SESSION 1 | REVIVING SPIRIT
Before beginning the study, pray aloud, using either your own words or the words provided.
Heavenly Father, send Your reviving love!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5)
Revive our love, heavenly Father—for You and for those around us. Amen.
GOD REVIVES HIS PEOPLE BY HIS SPIRIT
Read the following text aloud.
Throughout all times and places, God acts. He sometimes moves directly, as He did in the incarnated person of Jesus. Other times, God works through ordinary people—cashiers and teachers, programmers and stay-at-home moms—to accomplish extraordinary ends. Yet these people are not ordinary. They are revived in Christ. And revived people depend on the Holy Spirit.
As revived people, we no longer try to earn God’s love. We already have His love, demonstrated most fully on the cross! We also cease from relying on ourselves. Revived people depend on the Holy Spirit. We cry with the prophet Zechariah, “Not by might, nor by power, but by [God’s] Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6).
Either read the text aloud or invite a volunteer to read.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. …But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians5:16-18, 22-26)
Discuss at least one of the following two questions.
- We sometimes think we’re responsible for becoming more patient, kind, good, etcetera. But Paul says such qualities are “the fruit of the Spirit.” If the Spirit is the one who bears fruit in your life, where does your responsibility for spiritual growth begin and end?
- Read Galatians 5:25 and 26 again. Why do you think Paul pairs these two verses? What point do you think he is trying to make?
Revived people depend on the Holy Spirit. We “live by the Spirit” and “walk by the Spirit.” As we do, we bear His fruit.
In smaller groups of 2-3 people, discuss the following situation.
Share a time when you experienced a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual limitation. For example, maybe you tried to put away eight-foot tables and realized you needed help. Or maybe you had an adverse reaction to a medication. What happened when you encountered that limitation? What did you think about the limitation at that moment? How about now?
Return to the large group to discuss the following question.
- In what ways could our limitations push us to depend on the Spirit and on each other—for our good and God’s glory?
Revived people depend on the Holy Spirit. They look to God, their good Father, who refreshes their spirits and renews their strength.
Ask a volunteer to close with prayer.