The Point: Embrace God’s call on your life.
Get Into the Study
Famous Christian singer Lauren Daigle recently shared with Billboard Magazine how much she didn’t want to become a Christian singer. “’I remember I would bargain with God: ‘Don’t ever make me sing Christian music…Like, ‘I am not about it. I’m not going to sing Christian music. It’s lame, it’s cheesy.’”
After spending a few years trying to make it in the secular music world, including making it onto American Idol three years in a row but never getting very far, she explains, “’My mom said, ‘Are you going to listen to the no of man or the yes of God?… And there’s something about that statement that shook me.’ Soon after, she met a representative from Christian label Centricity Music, got signed and dropped everything at LSU to go to Nashville.”
Her most recent album, Look Up Child, topped five different Billboard charts: Top Christian Albums, Hot Christian Songs, Christian Airplay, Christian Streaming Songs, and Christian Digital Song Sales. Her music is being played on secular radio, as well as Christian radio, she’s performing on secular television talk shows, and people of all walks are being drawn to the hope of Christ she shares in her music. God is using her unique voice and desire for authentic musicality to reach people who would never step foot in a church.
So often, we have an idea of exactly what we don’t want to do. But God calls each of us to serve Him. While we won’t all experience the dramatic success of a top album, when we listen to God’s call on our lives, He uses us to draw people to Him in a way that’s unique to how each of us is created.
Ashley Emmert is a freelance writer and full-time mama from Chicago, where she lives with her husband and her new baby boy. You can find her on Twitter at @ashgemmert, or failing to update her blog at ashleygraceemmert.blogspot.com.
Study the Bible (Additional Option)
Use the following optional activity as you teach from the Study the Bible section.
In advance, prepare to play a Christmas song like “Mary Did You Know?” or another that considers the incredible news from Mary’s perspective. Invite group members to relate how they might have felt when entrusted with such an important part of God’s plan.
Live It Out
Complete the following In Class Activity in small groups of 2-3 as you conclude the session.
Invite a group member to read aloud Luke 1:26-38.
Make a list of words that describe Mary’s attitude in this situation (e.g. humble, obedient). (This list can be recorded in the margin of your Personal Study Guide or simply discussed aloud.)
Ask: What do you find most astounding in Mary’s response? Allow time for responses. Then, ask: Which of these traits stands out as an area where you need to grow?
Pray with each other asking God to encourage and strengthen you in these specific areas.
Nikki Wilbanks is a graduate of Pepperdine University, where she studied literature. She lives with her husband and two children in Murfreesboro, TN.
- How has God surprised you on your journey?
- Who is the most courageous person you know?
- When have you overcome your fears to accomplish something you would have considered impossible beforehand?
- What are some reasons Mary may have been deeply troubled?
- How can embracing the Lord’s favor affect the way we do things in life?
- What do you think your reaction would be if you had been Mary?
- What does it take to really listen to God and discern His plan for us?
- What attitude was Mary revealing with her question to the angel?
- How would you summarize Mary’s response to Gabriel?
- What did Mary have to surrender to God in order to join Him in His plan?
- How do you approach prayer when you are confused about God’s plan?
- Who is someone you admire for their submission to God?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: The Full Picture of Christmas, Session 3.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- HomeLife – The Case for Christmas