• Matt Beaney

#420 - SEASONS OF REFRESHING - (20/8/21)



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

“But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:18-19)

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 gospel message is that Jesus has suffered for us as our substitute; He suffered and died in our place.

The gospel message requires that we ‘repent’. Repentance is a change of mind and life. It’s a turning from a life that is not centred on the true God. We ‘turn to God’. This is faith. Repentance is turning away, and faith is turning toward. The promise of faith and repentance is that ‘your sins may be wiped away’. Through faith we are Justified. The gospel also comes with the promise of the Holy Spirit. We experience ‘times of refreshing’. All of this is outlined earlier in the chapter when Peter said,

“Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

2. UP

God requires repentance from us. We are to put to death what belongs to our old life. We do this at conversion, but we continue to do it throughout our lives.

God requires faith. We are saved by faith in Christ. We are also to live every day by faith. God loves to see faith.

God gives the Spirit at conversion. We are born again by the Spirit. The Spirit unites us with the victory of Jesus. However, God gives us of His Spirit each day. He gives us particular ‘seasons of refreshing’ also.


3. IN

If we have repented and put our faith in Christ, our sins are ‘wiped out’! God wants us to know and enjoy this. God also wants to give us ‘seasons of refreshing’. A massive part of this is the experience of the Spirit assuring us of God’s love and our justification. ‘Refreshing’ (anapsuxis) means the experience of relief from obligation or trouble and can be translated as breathing space, relaxation and relief.

Don’t we all need to ‘draw breath again’ through a fresh season of the Spirit!


4. OUT

It’s God’s will that we, in ways appropriate to the context, ask people to repent, turn to God, and be renewed by the Spirit. Everyone needs this. You and I need seasons of the refreshing - the breathing space - of the Spirit so as to be active in sharing the gospel.


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

Is repentance something that we practice regularly? How can we pray ‘forgive us our debts’ more habitually?

Are we experiencing ‘times of refreshing’? How could you seek the presence of the Spirit?

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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