter our circumstances, we can experience the comfort that God gives. Jesus promises in His word,
‘The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.’ (Romans 8:15-18)
The Holy Spirit relieves us of fear. In its place, He assures us that we are God’s children. How is this a comfort to us?
The Spirit also gives us the comfort of hope; He assures us that we will ‘share in His glory’. What is the inheritance that the Spirit guarantees to us?
The Spirit is the great comforter who has been promised to us. It’s a part of His ministry that you and I receive His comfort. In a world of confusion, overwhelming information and conspiracies, you can know the peace that the Spirit brings!
Finally, take some time to pray and meditate on the comforting ministry of the Spirit,
‘I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate (comforter) to help you and be with you for ever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:16-18)
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - BLESSED ARE THOS WHO MOURN
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What are you 'mourning' - finding challenging - at the moment?
Introduction - please share in your group
This week in our discipleship series, we are considering the second of the Beatitudes,
'Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted’. (Matthew 5:4)
Firstly, this is about salvation. Only those who mourn for their sin will come to Jesus for salvation and receive the comfort of justification, adoption and eternal hope.
Secondly, this is about mourning for our ongoing sin. It’s interesting to note that Jesus, when He taught us to pray, told us to ask, “Forgive us our debts”. Mourning over our sin toward God and others is to be part of our lifestyle. Those who mourn in this way will be comforted by Jesus' forgiveness and transformative power.
Thirdly, we are to mourn over sin in the world. As we see death, sickness, relationship breakdown, war... we are to mourn and intercede in prayer. Those who mourn in this way will be comforted as they see lives transformed by the love of God.
Finally, our comfort will only be fully realised at the end of history when Jesus comes and restores all things. Only when the Kingdom comes fully will we have the fullness of the comfort that Jesus promises.
1. How does God comfort those who grieve for their sin?
2. What scripture would you use to back up your answer?
3. What do the parables in Luke 15 tell us about what the Father feels toward those who truly mourn for their sin?
3. How does mourning lead us to prayer, compassion and witnessing to our community?
4. What does Luke 9:36-38 say about our attitude and response to those who don't know Jesus?
5. Are you mourning for anything that you'd like to share and receive prayer for?
Investing and inviting
i) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?
ii) How are you planning to 'invest and invite'?
iii) Finally, Who are you planning to invite to our Alpha Course which is beginning on the 25th January?
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