“Christmas at the Movies: A Christmas Carol”

Christmas at the Movies
Message 4: Scrooge (1970)
It’s tradition. The Christmas movies we watch every year bring us back to the joy and hope and laughter we long for. This sermon series is about remembering the greatest story ever told through some great Christmas movie classics…
Key Points:
-What will it take to change my life?
-We have what we need, but we often ignore what we have.
-Nothing can change the human heart except surrender.
-I can not change anyone except myself
-I can surrender myself and influence others
Further Conversation
1. With all of the different versions and retellings of “A Christmas Carol,” which is your favorite? Why?
2. Why do you think Ebenezer Scrooge chose to live life differently at the end of the story? What changed his heart?
3. Why do you think it is so hard for people to change?
4. Read Luke 16:19-31 Why is the rich man suffering? How has suffering changed or not changed his heart?
5. Nothing can change the human heart except surrender. Do you agree with this statement? Why is surrender so difficult?
6. How does “humble surrender” change someone?
7. How can or does humility influence others? What kind of influence are you having on others?
8. What will change about you this coming year? How?

Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
Monday – Genesis 1:26-31
My wife loves to watch HGTV, especially the show “Fixer Upper.” Chip and Joanna Gaines take run-down homes and make them beautiful. This couple has a unique ability to see what could be. Many of us struggle to see the beauty in people, especially ourselves. We know where we fall short. Yet, this was never our design. God made each and every one of us as an image-bearer of God. Sin has caused brokenness and damage. But Jesus makes broken people beautiful. Reread this passage. Allow God to remind you of your intended design and your original beauty. Will you let Jesus take your brokenness and make it beautiful again?
Pray: Creator God, I wish I saw myself and others as you do. Please help me see what could be and let Jesus make heal my brokenness.
Tuesday – Revelation 21:1-7
Happy New Year! People make all kinds of resolutions for a new year. Gym memberships increase. People start dieting. They begin new reading routines. People make all sorts of promises of living a better life at the beginning of every new year. What are some of your resolutions for the new year? How long do you think you’ll keep them? This passage prophesies of the moment God’s promise is fulfilled. Can you imagine that moment? God with us! From beginning to end, the Bible is an unfolding revelation of God’s desire and promise to be with us! And it is a promise God will keep. How can God’s promise shape your resolutions this new year?
Pray: Almighty God, you will keep your promises and one day this passage will come true. Help me live into your faithfulness in 2019.
Wednesday – Matthew 8:1-4
I’m not a fan of changing diapers. Is anyone? One diaper haunts my memory. The mess exploded out the diaper, up the back, and all over the place. I didn’t know if I could physically clean up my 3 month old son. I was so grossed out. Leprosy had that effect on people in Jesus’ day. People ran in horror from Lepers. They were ostracized and alone as the disease ran its course. Yet here, Jesus does something breathtakingly compassionate. He reaches out his hand to touch the man. My life can feel like a mess. This passage reminds me that I am never too far gone, never so broken, that Jesus would be unwilling to reach out to me. Will you let Jesus?
Pray: Jesus, help me experience your compassion and care. Let me feel your love, and know your healing. I need you today.
Thursday – Genesis 4:6-7
I watched the strangest show the other day. It was a documentary about people with crazy (and unhealthy) obsessions and addictions. One person obsessively ate mattresses (yes mattresses) for 20 years. Another slept with a running hair dryer. Another snorted baby powder. Each of these persons was doing immeasurable harm to their bodies. Why would they do these things? Even they didn’t have a good answer. All they knew is that they felt compelled to continue. Sin is much like this for us. We don’t know why, but we continually rebel against God. We want our way, even when it causes ourselves, others, or our soul great harm. Sin wants to devour us. We must be aware. How can you stay aware today?
Pray: Heavenly Father, you want the best for me. Yet I know sin is lurching, eager to grab me. Help me stay close to you and aware.
Friday – Psalm 139
God knows us. God knows us better than we know ourselves. God knows our thoughts and our desires. God knows our potential for good and our potential for evil. And God knows because God made us with and for all of this. How does it make you feel that God knows you that well? But here is a good question… if God knows we can and will choose evil, will voluntarily SIN, will make decisions based on our addiction to ourselves…why doesn’t he stop us? I believe it’s because in God’s love for us God hopes for our best. God loves us too much to control us. Instead God reaches out to us. Through Jesus God provided the way for our best. God knows, and lets us choose. What are you choosing and chasing this week?
Pray: Loving Father, you know all my sickness and sin. Yet in Jesus, you gave me hope and opportunity. Help me trust you today..
Saturday – Matthew 25:1-13
How long was your marriage engagement period? Some are short, some last years. For those who follow Jesus, we continue to wait. Jesus pledged to return for us. We are betrothed, promised in marriage to Jesus. Will we be ready, prepared, eager when he returns? Waiting can bred frustration, laziness, or even distain. How are you using this time of waiting for Jesus? What can we as a church do to make the most of this time? As we start this knew year right, preparing ourselves and sharing with our community that promised return of Jesus Christ?
Pray: LORD of Heaven and Earth, thank you for your love and work in my life this week. Please help me trust and obey you, living for you, knowing that Jesus will return for His bride, The Church!