• Matt Beaney

#401 - I HAVE MADE YOU A LIGHT - (26/7/21)



During this LEARNING TO HEAR series I’m taking a different approach to these devotionals. I want to us work harder at searching the scriptures for ourselves. We will use the ‘Come to Jesus Daily’ method below to help us with this. It’s well worth the hard work involved!


TODAY’S TEXT

“For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘ “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”’ When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad (rejoiced) and honoured the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.” (Acts 13:47-49)

I’ve included my reflections on today’s text below. However, I encourage you to pray and spend time reflecting (writing can be helpful) using the 5 questions below before reading my thoughts.


i. †GOSPEL - 'Gaze on the cross'- What does this text reveal about salvation through Jesus?

ii. UP – What does this text say about God – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?

iii. IN – What does this say about me, the church and how we are to relate? Is there a promise to believe, command to do, attitude to have, something to avoid, is there forgiveness to seek or give?

iv. OUT – What does this say about my community and mission?

v. DO - This has two components. Firstly, list as many possible ways that you can think of that one might apply the text (actions or attitudes). Secondly, hear - Pray about how the Holy Spirit is leading you, specifically, to respond.


MY REFLECTIONS


1. †GOSPEL

It’s worth reading the whole of this chapter to see how Paul presents that gospel.

Jesus is the ‘light’. He brings knowledge of God and reconciliation with God to those in darkness.

“the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’”(Matthew 4:16)

He ‘brings salvation to the ends of the earth’. In Jesus, all nations are saved. This text also contains the promise that the gospel will go to all nations as Jesus promises,

"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)


2. UP

God is called ‘the Lord’. They spoke of their mission and message as being by His ‘command’ (See Acts 13:1-4 also). As Lord, He has authority over our lives. They were on this missionary journey because they were obeying the Holy Spirit. We read,

“The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.” (Acts 13:4)

As ‘Light’, Jesus shows us what God is like. He shows us how to live. He shows all that is of most importance. Our what, where, who and when are to be under the Lord’s authority.


3. IN

They ‘rejoiced’ (ESV) in the gospel message. They ‘honoured’ the message. May God restore to us the joy of our salvation. May we be a people of joy. Are we bored with our amazing salvation? Are we allowing other news, messages, rumours, teachings… to dominate our hearts?

We read, ‘all who were appointed for eternal life believed.’ Are we amazed that God made an appointment with us, to save us, through the means that He used, planned from all eternity!


4. OUT

God has made Jesus a “light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” The Spirit is still speaking and sending us to take the gospel message to the places that He wants us to go. God wants to make His church a light.

Are we confident that God still has many who are ‘appointed for salvation’?

It says that ‘The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.’ Surely that’s what the Holy Spirit wants to do through His church.


5. DO? - Here are a few examples of application that I’ve come up with:

An application could be to pray that God would make His church a light to all nations as she rejoices in the gospel.

Do we need an identity shift? We, in Christ, are a light to the nations.

We could pray for fresh joy in ‘the word of the Lord’ - the gospel message.

Could we be involved in planting a new Community Group, congregation or church so that we can say that ‘The word spread through the whole region’?

Could you sign up for the ‘Pioneer church planting conference’ on 24-25 September? (Go to the New Ground website for details).

HEAR - Pray about how the Holy Spirit might want you to respond.

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY



During this LEARNING TO HEAR series we are going to take a different approach to learning from the Bible together. We will use the ‘Come to Jesus Daily Method’ together (Gospel, Up, In, Out, Do) - you will have to do all the work!


1. Icebreaker - How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week? (During this LEARNING TO HEAR series, we are seeking to develop a culture of listening to God out of His word)


2. Select a text of scripture. (You could use the text from Sunday’s message or something of your choice.)


3. Read and recall. (Read the text and ask each person in the group to put it into their own words.)


4. Please go through these questions together:

i. †GOSPEL - 'Gaze on the cross'- What does this text reveal about salvation through Jesus?

ii. UP – What does this text say about God – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?

iii. IN – What does this say about me, the church and how we are to relate? Is there a promise to believe, command to do, attitude to have, something to avoid, is there forgiveness to seek or give?

iv. OUT – What does this say about my community and mission?

v. DO - This has two components. Firstly, list as many possible ways that you can think of that one might apply the text (actions or attitudes). Secondly, hear - Pray and share (if it’s appropriate) about how the Holy Spirit is leading you, specifically, to respond.


5. SIV - Finally, it would be helpful to talk and pray about how we are doing in regard to Serve, Invest and Invite. Do you have any encouraging stories or any plans in this regard? How do you want to pray in regard to our mission?





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