• Matt Beaney

#407 - THE SYMPATHY OF GOD - (3/8/21)




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

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

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

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

1. †GOSPEL

Jesus is our high priest. He has offered his body and blood for our sins. His sympathy drove Him to loving sacrifice. His sinlessness qualified Him to be our ‘lamb without blemish or defect’. He is the lamb ‘that takes away the sin of the world’.


2. UP

Jesus is our high priest. He makes intercession for us - that is He prays and does all that is required to save and help us.

We have a God who feels sympathy for each of us. He experiences our pain and joy with us. He wants to help us to be stronger and stand more consistently, but He understands our failures and is ready to console us.


3. IN

Jesus is full of sympathy for us. Sympathy is to feel the sufferings of another. He wants us to be a community that enjoys and extends His sympathy to others. Being judgemental is the enemy of sympathy. When we judge, we presume to know the heart-motives of another. To be sympathetic is to seek to understand the heart-motives of another.

A church community will be sympathetic to the degree that it has a culture of self-reflection. Looking at the ‘plank’ in our own eye will help us to feel the struggles of another.


4. OUT

We have a compassionate and sufficient high priest who can save any of our friends and family. We can pray for them and speak to them with a quiet confidence in the love of God.

This note of sympathy is to mark the way we relate. If we sympathise with the struggles of our non-believing friends, they will be much more open to listening to us.


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

Do we need to adjust our attitude so as to appreciate and enjoy God’s sympathy toward us in our various temptations and struggles?

Could we be more sympathetic to others in our lives? Are we quick to listen and slow to speak?

In temptation, do we turn to Jesus in prayer knowing that He has experienced this and can give us grace to overcome?


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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