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May 16, 2021 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
In week three of our Christmas series, Pastor Doug will share how we can be effective messengers of the peace of God.
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 the best message you’ve received this year?
KEY VERSE: Isaiah 6:1–3
MAIN THOUGHT: God’s Messengers Keep Their Eyes on the Right King
DISCUSSION POINT: In order to speak peace, to be peacemakers as Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, to bring the message of hope and peace and salvation into the world as His ambassadors, we must walk in it ourselves. And the only way for us to walk in peace in the midst of a fallen, corrupt, and dying world is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). As it says in Isaiah 8:11–12 (NIV), “Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.” When we keep our eyes on Him and walk with Him in holy fear and devotion, we can be effective messengers of peace because we’ll be living it out ourselves!
Discussion Question 1: How has the Lord revealed Himself to you? How has it changed you?
KEY VERSE: Isaiah 6:8
MAIN THOUGHT: God’s Messengers Are People of Action
DISCUSSION POINT: In this verse, the Lord asks, “Whom shall I send?” And Isaiah responds, “Here am I. Send me!” This verse finds echoes in Hebrews 10:9–10 (NIV), where speaking about Jesus the Messiah, it says, "‘Here I am, I have come to do your will’ . . . And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” God sent Jesus to save us and bring us peace. This is what we celebrate on Christmas. And just as God sent Jesus, Jesus sends us into the world. He tells us this in John 20:21 (NIV): “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." But just before this, He says, "Peace be with you!” His peace is with us wherever we go. And so, as He has sent us, He has also equipped us and prepared us.
As believers, God has special works planned for us and amazing things He wants to accomplish in, through, and around us. But in order for us to walk in them, we must, like Isaiah, be open to where the Lord leads and sends us; to His invitation to a greater purpose than we could ever imagine for ourselves.
Discussion Question 2: How have you responded to God’s invitation?
KEY VERSES: Isaiah 52;7; Ephesians 6:15
MAIN THOUGHT: Get Your Shoes On
DISCUSSION POINT: In Romans 10:13–15 (NIV), the apostle Paul writes, “‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” And then he quotes Isaiah 52:7 (NIV), saying “How beautiful . . . are the feet of those who bring good news!’”
As people search for identity, belonging, purpose, peace, hope, love, fulfillment, to feel whole and complete, to find answers, to fill that emptiness inside them, we have the beautiful gift and opportunity to share with them the only thing that can give them all they seek: Jesus! We can bring peace to those far and near (Isaiah 57:9). We can be agents of peace in a world of turmoil. All we need to do is get our shoes on and go!
Share your story. Share what God has done and is doing in your life. Be generous, show love, compassion, and grace to those in need and to those who are difficult, reach across divides and barriers with an outstretched hand of kindness, share the gospel—the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ!
Today, and every day, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and heart to opportunities to be a messenger of peace. Pray for the Lord to open doors for the message to be heard within your family, your workplace, and in your community. Pray for the words and the wisdom in the moment. And above all else, pray that He is glorified!
Discussion Question 3: What’s one thing you can do this week to be a messenger of peace?
WALK IT OUT
Pause: Is there someone you’ve been wanting to share the gospel with but haven’t found the right time? Pray for them, and ask the Lord to open the door for the gospel in their lives. Invite them to go to Christmas Eve service or to watch it online with you. Ask them out for coffee and share what God has done in your life.
Ponder: How is God calling you? What is He sending you out to do? How are you responding to His call?
Practice: This week, bring peace into someone’s life. In the name of Jesus, do something generous and kind for someone who is struggling.
Parents, here are a few questions to go over with your kids around the dinner table or during dedicated family times.
Discussion Question 1: How have you seen God work this year? What have you learned about Him this year?
Discussion Question 2: Have you ever shared the story of Jesus with someone? Why is it important to do that?
Discussion Question 3: What’s one thing you can do this week to help someone know about Jesus and the peace He gives?
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.
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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.