"The Hope Christmas Gives"
TEXTS: Isaiah 9:6-7
1. The Biblical Christmas narrative presents many hope-filled realities to comfort our wearied and sin-sick souls. The Incarnation of Christ reveals that our Creator wants to be in relationship with us. That truth gives us a reason to rejoice and should cause us to consider how blessed we truly are.
2. Good (God) things are worth waiting for. The Christmas story teaches us that much of what we will receive from the Lord will require us to wait on Him and trust Him during that process. Sin promises instant joy and delivers long-term despair. But God promises eternal joy and peace–we will just have to be patient as He forms those realities in our hearts and lives.
3. A life of humility creates beautiful things (pride is ugly). We see the ugliness of pride when we look at several characters that are involved with the birth of Christ (Herod and the religious leaders). Their response to the arrival of the Savior shows us how ugly pride can be. On the other hand, we get to see the beauty of a humble woman named Mary. We can be filled with hope because we can be sure that a life of humility will produce beautiful things in the world around us.
4. God works through weakness. God chose Mary and Joseph to raise the infant Christ. There were likely more powerful and affluent couples that could have been chosen, but the Lord chose a seemingly weak couple to do this important task. It reveals that our weakness doesn’t stop the Lord from working in and through us. But there is something that will hinder the Lord from moving in our lives–indifference.
5. God keeps His promises. The Lord promised a Savior so He sent a Savior. God is always faithful to uphold His Word.
6. Jesus wants to be in the middle of our messy lives. Instead of a palace, Jesus was born in a dirty stable. God doesn’t want us to miss that Christ came to earth so He could be involved in our dirty and messy lives. Not only does Jesus want to be a part of our messy lives, He alone can make us clean.
7. Even if it seems insignificant, we must remember that the Lord is always at work. The eternity-changing work that Jesus accomplished started with something that many overlooked and ignored. It did not look like God was doing something mighty on the night of Jesus’ birth, but He was.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. What has waiting on the Lord taught you? How has waiting on the Lord impacted your spiritual life and what truths has it revealed to you?
2. How would you describe what it looks like to live a life of humility?
3. Can you think of other biblical examples of God working through weakness?
4. Do you have a testimony concerning how God proved Himself faithful to uphold His promises?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- Assurance that Christ is establishing and upholding His Kingdom
- That we would face the future full of hope and faith