At the Movies: Day 5

Read: “Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready.” Romans 5:6

What kind of Christmas shopper are you? Do you fight the crowds on Black Friday for the best deals? Become friends with your mail person as they show up at your door daily with your online purchases? Do you like to wait to the last minute and scoop up those overlooked Christmas Eve finds? So much of Christmastime is spent worrying about gifts. Making your list and checking it twice to make sure you didn’t forget anyone. But the most important gift, the one you definitely don’t want to leave off your list, is one that doesn’t cost you anything at all.

Why do we love striving to find the “perfect” gift for those we love at Christmas? Possibly because, over 2000 years ago, God demonstrated His deepest love for us through a truly PERFECT gift. We were trapped in our own shortcomings with no way of living up to God’s standards or setting ourselves free from sin, but God gave us a way. Through Jesus, He made it possible for us to be reconciled (made right) with Him forever. When He sent us Jesus, He showed us the depth and magnitude of His unconditional love. So much more than diamonds, the newest Iphone or the end-all-be-all pair of fuzzy Christmas socks, God’s gift to us was perfect and one that gives us an eternal reason to celebrate!

Ask: Have you accepted the gift that God gave you? If you haven’t, but you feel like it’s time, it’s not a hard gift to receive. Please reach out to a KXP leader or Growth Group leader, or email the church at hello@venturechurch.org to talk.

At the Movies: Day 4

Read: “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” John 3:16

As magical as the Christmas season can be, sometimes it can be tough. You’re under a deadline with a ton of pressure at work. Final exams and school papers feel like they’ll never end. This will be your first Christmas without a loved one. So what do you do when it doesn’t feel like the most wonderful time of the year?

When we feel hopeless, when we feel overwhelmed and defeated, Christ is not only there for us - He knows how we feel, and He offers us victory. God loves us so immeasurably, so unconditionally, so recklessly, that, even when He saw how unworthy our lives would become, how deeply we would let ourselves down, how deeply we would let HIM down, He sent us the gift of all gifts - His son, Jesus. Jesus, God Himself in the form of a baby, would be born to peasants in a barn and walk this earth without sin, shunned by the religious, made to carry the cross we couldn’t, endure the whipping we wouldn’t, and bear the sin of the world, forsaken by His Father, in the place that we rightfully deserved. No matter how overwhelming it may be, you can have peace knowing that through Jesus, you have the same power that raised Him from the grave to overcome the struggle you’re facing this Christmas season. So, even if you aren’t feeling the magic of the season, you have something monumental worth celebrating.

Ask: Have you thanked God for how he sent his son for us? Say a prayer for a friend who is having a tough time this Christmas season.

At the Movies: Day 3

Read: “We laughed, we sang,

   we couldn’t believe our good fortune.

We were the talk of the nations—

   ‘God was wonderful to them!’

God was wonderful to us;

   we are one happy people.” Psalm 126:2-3

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

If you are a Christian, can people see something in your life that is different? Can people see that there is a light in you? A joy? Just like Buddy the elf loves to sing loud for all to hear to spread Christmas cheer, the message we’ve been given to spread should evoke in us a joyful “song” that we want to share with the world. We can be confident because, like the Bible says in Philippians 1:6, “there has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”

Now, being joyful doesn’t mean we’ll never experience difficult times. There will be days that are hard, days that make us sad, and days that make us angry. But, we can confidently know that Christ has overcome our worst days, and that no matter what we’re facing, He is with us. Not only is He wish us but He is in us, working all the details in our lives into something good for His purposes (Romans 8:28). Now, that is something worthy of our loudest praises!


Ask: What kind of season of life are you experiencing right now - a time of joy, anger, sadness? How can you talk to God and ask him to give you joy during this time?

At the Movies: Day 2

Read: “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:4

Is it a particular group of kids at school, a certain social club or a group of coworkers at the office? No matter our age, we all feel a strong desire to belong. And that feeling isn’t a bad thing - God designed us to be a part of a community. But, that need to belong becomes a bad thing when we chase after it more than we chase after God and His purpose for our lives. Are you ignoring people God has placed in your life because they aren’t a part of the inner circle you’ve elevated in your mind? Are you doing things you never thought you’d do because you are trying to fit in?

If we follow Jesus, we don’t have to worry about whether we belong to the “right” crowd or not, because God has freely bestowed to us a birthright into the lineage of Jesus. Whether you currently find yourself a part of a great community, or if you’re struggling with a sense of loneliness, God has a message for you. Before the world was created, He chose you. He loves us so much that, though we are sinful, He provided us a way to be reconciled forever with Him. God sent us Jesus, so many Christmases ago, so that we could forever inherit a rightful place in His community - the family of God.


Ask: What community do you find yourself trying to be a part of? Are you honoring God in your pursuit? Who in your community can you show the love of God to?

At the Movies: Day 1

Read: “For a child has been born—for us! the gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.” Isaiah 9:6-7

There seems to be a certain kind of magic in the air at Christmastime. From curling up by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate to hiding that perfect present underneath the tree, there’s a enchanting feeling of wonder that is uniquely Christmas. And, whether you’re a Hallmark fanatic, into action flicks like “Die Hard” (yes, it’s a Christmas movie), love classics like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or even new classics like “Elf,” we all have a go-to favorite Christmas movie that captures the magic of the Christmas season. (Yes, even “Die Hard.” Just try to argue that there isn’t something magical about Hans Gruber falling off of Nakatomi Plaza.)

The world can’t help but long to capture the wonder of Christmas because something miraculous DID happen at Christmas, over 2000 years ago. Jesus Christ was born, and that gift from heaven is something worthy of our deepest longings and desires! The Bible tells us in Luke 19 that if we remain silent, even the rocks would cry out and praise Jesus. So it’s no wonder that the behavior of our culture and even the storyline of our movies is completely transformed. Don’t miss this week as we take a look at all that God wants to teach us through our “At the Movies: Christmas Edition” film.

Ask: What’s your favorite Christmas movie? How does it capture the magical feeling of Christmas?