Joy – Part 3: Ignite Joy

Joy – Part 3: Ignite Joy

Luke 2:8-20

Memory Verse: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (p.868)

  • Jesus Offers Me Great Joy.

“‘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 in Bethlehem, the city of David!’” Luke 2:10-11 (p.781)

  1. Embrace His 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.’ They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.” Luke 2:15-16 (p.781)

“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” Psalm 16:11 (p.399)

  1. Share His Joy

“After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child…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 2:17-20 (p.781)

“…the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!” John 4:36 (p.812)

My Next Step This Week: ______ I will embrace the joy in my heart and let my life be a testament to the joy of Jesus, sharing His message of love, hope, and peace with everyone I encounter.


SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

One Thing: Jesus Offers Me Great Joy

Memory Verse: Romans 15:13 (p.868)

Bible Background: Angels and Shepherds, Luke 2:8-20

CONVERSATION STARTER

// What is the most exciting news you have ever shared with someone/some people and what was their reaction?

WEEKEND REVIEW

Jesus Offers Me Great Joy

How you can live that out:

  1. Embrace His Joy
  2. Share His Joy

// Was there anything that stood out to you, challenged you, or maybe even confused you?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

// Read Luke 2:14 (p.781).

  • Was there ever a moment when you heard news that forever changed your life? What was that like and how did that news change your life?
  • Do you think the shepherd’s reactions were reasonable under the circumstances when the angel appeared to them?
  • How did the angels seek to reassure the shepherds?

// Read Genesis 18:3-15 (p.13).

  • Why do we react like Sarah with little faith and doubt God’s promise for us that He wants only good for us and that He can deliver on His promises?

// Think back over your life, what was something that you waited to arrive? What does it feel like to await the arrival of someone or something?  

  • What might it look like to share the news of Jesus’ arrival with someone you know?
  • Is there anyone in your life right now who needs to hear the great joy of Jesus’ arrival? Who is it and how might you share that news?

// Read Acts 15:3 (p.843).

  • Why does telling others of Jesus and working for Him bring great joy? And why is that joy then easily shared with other followers of Jesus?
  • At this point in Advent, why is it important to share the Good News of Jesus coming to Bethlehem?

// Jesus’ arrival is starkly different than how earthly kings would arrive. Why do you think God chose to enter this world in this way?

  • How can we live like Jesus and share the great joy of His arrival with others?

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

In Jesus’ day, shepherds stood on the bottom rung of the Palestinian social ladder. They shared the same unenviable status as tax collectors and dung sweepers. During the time of the Patriarchs, shepherding was a noble occupation. When the twelve tribes of Israel migrated to Egypt, they encountered a lifestyle foreign to them. The Egyptians were agriculturalists. As farmers, they despised shepherding because sheep and goats meant death to crops. Over 400 years, the Egyptians prejudiced the Israelites’ attitude toward shepherding.

My Next Step This Week: _____Embrace the joy in your heart and let your life be a testament to the joy of Jesus, sharing His message of love, hope, and peace with everyone you encounter.

DIGGING DEEPER

There are several references to joy in the Psalms as there are indeed elsewhere in the Bible. Take time each day to meditate on one of the following verses from the Psalms and share with other members of your family/Life Group/friends what the verse means to you or what you have discovered from it:

Monday: Psalm 16:8-11 (p.420) – Joy in the Lord’s provision

Tuesday: Psalm 47:2-3 (p.434) – Joy because He reigns

Wednesday: Psalm 4:7-9 (p.416) – Joy in hard times

Thursday: Psalm 66:2-4 (p.442) – Joy in His might

Friday: Psalm 97:9-11 (p.458) – Joy in His justice

Saturday: Psalm 118:21-25 & 28-29 (p.468)- Joy in our redemption

Sunday: Psalm 104:9-12 (p.460)- Joy in His glory

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