Author Archive for Sermon Questions

Why Church

True Christmas

Scripture Reference

John 1:1-39 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

      6There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

      9There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

      14And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

      19This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23He said, “I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

      24Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27“It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

      29The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30“This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31“I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” 32John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33“I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 34“I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

      35Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38And Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?” 39He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”

Sermon Notes

  • As a leader, we have to take note of the people on the fringes of the gospel. They need to feel like they belong. This has changed over the years…used to be “believe first, then belong.” Now belonging precludes believing.
  • To the person not in a position of influence, you sense of belonging is going to require some risk to move into “belonging” spaces.
  • We don’t like waiting
    • impatience is built in
    • we can get on boar with anticipation if we know the “pay off” is going to be worth the wait
    • Our soul longs for the arrival of God
  • John 1:1-39 How you respond to Jesus’ question, “what do you want?” will be revealing.
    • Follow Jesus and SEE –> you will experience the arrival of God
  • Faith is waiting
  • Faith is grieving
    • You can’t be excited about the arrival of God without being honest about the rest of your life and how we are disappointed about how it is going/has gone.
    • If you are denying your grief, you are squashing your ability to experience the fullness of the arrival of God in your life.

Application & Questions

  1. What were you struck by in the message? Why? How did it impact you?
  2. What are some stories of God’s arrival in people’s lives from “Believable”?
  3. What are some things in your life that you feel like you’ve been waiting on God for? What do you anticipate God will do or provide? Is your heart soft or hard while you wait?
  4. If Jesus asked you “what do you want,” how would you respond?
  5. What has helped you feel like you belong at Vista, in your group, wherever you are in life?

Dates & Events to Remember

Dec 24: (no morning services) Christmas Eve services 3 & 5pm @ Worthington campus, 6pm @ DJHS

Dec 31: regular Sunday morning service –> Pancake brunch after the service: bring a side to share