Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Series: Home for Christmas
Week 4: Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room
PDF File for printing: 12-24-2018
- Complete your memorization of our verse for this series – John 1:14:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
What new thoughts do you have about Jesus’ coming to live on earth as a result of this sermon series?
- Matthew writes in 1:23:
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[(which means “God with us”).
What does this verse communicate to you about Jesus?
- Read Luke 2:1-14:
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
What thoughts or questions come to your mind when you read this passage?
- Look again at verse 7. There was no room for Jesus at his birth, and we know that later as an adult, Jesus also had no home of his own. Jesus said in Luke 9:58, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Ultimately the point of this is not just about a physical location, it’s a spiritual invitation to each one of us to make room for Jesus in our own life. Name some ways that you have made room for Jesus over the years in your own life.
- Pastor Dale mentioned three groups of people and described how each one could potentially “make room” for Jesus today:
This is a great beginning point. It’s a good thing to be a seeker. God created us with a place in our soul that only God can really fill, but it’s easy to try to fill it with other things. It’s wise for a person to choose to invest time and effort to learn about God and check into what evidence there might be that Jesus really is God’s Son.
Read Acts 17:11: “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
What does this verse tell you about how God feels about people who feed a need to check out something before they can believe it?
- It’s a good thing to research and check out whether something is believable, because otherwise, a person could easily get sucked into some strange cult. But at some point, every person needs to be willing to take some risk and exercise some faith. If you think you have to wait until you can get rid of every bit of doubt, you may never get to faith. Ultimately, following Jesus isn’t about having no doubts or being 100% certain about everything in the Bible. It’s about having enough evidence and reasons to commit your life to Jesus.
Read Ephesians 3:16-17a: “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”
What does this passage, written by the Apostle Paul, add to your understanding of what it means to live by faith?
Some of us used to have Jesus as a part of our lives because we grew up with faith, but it went to sleep. Maybe faith was something you learned about as a child in Sunday School, but now as a grown up, it seems irrelevant or childish. Maybe you got too busy with life, or you got hurt by life. Maybe you even got hurt by church. For whatever reason, there are people who haven’t necessarily stopped believing, but their faith has cooled off and gone to sleep.
- What are some things you could do to get your faith awake again, and to even make it something relevant to you now as an adult?
- Read Ephesians 5:14: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
What does this verse communicate to you?
The Son or Daughter
This is where God really wants every one of us to be. God wants to know us and love us like a son or a daughter.
- Read John 1:12: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God….”
What does that expression “children of God” communicate about the kind of relationship that God wants to have with each one of us?
- What are some of the rights that children of a good father have?