Before the Christmas Story

Getting Started

Main Idea:
All of history leads up to the coming of our Savior. God has always had and still has a plan.

Discussion Starter:
How is your Bible reading going this year? It’s not too late to connect with God our Savior through His Word! Share what God has been teaching you during your time in His Word.

This week Pastor took us through a quick review of the Bible. No matter which book of the Bible is read, its focus is on the Savior. In 1 Samuel 17:46-47, David tells Goliath that God doesn’t save by spear or sword. In Psalm 43, the psalmist laments his situation, but in the last verse he says God is his Savior and his God. In 2 Peter 1:10, the Apostle encourages readers to confirm their response to God’s invitation. All those words, 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament, point to the Savior.

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Genesis 18:17-18, Acts 3:25-26, Micah 5:2, Matthew 1:1-3, Matthew 2:1-6, Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2:11, Isaiah 7:13-14, Matthew 1:18-23

Discussion Questions:
1. Spend some time reading the following passages aloud in your group, and meditate on how God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. For example, the prophet Isaiah foretold in Isaiah 9:6 of a “Prince of Peace”.  How do prophecies and their fulfillment increase your faith and trust in God?

Genesis 18:17-18, Acts 3:25-26

Micah 5:2, Matthew 1:1-3, Matthew 2:1-6

Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2:11

Isaiah 7:13-14, Matthew 1:18-23

2. Between Malachi and Matthew there are 400 years of silence from God. Was there inactivity among God’s people? What did you learn this week about how God was preparing the world for the birth of His Son?  Consider that when the Romans ruled the world, including before and after Jesus’ lifetime, they built roads everywhere. These roads provided an easy way to travel. What missionaries took advantage of these roads (see Acts 15:40-41)?

3. What does the above teach us about moments in our lives when we feel God is silent?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Genesis 18:1-15 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage. You may want to compare and contrast this unexpected announcement (and response) to the announcement to Mary about Jesus’ birth in Luke 1:30-33.

Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

Make sure everyone in your group has a place to go at Christmas. If they do not have family or friends joining them, make plans to spend time with your group family this Christmas.

Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: How are you serving for the Christmas Spectacular at your campus?

Engaging in Community: Do you have any neighbors who may be lonely this time of year? Invite them over for coffee or cocoa!

Engaging the World: Pray for Faith Promise missionaries this holiday season. Christmas can be a difficult time to be far from home.

Expand God’s Kingdom

Who are you inviting to the Christmas Spectacular?

Leader’s Notes

2. During the time between Malachi and the birth of Jesus, Alexander the Great conquered the known world. Greek became the common language. Then the Romans Empire arose, and the Romans built roads to connect their empire. These roads later allowed missionaries like Paul and Silas to travel and spread God’s good news.

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.