WHO’S IN THE ROOM?
No matter how far from God you feel and regardless of what you’ve done, there’s room for you.
Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
- What is the most extravagant gift you’ve received for Christmas? What is the most extravagant gift you’ve given someone for Christmas? What prompted you to be so generous?
- Read Matthew 2:1-12.
Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say?):
- What do you notice and what are you curious about?
- What differences do you notice between the actions and motivations of the magi (pagan astrologers) versus that of Herod (Roman Jewish client king)?
Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean?)
- What do you learn about God?
- What promises is God fulfilling here?
- What do you learn about humanity?
Now make some applications (what’s my response?)
- How are you encouraged, challenged, or convicted by this passage?
- What should be our response to this passage?
3. Why do you think God waits so long to fulfill His promises?
4. What is revealing about the details of this story- that those who should have recognized, welcomed and worshiped the coming King (Herod and the chief priests and teachers of the law) failed to, and those who were quite literally and spiritually far from God, did? What does this say about the kind of King Jesus came to be and who He came to save?
5. Who in your life have you written off from being welcomed into God’s Kingdom because they seem too far from God? How can you shift your mindset this Christmas season? It could be to start praying for them, invite them into your home, give them a gift, invite them to Christmas Eve services, etc.
6. The magi traveled long and far, bringing priceless gifts only fit for a king, and they bowed down and worshiped this young child. If these foreign, pagan astrologers held nothing back from the King, what does that show us about how we should approach King Jesus with our lives? What are you holding back from Him? It could be your time, your money, your worship, your relationships, etc. How can you begin to let go of these things today that you might have more room for King Jesus in your life?
Matthew 2:1-12 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Thanksgiving: Thank God for the gift of Jesus in your life, for calling you to Him when you were far away.
Petition: Pray for those who are still far from God, that God would draw them near to Him this Christmas season and partner with you in doing that.
TAKE A NEXT STEP
- If God is leading you to give for the first time or prompting you to give above and beyond what you normally would, you can do that today here: https://gatewaychurch.com/give/
- Pray daily for those far from God. Take one step of generosity toward them in the coming weeks.
- For further study on the interesting characters of the magi, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNMm2vQvYpQ.
FOR THE PARENTS
Hey, families! Here’s a look at what we’re covering with your kids so you can help them continue to grow at home during the week.
All month long we are going to be talking about how the story of Jesus’ birth and how we can make room for Jesus this Christmas season!
THE BIBLE: “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:9)
THE MESSAGE: First God used the shepherds – a group of people who were looked down upon – to share the good news about Jesus. Then God used the wisemen – people who were highly respected – to tell about the coming King. That just shows you that God can use anyone – rich or poor, young or old – to share the good news about His Son, Jesus. And God has chosen you, as well. How will you make room for Jesus and share the good news with others?
THE BIG IDEA: I will make room in my heart for Jesus!
Because sometimes you and your kid need a conversation-starter that isn’t,
“So . . . how was church?”
- Do you think you would be willing to pack up everything and follow a star, even though you didn’t know where you were headed?
God told the world about Jesus through angels and a special star, and used the wisemen to help spread the word. God continued to tell the world about Jesus throughout the New Testament and God wants us to make room in our lives for Jesus and to tell the world about Him. Jesus coming to earth is super good news!
Next week we will be celebrating Jesus’ birthday and thanking God for the best gift of all – Jesus!