Note: If your small group missed meeting the previous week, we encourage you to scroll below to catch up on last week’s material. Most often our pastors preach through series, so this will help your group stay on the same page as we walk through the Scriptures together each week.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Don’t be afraid to add to this list, skip questions that don’t work for your group, or branch off with additional questions as discussion unfolds. Conversation is key! This is the time to work through the application of scripture and have group members figure these things out together.
MESSAGE: “LET IT BE” by Pastor Jon Whisner, December 5, 2021
DESCRIPTION: Experiencing the Christmas season is always an exciting time of celebration and worship, family gatherings, great food, holiday music, twinkling lights — it’s the most wonderful time of the year! For the young virgin Mary, Jesus’s soon to be mother, the build up to the first Christmas wasn’t quite as exciting as what we know today. And yet, Mary’s response to what God had planned for her life and her future is a lesson that can have a great impact on our own lives and futures.
KEY SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:26-38
TAKE AWAY / APPLICATION: When the Lord begins to unwrap His plan for your life, or when He changes your plans unexpectedly, what is to be your response? Mary’s humility, surrender, and obedience to God’s direction for her life is an example that we must continually yield to and follow as we journey through this life.
- Luke 1:27 tells us that Mary was betrothed and pledged to be Joseph’s future wife. Great plan so far! But then she is informed by the angel Gabriel that she will give birth to the Son of God before she knows Joseph intimately as her husband. That’s a plot twist! Read Matthew 1:18-25. Discuss in your group the different emotions, feelings, and confusion you would have felt if you were in Mary and Joseph’s shoes.
- Verse 28 says when the angel greeted Mary, he encouraged her to rejoice that she was blessed, favored and chosen of God. But verse 29 says she was instantly troubled, and greatly confused what this was all about. Mary is no different than us. Her response is human, real, authentic. She wasn’t excited — more so she was blindsided. This wasn’t part of her plan. Joseph would also be blindsided. Wrecked, in fact! This Scripture can remind us that God is more concerned with our conformity to His will over the long haul, than He is with our immediate comfort in the present. Read Romans 8:28. What is the Lord’s ultimate purpose in working “all things” together for our good? The answer is found in the next verse, Romans 8:29.
- Next we see God’s comfort through Gabriel’s words: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30) Wow! What a loaded statement. Mary found favor with God. At times the Lord will jostle us out of our comfort zone — but then He graciously, patiently, lovingly begins to reveal to us the why and the how of His plan. Share an example of how the Lord used an inconvenient, uncomfortable, even painful experience in your life (job loss, abandonment, sickness, death) — that ultimately you came to realize was a sovereign blessing in disguise.
- Luke 1:37 is one of the most powerful, reassuring verses in all of Scripture: “With God nothing will be impossible.” Let this truth sink in. If Mary would trust in the Lord will all her heart, and not try to understand it all in her limited human capacity (see Proverbs 3:5-6), she would experience God work a miracle — an earth-bending, logic-defying, mind-blowing, miraculous miracle! That is the God we serve!! He is able!! Read Ephesians 3:20-21. Pause and praise the Lord for His excellent greatness.
- Verse 38 is a mighty verse. This young lady is all in! Humble in spirit: “I’m your maidservant, Lord. Your slave.” Fully surrendered to God’s will: “Let it be! I surrender all! Your will be done, Lord!” Is this your attitude? Is this the condition of your mind and heart? Take time to ask for prayer from your group about an area you’re afraid, anxious, fearful, or defiant and resistant, to surrender in. Pray together and ask the Lord to create in you a clean, courageous, humble heart that cries out, “Lord, let it be! Let it be to me according to your word.”
December Memory Verse: 1 PETER 1:22-23 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.
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