Small Group Questions

Will I accept God’s destiny for me? 

Introduction:

God created everyone and made each person for a unique purpose. He has a specific destiny for everyone. God had a plan for Mary. He chose her, and He created her to become the mother of the Son of God. And what was Mary’s response? She didn’t say, “I’ve got my own plans for my life. I’m too busy. I have to do what’s best for me.” No, she realized God had a purpose for her life, and she was willing to do whatever He wanted.

Something To Talk About:

Asking the right questions will determine the quality of your life. This week we look at the question Mary had to ask herself just before the first Christmas: Will I accept God’s destiny for me?

  1. Because God made me for His purpose: Because God made you for a reason, He also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, “You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book!” (Psalm 139:16 LB). God also planned where you’d be born and where you’d live for His purpose. God left no detail to chance. He planned it all for His purpose. The Bible says, “From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.” (Acts 17:26) Nothing in your life is arbitrary. It’s all for a purpose. Mary embraced her destiny and like her, we will discover our meaning and purpose only when we make God the reference point of our lives.  
  2. Because no one cares more about my life: God is a caring, loving, compassionate father. The Bible says in Psalm 103:13, “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” He loves you more than you will ever understand. He loves you more than you can ever comprehend. He is loving toward you in everything that He does, and His compassion is His most outstanding quality. God cares. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7). If you knew and felt how much your heavenly Father cares compassionately and constantly about you, you’d have to love Him back.  
  3. Because it is the key to blessing:  We all want God’s blessing in our lives. The key to God’s blessing is to go with His destiny for your life. God isn’t going to bless your plan. Mary knew that faith and obedience are the keys to God’s blessing. “For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him” (Luke 1:48-50) Mary is saying that if she accepts God’s plan, God is going to do great things through her. That’s because obedience always leads to blessing. He will reward us with a sense of peace and joy that compares to nothing this world has to offer. Therefore, set a goal to obey the Lord and watch Him work in your life.”Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8 ESV) 
  4. Because God honors humility: Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.” (Luke 1:46-48).  Mary models for us in her song a heart of humility. For hundreds of years, Israel had been waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Since the days of Abraham and before stretching back all the way to the days of Adam, Israel has been waiting for the promised Messiah. And now the angel has told Mary that she will be the instrument to bring into the world the Savior of the world. Her greatest moment of calling has now been revealed to her. The central purpose of her life and existence has now been revealed to her, and her response is humility. First of all, she acknowledges herself as a sinner. “How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!“(Luke 1:47) Mary was a sinner, too. Mary needed a Savior. Then in verse 48, she says, “For he took notice of his lowly servant girl.” She had every right to feel pretty good about herself and yet her humility shows through.  
  5. Because God keeps His promises: What are God’s promises? There are too many to list here, but when you hold your Bible you are holding God’s promises to you. Often, we want to get to the destiny God has for our lives, but we don’t like God’s way of taking us there. Because God has a greater purpose than just making us happy, it’s not always easy as He trains and prepares us for our purpose, our destiny.  In those times God’s promises and faithfulness are an inexhaustible source of encouragement. “I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.” (Psalm 57:2) There is nothing more inspiring than when we see God finishing things we never believed could happen. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6) Listen to what Charles Spurgeon has to say on the subject: “The promises of God are to the believer an ‘inexhaustible mine of wealth’. Happy is it for him if he knows how to search out their secret veins and enrich himself with their hidden treasures. They are an ‘armory’, containing all manner of offensive and defensive weapons. Blessed is he who has learned to enter into the sacred arsenal, to put on the breastplate and the helmet, and to lay his hand to the spear and to the sword. They are a ‘pharmacy’, in which the believer will find all manner of restoratives and blessed elixirs …Blessed is he who is well skilled in heavenly pharmacy and knows how to lay hold on the healing virtues of the promises of God.” 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is your takeaway from Mary’s song? 
  2. Why did God choose to bless Mary? Why would God choose to bless you and me? 
  3. Mary glorified God for three specific attributes—His power, holiness, and mercy. How do we glorify God for His power, holiness, and mercy?   
  4. What plans have you been making for yourself? How well do they reflect your trust in God and His destiny and purpose for your life? Why do you think God lets us make decisions about our destiny?
  5. How does truly trusting God for your destiny affect your prayer life, your relationships with other people, and your perspective on world events?
  6. What decision is God asking you to make today? How will you respond?
  7. When have you seen God keep His promises?
  8. Are you still waiting to hear an answer from God in a particular circumstance?
  9. Take a few moments, and write some words of praise to God that reflect your desire to do His will and fulfill His purpose for your life.
  10. How can you find joy in the reliability of God—despite your circumstances? How can you rely upon Him in the face of delay, defeat, or even death?
  11. What are specific reasons God is a source of joy for you? How do you express this joy to God and to others during the Christmas season?

Take one thing home with you:

Take a moment and reflect on the glory that is Christmas. Far more than just the birth of a baby – it is the truth that God became a man. Hebrews 2:17 says: “Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.” That was part of God’s plan—to give us a Savior who understands everything because He has experienced everything, yet without sinning. In order for Jesus to be fully man, He had to be born in the same way as every other man. What Christmas reminds us is that our God is not a God who is distant from us, who is out there somewhere. This is a God who knows our name, who cares what we are doing, who wants to be in relation with us, and who loves us so much that He gave us Jesus, who was born like us, who lived like us, who died like us and who was raised from the dead so that we too might have eternal life.