15 April

Watch Your Spiritual Growth Takeoff

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13 November

Hope in the Christmas Story of Jesus

I don’t know about you, but if you’re not careful, Thanksgiving comes, and the Christmas crush is on. And it does just that. It crushes us with the busyness and the stress and all that we’ve got to get done and check off our list. Then, all of a sudden, the whole thing is over, and we’ve missed the miracle that is Christmas.

And that’s why I want to help us rediscover the rhythm of Advent. Advent, at its core is about waiting. Specifically, it’s about waiting in expectation, and remembering that God comes through on his promises.

You might be in a part of the story right now where you can’t see how all the pieces are coming together, God’s working right now amid the waiting. While you’re waiting on God, God is working his plan in your life.

I love how in the Christmas story, Luke says that the shepherds were out in the field and suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest in on earth, peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

Isn’t that interesting? Here they are in the middle of a normal life, taking care of their flock. And suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appears.

But when you think about it, this suddenly wasn’t all that sudden. We see a promise of a savior for the entire story of Scripture. Starting in Genesis 3 we see God is making a way for our sins to be forgiven.

Moses talked about a prophet who was going to come later. David talked about a king who would come. Isaiah talked about a suffering servant who would come and bear the sins of mankind. But then the Old Testament story ends and there are 400 years where there’s no recorded message, no recorded word from heaven, no prophet, nothing but silence from heaven.

I don’t know what season of waiting that you’re in right now, but 400 years is a long time to wait. And generation after generation after generation, there’s a promise, but they can’t see any progress. There’s a promise, but they can’t see how God is working. And I have a feeling that a lot of us today are in that very same place.

And what I want you to know is there’s a suddenly coming in your story, just like there was in the story of the birth of Jesus.

I don’t know what you’re waiting on today, I would guess someone is waiting on a loved one to decide to come back home. Someone is waiting on a pregnancy that they prayed for so long. Someone’s waiting for a job to come through. Or maybe someone is waiting on clarity. “What am I supposed to be doing with my life?” You’re waiting on a doctor’s report or a test result or some other miracle that you’re hoping for and leaning towards in your life.

God comes through on His promises. And He’s going to come through on the promises that He’s made for you. These are not glib little slogans for the world, happy little slogans like, you know, God works while we wait.

God speaks into this moment in the in the backdrop in the framework of Christmas morning saying there’s going to be a suddenly in your story.

After centuries of nothing, Jesus Christ himself, the Son of God and human flesh cried in a manger to say that waiting is over and suddenly we can see what God has seen all along.

I believe that most of the time he’s looking at me and he’s like, “I already know how the story’s going to end. I already know how ultimately things are going to play out.”

The very end of our story is Revelation 21. When John sees a new heaven and a new earth coming down and sees that God is in the midst of it. John hears the voice of the One who sits on the throne, who says there can be no more tears and no more sorrow and no more pain and no more death. Because the old things have passed away and the new things have come.

This is the ultimate future we’re waiting for. But in your specific story today, God sees all of it and he knows in which frame the redemption is suddenly going to appear and He knows exactly how it’s all going to resolve for your good and for his glory. That doesn’t mean that everybody gets a bow at the end of their story. It just means that God’s working in every story for a purpose this greater than you and I can see and understand.

I would guess that you don’t like to wait. I know I don’t. We are raised waiting. Waiting for Christmas, for birthdays, for summer vacation. Waiting to go to high school, to leave high school, to grow up. And even as adults we still don’t want to wait 5 seconds for anything, but God puts us in situations often where his full plan is being unfolded in a way that we can’t totally see and comprehend.

So today, take hope in the Christmas story of Jesus. Be encouraged that God is working in your story, that God does have a bigger plan than you can see or understand today. Then even if you feel like you’re stuck in centuries of nothing, no word, no profit, no voice from God that you have enough to bank on today based on the very thing we’re celebrating in this season.

Know that God isn’t going to leave you hanging this time. Just like He didn’t leave humanity hanging on the day that Christ was born in the waiting. Today God is working.

So, what’s a good step that you and I can take this Advent season where we’re beginning this journey of waiting with expectation?

