Advent: Past, Present, and Future

 In Advent 2018

Life Group Announcements:
1. Normal church service will continue on Sunday, December 23rd (8:30/10:30 AM) and then Christmas Eve service will be held on Monday, December 24th at 4 PM.

2. Starting in January, we will be changing service times from 8:30 AM to 9 AM and from 10:30 AM to 10:45 AM.

Life Group Questions:
Preacher: Pastor Julian Malotti
Title: Advent: Past, Present, and Future

1. The world is constantly trying to change the Advent message, the Christmas message, to only focus on shopping or trying to catch the best sale instead of the gift of God which was/is Jesus Christ.

Why do you think this is happening? Do you sometimes find yourself losing focus of the real meaning of Christmas? How about losing focus of the real meaning of life?

2. Matthew 1:21 reminds us that Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus, would give birth to Emmanuel, meaning “God with us.” This truth reminds us that God never promised to take us out of this life’s problems, rather He would guide us through them and “be with us.”

Are you trusting in Emmanuel? Trusting that His name also means, “God with YOU in the midst of the good and bad?” If not, why not? What would you say are some ways you can practice the presence of God, especially during this season that competes with commercialism?

3. One of the promises of God throughout Scripture is not lots of super comfortable and convenient situations like the holiday commercials/t.v. shows portray. Rather, His promise is to save us from our sins that separate us from a pure/restored relationship with God the Father forever.

As you go out this week, and the weeks to come, practice this mindset: That physical things are temporary but a relationship with God through Christ is forever. Health, wealth, and prosperity will ultimately pass away, but the joy, peace, and blessings that come from God never will! (Rev 21:1). That’s the real gift we should all want this Christmas.

4. We saw the truth that we are delivered from the slavery of sin through Christ, however, sometimes we stay slaves within our minds/hearts. We continue walking as mental slaves even though we are free. We saw this kind of lifestyle with Israel after they had been set free from Egypt.

What ways are you tempted to stay a mental slave? If you have been set from the control of sin through belief in Christ, why continue to live a life of bondage? What are some ways to escape this mentality?

Bible Verses Read Sunday:
• Matthew 1: 21 (Main text)
• Revelation 21:1

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