Life Group Announcements:
1. Normal church service will continue on Sunday, December 23rd (8:30/10:30 AM) and then Christmas Eve service will be held on Monday, December 24th at 4 PM.
2. Starting in January, we will be changing service times from 8:30 AM to 9 AM and from 10:30 AM to 10:45 AM.
Life Group Questions:
Preacher: Joshua DeGuido
Title: Advent: What Are You Waiting For?
1. In the beginning of the sermon, we briefly looked at Advent (which started Sunday, December 2nd) from a historical/biblical point of the view. The Israelites read from their Hebrew Bible and heard from Old Testament prophets that a Messiah was coming to deliver them and to establish a successful and prosperous kingdom forever on the throne of David. This made them excited and so they waited centuries but then when Jesus came as that Messiah, but was crucified and buried, they became sad because what they expected of Him did not come to pass how they thought it should.
Can you relate to the Israelites? Have you waited on God to show up in a certain way that you thought He should instead of how He said He would? Were you let down by His way of doing things in your life?
2. The main thing that stood as an obstacle between the Israelites accepting Jesus Christ for who He was as the Son of God (which translates as “God Himself” in Jewish culture) was the fact that he was turned over to the Roman government, killed, and buried. In their eyes, He had failed at what He came to Earth to do: Establish their earthly and political kingdom as a nation instead of God’s plan of spiritual deliverance and a restored relationship to God the Father.
What are some common/popular things that tend to stand in the way of us believing God in the same way? Do you have any personal testimonies? If you feel comfortable, please share how God guided you through that and how you might can help someone else see the same truth.
3. The prophet Isaiah stated in Isaiah 9:6 that the Messiah would have four names that describe His character and what He offers. The first name was Wonderful Counselor. This is more than good advice, it’s life changing truth that restores our relationship to God for all eternity.
Have you experienced the wonderful counseling of God? That is, have you cried out to Him for help and then experienced His deliverance? What did that look like for you?
4. The second name was Mighty God. In other words, God would come through for Israel, to include all of us today, in a way that no one/no thing ever could. He fights for us when Satan attacks/accuses us or even when we attack ourselves.
What are some more examples of the mighty power of God? Do any other stories in the Bible come to your mind in relation to this?
5. The last two names included Eternal Father and Prince of Peace. The Messiah would father His people in the sense that He would love them, teach them, raise them, discipline them, etc. He’s always existed before time began and created all things and so He fathers time. He brings supernatural peace to our hearts and minds as we trust Him as well. The infant Christ was a perfect picture of peace lying in the manger in the middle of chaos, Herod was trying to kill Him and his parents had no place to have the baby in an inn.
Do you see the connection in your own life? Are you in the midst of chaos? Does it feel like everyone/everything is out to get you and you can’t ever catch up? Can you picture the Prince of Peace in the middle of your situation just like the baby in a manger? Does it lift a spiritual burden off your shoulders? Go and encourage others the same way!
Bible Verses Read Sunday:
• Isaiah 9:6-7 (Main text)
• Psalm 25:9
• Revelation 12:10
• Colossians 1:15-18
• John 16:33