God With Us: Week 2
God With Us: Week 2
The Christmas story reveals to us who God is: 1) A God who loves us
2) A God who wants to save us
3) A God who wants to be with us
Tonight, we are looking at the Christmas story and discussing what it reveals to us about how God works.
1) God works on His timetable.
- God works over time and often time we want Him to work instantly.
Psalm 90:4 (NLT)— 4 For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.
- Most prophesies took hundreds or even thousands of years to come to fruition
Genesis 3:14-15 (NIV)— 14 “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Isaiah 7:14b (NLT)— 14b …Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
- The Genesis prophesy was thousands of years before Jesus came to Earth.
- Isaiah reiterated this prophecy 700 years before Jesus came…
Galatians 4:4-5 (NLT)— 4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.
Romans 5:6 (NLT)— 6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
- God is outside of time so He is not bound by it, but he can also operate inside of it as well.
2 Peter 3:3-4 & 8-9 (NLT)— 3 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”
8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
- God’s timing is always perfect. He is never late, but He is also never early either
- What are you currently asking, hoping or praying for that you want God to answer now?
- What you are asking and praying for right now, may be the right thing to be asking God for, but it also may not be the right timing for God to give it to you…
2) God works through humble people
1 Peter 5:5-6 (NKJV)— 5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)— 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
3) God works through all people…whether they know it or not
Genesis 50:20 (NLT)— 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
- Man’s agenda does not thwart God’s plan.
4) God is always working…even when we don’t see it, feel it, understand it or like it
John 5:17 (NLT)— 17 But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”
- God is working in a way that some people are completely unaware of. Whether you are looking for how God works or not…God is working
- He works in spite of ignorance or lack of understanding.
For Small Group Discussion:
Opening Question: What is something that you’ve heard about and really wanted to go and see? OR When in your life have you been the most scared?
Main Point: God works personally and relationally in each one of us. The message of the Christmas season is the celebration of “God With Us”.
Read/Tell the Story: Luke 2:8-20
- 1. What was the first thing the angels said to the shepherds? Why do you think they led with that?
- Why do you think angels appeared to shepherds out in the field, who seemingly had nothing to do with the story of Jesus?
- How did the shepherd’s confirmation about who Jesus is bring comfort to Mary?
- When was the last time you got to be a part of something significant or amazing?
- Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”. What are some of your most treasured memories?
- Has there ever been a time in your life when you can say you felt God’s presence? (“God With Us”) How do you remember and honor the ways God has worked in your life?
- As the shepherds returned to their work, they glorified and praised God for all He had done. How do you give glory to God during the Christmas season?
Supporting Scripture: Psalm 148:1-2, Matthew 1:23, John 3:16-17