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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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In week two of our Christmas series, Pastor Doug Sauder shares how we can exchange anxiety for peace, what true peace looks like and where it actually comes from, and how we can join Jesus in the fight for it!
Dive deeper into this teaching on your own, with your family, or in your group! Check out expanded notes and summaries from the teaching, small group questions, and get informed on some of the great resources available to you.
Click below to watch this past weekend's message in its entirety.
DISCUSSION POINTS AND QUESTIONS
Below you’ll find a recap of the key discussion points from Pastor Doug’s message and a few questions to reflect on and consider with your family, your circle of friends, or in your group.
Ice-Breaker: What’s your favorite Christmas memory?
KEY VERSES: Isaiah 59:8–10
MAIN THOUGHT: Peace Is Not the Absence of Suffering, but the Presence of Jesus.
DISCUSSION POINT: Peace is the not denial of pain or loss, nor is it living a life completely free of hardship, struggle, and trials. That’s not possible. So long as we live in this fallen world, struggle and suffering will be present. So, how can we possibly experience any kind of peace in the midst of it all? It’s found entirely and only in the presence of Jesus. How? Because in Jesus we have both future hope and present help. In Jesus, we have received adoption into the family of God and a place in heaven for eternity, but we’ve also received the Holy Spirit now! And the Holy Spirit provides us with strength, courage, boldness, wisdom, comfort, hope, faith, and peace. That’s why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit after He returned to heaven! That’s why John 14:26–27 (NIV, emphasis added) says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” Jesus brings comfort as He joins us in suffering and saves us.
Discussion Question 1: What are some ways you can seek and sit in His peace in the midst of trouble?
KEY VERSES: Isaiah 53:5; John 16:33
MAIN THOUGHT: Jesus Went to War So We Could Have Peace
DISCUSSION POINT: In order for us to have the peace of God, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, and the hope and promise of eternal life, Jesus, the Son of God waged war against the forces of darkness, against sin, and against death itself. And what we celebrate on Christmas heralded the coming of peace, which was brought to fruition through His death and resurrection. Isaiah 53:5 (NIV) tells us, “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
The night before being arrested, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). The word here for peace is shalom. Through Jesus, we have shalom on the inside, no matter what’s on the outside, because we have the Holy Spirit on the inside.
Discussion Question 2: How does knowing Jesus is with you in the midst of everything help?
KEY VERSE: Isaiah 26:13
MAIN THOUGHT: Peace Is an Inside Job
DISCUSSION POINT: The battle of battles takes place in the mind . . . but you’re not a helpless victim of your thoughts. In our weakness, there is the strength of God. As He told the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV), “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” As we bring our anxieties, struggles, fears, depression, and isolation to Him, He meets us and helps us.
Discussion Question 3: What are some practical things we can do to exchange anxiety for peace? How can we help one another?
WALK IT OUT
Pause: This week, sit with a friend over a cup of coffee or lunch. Go outside and feel the sun on your face. Go for a nighttime walk and bask in the glow of the moon and the stars. Just find some time to be still.
Ponder: What have you learned this year regarding peace?
Practice: This week, pray for the peace of God to reach people like never before this Christmas. Pray that many would come to know the true peace of Jesus.
Parents, here are a few questions to go over with your kids around the dinner table or during dedicated family times.
Discussion Question 1: What are some things you can do when you’re feeling scared or struggling?
Discussion Question 2: How can knowing Jesus and praying to Jesus help when you’re scared or upset?
Discussion Question 3: How can you help someone else when they feel scared or upset?
In this 25-day plan, you’ll get to read all about the gift of peace that comes through Jesus and how we can experience it as we look at the familiar story of Christmas through a different lens. Journey through the Christmas stories found in Matthew and Luke, as well as a variety of passages explaining the true peace Jesus came to give us! To subscribe, click here.
We hope to see you this week at Celebration of Peace—a drive-thru Christmas lights show. Enjoy a fun and inspiring show for all ages as you hear familiar Christmas tunes and experience the sights and sounds of the season . . . all from the comfort of your own car. We hope you’re able to drop by to experience this awesome and safe holiday event! For more info, visit CelebrationOfPeace.com.
In week three of our Christmas series, Pastor Doug will share how we can be effective messengers of the peace of God.
We look forward to spending another awesome weekend with you!
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Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.