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Theme: Advent 2 – JOY!

Rev. Tim Rist

Readings: Isaiah 35:1-10 ,  Luke 1:46-55

Isaiah

    • What pressures are facing that are causing your hands and knees to tremble?
    • Does vs.4 bring strength and encouragement to you?
    • Is the water of God’s Spirit more like a flooded spring or a leaky tap in your life now?
    • What will it take to release the joy of the “redeemed” in your life right now?
    • Read vs. 8 with John 14:6 in mind. How does this change the meaning of vs.8 for you?
    • How are you doing on the Highway to Holiness –
    • Cruising on auto-pilot?
    • Running out of fuel?
    • Broken down on the side of the road?
    • Still trying to find the road?

Luke

    • What does Mary praise God for in this song?
    • Of the attributes (qualities) of God celebrated in Mary’s song, which do you appreciate the most?
    • Which do you find the most challenging? Why?
    • What social status did Mary hold?
    • Does social standing and status determine whether God will fulfill his purpose in a person’s life?
    • What does God need from you to fulfill his purpose in your life?
    • In terms of Mary’s song – would she consider you God’s humble servant or a proud, rich ruler?

Life Application
The Bible tells us that the “joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Live with joy this week. This God given joy is not an emotion (though “feelings of joy” are healthy and great too), but it is a gift from God and an act of faithfulness that flows from your Will – in other words it follows on from a decision that you take to be joyful! Decide to be joy-filled in all situations this week – and see what happens! God bless.

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