Experiencing Peace This Christmas

Christmas 2016 | Philippians 4:6-9

December 4th - 10th, 2016

Warm Up: How are we doing on SOAKING in versus INHALING the season so far? Share a few victories (even if small!) related to how you’ve been experiencing God in new ways this Christmas season? Open your time asking God to help you prioritize what is most important this Christmas

  • The Christmas season can often spark waves of anxiety in our lives. We know that true peace is found in relating with Jesus yet busyness, stress, and extended family dynamics can often derail our good intentions this time of year. As you read Philippians 4:6-9 together, consider the following three practices that George highlighted on Sunday:
  1. Thinking — In Philippians 4:8 notice the key descriptive words which detail what we are to think about.
  • Which words stand out to you? How would meditating, or filling your mind with these thoughts, help you experience peace? (be specific)
  • Have their been books, sermons, or podcasts which you’ve come across lately that have helped you fill your mind with the goodness, love, and power of God? Share.
  1. Thankful — Avoiding anxiety is less about “stopping bad thoughts” and more about becoming people of prayer and supplication while cultivating a thankful heart. We hold every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5) and begin to fill our hearts and minds with God’s truth. It’s from that place of being secure in the Father’s tender love that we then live our lives. How have you personally experienced gratitude and thankfulness as a guard over your life?
  • Discuss the following quote: “God says, ‘When a child of mine makes a request, I always give them what they would have asked for if they knew everything that I know.’ If we believe this, we will have peace. Make your requests known with thanksgiving.” In In what ways does this encourage or comfort you? 
  1. Loving — In Matthew 22:37-40 we are given two essential commandments from Christ: Love God and love people. Becoming people of peace happens as we intentionally set our affections on God, His people, and anyone he leads into our path. In this way, we experience God’s peace not simply by “thinking” the right things but tangibly loving as Jesus loved. Is their one simple way you plan to demonstrate love to someone (outside of your family) this Christmas season?

Wrap up: Thinking on the great truths of God, being Thankful for His great provision and Loving God & others are 3 ways that will help each of us live in peace this Christmas season.  The question is: Are we willing to put these activities into practice? If so, which action do you sense God is prompting your heart to respond to most this week? Pray as you close.