The Road to Bethlehem #2: Great Things in You | Pastor Mac Hammond | December 18, 2022

Recap:
This past Sunday, Pastor Mac continued his Christmas series talking about The Road to Bethlehem. Mary’s pregnancy was more than a path to bring Jesus to earth in human form. It was an example of what it looks like to bring God’s supernatural promise from seed form in our hearts into the world around us. The road to seeing these things manifest will be filled with God at work, doing great things on the inside of us, which include increasing our capacity to receive and give the love of Jesus to others, the peace of God brought about because of the residence of the Prince of Peace on the inside of us, and the joy of our salvation.

Dive Deeper:
Mary is a prototype of how God’s promise starts in our hearts and is birthed into this natural realm. The first step she took was saying, “Be it unto me according to Your will.” That’s a great place to start! That’s when we welcome God as Lord of our lives.

What happens next is that the joy of salvation begins to be birthed on the inside of us. God begins to reveal to us the joy that provides strength through every moment of adversity that we face. Then, as we begin to grow in God, we realize that God is the Prince of Peace. He resides on the inside of us, which means that we don’t need to live in fear. We can walk through life with the immeasurable peace that comes from knowing God is with us. This peace comes in greater and greater measure as we learn to guard and control our thought lives.

Then as God works in our heart, we will begin to see other people through a different lens. The unconditional love of God will become a revelation in our hearts, and we will begin to see others from a perspective of love rather than revenge or comparison. We’ll see them as God sees them. Compassion and grace will take priority in our relationships.

All of these things will prepare us to bring God’s promises into the world around us, for what God does through us has to happen on the inside of us first. Eventually, the day will come when what is in us will burst forth from us into the world around us.

Read About It:
Luke 1:26–38 KJV
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:49 KJV
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

Luke 2:1–7 KJV
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Philippians 4:8–9 KJV
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Discussion Questions:
1. Have you ever experienced God’s unexplainable peace in your life?
2. How does managing our thought life connect with the level of peace in our heart?
3. Why does God use us to bring His promise into the world?

Recent Sermon Notes

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Pastor Jim gave his 12th installment on his series entitled, “Grace Unveiled.” The Old Testament law always produced the wrath of God as a consequence for disobedience. No one outside of Jesus Christ had the ability to keep Old Testament law! Yet there are many Christians that try to live their lives according to Old Testament law. And they are failing. Pastor Jim went on to explain why in his message subtitled, “For the Promise to Be Sure.”