• Matt Beaney

#413 - KEEP IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT - (11/8/21)



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

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.’ (Galatians 5:25)

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

This text (It’s worth reading 5:16-26) paints a picture of life before and after salvation. The thing that has made all the difference is that we now ‘live by the Spirit’. His resurrection power at work in us has transformed our lives from living according to the flesh to living according to the Spirit. By the Spirit, we bear good fruit for God.


2. UP

The Holy Spirit has ways of living and truths that He wants us to keep in step with. The Holy Spirit wants us to hear His voice and walk with Him.


3. IN

A church community is destroyed, or is thriving, depending on her response to the Spirit of God. As we keep in step with the Spirit, we will be a community that is rich in the fruit of the Spirit, which is listed as,

‘Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’ (Galatians 5:22-23)

Christians are those who ‘live by the Spirit’. We have new life in Christ. This spiritual reality is to inform the decisions that we make. We are to surmise, ‘Since I live by the Spirit I will do… I will not do…this or that’.

Just imagine how a church that bears these fruits would be transformed!


4. OUT

An individual or a church community that is keeping in step with the Spirit and is bearing the fruit of the Spirit will inevitably have a massive impact on the community. Can we be filled with the love of the Spirit and not be praying and doing all we can to ‘go after the lost sheep’?

“Holy Spirit, help me and your church to keep in step with you. May our hearts and lives be in step with your compassion for those who are outside of the Kingdom.”


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

An application could be to daily remember that we ‘live by the Spirit’. Remember our new identity in Christ.

When making decisions we could pre-fix our response with ‘Since I live by the Spirit…”

Our culture presents the ‘acts of the flesh’ as glamorous and feature in much of our entertainment. I wonder if the church needs to be much more restrained in what she allows to entertain her!

One could meditate and pray - for oneself and the church - out of the negative and positive attributes in this text.

Seek to be prayerful and responsive to the Spirit throughout the day. What do I need to put off and what do I need to put on?


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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