Third Sunday of Advent

Third Sunday of Advent Season of Advent 2017 Joy: A Simple Yet Profound Message Luke 2:8-15 December 17th, 2017

Do NOT be AFRAID. (v.10)
A. GLORY truly seen creates FEAR. (Ex. 20:18-19; Is. 6:1-5; Ezek. 1:28)
B. The God of glory REACHES TOWARD us. (v.11; Jn 1:14)

So many divine interventions in the Bible start with this phrase, “Do not be afraid.” Why is this? It’s because that when all is stripped away and we stand face to face with the glory of God it’s a terrifying moment. The good news is that despite our distance from the glory of God, God reaches out toward us. Do not be afraid.

1. Can you identify with fear when it comes to encountering God? Are there things that about God that scare you?
2. How does the coming of Jesus help us understand the type of God that God is?

II. I bring you GOOD NEWS… (v.10)
A. A ROYAL birth ANNOUNCEMENT. (v.10; Priene Inscription, 9 BC)
B. LOVE: One who will DELIVER you. (v.11; Ps. 50:15)
C. Hope: The ONE who was PROMISED. (v.11; Lk 1:68-70)

There is good news for the world…and we have it. We see it in the coming of Jesus, in what He taught, in how He lived. And this is news that we have to share with the world. Everyone loves to tell good news. We like to be the first to bring the information to the group. This is the best “good news” ever, and we have a first hand account to share with the whole world.

3. Think of the top 3 items of “Good News” that you have been told throughout your life. What were they and why were they such good news to you?
4. What do you feel the need to be “delivered” from at present?

III. …of GREAT JOY… (v.10)
A. The CHALLENGE of DEFINING Joy… (Hab 3:17-18; I Pet. 1:8-9)
B. “A SPIRIT produced good FEELING in the SOUL.” (Gal. 5:22)
C. It COMES from seeing JESUS. (Jn 16:22)

Joy is something that we all want, but it’s really had to nail down exactly what it means. It seems so subjective, with everyone defining it from their own perspective. But Biblical joy has some clear characteristics…and it all starts at the same place.

5. When have you felt joy in your own life? How would you describe the experience?
6. Joy is a “Spirit produced good feeling in the soul.” What is your reaction to that definition? What is it missing?

IV. …for ALL the PEOPLE. (v.10)
A. EVEN for the SHEPHERDS. (v.8)
B. Even for YOU and ME… (v.11; Jn 15:9-11)
C. …and THEM – SEEING and SHARING. (v.17; Jn 3:16; 2 Cor 2:14)

The Shepherds heard first, and they had to see it for themselves. Once they had seen it, they had to tell everyone else. That’s what happens when you have good news of
great joy, you have to share it. It’s good news for all the people…and the more people here it, the better it actually gets.

7. Who might you be leaving out when it comes to the fact that this good news of great joy is for the whole world?
8. How can you better share this good news of great joy with all people? What are a few specific steps that you can take?