TAKE SOME HOPE
It’s easy to find ourselves too busy, too overwhelmed, and too behind with all we have to do. Inevitably, it always feels like we never have enough of what we need to pull things off. But what if we are seeing things all wrong? In this new year, we can start with a fresh perspective and discover all we actually have access to Right Now as gifts from God. When it comes to more hope, healthier relationships, pure joy, and overwhelming peace, God says: “Take as much as you need.”
Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. What are you hoping for in this New Year?
2. What stood out to you from the message?
3. Read Ephesians 1:3-14
a.) Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say):
-What is the circumstance?
-Who is talking?
-Any repeated phrases?
-What surprised you? What stood out to you?
b.) Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean)
-What questions do you have?
– Summarize the passage in 1-3 sentences – what are the main points?
-What do you learn about the nature and character of God as you read this?
– What do you learn about yourself or the world around you?
c.) Now make some applications (what’s my response)
-How do you respond to what you are reading?
-How could this apply to your life today?
-What is the central truth that you could put into practice from this?
-Who could you share this with for the sake of encouragement?
4. Do you think of a Godly life as something you want or something you don’t? What makes you answer in that way? How does your view of God affect your thoughts on this?
5. Read Ephesians 1:17-19. If your heart is enlightened it changes the way you view your circumstances or difficulties now—not as hopeless, but with hope. When have you known this kind of HOPE? Where are you currently needing HOPE to help you transcend your circumstances?
6. All of these spiritual blessings (peace, love, joy, hope, etc) are ours now for the taking. The way we access them according to Ephesians 1 is through the power of the Holy Spirit. Have you opened your heart to God and let Him in acknowledging your need for someone to save you from your sins? If so, you have God’s Spirit in you and with you always.
-Do you know how to live life with the Spirit? What questions do you have about that?
-Where have you experienced connection with the Spirit to guide you in your life?
Ephesians 1:3-14 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:17-19 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength
1. Start out the year by learning the Promises God has made to us! Start with reading about Jesus in the New Testament—like the book of John or Matthew—and pay attention to God’s Promises and more importantly—am I actually trusting in these as true? Or am I trusting that something else is true—trusting anything else will rob you of your inheritance, your birthright.