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Unexpected Invitations

Luke 2:8-16 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

1. God is always inviting you into his plan

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

a. Invited to the party

Luke 2:10
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

b. Invited to the family

Luke 2:14
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

c. Invited to eternity

Luke 2:11 “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

2. The enemy will give you every excuse to miss out on God’s plan

Luke 14:18-20 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

3. Those who opt out always miss out

Luke 2:15-16 “
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

Unexpected Interruptions

Unexpected
Week 2
Unexpected Interruptions

Luke 2:4-7 NCV “So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. 5 Joseph registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged[b] and who was now pregnant. 6 While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, 7 and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn.”

Three things about Unexpected Interruptions:

1. God’s interruptions are often INCONVENIENT

2. God’s interruptions are often INVITATIONS

3. God’s interruptions are always INTENDED for our good

Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Two choices of response:

1. Shut the door

Revelation 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

2. Make room

Unexpected Expectations

Luke 1:26-35 “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.”

Key thought…even though things didn't wind up the way Mary expected them, they were exactly the way that God had planned them.

Three things:

  1. Your unexpected might be God's plan of PROTECTION.

Genesis 7:13-16  “That very day Noah had gone into the boat with his wife and his sons...and their wives. 14 With them in the boat were pairs of every kind of animal...15 Two by two they came into the boat, representing every living thing that breathes…16 just as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord closed the door behind them...”

  1. Your unexpected might be God's plan to POSITION.

3. Your Unexpected might be God's plan for PROVISION.

Welcome ONE ANOTHER

ONE ANOTHER
Part 2
Welcome ONE ANOTHER

Romans 15:7 TLB “So warmly welcome each other into the church, just as Christ has warmly welcomed you; then God will be glorified.”

Romans 12:13 “
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Hebrews 13:2
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

I Peter 4:9
“ Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

1 Timothy 3:1 “Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.”

2 reasons to welcome one another…

1. People feel like outsiders

James 2:2-4 “Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Verse 8-9 “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin”

2. We were once outsiders

Romans 15:7-9 TLB
“7 So warmly welcome each other into the church, just as Christ has warmly welcomed you; then God will be glorified. 8 Remember that Jesus Christ came to show that God is true to his promises and to help the Jews. 9 And remember that he came also that the Gentiles might be saved and give glory to God for his mercies to them.”

How do we WELCOME ONE ANOTHER?

Luke 19:1-10 NLT “
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. 5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” 6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. 8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” 9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

1. Pay attention

Verse 5
“When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up..”


2. Show affection

Verse 5b
“When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately”

3 John 15 “Peace to you. The friends here greet you. Please greet each friend there by name.”

a. Smile

b. Take Interest

Verse 5 “When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home to”

3. Practice Inclusion

Verse 6-9
“Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. 8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” 9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Verse 10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”