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Advent

December 26, 2021

December 26, 2021 • Pastor Phil Burggraff • Luke 2:41–52

Passage: Luke 2:41–52 Theme: Waiting with Focus Those who wait with focus ... 1. Prioritize the things of God. a. Regardless of age b. Amid other religious endeavors c. Over family commitments 2. Trust the timing of God. a. By submitting to God-given authority b. By allowing for God’s maturation process Main Idea: Keeping our focus on God places us in the position to be used by God. Application Questions: • What draws your focus away from the things of God? Why do you think that this happens with such frequency? • How can religious activity contribute to our losing focus on the things of God? What can be done to remedy that within your own life and also within the life of the church? • How are the following seemingly contradictory statements both true: Waiting with focus prioritizes the things of God over family commitments, and waiting with focus trusts the timing of God by submitting to God-given authority (i.e., parents)? • What is the next step in God’s maturation process for you? In looking at the focus of your life can you say that you are growing in spiritual maturity right now? How so? And, if not, what might you need to do to take that next step?

December 19, 2021

December 19, 2021 • Pastor Josh Kee

Luke 2:36-38 Sermon Information Title: "Anna: Waiting in the Shadows” Outline: 1. Anna a. Exemplifies Jewish piety i. strong Jewish credentials giving credibility to a Jewish audience ii. Anticipates, with Simeon, the fulfilment of devotion to God by Jesus b. Serves as the second witness to the validity of Christ’s identity (see. Deut. 19:15) c. Balances the male/female witnesses surrounding Christ’s birth d. Is enabled by the Spirit to perceive the identity of Jesus as Messiah i. God is sovereign over the timing of the smallest detail ii. Spiritual sight is a gift from God e. Prophesies to those awaiting the redemption of Israel 2. Waiting in the Shadows a. Requires patience (36-37a) b. Entrusts all to God (36-37a) c. Cherishes communion with God above all else; embraces faithfulness to God as the highest virtue (37b) d. Perceives that which has true spiritual value (38) e. Rejoices in God’s redemptive plan (38) f. Requires an unhurried life MAIN IDEA: There is something glorious taking place in the unseen places of our lives. God sees what is done in secret and will reward those who live faithfully (though imperfectly) unto him. APPLICATION: Living faithfully in the waiting requires a radical reorientation to the Person and Work of Christ that disrupts for our ultimate good. Discussion Questions: 1. What hopes have been most disappointed in your life? How have you responded to pain or disappointment in the past? Has it turned you from God or drawn you near to him? 2. Is your life marked by: a. Frantic hurry, restlessness, pervasive stress, chronic chaos? OR b. Peace, restfulness, contentment? 3. Where are you most restless or discontent in your life? Have you allowed unbiblical expectations to shape your hope, and therefore your joy? 4. What is the substance of your waiting (what/ who are you waiting for) and your rejoicing? 5. Do you see prayer and the spiritual disciplines as: 1) a task you must accomplish, or 2) a means by which you enjoy communion (intimate relationship) with God? 6. What does “radical reorientation” mean? What would it require for you to radically reorient your life to Christ in the coming year? 7. What resistance do you feel as you think about the cost of reorienting your life to Christ? Who can pray with/ for you in the areas you identify that require change? 8. How does the truth that God is with you as you seek to orient your life to Christ encourage you? How does the gospel give you courage to press forward in faith? (Is God’s pleasure over you or your security as his own dependent on you getting things just right?) 9. How often do you consider the glories of Christ’s kingdom? The implications of the work of Christ? The promises you stand to enjoy as a co-heir with Christ? Is your heart and mind fixated on earthly things or things belonging to Christ (Colossians 3:1-3)? 10. Read Matthew 11:28-30, Hebrews 2:10-18, and 5:7-10. How do these passages encourage you to keep running when you get “weary and fainthearted”? Are you expected to endure on your own? What role does the church play in your endurance?

December 12, 2021

December 12, 2021 • Pastor Phil Burggraff

Theme: Waiting with Expectancy Passage: Luke 2:25–35 Waiting with expectancy ... 1. Yearns for God’s plan to be accomplished (25). 2. Comes with/from the filling of the Spirit (25c–32). Those filled with the Spirit ... a. Cling to the promises of God (26) b. Focus on God’s work in their daily lives (27) c. See God’s sovereign will and salvific work accomplished (28–32) 3. Includes outcomes we may not anticipate (33–35): a. Division b. Rejection c. Revelation d. Emotional suffering Main Idea: Those who wait with expectancy surrender their lives to whatever use God may have for them, regardless of the outcome. Application Questions: • What do you yearn for in life? Can you say that you yearn for God’s plan to be accomplished? How is this yearning seen in your actions? • What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? From the example of Simeon, what characterizes a person filled with the Spirit? Do you see these characteristics in your life? • Can we cultivate this type of yearning and filling of the Spirit in our lives? Why or why not? • Why must the fulfillment of God’s plan include division, rejection, sobering revelation, and emotional suffering? How have you experienced these in your own life of following Christ? How does knowing these outcomes serve as an encouragement in your Christian walk?

December 5, 2021

December 5, 2021 • Pastor Phil Burggraff

Theme: Waiting in Submission Passage: Luke 1:26–38 The birth announcement to Mary teaches us three truths about God’s grace that bring about corresponding responses in those faithful to God. 1. God’s grace transforms the ordinary into the privileged (26–29). Mary’s Response: Waiting may include confusion and uncertainty. 2. God’s grace enables the accomplishment of His salvific plan (30–33). Mary’s Response: Waiting may raise questions of “How?” 3. God’s grace requires acceptance of His miraculous work (34–38). Mary’s Response: Waiting submits to God’s gracious call. Main Idea: We are to submit our lives to serve God by allowing him to accomplish his supernatural work in and through us. Application Questions: • How would you describe Mary from the details about her and her actions in this passage? What does this teach you about your own “qualifications” to be called by God to serve Him? • In what ways have you seen God’s grace transform the ordinary into the privileged in your life? • What in your spiritual walk remains uncertain or confusing? How might this passage encourage you amid uncertainty or the unknown? • What “How” questions have you recently thought towards God’s plan for your life? Have you found answers to these? If not, do you think answers are necessary? • From her response at the end of the scene, how does Mary submit to God’s work in her life? What should this look like in your life today?

November 28, 2021

November 28, 2021 • Pastor Phil Burggraff • Luke 1:5–25

Passage: Luke 1:5–25 Theme: Waiting in Wonder We learn from the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth that waiting in wonder ... • Includes even the most faithful. • Can be directed by God to reveal his glory to and through us. • Comes with the assurance that God is at work. • May produce doubts that God can accomplish his purposes. • May require God’s chastening for our lack of faith. • Will conclude with God doing what he has promised. Main Idea: As we wait in wonder at what He is doing in our lives, we must rely on God even more. Application Questions: • What logical may lie behind the truth that God allows even his most faithful servants to have to wait on Him? • What have you learned about God amid waiting on him in the past? What have you learned about yourself? • Do you see yourself more in the example of Zechariah or Elizabeth from this passage? How so? • Is doubting sin? How do you confront doubting in your own life as you seek to wait on God’s timing and working? • What promises from God have given you reassurance that you can rely on Him?