• Matt Beaney

#406 - THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT - (2/8/21)



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

'Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.' (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

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

The Father had compassion on us in our sin. He has comforted us in Christ. In Jesus, our sin has been removed and we receive the comfort of God. In Jesus, these words are fulfilled,

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:1-2)

Our sin has been ‘paid for’. What we deserve from ‘the Lord’s hand’ has been dealt onto Christ. God speaks fresh comfort over us today.


2. UP

The Father is revealed as compassionate and giving comfort. The Psalmist writes,

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalms 103:13-14)


The Spirit gives us an experienced reality to the comfort of God. By the Spirit the love of God floods us in our hour of need. We read,

“He set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:22)

God is concerned for us. He wants us to know His comforting presence today.


3. IN

He ‘comforts us in all our troubles’. There is no valley too deep for the love of God to reach us. It’s important that we open ourselves up to His comfort in whatever we are going through; it’s vital that we don’t reject God’s comfort when we need it most, as Jesus says of Jerusalem,

“‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (Matthew 23:37)

May we receive the comfort of God by responding to Jesus’ invitation today,

“‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’” (Matthew 11:28-30)

We are not only to receive God’s comfort, we are also to be filled with His compassion and give comfort to others. In fact, it’s our experiences of God’s comfort in our history of suffering that qualifies us to help others. What God pours into us, is also to pour out of us.


4. OUT

We comfort ‘those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God’. It’s vital that we have enjoyed and are enjoying the comfort of God’s love and salvation if we are to share it with others. If the gospel is a present joy to us, we will be filled with compassion and seek to comfort others with the love of God. He comforts us, ‘So that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God’. The church is to be a community that is deeply devoted to helping one another to find comfort in God.


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

An application could be to spend time in prayer and worship, asking the Spirit to fill you afresh with God’s comfort.

You could meet, send a message, a card… to someone that you known who needs the comfort of God.

We could evaluate the depth of our relationships in our church. Are we devoted to building deep friendships in which we can give and receive God’s comfort?


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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