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 Devotionals- 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
DEEP SIX STUDY
December 20th, 2015
Christmas is Everything – “No Returns”
Opening – All of us seek certainty in our lives – which can be a big problem since we live in a very uncertain world. Christmas, the birth of Christ, was the advent of the solution to our uncertainty. Jesus’ birth – and our acceptance (trust) of him as the Christ – lets us face the world with certainty because of three simple truths we find in the Christmas story.
1. Christ is Greater Than Governments (Luke 2:1-5)
Caesar Augustus was the most powerful man in the world at the time of Jesus’ birth, but in the big picture he was simply a tool God used to fulfil prophecy and carry out his eternal plan.
God’s plan is always at work, regardless of (and often through) the acts/plans of governments – even governments that stand against him.
Our security is not found in governments or kings or presidential candidates – Jesus is greater than all of them (which is why he tends to make governments nervous…).
2. Christ is On Time (Luke 2:5-6)
As the Christmas story makes clear, God has an eternal plan for the timing of everything. He is always at work executing that plan, in ways and in places and at times we often can’t see.
We rarely anticipate God’s plan and are often surprised by its timing – mostly because we tend to live with uncertainty, not expectancy. Expectancy requires faith that “God’s got this.”
3. Christ is Not Weak (Luke 2:7; Romans 10:10-11)
It was no accident that there was “no room at the inn” in the Christmas story. Like a present that was “too big to wrap,” no inn or hotel or castle or palace would have been worthy of Jesus, so the opposite (stable/manger) was appropriate to highlight that he came to us humbly.
Christ’s infinite and eternal power is where our security (certainty) comes from – and is the only place where it can truly be found. There is no struggle, no trial, no difficulty and no uncertainty that he cannot – and has not – overcome.
Trusting in Jesus means trusting that he is in control of all circumstances, all events, all governments, all timing – and that one day he will make everything right again. That is our certainty!
Opening – Matthew 1:18-25
Point #1 – Micah 5:2; Isaiah 11:1-5; Isaiah 9:6-7; Mark 12:13-17
Point #2 – Psalms 27:13-14; Psalms 75:1-3; Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Point #3 – Psalms 23:1-6; Proverbs 19:23; Isaiah 28:16; Philippians 2:5-11. Revelation 1:5-6
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. How is the search for certainty apparent in people’s lives? Where do people who don’t know Jesus go to find the certainty they’re seeking? Why is that always disappointing?
2. Do you find it comforting to know that God uses the acts of governments and rulers – even those who are tyrannical or murderous – to carry out his plan for the world? Why or why not?
3. Read Mark 12:13-17. What is Jesus’ message to us regarding the role of governments in the world (and how we should respond to them)?
4. Most followers of Jesus can clearly see God’s plan at work in their lives when looking backward at the past. Why is it often hard to see God at work in the present? How can we get better at that?
5. If Jesus is eternally and ultimately powerful – the King of kings and the Lord of lords – why do you think he came to earth in the most humble circumstances imaginable?
6. Ideally, how should a follower of Jesus react/respond to the daily uncertainty of life on earth?
Posted on Sun, December 20, 2015
by Alan Porter