John 3:16–17 (NIV84) 16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Genesis 1:27 (NIV) So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Luke 2:8–14 (NIV) 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
BECAUSE GOD VALUES YOU…
Ephesians 1:3–14 (NIV) 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. 11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV) The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
Romans 2:4 (NIV84) Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
If I’m the enemy, this is what I want you to believe:
– You’re in trouble.
– It’s too late.
– You’re not worth…
– God is angry with you.
– God is disappointed in you.
– You are not good enough.
QUESTIONS TO REFLECT AND DISCUSS
Passages to consider: Luke 2; Psalms 139; Ephesians 2:1-10
1. What gift have you received that you know cost the giver something to give?(The cost does not necessarily mean money.) A) What gift have you given that has cost you something significant to give?
2. Read Luke 2:26-38 and Matthew 1:18-22. What do you see about the Father’s heart in these passages? Bonus passage: Isaiah 43:1-7 What do these tell you about how God values us?
3. Value is tricky here in America. When do you feel valued? A) How do you communicate value to others? B) How does that fit with what God says?
4. Take a look at Matthew 10:29-31 and Ephesians 2:1-10. Read them twice. What does this communicate about God’s love and value of us? A) What would change in your thinking if this was more of how you saw the world?
5. How will you, humbly, embrace the value God has for you? A) How will you, actively, communicate the value God has for others?
6. Intentionally use the Christmas season to embrace this part of God’s heart. Ideas: Listen to “O Holy Night.” Demonstrate value to others through acts of service or extravagant kindness.