• This Christmas season is a time to remember – we are such forgetful people
• Who our God is: He loves us, wants to save us and to be with us
• How He works: He starts with small things, He uses insignificant people and places, He works in our corrupted world, He works through humility, He works over time, He works by invitation to trust Him
• Today – we’re talking about “What changed with Jesus’ coming?”
• In the Christmas Story we hear about regular, every day people and how their lives were changed
• This Story has the opportunity to bring about change in every relationship in our lives today
• We’ll end with a few things that haven’t actually changed
The Christmas Story: Everything Changed!
1. How GOD relates to US
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. NIV
• God the Son, left heaven, to take on flesh and do life with us
• His grace brings salvation to all who will receive – John 3:16-17; Romans 6:23
2. How WE relate to GOD
Romans 8:15-16 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. NLT
• If we receive Him, we become sons and daughters, not fearful slaves
• He comes to live within us, producing His life in and through us – Eph 1:13; Gal 5:22-23
3. How we relate to OURSELVES
Luke 1:48-49 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. NLT
• We begin to see ourselves in light of how He relates to us
• Because of His grace, no excuse stands in the way of why we might think He couldn’t use us to be a part of what He is doing in this world to make an impact – 1 Cor 15:10; Col 2:10
4. How we relate to OTHERS
Luke 1:17b He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” NLT
• God with us can restore broken relationships and soften hard hearts to repentance – Rom 2:4
• As we receive Him, we begin to treat others how He treats us – Col 2:6-7; Eph 4:32
Some things that DIDN’T change
1. Who HE is and How HE works – Malachi 3:6a “I am the LORD, and I do not change. NLT
• He is the same yesterday, today and forever – Heb 13:8
2. The ENDLESS reality of the Spiritual Battle
Matthew 2:13 After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” NLT
• The enemy is still trying to destroy the good work God is doing – Gen 3:1-6; Matt 4:1-11
• As we receive Christ, the battle internally often intensifies – Gal 5:17
3. The Need for each of us to make a DECISION
Matthew 2:1-3 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” 3 King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. NLT
• The Christmas Story reminds us that some came to worship and some sought to kill – Matt 2:13
• At the end of time, we will all stand before God to give an account for the decision we’ve made in regards to accepting or rejecting the authority of His Son in our lives – Heb 9:27; Rev 20:11-15
How do we allow this story TO CHANGE US this Christmas? Practical Next Steps
1- Accept the Christmas Story as true and surrender your life to God
2- Read through the Christmas story again in your Bible/Bible app
o John 1:1-5, 14; Luke 1:5-80; Matt 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-38; Matt 2:1-23; John 3:16-17
o Ask similar questions – What is God like? What was He changing? What does He value?
3- Share with someone (family, small group, etc), which of the relationships we talked about that changed (with Him, ourselves, and others):
o Which is hardest for you to accept and why?
o What would a step of growth look like in your life?
4- Share with someone at least one reason you appreciate this season of Christmas
For Small Group Discussion:
• Opening Question: How did your parents choose your name? OR What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened to you?
• 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: Matthew 1:18-25
What was Joseph considering when an angel appeared to him in a dream? What did Joseph do when he woke up from his dream? Why was it significant that Jesus was born of a virgin?
What do you think Mary and Joseph were thinking and talking about just after the birth of Jesus?
Joseph had to accept some very unique circumstances from God. When have you struggled to believe God in your circumstances?
Have you ever had to “do the right thing” in the face of adversity?
God went to such great lengths to be with us. When do you take time to be with Him? When do you feel the most connected with God?
What is one step that you could take to be closer to God in this next season?
Supporting Scripture: Hebrews 1:1-4, John 15:5, Isaiah 61:1-4