I pray that your time with us in today's worship encourages your faith and helps you move closer to Jesus this Christmas season.
Today we are beginning a study of the book of Luke. Simply put, this is the story of Jesus and God's plan to save the world. I pray the words of Luke invites you to take your part in the story of God's salvation.
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This week's announcements:
Today's Order of Worship
Songs for Worship
“ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY”
“LIGHT THE ADVENT CANDLE”
Choir Anthem “WILL KNOW HIM WHEN HE COMES”
“IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER”
Hark the Herald Angels Sing-God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Great are You Lord
Luke #1: God's Plan Revealed
The reason for the story
The story before the story
God’s story always starts with obedience
Real faith trusts God not the circumstances
The story begins:
Highly Favored is more than status
What you can't, God can
Our response to the story:
What do I do with Jesus?
One Solitary Life
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in an obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty, and then for three years he was an itinerant teacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office.
He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never traveled, except in his infancy, more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompanies greatness. He had no credentials but himself.
While he was still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies. He went through a mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth, his seamless robe. When he was dead, he was taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed grave through the courtesy of a friend.
Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone, and today he is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of all human progress.
I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has this one solitary personality.
Dr James Allan Francis
Take it Home:
Doubt is something that plagues all of us at one time or another. This weekend, we saw Zechariah express his doubt even after the angel Gabriel appeared to him with the news that he would have a son (Luke 1:18). Below are several incidences in which people in the Bible showed their doubt. What do you learn about doubt or Jesus’ response to it from these stories?
Have you ever felt like doubt has been a hindrance to your faith?
Do you think doubt can ever help you grow spiritually? If so, how?
We have heard that we can trust the Bible. Unfortunately, many people don’t ever read it. That’s where Christians come in. Someone once wrote, “You may be the only Bible some people will ever read.” How do the following verses help us understand what this means?
Can you think of any people who have done a good job of “being the Bible” to you? What do you appreciate about how they lived?
Everyone who hears about Jesus has to make a decision about who they think He is. The Apostle Paul came to the conclusion that Jesus is who He claimed to be, and he was killed because of it. In the Book of Colossians, he writes a very clear description of Jesus. As you read Colossians 1:15-20, what key points do you see Paul making?
What do you find most encouraging or helpful in this passage?
Are there any doubts that are tripping you up or hindering your faith?
Can you think of anything that might be hindering your ability to be the best Bible to others that you can be?
This week's prayer focus:
Sunday - Our Mission: God, grant boldness and opportunities for us to share the Gospel with others. Ephesians 6:19
Monday - Our Church: God, help us be financially responsible and good stewards of the blessings You’ve provided. Malachi 3:10
Tuesday - Our Leadership: God, allow nothing to hinder our ministers and volunteers from Your calling on their lives. Nehemiah 6:3
Wednesday - Families: God, help us recognize the importance of first making disciples of Christ in our homes. Proverbs 22:6
Thursday - Our Community: God, we ask for your healing of the broken structures and systems in our community. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Friday - Children/Youth: God, help our young people humbly submit to and honor those in authority over them. Ephesians 6:1-3
Saturday - Adults: God cause our adults to humble themselves and seek Your face. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Merger Prayer Focus: Making New Disciples
The “Great Commission,” as it is called, sends Jesus’ disciples out into the world to make new disciples. We are to go into all the world, presenting the Good News message and inviting others to become disciples. A disciple is one who follows the teacher, learning from the teacher, and doing what the teacher instructs.
Pray for new people. Matthew 28:19
Pray for children. Matthew 19:14
Pray for young families. Rom 10:14-15
Pray for more diverse people. Revelation 7:9
Pray that God would bring people from all directions. Luke 13:29
Pray for unchurched people. Acts 1:8
Pray for people to accept Christ as Savior. John 14:6
Bible Reading Plan:
Join us for our 5x5x5 New Testament Reading Plan. 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week, & 5 questions to go deeper.