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What expectations did you have going into 2020? Were they met?

Our expectations don't always line up with God's plan, just like the Jews' expectations of the Messiah did not line up with Jesus. But we see in the Christmas story that God's plan is BETTER and FINAL - including in our lives today.

Watch, listen, and find sermon notes for EXPECTATIONS here!

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"God is in the Details"

God is in the Details!

Christmas Series: “Expectations … Exceeding Your Reality”
Luke 1-2 - December 20, 2020 – East Bay Calvary Church

Main Idea: God planned, initiated, directed and completed the plan of Christmas. Luke 1-2

1. Luke 1:11-13 … God led the angel of the Lord to appear to Zechariah while serving as priest in the temple.
2. Luke 1:14-17 …God led Zechariah (father of John the Baptist) to understand the special nature of his future son.
3. Luke 1:18-20 … God made him unable to speak all through his wife, Elizabeth's, pregnancy.
4. Luke 1:26 … God led the Angel to Nazareth, to Mary, to share with her about the conception of the Messiah.
5. Luke 1:39-41 … God led the baby in Elizabeth's womb to leap for joy when Mary came into the room expecting the Christ child.
6. Luke 1:41-45 … God led Elizabeth to prophesy about the Child in Mary.
7. Luke 2:1-4 (Micah 5:2) … God led the Roman government to have a census that required Joseph and Mary to come to Bethlehem – the prophesied place of the birth of Christ.
8. Luke 2:8-14 … God led Shepherds to come and worship the baby.
9. Luke 2:25-38 … God led Simeon and Anna to recognize, worship and prophesy over the baby Jesus.
10. Matthew 1:18-25 … God directed Joseph to accept Mary in this pregnancy that wasn't his.
11. Matthew 2:1-12 … God led the Magi by a star to find the Child. The Magi were believed to have been from Babylon or Persia and from a group originally taught by Daniel 600 years before to look for the Messiah.
12. Matthew 2:13-18 … God directed Joseph and Mary to go to Egypt during the time of Herod's fury to save the life of the baby – which also fulfilled prophecy.

This is what we call God’s Sovereignty … God’s absolute rule or control over all the details of the world for His plan and glory.


A. God is in the details of Your life.

B. God uses regular folks to work out His plan.


Question #1 – Which God-directed detail of the Christmas account sticks out to you the most and why? Can you think of some other biblical God directed events that stick out to you?
Question #2 – Like with Zechariah, Joseph and Mary, we initially question our circumstances. Why is it hard to see God’s hand in our circumstances? Why is it hard to accept His working in difficult ways in our lives?
Question #3 – Seeing the responses of the biblical characters, how would God want us to respond through the God-directed details of our lives? How will we know if we are responding right?

Question #4 – Are you going through something now that your group can support you in? Take the time to pray for and encourage each other.

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"Instead of a King - a Servant"

Instead of a King – a Servant!

Christmas Series: “Expectations … Exceeding Your Reality”

John 13:1-17 - December 13, 2020 – East Bay Calvary Church


Matthew 20:20-28


Mark 9:33-37


Philippians 2:5-7


Main Idea: We look like Jesus when we serve others.  V. 14-17


John 13:1-17

Lessons Jesus taught from John 13:1-17:

  • If Jesus wasn’t too high to serve others, neither are we. (v. 13-14)

  • Serving isn’t just courteous, it’s commanded. (v. 15-16)

  • Service isn’t a burden, it’s a blessing!  (v. 17)

Characteristics of Christ-like service:


1. Is in spite of our circumstances.  V. 1


2. Is evidence of genuine love.  V. 1

3. Is indiscriminate.  V. 2, 6


4. Is willing to do anything.  V.  4-5



S M A L L   G R O U P   D I S C U S S I O N


Question #1 – Read the 4 main passages above.  Why do culture, our world and even believers struggle with being a servant?  What makes it hard?  Undesirable?


Question #2 – Between the lessons of Jesus and the characteristics of Christ-like service noted above, there are 7 big truths.  Which ones stick out to you?  What is God telling you about yourself?  Which one touches on your next steps in your life with Jesus?


Question #3 – What action items can you take to better model the service of Jesus in your home, work, neighborhood and church?


Action:  Pray for each other to be better servants and commit to share your service experiences when you get back together.

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"He Chose Poverty to Give Us Riches"

He Chose Poverty to Give us Riches!

Christmas Series: “Expectations … Exceeding Your Reality”

December 6, 2020 – East Bay Calvary Church


2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our LORD Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.


Question #1 - How Rich was Jesus?


  • Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”

  • Col. 1:17 “For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created by Him and for Him.”


Question # 2 - How Poor was Jesus?


  • Mark 6:2-3  “When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? … And they took offense at him.”


Carpenter = “tekton” in the Greek.  It means “manual laborer”.  Typically these were people who had no land, animals or other ability to sustain themselves apart from doing odd manual jobs.  They were of the lowest economic class in that day.  They lived hand to mouth (“Give us this day our daily bread”), had little provisions (“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest his head”) and were in a humbling position (“blessed are the poor in spirit” … “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst but after righteousness”). 



What Should I take to Heart Today?


1. It’s Not about Money … It’s about Mission!

Matthew 20:28 “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."



2. Remember “The Least of These”.

Matthew 25:35-40 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’



3. Are you Rich?   (In Jesus’ riches?)

Mark 8:36 “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”



S M A L L   G R O U P   D I S C U S S I O N

Question #1 – What is God telling you about Himself, Jesus, or the salvation He offers?


Question #2 – What is God telling you about yourself, your next steps in your life with Jesus or your next action items in your family or personal community?

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"Not As You Planned"

“Not As You Planned”

Expectations … Exceeding Your Reality

Luke 2:1-11 – 11.29.2020

It’s His mission, not other’s motives or my comfort, that matters.


What was not going according to their plan …


    1. The “Go Back Home” Order.  V. 1-3

What was not going according to their plan …


    2. The Personal Hardships.  V. 4-7


Three things to consider as we come to our main theme …


  • Our plan may not happen – His Plan Always will.


Micah 5:2; Daniel 4:34-35 ; Proverbs 21:1

  • It’s His Mission that matters most.

  • It’s all about Him, not me.

It’s His mission, not other’s motives or my comfort, that matters.


S M A L L   G R O U P   D I S C U S S I O N

Question #1 – How has life, ministry, family, job changed for you these past 8 months?  What plans of yours have changed?  How has that made you feel or react?


Question #2 – In what ways has God’s mission been impacted through Covid?  Has it advanced or has it taken a set back?  In the church?  In your personal life?


Question #3 – Reading this passage and Daniel 4:34-35/Prov. 21:1, discuss the rule of God and existence of bad kings.  Can the two coexist?  What should be the believer’s response to difficult rulers?


Question #4 – Change is hard for many.  What ways can you change your life or ministry practices to keep God’s  mission advancing forward?

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