Fourth Sunday of Advent 2018

Advent 2018: The King is Coming – Part 4 What Love Looks Like Matthew 1:18-25 December 23, 2018

I. Love is RARELY what you EXPECT. (v.18-19)
A. She’s EXPECTING…that’s UNEXPECTED. (v.18)
B. A DIFFICULT moral DILEMMA. (v.19; Deut. 22:23-24)
C. LOVE and the LAW. (v.19; Gal. 5:14)

This final week of Advent we light the candle of Love. Love is such a great thing, but the problem is that we often think of it in not so honest terms. We think of a good feeling, a warm glow, or the light in someone’s eyes as they look at us. But love also includes pain, difficulty, and challenge.

1. Kids Question: What is one way that you think you can know that God loves you?
2. Have you ever felt the tension between doing the “right” thing and acting in a loving manner? What was that like?
3. Read Galatians 5:14. How would it change your day to day life if you were able to live out that command?

II. LOVE resists FEAR. (v.20-25)
A. It is WILLING to take a RISK. (v.20, 24-25)
B. It RESTS in what God is DOING. (v.21-23)

Joseph’s love for Mary is put to the test when he has a dream that tells him not to be afraid to take her as his wife. Easy for the dream narrator to say, but this will have lifelong implications for Joseph. He is willing to be attached to Mary in a way that will cost both of them dearly. Thankfully he sees that God is at work in this whole process.

4. Have you ever taken a risk to show someone the love of God? How did that turn out?
5. If you had to try to explain what God is doing in and through your life right now, what would you say? Take the time to think it through.

III. LOVING as God LOVES. (Jn 3:16)
A. Loving those OTHERS would EXCLUDE. (v.1-17; I Peter 4:8)
B. Love WHEN it is DIFFICULT. (v.18-19; Mt 5:43-45)
C. Love by ‘BEING WITH”. (v.23; I Jn. 4:9)

This story of Emmanuel, God with us, is one that is permeated by the true picture of what Love is. God has come to be with us, despite our unworthiness, despite the difficulty and pain that loving us entails. He come to be among us, and by doing that demonstrates a love of the highest type, one that He calls us to live out in the world today.

6. Who are the “excluded” people that you come close to on a regular basis? How might you share the love of God with them?
7. When has loving someone been difficult? What helped you thought that? What did you learn or experience through that?
8. Who has loved you by “being with”? Who might God be calling you to “be with”in order for them to know how He loves them?