PART 5 – THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION (28/2/20)
This week we have been considering who God is. We’ve seen that He has chosen to reveal Himself to us in His Word, and that He is ‘our Father in Heaven - both loving and powerful. However, our knowledge of the Father is not only through study, but we are also to experience the reality of what the bible talks about; We are to feel God’s love and our love for God as the Spirit works in us. It’s wonderful to know that you are loved by someone, but it’s another thing to be embraced by them. Paul writes,
‘For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 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 8:14-16)
God wants us to experience our adoption through the testimony of the Holy Spirit. We are to ‘cry Abba Father’ as the Spirit ‘testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children’. This is not about study and coming to conclusions - this is the Word and Spirit working together to enable us to experience God’s adoption.
Are you experiencing the Spirit of adoption?
When was the last time you felt God’s love poured out into your soul? Perhaps that’s something for you to pray today.
It’s so important that we know the love of God for us. Paul writes that, ‘The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again…’ The danger is that we see God as a slave-driver, ourselves as His servants only, our service being given grudgingly out of fear and condemnation. Love breaks us free to serve the Father as a child. Through the Spirit we ‘cry Abba Father’ - Our living for Jesus coming out of a deep love for Him.
Take some time to meditate on the following text and ask for a fresh testimony of the Holy Spirit in your soul.
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)
During this series, let's aim to memorise and meditate on The Lord's Prayer.
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use - a note on your phone, a post-it on the fridge...
Include the reference (book/chapter/verse) throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day - a habit is best formed by doing this at the same times, and places each day.
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time
USE IT! Actively use it to pray, worship, counsel, prophecy, and counter temptation and lies by quoting truth - it’s the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
TIPS ON BIBLICAL MEDITATION - THE 'COME TO JESUS DAILY METHOD'.
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. Here are a few tips and questions, what I call the 'come to Jesus daily method', to help you when meditating:
PRAY - Ask for the Spirit to help you and to speak to you. Keep the goal in mind - having a relationship with God!
WRITING- Writing/journaling is often a great help as you answer the questions below. Remember, don't allow worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, perfection... to stop you from writing - it's between you and God. In meditation, I encourage you to write in the first-person, speaking to God - "I see that you are...I sense you speaking to me about...I pray for...."
GOSPEL- What does God, through this text, say to you about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does God, through this text, say you about Himself – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does God, through this text, say about you, His church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does God, through this text, say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything else that you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – WHO IS THE KING? (FOR THE WEEK OF 24/2/20)
Have you ever been lost and how did get ‘un-lost’?
Introduction - please read in your group
Maps are extremely useful but we must have the correct map and learn how to use it. A Christian receives a new map; the bible now directs their lives. For a map to be useful, it has to be scaled down, which means that much detail is removed. The Lord’s Prayer is a scaled-down ‘map’ to prayer and who God is; each phrase is a signpost to a wider path - we are to take each phrase and expand on it as the Spirit leads us. This opening phrase of the Lord’s Prayer teaches us that when we pray, it is helpful to begin by recalling who our King is. Focussing on Him will stir our hearts in worship, remind us of His love toward us, and His power to do the things that we ask for in prayer. Prayer should always begin with an ‘up’ focus - as we declare to our own souls ‘this is your King’.
Please read Matthew 6:9-13.
What have you been inspired by this week through the devotions?
How does knowing the King as Father change one's approach to life?
How does one become a child of God? (John 1:12-13)
‘Heavenly Father’ is a phrase that speaks of God’s power over all things; How does such a vision help us in prayer and worship?
God is revealed, principally, in the bible. Most clearly, we get a vision of the Father in Christ His Son (which is also in His word). What have you read in the bible recently that inspired your vision of God?
Pray - In groups of 3-4
In groups of 3-4 (Try to get into the same groups each week if possible)
Is there anything that you want prayer for out of this week’s study?
Is there anything that you want prayer for more generally?
How connected to God do you feel at the moment and how could you go deeper this week? (let's follow up on this when we next meet together).