I think it’s just to pray that to God. “God, I can’t see it, but I still believe you’re working. I can’t understand how it’s all playing out right now, but I don’t have to see it all to believe that you still have a plan for me. And so today in the waiting, I choose to praise you. Today in the waiting, I choose to put my hope in you.

“And I know that if I trust and if I hope in you, I will not be disappointed. Because you always are working in the waiting.”


A season overflowing with anticipation, Christmas comes the same time each year with great hope and promise of a baby born long ago. But this season meant for joy is often consumed by busyness, pressure, mixed emotions, and is gone as quickly as it came.

What is it all for?

In this four session study, pastor Louie Giglio reminds us that it’s in the richness of Advent – a season of expectant waiting and preparation – that we find our answer. And it is throughout this waiting season that we prepare our hearts to greet December 25th with joy, peace, hope, and refreshed promise in our newborn King.

Learn more about Waiting Here for You by Louie Giglio and click here.

03 November

Top 4 Bible Studies for Christmas

If you’re not careful, Thanksgiving comes, and the Christmas crush is on. And it does just that. It crushes us with the busyness and the stress and all that we’ve got to get done and check off our list. Then, all of a sudden, the whole thing is over, and we’ve missed the miracle that is Christmas. 

And that’s why it’s important to slow down and consider the rhythm of the Advent and Christmas season. Advent, at its core is about waiting. Specifically, it’s about waiting in expectation, and remembering that God comes through on his promises.  

You might be in a part of the story right now where you can’t see how all the pieces are coming together, God’s working right now amid the waiting. While you’re waiting on God, God is working his plan in your life.

Here are the Top 4 studies from trusted teachers on the waiting season of Advent.

1. Waiting Here for You: An Advent Journey of Hope – Louie Giglio

Waiting Here for You Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: An Advent Journey of Hope

A season overflowing with anticipation, Christmas comes the same time each year with great hope and promise of a baby born long ago. But this season meant for joy is often consumed by busyness, pressure, mixed emotions, and is gone as quickly as it came.

What is it all for?

In this four session study, pastor Louie Giglio reminds us that it’s in the richness of Advent – a season of expectant waiting and preparation – that we find our answer. And it is throughout this waiting season that we prepare our hearts to greet December 25th with joy, peace, hope, and refreshed promise in our newborn King.

Here’s Louie talking about the series:

For more on Waiting Here for You and Louie Giglio, click here.

2. Because of Bethlehem: Love is Born, Hope is Here – Max Lucado

Because of Bethlehem Bible Study Guide: Love is Born, Hope is Here

No one expected the Messiah to come the way he did. Yet the way he came was every bit as important as the coming itself. The manger is the message.

Because of Bethlehem, God knows what it’s like to be human. Because of Bethlehem, when we talk to him about tough times, he understands. He’s been there. He’s been here. Because of Bethlehem, we no longer have marks on our record…just grace.

For some, Christmas is a time of excitement, celebration, and family, while for others it is a time of loneliness, grief, and loss. No matter what this season holds for you, the promise of Christmas will bring you a lifetime of hope.

Max Lucado guides you through the Advent season:

For more on Because of Bethlehem from Max Lucado, click here

3. The Case for Christmas: Evidence for the Identity of Jesus – Lee Strobel

The Case for Christmas Bible Study Guide: Evidence for the Identity of Jesus

During his faith journey, Lee Strobel investigated the real meaning behind all those nativity scenes he saw outside of churches. In this four-week study, Lee reveals what he discovered from consulting experts on the Bible, archaeology, and messianic prophecy as he sought to separate the truth from the tradition.

Regardless of whether the center of your Christmas decorations is the nativity set on your mantle or the presents under the tree, The Case for Christmas study invites you to look beyond the familiar traditions of the season, challenge you to examine the evidence for yourself, and consider why Christmas really matters and why it’s still so relevant today.

Watch a clip from the first session:

For more on The Case Christmas by Lee Strobel, click here

4. Who Needs Christmas – Andy Stanley

Who Needs Christmas Bible Study Guide

Rediscover the improbable story of Christmas.

Four thousand years ago, God promised he would do something through the bloodline of Abraham. Two thousand years later, Jesus was born. And two thousand years after that, we’re still talking about it.

Why?

The story of Jesus’ birth was not what anyone expected: a baby . . . born in the armpit of the Mediterranean . . . to save us from sins that no one thought we needed saving from.

