12-10-2016

12-10&11-2016
Dr. E. Dale Locke
Sermon Series: Stable Talk
Sermon 2: From Darkness to Light, Part 2

 

  1. Share one of your funniest Christmas memories with your group.

 

  1. Review: In this series Stable Talk, we’re taking a deeper look at some of the conversations recorded in Scripture about Jesus’ birth and life and what it means for us and our conversations.

 

The disciple Matthew records some amazing good news in Matthew 1:23:  “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us“).

 

Matthew was quoting the prophet Isaiah – See Isaiah 7:14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

 

What is the significance of Jesus being called “Immanuel”, which means “God with us”?  What does that mean for you personally?

 

  1. Read Isaiah 9:1-2
    Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned….

 

Here are some truths we observed last week:

 

  • The world is dark

The Bible doesn’t hide the fact that we will experience pain and sadness in this world.

 

  • Jesus is coming as the Light

 

  • We will only find our way if we let Him become our Light

 

Tell about something “dark” that you’ve heard about or experienced recently.  How does Jesus’s coming to earth impact the way you deal with that?

 

 

  1. Pastor Dale pointed out several things that light does:

  • Light dispels darkness

 

Physicists tell us that darkness is not the opposite of light.  We’re learning that light is made up of something that acts like both particles and waves; and it is more powerful than darkness.  Consider the fact that darkness cannot overpower light, but light can overcome darkness.

 

  • Light creates warmth

  • Light illuminates direction and reveals truth

In view of what light is like, talk about why God chose the metaphor of “light” to represent what Jesus does in our world.  How is Jesus similar to light?

 

  1. Jesus’ light illuminates direction and reveals truth about our lives. Given that fact, why might some people resist the light that God offers in Jesus?  What could motivate people to want to avoid God’s illumination and truth in their own life?

 

  1. Read I John 1:5-7:

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.  7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

 

What does this verse communicate about God’s desire for humans?

 

  1. How does Jesus become your personal light? To help you answer that question, first read Isaiah 9:6-7

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

 

  1. Pastor Dale explained when Jesus is our personal light, we let Him be our Wonderful Counselor. Because Jesus is God and was also a genuine human being who experienced everything we experience, Jesus can be a Wonderful Counselor for human beings in a way that no one else can.  How does the combination of Jesus being both God and man make Jesus uniquely qualified to be a Wonderful Counselor?

 

  1. Tell about a time when you have experienced Jesus as a Wonderful Counselor in your own life.

 

  1. Jesus is also called: A Mighty God – an Everlasting Father

Our God is both a Mighty God and our Everlasting Father.  What are some qualities of a good father that people long for that can be experienced in a relationship with Jesus Christ?

  1. Jesus is also our Prince of Peace. Tell about a time when you experienced Jesus’ supernatural peace in your life.

 

  1. When people encountered Jesus, their response wasn’t just casual indifference. They were either fearful, furious, or they worshiped Jesus as God. Explain why casual indifference is not an option toward Jesus, if you really consider what He did and said.  Why does Jesus’ coming demand one of these three responses?

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