This week continued the sermon series based on the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” as we looked at the question “Does Life Always Turn Out As Expected”. It is so funny how this happens. I could have just waited a few days on the post I did last week about “What Might Have Been” and used that for my personal application to this sermon notes. I sat listening to the sermon and thinking how just 24 hours earlier we were back in Charlotte, North Carolina where life very well may have “turned out as expected”. You all know the story by now so here are this weeks “Sermon Notes”.

Similarities between Joseph and George Bailey

-Both Married to a “Mary”

-Both from a small town (John 1:45-46) (Matt 1:23)

-Both had dreams (Matt 1:17) (Luke 1:30-33)

-Both visited by angels

-Both had a wonderful life

-Offered to Jesus the right ancestry (Isaiah 9:6-7)

-Provided protection for Jesus as an Infant

-Provided spiritual instruction (Luke 2:21-24) (Luke 2:49-50)

-Supported for Jesus Mother (Matt 1:25)

When Dreams Don’t Happen

1. Maintain a heart of mercy (Matt 1:19)

2. Be open to hear a word from God

3. Obey completely and unquestionably (Matt 1:34)

4. Remember that everything has a purpose (Matt 1:21)

Personal Application:

As I said, it seemed so odd to me that just 24 hours prior to hearing this sermon, Heather and I were back in Charlotte. It was just 15 months ago that we were “this close” to moving our family there. We were chasing what we believed was a God given dream. Yet visiting there this past weekend only confirmed to me that we made the right decision in not going through with that move. It was a time of disappointment and maybe even some frustration with not knowing what God was up to. Yet knowing what I know now, I am so thankful that we are where we are today. I’m so much more appreciative. God has been so good and patient with this servant. I am humbled by his grace and willingness to allow us to sort things out. I also wonder if the “sorting it out” is what refines our faith. It’s no secret I love Charlotte, North Carolina. However God had other plans and they were, remarkably, even better.

Same is true for the events in Bethlehem that night so long ago….