Surprised by Christmas-Part III

Series: Surprised by Christmas

Title: Part 3

Date: December 17-18, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan


Big Idea:

Do not be afraid, for God loves us!

Passages: 1 John 4:15-19; Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:12, 29-30; Luke 2:9-10

Discuss It:

·       There are at least 530 identified phobias. What are you afraid of?

·       Living in a fallen world with so much we cannot control, some would say, “If you are not paralyzed by anxiety then you’re simply not paying attention.” How would you respond to this statement?

·       Read Matthew 1:20 and Luke 1:12

·       What is the common emotion when someone encounters God or angel?

·       Read 1 John 4:15-19

·       What is true of any one that acknowledges that Jesus is the son of God? (v. 15)

·       Why is love important? (v. 16-17)

·       How is love made complete? (v. 17)

·       What does perfect love do? Why? (v. 18)

·       When you are fearful, can you resonate with any of these responses to fear?

o   I can be paralyzed by it.

o   I can numb it.

o   I can ignore it.

·       Phil encouraged that a healthy response to fear is to reflect on it and understand it. What are some ways to engage this process?

·       How might God’s love speak into our experience of fear?

·       Phil stated, “When God says “do not fear,” he doesn’t mean that everything is going to work out the way we want. But he is promising to sustain us through painful and difficult times.” How have you seen God sustain you through painful and difficult times?

·       If you were to reflect on your fear, how might God be inviting you to experience surrender, growth, and freedom?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?