Immanuel: God With Us – Part 2: Joy

Immanuel: God With Us – Part 2: Joy

Immanuel: God With Us – Part 2
December 12-13, 2020
Dr. Jeffrey Allen Love

“‘(Angel)…Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!’” Luke 2:10-11 (p.781)

“She (Mary) will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” Matthew 1:23b (p.733)

  • God’s Joy Is With Me.

“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:11 (p.824)

1. Choose to experience joy.

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’” Luke 2:15 (p.781)

2. Choose to express joy.

“After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.” Luke 2:17 (p.781)

The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.” Luke 2:20 (p.781)

Next Step: ____ The following is a list of individuals that I am praying for and inviting to a Christmas Eve service:

            1. ___________________________________________________________________

            2. ___________________________________________________________________

            3. ___________________________________________________________________

I will pray daily for each person.

I will share my own personal joy with them.

I will invite them to a Christmas Eve service at Alive Church.

Immanuel: God With Us – Part 2: Joy
Use this guide to discuss the Weekend Talk with your family or friends.

When Lif­e Groups are in session they use questions like these to go deeper into what we talked about on the weekend. Find out more about Groups (in person and online) at Our Group’s winter/spring semester starts in mid-January.

Conversation Starters

  • What’s your favorite Christmas song?
  • Have you ever known someone who just seemed to always be joyful?
    • What made them that way?
  • How would you explain “joy” to a child?

Qui­­ck Review

  • Looking back at your Talk Notes, was there anything you heard in the service that stood out or maybe even confused you?

Discussion Starters from the Weekend Talk

Refer to the Talk Notes and related Bible verses from this Weekend’s Talk Notes.

The One Thing from the weekend Talk that Pastor Jeff wants us to remember is: “God’s Joy Is With Me.” (See Matthew 1:18-25 (p.733*), Luke 2:8-14 (p.781*), and John 15:9-11 (p.860*))

  • How has God’s joy affected your life?
    • Shepherds were just about the lowest of the low in terms of class. They were looked upon with disdain. They could not even testify in a court. Why do you think God chose to announce Jesus’ birth to shepherds first?
    • How does the passage from John 15 relate to the Matthew and Luke passages?

Jeff challenged us with a couple of choices we must make in order to know God’s joy:

  1. Choose to experience joy. (Luke 2:15-16 (p.781*))
    1. How were the shepherds affected by the visit from the angels?
    2. Is joy the same thing as happiness?
    3. Joy is a fruit (indicator or identifier) of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23 (p.893*) in the life of a Follower of Jesus.
    4. If someone looked at your life today would they see an indication of joy?
  2. Choose to express joy. (Luke 2:17-18 (p.781*) What did the shepherds do to express joy? What response did they get? What is one thing you could do today to live in joy? Who do you know who could use some joy in their life? How could you help them? (See Next Step below.)

Digging Deeper

Read the historical accounts of the real Christmas Story in Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels.

  • Matthew 1:16 – 2:23 (p.733*)
  • Luke 1:26-56; 2:1-20 (p.781*)
    • What is your favorite part of these accounts?
    • What do you remember about The Christmas Story from your childhood?
    • What did you read that you never really noticed before?
    • In this Talk Series, “Immanuel: God With Us” we’ve been talking about Hope, Peace, Joy, and (next week) Love.
      • Where do you see each of these four parts of Advent emphasized in these historical accounts?
  • Matthew 1 and Luke 3 each go into the ancestry of Jesus.
    • Why would God want these passages included in His Word, the Bible?

Next Step

My Next Step: ___ The following is a list of individuals that I am praying for and inviting to a Christmas Eve Service:

            1. ___________________________________________________________________

            2. ___________________________________________________________________

            3. ___________________________________________________________________

I will pray daily for each person.

I will share my own personal joy with them.

I will invite them to a Christmas Eve Service at Alive Church.

What’s Ahead

  • This week we continue our Christmas Talk Series, “Immanuel: God With Us,” as we celebrate together the Advent Season of Jesus bringing us God’s Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.
  • We’ll culminate the Season on Christmas Eve. The registration page is up NOW for reserving your places for Christmas Eve (and for this coming weekend, as well).

* The Life Transformation Bible is the New Living Translation of the Bible, including many useful tools to help you better understand God’s Word, including our own Alive Church Life Transformation Discipleship Plan. They are available FREE. Let us know if you’d like to have one.