This Christmas season, join Andy Stanley as he unpacks why the improbability of the Christmas story is what makes it so believable. No one could have or would have made it up.

Watch the trailer for Who Needs Christmas:

For more on Who Needs Christmas by Andy Stanley, click here

05 October

Top 5 Bible Studies on Soul Care

Your soul is the best connection to God there is and caring for your soul is necessary for your Christian life. When you nurture your soul your life in this world will come to make sense again; you can find your way back to God from hopelessness, depression, relationship struggles, and a lack of fulfillment. Explore what your soul is, why it is important, how to assess your soul’s health, and how to care for it so that you can have a meaningful and beautiful life with God and others.

Here are the Top 5 studies from trusted teachers on the caring for your soul.

1. Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in These Turbulent Times– John Eldredge

Our souls don’t need inspiration and cute stories. We need a survival guide—which is exactly what the Resilient study is designed to be. How are you going to adjust your life for recovery and resilience after the several years we’ve all lived through? You can’t just slog on, burning everything you have to sustain what you think you ought to be doing. A time like ours requires real cunning. So don’t let your weariness drag you off the mountain. Make the decision to change your daily routines to develop a resilient soul.

Resilient leads you to the peace only God can give in a world gone mad—and helps you receive from Jesus the strength that prevails.

Watch a clip from the first session:

For more on Resilient by John Eldredge, click here

2. Rhythms of Renewal: Trading Stress and Anxiety for a Life of Peace and Purpose – Rebekah Lyons

Daily struggles with anxiety and stress make it difficult to receive God’s peace. In Rhythms of Renewal, beloved author Rebekah Lyons draws from her own battle with depression and anxiety and shares a pathway to establish four life-giving rhythms modeled by Jesus that quiet inner chaos and make room for a flourishing life. With heartening stories, research and practical steps to take action, Rebekah charts a path through four profound rhythms to cultivate the vibrant life you were meant to live. By taking time to rest, restore, connect, and create, you will discover how to take charge of your emotional health and inspire your loved ones to do the same, and overcome anxiety by establishing daily habits that keep you mentally and physically strong.

Watch a clip from the first session:

For more on Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons, click here

3. Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table: It’s Time to Win the Battle of Your Mind – Louie Giglio

Don't Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: It's Time to Win the Battle of Your Mind

We’ve all been in circumstances that cause our minds to spin with thoughts that are unproductive, destructive, and harmful. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and wonder why we keep falling into the same thought patterns. but these thoughts are not from God, rather, they’re from an enemy lurking who wants to seize every opportunity to lie his way into our minds and claim control over our lives.

Rooted in the timeless truth of Psalm 23, the Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table Bible study will help you discover God’s plans for you to experience rest from your striving, joy beyond your circumstances, and intimacy with him.

Watch a clip from the first session:

For more on Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table by Louie Giglio, click here

4. Sacred Pathways: Nine Ways to Connect with God – Gary Thomas

Sacred Pathways Bible Study Guide: Nine Ways to Connect with God

As believers in Christ, many of us today fall into the trap of thinking we have to approach God in a certain way. This one-size-fits-all mentality typically leaves them feeling frustrated and distant from God. But the truth is that not every person will engage with God in the same way.

In Sacred Pathways, Gary Thomas describes nine spiritual temperaments and provides tools to assess your key pathway and encourages you to investigate the ways you most naturally express yourself in your relationship with God.

If your spiritual walk is not what you’d like it to be, you can change that, starting here.

Watch a clip from the first session:

For more on Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas, click here

5. The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life – Ann Voskamp

We are fragile and we know it. Sometimes, living with Christ in a messed-up world feels less like victory and more like walking uphill. Ann Voskamp, the author of One Thousand Gifts, sits at the edge of her life and her own unspoken brokenness and asks: What if you really want to live abundantly before it’s too late? What do you do if you really want to know abundant wholeness?

This study is for the lovers and the sufferers. For the busted ones who are ready to bust free, the ones ready to break molds, break chains, break measuring sticks, and break all this bad brokenness with an unlikely good brokenness. You could be one of the Beloved who is broken—and still lets yourself be loved.

Watch a clip from here first session here:

For more on The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, click here

Spiritual Growth Bible Studies