The word Christmas immediately brings to my mind joy, warmth, love, family, dinners, carols, decorations, shopping, wrapping, baking … busyness! Several months before the actual day, I begin to make my lists and keep an eye out for special gifts for those whose names are on them. Because it’s hard to decide on just one gift, I usually go overboard and give several gifts to each one in my family. To help me keep my focus, I also begin asking The King what He would like for me to give Him for His birthday.
But what seems to be impressed on my heart and mind is that God has not just one gift, but several, for you and me. They are gifts that He has already given, but they’re ones that I invite you to freshly “unwrap” with me.
As you open His gifts, take time to savor them. Meditate on them. Enjoy them! Then thank Him for them …
Read Romans 8:26-39
I. THE SPIRIT’S PRAYERS Romans 8:26-27
- Who is the Spirit? Give phrases from Genesis 1:1-2; John 7:37-39; 14:25-26; 16:7, 13-14; Acts 2:1-4, 16-18.
- In what two particular circumstances does the Spirit pray for us? See Romans 8:26.
- Are you presently experiencing either of these circumstances? Explain.
- How are you encouraged to know that at these times the Spirit is praying for you?
- How do the following verses offer encouragement to you during these times? 2 Chronicles 20:12, 15-18; Isaiah 42:3; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; James 1:5.
- How does the Spirit pray for you? See Romans 8:26.
- What makes His prayers supernaturally effective? See Romans 8:27.
- What is the Spirit’s ultimate purpose in prayer for you and me? See 1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18.
- Would you thank the Spirit for the gift of His prayers?
II. THE FATHER’S PURPOSE Romans 8:28-30
- What is God’s ultimate purpose for you and me? Read Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1:11-12.
- Give different aspects of this purpose from Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 3:10, 20-21; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:1-3.
- How does God use our circumstances to accomplish this purpose? Read Jeremiah 18:1-6; Isaiah 64:8; Romans 9:21; 2 Corinthians 4:6-10; 1 Peter 1:6-7.
- Give an example from your own life where He has used a circumstance to help further His purpose in you.
- Are there any circumstances in our lives that He cannot use? See Romans 8:28.
- What is the progression of this purpose in us? See Romans 8:30.
- Note that each step of the progression is in the past tense. What does this mean to you?
- Match each of the following verses with one of the steps in the Father’s purpose for us: Psalm 139:1-4; Ephesians 1:46; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 8-9; Romans 5:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 8:17.
- Would you thank the Father for the gift of working out His purpose in your life?
III. THE SON’S POWER Romans 8:31-39
- Knowing your life until now, what are some of the accusations that could be leveled against you before God? Are any of them valid? Why not? Underline the phrase in Romans 8:31.
- What supreme evidence is there that God is for you? Read Romans 8:32.
- What charges and condemnation have others made against you? What charges and condemnation could be made against you in the invisible world?
- Who specifically counters these charges? What position gives Him access to God? Read Romans 8:34.
- Once you have established a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, what is one primary reason you are eternally secure in that relationship? Read Romans 8:34; Isaiah 53:10-12; Hebrews 7:23-25; Jude 24-25.
- While nothing can sever our relationship with God, what are some situations that threaten to draw us away from it and damage it? Put each of these in your own words. Read Romans 8:35-36.
- What is one reason, repeated three times in Romans 8:36-37, 39, that we can count on the Son’s power to keep us secure in our relationship with God?
- What difference does this knowledge make to you when facing any of the examples given in Romans 8:38-39?
- Would you thank the Son for the gift of His power to protect and preserve your relationship with God, regardless of any visible or invisible force that comes against it?
- How will you say Thank You to God the Spirit for the gift of His prayers?
- How will you say Thank You to God the Father for the gift of His purpose?
- How will you say Thank You to God the Son for the gift of His powerful protection and love?
Make your answers to these questions your Christmas gift to The King this year. ©2022 Anne Graham Lotz
This article is adapted from a study originally published in December 2014.
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her newest book, which she co-authored with her daughter Rachel-Ruth Wright, is “Jesus Followers: Real-Life Lessons for Igniting Faith in the Next Generation.” It is available from major booksellers online.