It is a wonderful time of year, but especially when we are experiencing the presence of the One who is called Wonderful! How I look forward to Advent with you, my precious sisters!
persons frostThe podcast this week is Keller’s “God of Wonders”
Keller has a big challenge for us at the end of the week. Let’s help one another really do it!
God Hunt Sunday
1. How did you see God at work in your life or world this last Thanksgiving week or weekend?
Monday: The People Walking in Darkness
A little context: God’s Kingdom is divided, and the northern Kingdom has been disciplined by God through Assyria. When Isaiah mentions Zebulun and Naphtali, he is probably referring to all of the Northern Kingdom of Israel between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean. Our expert in Isaiah, Alec Motyer, explains that the first area to fall to the Assyrians (734 B.C.) will also be the first to see messianic light. (Matt. 4:12-23) Of course, this is over 700 years later, which just shows God sees time so differently. It makes me think of how Paul tells us to cheer up in our little transitory troubles, for one day it will all be reversed.
2. Read Isaiah 9:1-5
A. What promise is given to God’s suffering people here?
B. How long will it be before that Light comes?
C. What else stands out to you from this passage and why?
3. Read Matthew 4:12-17. How does this fulfill the promise?
4. Think about a transitory trouble you recently faced or are facing.
A. How is the Lord of Light helping you with it right now?
B. How will it be completely reversed on the Great Day of the New Heaven and New Earth?
C. Use this Scripture as a springboard for prayer.
Tuesday: For Unto Us A Son Is Given
5. Meditate on Isaiah 9:6. Take some time and share your thoughts.
In Tim Keller’s podcast, he begins not with Wonderful, but with Counselor, which he says means wisdom. Listen from the beginning to the break at 15:30.
6. What does Keller say the term counselor embraces?
7. Share one time when this Counselor gave wisdom that really helped you find your way.
8. Keller says the world embraces Christmas seeing it as terribly affirming when it is actually confrontational. What did he mean?
9. What was his point about being a young father working upstairs with 3 boys playing downstairs?
10. How is Christ’s birth a paradigm for how the world thinks of power? How do you see this repeatedly in Scripture? (Give an example).
11. Liberal churches do not take the Christmas account literally but reinterpret them. How does Keller show the silliness of this?
Wednesday: Worldly Wisdom Cannot Give
12. List the three things that worldly wisdom cannot do.
13. How is God helping you face your own death with assurance and joy? Be specific. Use Scripture if possible.
14. How is God helping you make peace with your past? Again: specific and scripture.
15. How is God helping you forgive your enemies? Again: specific and scripture.
Thursday: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
16. Choose one of the above names and really meditate on it and share what it means to you.
17. Listen to the second half of Keller’s podcast:
A. What did Jonathan Edwards say about mature Christians?
B. How did C. S. Lewis explain what God tells us to praise Him?
C. “Praise is inner health made audible.” With this as a guideline, how healthy is your soul?
D. What else stood out to you and why?
Friday: Action Assignment – 15 minutes of Praise
Take Isaiah 9:6 as a springboard for praise. This is going to be challenging to do it for 15 minutes, but let us do it.
You can include this song and meditate on it with your whole mind, heart, and soul. That’s 3 and a half minutes!
Then take every name of God given and write it down — and anything the Spirit shows you! Perhaps a hymn will come to mind to sing. May the Lord help us to do this!
18. What is your take-a-way and why?