* We won’t understand a message on hope until we understand a message on humility. (click here to see a message on Humility.)
* Humility = possessing nothing but having everything.
“So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
”You see the people crowding against you,’ his disciples answered, ‘and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’” Mark 5:24-34 (NIV)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
* REALITY: You can’t understand the unforced rhythms of grace when you are living in the unforced rhythms of the world.
* TRUTH: There is no such thing as following Jesus from a distance. The Gospel makes more sense to those who are close to Him.
* The Story of Christmas = God is HERE!
* In the absence of a relevant Christmas Story we look for substitutes.
* TRUTH: God never waste our pain, suffering, or hurt.
“The LORD said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. 39You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. 40 Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. 41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.’” Number 15:37-41 (NIV)
* The woman touched the corner of Jesus robe or Prayer Shaw and was healed.
* Her only hope was found in her faith that Jesus could heal her!
“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.” Malachi 4:2 (NIV)
* The woman responded with fear and trembling.
* Fear of the Lord = Reverent Awe
* You can’t come to God without fear and trembling.
“‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. 26 Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. 27 Whoever touches them will be unclean; he must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.
28 “‘When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. 29 On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 30 The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the LORD for the uncleanness of her discharge.
31 “‘You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place,[a] which is among them.’” Leviticus 15:25-31 (NIV)
* The Lady was ceremonially unclean. This made her an outcast to society.
* Jesus told her that her faith had made her well!
* When all hope was gone she turned to Jesus. When all hope is gone, where do you turn?
* Jesus can make all things new!
* Peace = Shalom = completeness & wholeness.
* Jesus makes all things complete when we trust Him with everything.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. When you think of Hope, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
2. Freddy mentioned only the humble understand grace and Americans struggles with grace because of our pride. What is your understanding of grace? Have you truly experienced the grace of God? Once you tasted grace how did it change your interaction to others.
3. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus invites us to come to Him for rest … Do you find yourself naturally going to Jesus for REST?
4. Freddy told the story of the Israelites in slavery found in Exodus. These people found their identity in what they did, making bricks, rather than in God. Where do you find your identity? What do you truly place your hope in?
5. Freddy mentioned we are either in a season of growth, boredom, or decline. As you evaluate this past year would you say you have grown in your relationship with Jesus. If so, how? Have you begun sinking into a spiritual decline. If so, why?
6. The woman was desperate to get to Jesus. She pressed through massive crowds to intentionally touch Jesus. What has been your closest experience to this scene. Tell of a time when your really “pressed into Jesus, and were desperate for him.
7. Have you been shaped more by the difficult times or by the good times in your life? Read James 1:2-4 Romans 5:3-5, How can these verses give us hope?
8. Freddy related this story of suffering and tragedy to one of Hope. It was a compelling story and he said Christmas was a compelling story. How would you share the Christmas story? Would others find it compelling? Why or why not?
9. What we put our hope in we learn to rust in and what we trust in we learn to depend on … What/Who do you find yourself putting HOPE – TRUST – DEPENDANCE in?
MUSICAL WORSHIP SET
O Come All Ye Faithful
Hark The Harald Angels Sing
What Child Is This
Awakening – Tomlin
Jesus Paid it All – Stanfill
We hope that you found Sundays Message and following Small Group Questions helpful. If you missed this weeks message, I encourage you to get it here. While you are there, browse around our website … we think you will like it and find it to be a great tool in inviting friends to FBC Harvester.
As always, I hope you make plans to join us at FBC Harvester next weekend! If distance is a problem, you are always welcome to listen to any of the teachings from our worship service on our website. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us here. We would love the privilege of helping where we can and seeing God do amazing things in our lives together.