Preparing for the New Year

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S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Guest Speaker – David Upchurch

What is one thing you were initially scared of that you are thankful you chose to do despite your fear?

Scripture:

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:1-14 NLT

Sermon Insights:

The Word refers to Jesus. He has been there from the beginning. He was involved in creation. But Jesus didn’t just stay in heaven. Jesus left heaven and came to earth.

He went through a lot of the same things that we go through, good times and hard times. He was being prepared for his ministry. Some of you are being prepared right now—you may not be aware of it—hurts, struggles, difficult times. They shape us and prepare us.

How does the suffering Jesus endured uniquely equip him to be compassionate to you in your struggles?

How has God shown his faithfulness to you?

How could you imagine God using the growth you’ve experienced to equip you to serve others?

Is there a way you feel called to serve that scares you? Why not tell someone else about it as a first step?

Lord, thank you for being compassionate, faithful, present and encouraging. Fill me with hope as I endure difficulty with your patience and embrace change with your power.