Texts: Matthew 2:1-12; Daniel 1:1-21; 9:24-25; Numbers 24:15-19; Revelation 22:16; 2 Peter 1:3-9
In a Nutshell: Most people talk about how the Magi got to Bethlehem (a star) and the gifts they brought for Jesus. Today we are more interested in where the Magi came from, why they came, and what they did when they got there. I’m suggesting we look at faith as a growing life journey rather than as some place we arrive or attain. Many people speak of their faith as either having some, wanting more, not having any, or losing what they did have because of some life circumstance. Today, I challenge you to view your spiritual life as a journey, grateful for any influence that has led you to Christ, and be willing to respond with faith and obedience when you find Him at work in your life!
Ice Breaker: In addition to baptism what was a significant event/time/relationship that you think led to a greater level of faith and obedience in Christ?
CONNECTING WITH THE TEXTS:
1. Where did the Magi (Wise men) come from? Mt. 2:1-12; Dan. 1:1-21
2. What “tidbits” of information regarding a “prince” or king of the Jews might Daniel and the Jewish Scriptures have added to the Wiseman’s understanding? Num. 24:15-19; Dan. 9:24-27
3. What other ancient assumptions suggested a star was an indicator of a Deity?
4. What do we know from Scripture about the Wise men? Mt. 2:1-12
REFLECTING ON YOUR LIFE:
5. Do you see any danger in promoting weakly supported holiday traditions without clearly describing fact verses fiction?
6. Do you tend to see faith as something you “come to” or something progressive grow with? How would these be viewed differently?
7. Is there any perspective, event in your life history that pointed you toward Christ but wasn't completely biblical, factual, or accurate? Are you frustrated with it, or grateful for it? Why? Why not?
8. What might be a good list of priorities as provided in 2 Pe. 1:3-9 to help us become effective on our journey of spiritual growth?
CONNECTING WITH YOUR CHURCH:
9. How might your CARE group support accurate biblical teaching without belittling past misunderstandings you might have held?
10. What has your life, study, worship while at T.L.C.C. taught you that maybe you didn't understand before?
- The Star of Bethlehem, a list of resources: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015005262541;seq=1;view=1up
- Answers in Genesis – Star of Bethlehem: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n2/star-of-bethlehem
Title: “The Rich Young Ruler’s Story”
Text: Matthew 19 and the Rich Young Ruler (Saul) from Acts; Phil. 3:4-14
Questions: When the Rich Young Ruler asks "Which ones?" concerning the commands that are required to be saved, what would our culture answer? What would our church answer? What do you think Paul would say? What does that look like in your personal life?
Parents with your children: This week kids will be at home from school. Make a list of year-end & new-year chores that need to be done. Talk about what priorities are. Have your children list “to-do’s” that may be priorities to them. What makes them Godly priorities, not just good priorities? Consider making a family event out of reviewing some reasonable, Christ-centered, resolutions for the New Year that would help you become more than just a “do-gooder.” http://www.pbs.org/parents/special/article-winter-making-new-years-resolutions-with-your-child.html