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 6th, 2015
Christmas is Everything – “Unwrapping Christmas”
The Christmas story is often very hard for pastors to preach messages about because the
narrative is so familiar to most people.
Knowing the story is one thing; actually unwrapping the meaning of Christmas that’s contained
within is another. This week we look at two key ways to “unwrap Christ in Christmas.”
1. Let Go of Fear (Luke 2:8-10; John 3:17)
Those who are exploring Christianity or are new to the faith often come with some objections –
obstacles to belief. These could be simple uncertainty, intellectual concerns, or an aversion to
the notion that anyone – even God – has a right to tell us what is morally right and wrong.
Underlying most of these objections, though, is real fear – fear of not measuring up to perfect,
divine moral authority. We’re afraid that our many flaws will be judged harshly and we’ll never
be able to meet the standard.
The Good News of Christmas, though, is that Jesus didn’t come to judge us, but to save us. He
didn’t come to point out our failures, but rather to live among us (in the humblest possible
way), share in our suffering, then to sacrifice himself so we wouldn’t have to meet a standard.
Because of Christmas, we can let go of the fear of being judged.
2. Sing Out Loud (Luke 2:11-14)
The story of Jesus’ birth is so compelling because it is so unexpected. The King of the Universe,
the Creator of Life, born in a stable, wrapped in old cloths, lying in an animals’ food trough.
Even the angels were amazed – and couldn’t help but sing of God’s glory – because God (Jesus)
chose the circumstances himself!
The real story of Christmas is that God chose to trade places with us – to give up his place of
honor and glory and to come to our world in the humblest of ways – so that we might be saved
from judgment and fear. The Absolutely Powerful showed absolute humility – for us.
Like the angels and like the shepherds, if we grasp that and believe it the natural response is to
sing praise to God and tell others about what we’ve found. Sing out loud – and “lead others to
Opening – 1 Timothy 3:16
Point #1 – Isaiah 6:1-5; Jeremiah 30:7-9; John 12:44-48; Romans 3:21-24; 1 John 4:16-18
Point #2 – 1 Chronicles 16:8-9; Psalms 107:1-22; Luke 2:17-18; Hebrews 4:14-16; Revelation 5:11-13
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. Thinking of those you know who are not yet believers and followers of Jesus, what would you say is
the most common objection/obstacle that stands between them and coming to faith?
2. Reread Luke 2:8-10. Why were the shepherds “terrified” when “the radiance of the Lord’s glory
3. Pastor Ben used the illustration of being asked by a police officer “do you know why I stopped
you?” and the stress that question can cause. Why do we prefer to be told (not asked) what the
officer saw us do wrong? How does that illustration relate to our fear of God’s judgment?
4. As a believer “on the other side of fear,” how would you explain to a pre-believer why Christmas
means that those who trust Jesus don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgment?
5. Of those who told the story of Jesus’ life on earth, only Luke writes about the shepherds’ encounter
with the angels that night. In what ways is that scene important to our understanding of the
meaning of Jesus’ appearance on earth?
6. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the busyness and stress of the Christmas season and forget to
“unwrap” the real meaning of the holiday. What can you do this year to “sing out loud” about
what you believe in order to “lead others to the celebration?”
Posted on Sun, December 6, 2015
by Alan Porter