Christmas (HOPE) - Questions
At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
Anna came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.
Why is Christmas such a time of hope? How was it a fulfillment of Hope?
Why is true hope such a precious commodity (a questionable quality) these days?
Are you generally a person of hope or regret? Why?
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
We who have fled to God for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us.
The anchor of hope is forward, upward and Christward. The anchor of regret is backward, downward and selfward. Why? What difference does it make?
Who’s going on the Revive Florida Outreach on Saturday, December 8? How about going as a group?
James Brownson in The Promise of Baptism
We are taught to derive our identity from our past. But who we are, at our deepest level, is who we are becoming in Christ.
Although this way of thinking about ourselves may seem odd at first, further reflection suggests that this is the real path to freedom. If we are defined by our past, we can never escape the failures of our past.We are forever haunted by the sins of our past. Even if we have accepted forgiveness for our past failings, when we fail again, a little voice goes off in our head: “There I go again.” If the past gives me my identity, I can never escape completely the failures of the past. Because I have failed, I am, in some inescapable way, a failure.
But it is a different story entirely if my identity comes from the destiny given to me by my union with Christ. Then, when I fail, the little voice in the back of my head says, “I have not been myself lately.” Sin and failure are then not part of who I am in my deepest self, and I can more readily leave these behind and step into this new identity that has been given to me in Christ.
How does changing the anchor of our identity from our past to our future help us change our lives?
React to these statements:
Does a dog think twice about barking at the mail carrier?
Does a sinner think twice about sinning?
But what about a saint? Does a Christ-ONE think twice about sinning? Absolutely! That’s NOT who I am and that’s NOT who I’m destined to be!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Why does seeing ourselves in a new and biblical light change the direction and motivation of our lives?
What regret do you need to let go of?
What vision of the new you do you need to embrace?