These, below the message outline, are suggested answers and designed to stimulate thinking, not to replace it. There are many more answers that could be provided. They follow the message given on Dec. 22, 2013.
1) The deprived have rejection and helpless sheep Luke 2:8-12
- Luke 1:53
2) The deprived have pursued His presence Luke 2:13-16
3) The deprived have the joy of His presence Luke 2:17-20
His presence, not my presents, brings the greatest joy
- Rejoice in being deprived from the world. Ps. 107:9; Luke 1:53; Luke 6:21
- Know His presence to reap His joy and blessing. Ps. 16:11
- The deprived, who are in Jesus, will never lack joy! Luke 18:17
Message Based Discussion Questions
1) Who are some of the more important people you have met?
- I met my dad and mom, they were used by God to bring me into the world!
- I met several governors of Indiana while serving in the National Guard.
- I met many four star generals while serving in DC in the National Guard.
- I met and ate with many pastors like Rick Warren and Charles Stanley while serving in the National Guard.
- I met Bill Hamel, Leith Anderson and other presidents of religious organizations.
2) What kind of animal does a shepherd watch over? _sheep__ Read Psalm 23 and describe the purpose of the shepherd. Why are those characteristics important to the believer in Jesus?
- The purpose of the shepherd
- Provide for the sheep
- Make sure the sheep have green grass and clear water
- Lead sheep into straight paths with the flock and not let them stray
- Guide them through dark valleys and use the rod and staff to bring them back into the fold
- Create a great environment (banquet) where the sheep will flourish
- Why are these important?
- These are the things that every disciple-maker should do for those he is discipling
- These are the requirements for elders and leaders in the church
3) Did God take the message of Jesus’ birth to the elites or the deprived? _deprived_ Look at 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 and describe what category God puts His people in. Is that a put down or a reality statement? How so?
- God puts His people in the “not mighty, not noble, but the foolish, weak and the based.”
- That is not a “put-down” statement. It is reality. We are nothing apart from His grace. The human race may be at the top of the food chain, but it is nothing when compared to the glory of God. God deserves all glory and honor and the humble soul will learn it in time and all will acknowledge it in eternity.
4) What did the shepherds of Luke 2:8-20 do after they saw Jesus? _They told everyone they met_ Consider yourself one of the shepherds. How would that experience have changed your life? What kinds of things do you suppose changed in their lives mentally, socially and spiritually?
- They started looking up more often with hope.
- They had an experience to tell others that no one could deny.
- They were drawn into the presence of God with a joy that was unquenchable.
- They were like the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.
Making Application from the Message:
5) How do you know when you have experienced the presence of the Lord? What does that look like? Can you be financially poor and not be hungry?
- You have experienced the Lord’s presence:
- You will have far more hope than discouragement.
- When you are more affirming than negative to people around you.
- When you bring up positive things more often than negative and talk about negative things in a godly, hopeful way.
- When Jesus is on your tongue for what He is and can do in your life and situation.
- It looks like a person who is outgoing and godly about life.
- It doesn’t look like Eeyore.
- It doesn’t look like one who complains and blames.
- It looks like Melanie on Gone with the Wind in contrast to Scarlet. Melanie was normally believing the best about people, while Scarlet believed everyone had a bad motive, except for herself.
- Yes, a person can be financially poor and yet trusting in the government handouts rather than trying to work and waiting on God’s blessings. A poor person can look for satisfaction in the world in many ways, rather than wait in silence on the Lord.
6) What kinds of things can you do in order to help another person experience the presence of the Lord?
- Live the Lord to that person Gal. 2:20
- Set the example of hope in the Lord Rom. 15:13; Phil. 4:6-7
- Be available when the person is struggling 1 Thes. 5:14
- Come alongside with the truth 2 Tim. 2:2
- Be ready to stand for truth 2 Tim. 2:24-26
- Be patient in all things 1 Cor. 13:4
- Share the application from the manuscript, posted 12’23’13,from this message previously Luke 18:17
7) How does your life relate to the shepherds after they saw Jesus? How is it similar or how is it different?
- Yes, I am a deprived person, because what I have is nothing, and what matters is telling others about Jesus. Nothing matters in life, but discipling others to Jesus. Jesus gives a purpose and focus to life that is different than anything else of life.
- It’s different in that I don’t always have the enthusiasm that the shepherds had. I need to let the Lord have more of me.