LIVING IT UP
September 5, 2010 Romans 8:26-28
More Than Conquerors #5 The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson
I fled Him down the nights and down the days I fled Him down the arches of the years I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways Of my own mind, and in the midst of tears I hid from him, and under running laughter. Up vistaed hopes I sped and shot precipitated Adown titanic glooms of chasmed hears From those strong feet that followed, followed after But with unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace, Deliberate speed, majestic instancy, They beat, and a Voice beat, More instant than the feet: All things betray thee who betrayest me. (Search the internet for “The Hound of Heaven” to read the rest of this long poem.)
The sermon began with a story about my finding a solid silver coin amidst a jar of other coins. While having the same value as other coins, this silver coin is worth far more to me. Romans 8:28 is like that. It is a rare find and will help every one of us come to terms with God’s grace in our life...even in the most difficult of circumstances. 1. Read Romans 8:26-27. Paul says that the Holy Spirit can work through the internal “groans” and wordless sighs we have. Can you relate to that? Are there prayers you need to pray for which you don’t seem to ever find the right words? 2. In Romans 8:1-28, how many times does Paul mention or refer to the ministry of the Holy Spirit? What does Jesus say about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in John 14:26 and John 15:26? 3. In Romans 8:28 Paul calls out to those who love God. What is the difference between believing in God and loving God? Did you agree with me about the essential difference between Peter and Judas, namely, that the only difference is that Judas didn’t love God? He loved money instead. Compare and contrast their lives as you know them in the New Testament. 4. Read the classic poem “The Hound of Heaven” (left). What does it say about God’s pursuit of us? Does this seem accurate to you? Did God pursue you to believe? Did He call you to believe? 5. Paul uses a word in verse 28 that is popular today: synergy. He means “working together”. Read Genesis 50:20. It is hard to believe that “all things work together for good” in your own life? 6. Paul says “all things”...but he doesn’t mean “each thing”. What is the difference? To illustrate this point, I referred to the ingredients for a cake, which are not tasty individually, but together make for a great dessert. I said, “The input is not always good...but the outcome always is." 7. Share what it has meant for you to study (with me) a passage of the Bible like Romans 8. If you and your group have a comment, thought, or suggestion, please be sure to write me at DavidR@ChristChurchPlano.org. I’d love to hear from you.
2. In Romans 8:1-28, how many times does Paul mention or refer to the ministry of the Holy Spirit? What does Jesus say about the ministry of...