• Matt Beaney

#499 (9/12/21) PEACE EXPERIENCED



This week’s devotionals are based on Adrian Holloway's message from our recent carol service.


So far, we’ve been considering the objective nature of our peace with God. Peace is firstly about our standing with God. We are now loved by God. We are now adopted into God’s family. Our salvation and relationship with God is a fact regardless of our performance or feelings. However, God promises us in his word that those who are His children will experience His presence. The peace of God is something that we are to walk in every day.


When Gabriel came to Mary with the promise that she would give birth to Jesus, Gabriel is careful to comfort her,

“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God.” (Luke 1:29-30)

God gives us peace. By the Spirit, He assures us of His care and faithfulness. He is not unconcerned when we are troubled. We read about the experience of the Spirit,


“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16)

By the Spirit, we cry ‘Abba Father’. The Holy Spirit fills us with the assurance of our adoption. He assures us of God’s love toward us. He fills us with love toward Him.


So how can we ensure that we are walking in the peace that the Spirit gives? Here are a few suggestions:


1. Believe the promise regarding the gift of the Holy Spirit. He’s available to you.

2. Ask for the Holy Spirit to fill you with His peace. Ask a friend to pray for you.

3. Put your faith in the promises that the Spirit gives in His word rather than in the fears that the devil and our flesh throw at us.

4. Listen to what the Spirit is saying to you through your church community. The Spirit speaks through the various gifts that He gives to the church.

5. Spend time in personal devotions. The Spirit fills and speaks in such a setting.


May we sing and experience the truth that Jesus remains our ‘Emmanuel’ (the God who is with us).

“O come, O come, Emmanuel…Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel.”


OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16)

I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).


1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?

 


3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


Many people believe that if they have the right relationship, meaningful career, family, finances, travel experiences… that they would have peace and fulfilment in life. The truth is that those with all of these things, still have a deeper need that only a relationship with God can fill.


i) THERE IS NO PEACE

There is no true peace without a relationship with God. Without knowing God we are missing the deepest meaning of our existence. Without Christ, we are condemned and our sin separates us from God. Left to our own devices, we cannot have true peace. Paul tells us,

‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.’ (Romans 3:23-24)

ii) THE PEACEMAKER

Thankfully, the Father has done something about our sin. We read,

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.’ (John 3:16-17)

ii) PEACE RECEIVED

Peace in life and peace with God is received through faith in Christ. The promise is for 'whoever believes...' The gift of Christmas is life through God's Son. The fullness of life and eternal life are gifted to those who asked Jesus to enter into their lives.

'O holy Child of Bethlehem! Descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin, and enter in; Be born in us today.'

Discussion questions

This week is SIV Week. Our community needs the peace that God offers to them in the gospel and He wants to work through our church to bring His love to them.

1. It would be good to share any of our friends who came to the carol service. Do you have any plans to follow up in any way?

2. How are you planning (or could you plan) to serve, invest and invite in your friends during this upcoming Christmas season?

3. Let's pray for our community together. Let's pray for the particular people that God is putting on your heart. Let's pray for the Holy Spirit to direct us in how to Serve, Investa and Invite during this Christmas period.


If you have time, here are some questions from Adrian's message:

1. In what ways, does our world encourage us to seek peace?

2. How is it that Jesus can give peace with God?

3. What does John 3:16-17 tell us about how one receives true life?







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