Deep Six Study and Daily Devotional
Every preacher's dream is to see the truth he preaches lived out in the lives of those he preaches to and certainly this is as it should be. This dream is rooted in our Heavenly Father's desire that there would never be unlived truth in the lives of His people. Our church is dedicated to the purpose of helping people Live Fully, and one way we do that is to encourage a deeper study of the truth they hear on Sundays throughout the other six days of the week. Accordingly, each week we provide (1) the Deep Six Study and (2) the Daily Devotional.
(1) Deep Six Study - accessed via "Discussion Notes" button located under the video message on the "Watch" page of the website. Printed copies also available at the Connect Desk in the church lobby. Note: the Deep Six Study is being done by Tom Main and will be posted below.
(2) Daily Devotional - The Devotionals are done by Ken Hart and are available online Monday through Saturday on a daily basis at www.capecodchurch.com/daily or the "Daily Devotional" button at the bottom of the "Home" page. The devotions build on and expand from the Sunday message. It is our desire, our hope, and our prayer for this devotional section to be a useful Spiritual Life tool that our church family can benefit from throughout the year. Each day's devotional will typically consist of Scripture connected with the message, a commentary, and a prayer response. We trust the Daily Devotional will assist you as you seek to live out the truth of God's word on a daily basis.
DEEP SIX STUDY
December 13th, 2015
Christmas is Everything – “God With Us”
Opening (Matthew 1:23)
Saying “Christmas is everything” really means “Christ is everything” – which may seem overstated if you’re not yet a follower/believer.
In Matthew 1:23 (and Isaiah 7:14, written hundreds of years before Christ) we find three words that say it all – “God with us.” While a virgin birth is amazing, what’s truly amazing is the notion that God Himself came to earth. Two very strong truths come from those three words:
1. I Am Not God (Matthew 1:23)
The first and perhaps largest hurdle on the way to accepting Christ as God is coming to grips with the fact that we are not God. Recognizing that can be difficult because it strips away all illusions that we’re in charge – and reminds us that we are accountable to him.
Jesus clearly and repeatedly claimed to be equal to God – and not just a good/moral teacher.
The beauty of Christmas – of God with us – is that because he came he knows and understands our weakness and imperfection, so we don’t have to pretend that we have it all together.
2. I Am Not Alone (Matthew 1:23; John 3:16-17)
The coming of Christ – God with us – showed that God is not an uncaring judge casting judgment from a distance. Instead he would be a Savior – with us so we would not be alone.
Loneliness, at its essence, isn’t about the absence of people. It’s about the absence of acceptance.
God solved our loneliness by sending Jesus with the message that “I love you, and nothing else matters. Simply believe (trust) in my Son, and you will be accepted – eternally” (John 3:16).
Closing – Perhaps this Christmas is the time for you – the time when you finally surrender to the idea that Jesus is God, and that he was sent to be God With Us so that he could save us from ourselves. If you’re ready to trust him with your life and with your eternity, a simple prayer of faith is all it takes.
“Jesus, I’ve run from you long enough. I recognize that you are God, and that you came to save me from myself. I accept your love and your gift of forgiveness for all the times I’ve tried to be the god of my own life. I trust you as my Savior, and I will worship you forever. Thank you for saving me. Amen.”
Opening – Isaiah 7:14
Point #1 – Psalms 47:6-7; Isaiah 44:8; John 10:30-33
Point #2 – Psalm 118:5-6; John 1:14; Romans 8:31-32
Closing – Romans 5:8-11; 1 John 4:9-10
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. What is your initial reaction to the assertion that “Christmas is everything?” What are some arguments that would challenge that assertion?
2. If “Christmas is everything,” why does it (the holiday) seem to many to be more of a distraction – or even a nuisance?
3. What real difference does it make whether Jesus was just “a good and moral teacher” or is, as he claimed, God? Wouldn’t he still be worth following as a great example?
4. Why should the coming of God (Christ) to earth to be “with us” comfort those of us who are far from meeting his example of Godly perfection?
5. How does the coming of God into our world solve the problem of our loneliness (i.e., lack of acceptance)?
6. Read John 3:16-17. If Jesus wasn’t sent to judge (evaluate) us, how can we earn his acceptance?
Posted on Sun, December 13, 2015
by Alan Porter