Matthew 5:1-3

What does it mean to be poor in spirit?

Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

Matthew 5:4

What does it mean to mourn?

Matthew 5:5

What does it mean to be meek?

Matthew 5:6

What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness? 

Matthew 5:7

What does it mean to be merciful?

Matthew 5:8

What does it mean to be pure in heart? 

Matthew 5:9

What does it mean to be a peacemaker? 

Matthew 5:10-12

What does it mean to be persecuted for righteousness’ sake? 

John 3:1-7, 8-12, 13-15

The Power is in the Promise

Your hope is not based on how you feel, it’s based on God’s promises.

Your hope is not based on what you do, it’s based on God’s promises. 

Your hope is not based on your family and where you come from, it’s based on God’s promises. 

John 1:29-34, 35-39, 40-42

Jesus is the lamb, and that changes the way we relate to God

Jesus is the lamb, and He changes the way we engage with the world

Jesus is the lamb, and you and I are invited to partake in one of the greatest movements in all of history.

Matthew 2:1-6, 7-12

The wisdom of this world doesn’t change.

Christianity is a winsome wisdom. 

True wisdom draws you away from yourself and into something greater. 

Romans 8:31-34, 35-39

My failures, my shortcomings, my incompetence, my regrets, my mistakes… 

Your defeats do not define you… so use strategy not intentions.

  • Why am I doing this?
  • When am I doing this?  What is going to cue my doing this? 
  • How am I going to reward myself for doing this? 
  • Who is going to hold me accountable, and who am I going to check in with on this? 

Your defeats do not define you.

Christmas means your coldest moments are where God is closest.

  1. The scandal of Mary shows us that God isn’t far from scandals.
  2. The doubt of Joseph shows us God meets us in our questioning. 
  3. The name of Jesus IMMANUEL shows us that God is with us today. 

What would you say if I told you the first words of the Christmas story were actually spoken in the garden of Eden?!

Genesis 3:15 – “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

2 Timothy 1:9 – …who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.

Micah 5:2 – “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

John 1:1-3, 14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.       The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

How do we tie what we read in Genesis to what we read in Matthew or Luke as part of that same Christmas story?

1 Corinthians 15:55 – “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Why is it so important to recognize that the Christmas story begins so long ago, all the way back in the Garden?

Isaiah 53:6 – All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

So, I ask again, why it is so important to recognize the true beginning of the Christmas story?! 

Merry Christmas!

Genesis 22:1-7, 8-14, 15-19

Sometimes you have to sacrifice to get what you want, but other times you need to sacrifice what you want to get what you need. 

Jesus, the LAMB OF GOD, is the sacrifice we need and the priest that reorients our wants.

Hebrews 11:17-19

Malachi 2:17

Malachi 3:1-6

What is a refiner’s fire?

Your messiest moments are when you are molded most. 

What is fullers’ soap? 

“Christ is not merely the Purifier but also the purifying Agent.  He is not only the Blacksmith but also the Fire; not only the Cleaner but also the Soap” – Luther

Isaiah 2:1-5

The hope you look up to will start to shape you.

NOW and NOT YET