Not a Storybook Christmas (Week 2) - Distress

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SERIES BIG IDEA:

Jesus comes into the pain of my story to bring me hope, peace, and joy, because He loves me.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

Jesus came so I can have peace with God and experience the peace of God in whatever I go through.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

Our Christmas experiences sometimes don’t match the storybook Christmases that are promoted through movies. The reality of the story of the Bible is that God created all things good. Everything existed in harmony and wholeness with God and each other. Initially there was peace because God was present with His creation, but the sin of Adam and Eve disrupted humanity’s peace with God and disconnected mankind from God. Jesus came to restore our peace with God and restore mankind back into a relationship with God. Individuals can have peace WITH God by trusting Jesus as Savior, thus restoring people to the place just-as-if they had never sinned. Furthermore, individuals can have the peace OF God by trusting Jesus as Lord and giving people confidence to embrace their pain and experience God’s peace in whatever they go through.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

Explain any situations in your life that challenge you. What are struggles with your job? … with your family? … with your health? … with your finances?

Share a location that is peaceful to you. Why does it bring thoughts of peace to you?

Why do you think that the experience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was peaceful? Explain why the sin of Adam and Eve separated mankind from God. Explain how sin continues to disrupt our relationship with God.

How can trusting Jesus as your Savior lead to peace WITH God? How can this restore you to a right relationship with God, just-as-if you had never sinned? What is it that Jesus did on the cross?

How can trusting Jesus as your Lord lead to the peace OF God? How can this lead to confidence to go through the circumstances of life, even the pain and struggles? How did Jesus demonstrate His Lordship?

How is your salvation best understood as Jesus being your Savior AND Lord?

Other Scriptures to Read:

Colossians 3:15

Galatians 5:22-23

1 Peter 5:7

Romans 12:18