• Matt Beaney

#408 - DWELLING AMONG US - (4/8/21)



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

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

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

In love, Jesus, the eternal Son of God, came and dwelt among us - He became a man in order to die for us.

He has given us grace and truth. In Jesus we have ‘grace’ - the gift of salvation to the undeserving. In Jesus we have ‘truth’ - We know God in a new, fuller, and growing way.

If we’ve received Jesus, He continues to dwell in us and among us. The God of all comfort dwells among us. He is ‘Emanuel which means God with us’ (Matthew 1:23).


2. UP

As the ‘Word’ Jesus is the eternal God (See 1:1-2). As the Word, Jesus reveals what God is like to us. The term ‘Word’ refers to Genesis 1 where we read of God speaking creation into being; Jesus was co-creator of all things with the Father and the Spirit. We read elsewhere,

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17)

This text implies the double-nature of Jesus. He was, and remains, fully man and fully God.

His becoming flesh teaches us that God knows by experience what it is to be human. He can empathise with our weaknesses and temptations. He knows what it is like to be physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually exhausted.


3. IN

Jesus loved us and so left glory and laid aside majesty to become a man and die for us. His love remains the same today.

He ‘made his dwelling among us’ and He continues to want to dwell in our lives. He remains ‘Emmanuel (which means God with us)’ (Matt. 1:23). Jesus has promised,

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

He is full of ‘grace a truth. He wants us to go to Him as a primary source of self-worth, security, and truth.


4. OUT

This text speaks of the mercy of God as He dwelt among us in order to save us. In this, we see the movement that we need to make: We lay aside glory and sacrifice in various ways and dwell among the people in order to help them to know the grace and truth that are in Christ.


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

The primary application is to have a right view of Jesus as the eternal God who became a man.

An application could be to be more aware of His dwelling in you, or in the church and allow this to adjust how we live.

Do we need a fresh reminder of the grace that Jesus gives?

Are we trusting in the truthfulness of Jesus? His word, His promises, what He reveals about God, that He’s faithful…?

How can we dwell among the people for mission? Do we need to do something new or do we need to change our attitude in the places where we are already?


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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