Most of us have seen the dearly beloved Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart. If not, SPOILER ALERT: It takes place at Christmas time and Jimmy plays a character named George Bailey. Everything goes terribly wrong in George’s life and he feels that he is a complete failure. He is about to commit suicide when heaven sends a second-class angel named Clarence Odbody to try to turn things around for George. He’s been an angel for 200 years and has yet to earn his wings. It is not remotely Biblically accurate in the slightest but it made for good black and white drama in 1946. At the end of the movie, Clarence leaves George a note that says: “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings. Love, Clarence.” Oops. SPOILER ALERT: Clarence gets his wings. It is a great sentiment. We’d like to tweak it a little though, “No man is a failure who has Jesus as his friend.” Today, we’ve named our version of the greatest story ever told, “With God, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Manger to Messiah Story.”
“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” ~ Clarence Odbody
“Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings. Love, Clarence.” ~ Clarence Odbody
“No person is a failure who has Jesus as their friend.” ~ Pastor Greg
The one who finds a wife finds what is enjoyable, and receives a pleasurable gift from the Lord. A poor person makes supplications, but a rich man answers harshly. A person who has friends may be harmed by them, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ~ Proverbs 18:22-24
My commandment is this—to love one another just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father. … This I command you—to love one another.~ John 15:12-15, 17
All who believed were together and held everything in common, and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. ~ Acts 2:44-45
… “Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. ~ Luke 1:38
LAW #1: God LOVES you and offers a WONDERFUL plan for your life.
LAW #2: Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life.
LAW #3: Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life.
LAW #4: We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? When do you reach that moment of truth in your life? How did it come about?
If you have not begun a relationship with Jesus, are you ready to make that decision now? Why or why not?
Have you experienced hardship in your life, loss, pain, suffering? Do you feel this shows a lack of love on God’s part for you? Why or why not?
How do you experience God’s love even when things aren’t going the way you want them to in your life?
When you reflect back on the whole of your life to this point, highs and lows, would you still say that you have had a wonderful life? Why or why not?