Power of the Kingdom, the People of God: 31st May

Small Group Notes


Our key considerations for this study within the series about Stewardship of the Kingdom are under two headings:

A Community of Christ; and Change in our community

A Community of Christ
Read together: Jn 14: 15 – 27

Individual reflection -1
Think about
‘v17b ..’but you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you’
v23 ‘My Father will love him(i.e. us), and we will come to him and make our home with him’
  • Some prompting questions during this reflection:
  • Do I feel as though Jesus is addressing me throughout this passage? (and not just the disciples at that time)
  • In what ways do I feel the Spirit in me?

Share (as you feel able) what passed through your mind
Some commentary that might help
There are instructions, commands and promises in this passage
Jesus asks for obedience in love
Jesus instructs the disciples yet again about His relationship to the Father
Jesus promises His Spirit, and that the Father and he ‘will make our home’ with humankind
The Spirit is therefore the communication and the communicator between the Father and Son; and between them and us.
The essential ‘truth’ that the Spirit sustains is about love; and it’s powerful because it is both painful and precious, triumphant and tragic (as seen in the life and work of Jesus himself);
There is an encouragement that we are not left alone in this life.
The Spirit is the one (in truth) who will influence humankind’s care of love in disposition and activity - and certainly should affect ours.

Read together: Mt 7: 7-12
Individual reflection - 2
  • What is my immediate response to this?
  • How have I arranged my life to
    • Ask for good gifts to be part of it
    • shape my actions to ‘do to others what you would have them do to you’ ?

Share as you feel able
Some commentary that might help
Christian living of - and for each other and the world around us - cannot be an isolated event.
We are in a community as the people of God, the stewards of the truth of love and its outworking. We are called to harness the power of the Spirit’s gifts to make God’s love real to all.
  • Do we notice the sharing and giving? Is there enough?
  • What is limiting it?
  • Do we use the communication and the communicator ( i.e the Holy Spirit)enough ?

Change in our community
Read together: Acts 2:1-21; and/or Acts 17: 22-28

  • When we think about Pentecost do we classify it as an historical event?
  • If not, why not?
  • Do we believe and act on the principle that the Holy Spirit is a channel of change each day?
  • If so, how do we expect that to happen?

Some commentary that might help
Jesus calls us to change as brothers and sisters, co- workers – in working out God’s plan, and our own spiritual inheritance.
In who we can become (who God wants us to be) we have a unique opportunity to be stewards of Jesus legacy, and builders of God’s kingdom –not later in heaven only – but now and here.
The Holy Spirit is the greatest gift since the cross.
He calls today for our response.
Other changes and revolutions have occurred recorded by scripture, by which God has been arranging to bring us back to Himself - Law, Prophecy, Cross, Resurrection, Ascension; the Gospel sent to all, including the Gentiles.
They represent elements of the Kingdom God has established.
However the Holy Spirit is a gift of a different order.
So be encouraged!
He brings light and warmth; consolation and joy.
But His essential mark is that he brings change.
Change within us; change un-thought of; change in spiritual capacity and each of our natures, as we choose right and sign up to the goal of living and giving the endless affection of God into a transformed community – one way to know and love and serve him.
This is the kingdom way. The ‘real thing’.
It is a gift that unites and grows and thrives in numbers, in communities; which forges in the fire of the Spirit a bridge to a life which can make us express ourselves in holy ways, because we are really able to know God as He is.
And to do that by a response that promotes a community of God’s kingdom -Kingdom people – the people of God.
That response should not be hesitant for fear of not being perfect; of how we deal with any shortfall on our part to live in the Spirit’s values.

So to end, share this question and your prayers that come from it.

What do I need to do to bring alive this expression of the reality of God?

Edward Bonner, 21/05/2009