Opening Questions and Prayer
When is a time you ignored a heads up or a warning from someone?
What happened because you didn’t listen?
Pray and ask God to guide your time together. Thank Him for giving us His Word to help us make wise decisions and stay on the path He has called us to.
Read Luke 2:8-20 NLT
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
What were the angels giving a heads up to the shepherds about?
Why would God announce to the shepherds first about the birth of Jesus?
After seeing Jesus, what did the shepherds do?
What does the Lord want you to give others a heads up about?
What is something the Lord has been trying to tell you recently?
How are you responding?
Read Matthew 1:18-22
18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
Why did Matthew want the readers to know that all these circumstances were happening according to prophecy?
How did the prophecies give validity to the birth of Jesus?
How do the prophecies give validity to your faith?
Read 2 Peter 1:16-21
16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.
19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.
How did the prophecies help Peter and the rest of the disciples know that Jesus was the Messiah?
Why does Peter tell us to “pay close attention” to what the prophets wrote?
What can you do this week to pay close attention to God’s Word?
When do you set time aside each day to read scripture and pray?
If you don’t yet do this, when can you?
Read Luke 2:25-35
25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
as you have promised.
30 I have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared for all people.
32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
Why was Simeon awaiting the Messiah?
How did he know it was Jesus when so many others missed Him?
What are some ways people have missed Jesus in their own lives?
Why was it important for Simeon to know the scriptures and prohpecies about Jesus?
Why is it important for us to know the scriptures?
What will you do this week to look for ways the Lord is speaking to you?
2 Peter 1:20-21 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.
Closing thoughts and prayer
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the business of life, the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season and miss what it’s all about: God becoming man in the person of Jesus Christ. The prophets in the Old Testament pointed to this and yet people still missed it. This season, don’t miss what the Lord is doing. God still speaks through His word to give us a heads up about how to live, how to help others, and how to point others to Him.
Ask the Lord for wisdom as you read your Bible this week. Make a point to pray each time you read the Bible and ask for His guidance of what you are supposed to do with what you read. Pray for someone that you need to share the message of Jesus with this week.