Shepherds of Joy

Luke 2.1-20

  1. Respect Joy’s Power (Nehemiah 8.8-12)

    1. Accept God’s Diagnosis of Our Core Problem (8-9)

    2. Nurture Joy by Celebrating Simple Things (10a)

    3. Affirm Joy’s STRENGTH to Transcend Grief (10b)

    4. Believe That Joy is Holy (11-12)

  2. Learn from the Original Temptation

  3. Shepherd Hearts to True Joy (Luke 2.1-20)

    1. Celebrate Good News (10)

    2. Identify Our Deepest Need (11)

    3. Seek God’s Favor (14)

    4. Act on the Message (15)

    5. Treasure the Incarnation (19)

    6. Ponder the Incarnation (19)

    7. Give God Glory (20)

    8. Give God Praise (20)

People of Faith

Hab. 1.12-2.4

  1. Address the foundation (Hab. 1.12-2.4)

    1. Our problem: we cross examine & judge God by our reason.

    2. His Response: trust in the prophecies.

    3. The needed bridges between our reasons and God's prophesies: faith.

  2. Prepare for the Advent. (Matt. 3.1-12)

    1. Be willing to be a little weird for Jesus. (3.4)

    2. Embrace change.

    3. Who you think you are is not enough compared to who you need to be.

  3. Fix their eyes on the unseen. (2 Cor. 4.16-18)

    1. Faith connects with a reality that reason cannot attain by itself.

    2. Faith is essential to all relationships. Relationships are gambled placed on the character of the one we choose to open up to.

    3. Sooner or later your decisions will reveal whether you value faith enough to gamble on God's character.

  4. Overcome their egos. (1 John 1.19-27, 3.22-36; Matt 3.13-15)

    1. Reject pride and the need for your name to be known.

    2. Push through insecurity.

    3. Reject false humility. Who are you to shrink back from who God has called you to be and what He has told you to do?

  5. Accept that faith requires faith. (Luke 7.18-28)

    1. Doubt by itself is not the problem. Even John the Baptist doubted.

    2. Doubt is a problem when we require more evidence then we really need to step out and trust God, even with our lives.

The Prophet's Hope

Luke 2.25-35

  1. Intro: Renounce Lies That Kill Hope (Prov. 13.12)

    1. Lie #1: Something new, naughty, nice, or ‘needed’ will restore my energy

    2. Lie #2: My world is inevitably, inexorably getting better.

    3. Lie #3: “Identity Politics” Will Save Me

    4. Lie #4: The flawed coping mechanism of “Safety-ism”

  2. Apply a Prophet’s Insight (Simeon) (Luke 2.25-35)

    1. waiting for the consolation

    2. a light for revelation to the Gentiles

    3. for glory to your people Israel

    4. this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many

    5. a sword will pierce through your (Mary’s) soul also

    6. so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed

  3. Follow a Prophet’s Process (Paul) (Rom. 5.1-5)

    1. Choose to rejoice in suffering (remember Simeon’s insights)
      (The fight for your attitude is the first fight you must win. If you have a bad attitude, you are fighting yourself and whatever the actual challenge is)

    2. Suffering produces endurance

      (“Suffering “ is meager rations, hardships, restrictions, anxieties)
      (Safety-ism weakens our constitution)

    3. Endurance produces character

      (validation, dependability)

    4. Character produces hope

  4. Gain a Prophet’s Hope (John) (Rev. 19.9-10)

    A Prophet’s Hope Changes Attitude and Perspective