Theme: Light Has Dawned Passage: Isaiah 9:1–2 Main Idea: The Coming of Jesus brings God’s merciful light. 1. God’s merciful light comes to those in greatest distress. 2. God’s merciful light demonstrates God keeps his word. 3. God’s merciful light shines for all the world to see. Application Questions: • From your own background and testimony of salvation, into what distress and predicament did God shine his mercy to save you? • While this passage gives hope to those needing to experience God’s saving mercy, how might it still apply to your life, the life of a believer? • How does this passage demonstrate that God keeps his word? In what ways do we still struggle today with looking to other sources for truth or direction (8:19–20)? • In what ways can you apply the point that God shines his light for all the world to see to your life during this Christmas season?
November 29, 2020
Justice and Mercy :: Light Has Dawned
November 29, 2020 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
December 20, 2020
December 20, 2020 • Pastor Josh Kee
Main Idea: The goodness, stability, and endurance of our future is dependent on Jesus’ wise, just, and righteous kingship, without which there can be no peace. God’s zeal will see to it that Jesus is enthroned forever. 1. Jesus’ governance will be all-encompassing and never-diminishing (Eph. 2:7) 2. Jesus’ governance will fulfill God’s promise to David (Jer. 23:5; Is. 55:1-3; Matt. 1) 3. Jesus’ governance will bring enduring peace (Eph. 2:13-17; Rom. 5:1-2) 4. Jesus’ governance will be established and sustained by God (1 Peter 1:5) 5. Jesus’ governance will be just and righteous 6. Jesus’ governance will never end Application: • God is zealously committed to establishing Jesus as King overall, for his own glory, and for the good of those who look to Christ in faith. He is passionately committed to doing good to those who are in Christ and nothing can threaten or hinder his purposes. Every circumstance bows to Jesus’ kingly rule as God works it for our good (Colossians 1:11; Romans 8:28-29). • Those who are in Christ can rest under his wisdom and kind rule as they entrust themselves to God in faith, trusting that He will zealously fulfill His promise. • Those apart from Christ are left to their own wisdom to achieve peace for themselves, will end only in despair. • The small baby in the Christmas manger is the enduring King who will rule with complete wisdom, justice, and righteousness, guaranteeing enduring peace for every citizen of his kingdom. We respond to this reality with awe, wonder, worship, and gratitude as we submit ourselves to Jesus our King. Discussion Questions: 1. Has Christmas become too familiar? How can you keep the wonder of Christ’s incarnation fresh in the next week? 2. Whose wisdom do you rely on to navigate life? How does relying on our own wisdom (or counsel) lead to frustration and despair? 3. What circumstances cause you to question God’s “passionate commitment” to be good to you? Might some of your expectations be unrealistic, or even unbiblical? 4. What do think must happen in order for true peace to be experienced personally, corporately, communally, nationally? Why is Jesus’ kingship essential for true peace to be experienced? Are there any areas in which you’re placing too much hope in human wisdom and effort to bring about what only Jesus can accomplish? 5. Consider the fact that the experience of goodness and hope and joy and peace will increase eternally for those in Christ. How does that stir your worship now and your longings for Christ’s second coming? 6. Consider the fact that hopelessness and despair will increase eternally for those who are not in Christ. How does that motivate you to pray for and engage those who don’t know Christ?
December 13, 2020
December 13, 2020 • Pastor Phil Burggraff
December 13th 2020 - Justice & Mercy :: The Ultimate Birth Announcement Passage: Isaiah 9:6 Theme: The Ultimate Birth Announcement What this ultimate birth announcement tells us: 1. God provides a solution, a Son (6ab). In keeping with his word Through human means As an act of divine grace to us 2. God invests the Son with the authority to rule (6c). He alone possesses the power and authority of God to rule. He exercises this authority through his service for others. 3. God reveals himself through the Son (6d). Our mighty God is a wonderful planner. Our eternal Father is the prince of peace. Main Idea: God enacts his justice and mercy through a Son born into our predicament to deliver us from it. Application Questions: • Look at Gen. 3:15 and 2 Sam. 7:12–16. What do these passages indicate about God’s solution for the predicament in which humanity and his people find themselves? How do Luke 2:11 and John 3:16 fit into this, and what do they indicate about this son that was born? • What does the clause, “the government will be on his shoulders,” indicate about this son to be born? What applications can we make to our context today? • How does Jesus reveal our mighty God as a wonderful planner? • In what ways does Jesus bring about peace? Is this something that can be experienced now or something that awaits us in the future? Explain (cf. John 21:19–23).
December 6, 2020
December 6, 2020 • Pastor Josh Kee
Isaiah 9:3-5 Justice & Mercy Series Main Idea: The depth of Christian joy is experienced by taking hold of God’s promise to, one day, thoroughly and definitively end every form of injustice and oppression caused by sin and to bring everyone who believes on Christ into his eternal joy. 1. The Light brings thriving (v. 3) a. Where there has been barrenness, there will be fruitfulness (v. 3) b. Where there has been sorrow, there will be joy (v. 3) c. Where there has been lack, there will be abundance (v. 3) 2. The Light brings rest (v. 4) a. The yoke of oppression will be irreparably shattered (v. 4a) b. God will conquer the foes of his people by his own power and give them rest (v. 4b) 3. The Light brings victory (v. 5) a. Every tool used to do violence and harm against God’s people will be burned b. The most intimidating threats (past, present, and future) will be utterly devastation c. God’s judgment against all that opposes his glory will be swift and final Application: God’s unflinching promises have been spoken into actual darkness (suffering, pain, persecution, oppression, uncertainty, etc.). His people experience his joy by taking hold of those promises in the midst of this real darkness, confident that he will fulfill his promises and show his goodness to them at some point in the future.