Do you have a Christmas to-do list?
Is your Christmas shopping done yet?
Do you see yourself in the chaos of Christmas represented in the movie? Are you feeling frazzled?
Do you find yourself thinking Christmas is just about stuff—things that can be bought?
In the teaching this week Pastor Todd shared that we are not supposed to let culture shape us. We are supposed to shape culture. A scripture verse he used to emphasize this is found in Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
- How has culture shaped you?
- How have you been able to shape culture?
The second point he made had to do with the power of words. What we say matters. Proverbs 21:23 “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” Proverbs 21:23 “Keep your mouth closed and you’ll stay out of trouble.” Proverbs 18;21 “The power of life is in the tongue.”
And, finally, Pastor Todd reminded us of the power of God’s love for us. He doesn’t wait until we’re perfect. His love finds us and embraces us exactly where we are. Romans 5:8 “God demonstrated His love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”
In the movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, everyone had a very materialistic view of this holiday. Let’s be honest with ourselves and assess how much we are letting culture impact our actions around this time of year.
- How would things change for us if we shifted our perspective?
- What would happen if we did things differently than the world around us?
- What if we replace consumption with compassion?
- What if we focused on what we could give instead of what we could get?
- What if we spend less, but give more?
- More of our time. More of our love. Let’s talk about ways we can put our focus on things of true value this Christmas.
Have you ever stopped to think about how powerful our spoken words really are? Every single thing about life of the Grinch was shaped by cruel words spoken to him as a child.
- Can you remember a time in your life when someone said something that broke your spirit?
- Are you letting that hurtful thing that has been said about you get on you?
- Are you wearing it like an old, dirty coat?
The truest thing about you is what God says about you. You are loved. You are chosen. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. Let’s talk about taking off lies and putting on truth.
- What wrong thinking about yourself do you need to set aside to make room for the value that God places on you?
Let’s be the kind of people who are deliberate and intentional in what we say to those around us. Let’s choose to speak the language of invitation and restoration. When we use our words in this way they are not just powerful—they become a superpower. Our words can help put together what has been broken. Our words can connect people to God. Let’s talk about ways we can speak life during a season of the year when there are many stressed and depressed people around us.
One very specific area that Pastor Todd mentioned in regard to words is the power of an invitation. Invitations can bring revelation and transformation.
- Has an invitation ever changed your life?
- Do you know someone who needs an invitation?
The final portion of the movie revealed a change of heart in the Grinch—actually his heart grew several sizes! This is a beautiful picture of the fact that no one is beyond the reach of love. That is certainly true of the love of Jesus. It is for everyone and it changes everything. It finds us exactly where we are and loves us right there. But it doesn’t leave us there. It calls us up and makes us new. The miracle of Christmas is found in changed lives. Let’s talk about the difference the love of God has made in our lives and who we need to love in this way.
- Think of at least one very specific thing you can do this week to look beyond yourself, and reach out to someone around you, to make this Christmas season better for them
- Start thinking about how much you want to give to the Christ Birthday Offering. Together, we will make a difference that goes beyond this time of year. This offering will continue to bring life and hope to people long after the 2018 Christmas season is over.
- Find one verse about how God views you and read it every day this week. Let the truth of it settle into your spirit.
- Make a list of people you want to invite to Christmas at Christ Fellowship.
Pray for the Christ Birthday Offering.
Pray for the people you are going to invite to the Christmas services.
Pray for peace and perspective during this busy time of year.