God came to Earth 2000 years ago to seek and save what was lost—you and me.
Have you ever lost something that you still wish to this day you hadn’t?
This week, our creative team at FP treated us to a wonderful presentation of the gospel. Maybe this is just an old story that you’ve heard more times than you can remember, or maybe Christmas is a just a family tradition passed down in your family for generations. For some, this season is simply a time of the year when we all try to be a little better to each other. But we believe Christmas is a little bit more. We believe that 2000 years ago, God really did come to Earth in the most scandalous way to seek and save what was lost—you and me. At Faith Promise, we are all about helping real people with real problems find the real love of Jesus Christ. We believe that only Jesus’ love can satisfy our souls and our longings to belong. We believe His forgiveness and grace are the only remedy for shame and guilt. And we believe His sacrifice, death, and resurrection are the only way to true and lasting hope. God is the God of of new beginnings; with whom will you share the good news of Jesus Christ?
Primary Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
- Discuss the different players in this passage and their respective responses to the birth of Jesus.
- How do people today respond to Jesus? What is your response? As Christ followers, how are we to interact with unbelievers?
- What do you learn about worship from the Magi?
- The Christmas story is not about presents; it is about the ever-present God with us: Immanuel. Read John 14:16-17. Not only is God with us, but He is also in us. How will you spend your time this Christmas season in concentrated and prayerful worship of the Savior? What one thing can you do this week to make sure you connect with God?
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 2:1-12 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore a how Christ followers are to follow and worship Jesus.
Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.
This week, our focus was the amazing gift of Jesus. In small groups of 2 or 3, discuss and encourage one another on how following and worshiping Jesus is the only lasting source of hope and satisfaction.
Engage the World Around Us
Engaging at Faith Promise: Romans 12:1 exhorts believers in this way: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.” Pray as a group to explore ways you can step out in faith as God calls you to serve our church family as an act of worship.
Engaging in Community and in the World: God called each of us out of darkness and saved us by giving us the gift of faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. How will you share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a hurting and dying world? Step out in faith and share the only lasting source of hope and satisfaction.
Expand God’s Kingdom
William Booth (1829-1912), the founder of the Salvation Army, predicted: “The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.” How will you step out in faith, humility and compassion and share the truth of the gospel—the good news found only in Jesus Christ?
- Magi: wanted to worship the King of the Jews. Herod: disturbed; asked scholars where the Christ was to be born; claimed (but lied) that he wanted to worship the Christ. “All Jerusalem”: disturbed but indifferent (Bethlehem is only 6 miles from Jerusalem!); did not seek Jesus. Scribes: also indifferent but filled with knowledge; did not seek Jesus.
- Many are disturbed, even some are outright hostile towards Him. Christ followers are to love our enemies. We are to stand courageously for biblical truth; however, we must do so with gracious compassion. We are not to condemn others that do not live according to the Bible, but we are to intercede for them and ask Jesus to give us His heart for them. When we have established a relationship with others, we are able to engage them and lead them to Christ.
- They were purposeful and the first to worship Christ. They traveled many miles and dropped everything to find Jesus. They were overjoyed, bowed down in worship and gave Him their most costly possessions. After their encounter with Him, they left a different way. Jesus is worthy of our all, our complete submission and praise, regardless of our circumstances. This is our source of lasting and pure joy. Whoever encounters Jesus never leaves the same. They are a new creation! True encounters with Jesus change the course and direction of our lives.
- Answers will vary.
ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.
– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.
– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.
– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.
– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.