WEEK 4

Amazed or Treasured?
Matthew and Luke choose to record several different responses to the birth of Jesus. King Herod responds with malice. He doesn’t want to give up his crown to this newborn king. The shepherds respond with amazement. They’ve never experienced anything like it. Mary responds by treasuring the news. In other words, she pondered it and asked the question: What does this mean for me?

Readings
Matthew 2:1-18  |  Luke 2:15-19

Reflection 
There’s an obvious difference between malice and amazement. However, the proper response is from Mary. The news of Jesus was like a treasure. She was the one who contemplated the birth of Jesus as her savior. Have you done this? Take a moment and reflect upon the fact that if it wasn’t for Jesus we would never know that God is a saving God. It is in His nature. If Jesus was never born we would never know how much God loves us.

Prayer
Father, give us ears to hear and eyes to see and hearts to treasure the birth of Jesus and your great love for us. Fill us with your Spirit and help us to bring forth His life in all we do. For your glory, amen!

 

WEEK 3

PEACE WITH GOD

For those of us who are in Christ, our peace is absolutely certain, because we not only have the peace of God with us right now, we have the peace that comes from knowing that nothing at all, not even death, can separate us from the love of God that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord. This peace sets us free.

 

Readings

Romans 5:1 | Isaiah 9:6-7 | Luke 2:14 | Philippians 4:6-7

 

Reflection

The readings remind us that peace is available to us now. So often we turn to ourselves first and we allow our problems to consume our thoughts. What circumstances are stealing your peace? Take time to reflect on what God’s Spirit is saying to you in the midst of these worries? Is there someone in your life who needs you to be a peacemaker toward them? If so, what will you do?

 

Prayer

Dear God, I cannot control people, plans and all of my circumstances, so I give those things over to you and focus on your goodness. I know that when I pray and give thanks instead of worrying, you have promised that I can experience the kind of peace that passes all understanding. I ask for this now. I am so thankful you brought me peace with you through Jesus. Amen.

 

WEEK 2

LOVE GAVE EVERYTHING

Our sin meets God’s justice and therefore we need a savior. But how would God respond? The prophet Isaiah announced an incredible truth in the name Immanuel, which means “God with us.” God loved us enough to send his own heart.

 

Reading

OT: Isaiah 7:10-14 | Micah 5:2

NT: Luke 1:26-33 | John 3:16 | Romans 5:8

 

Reflection

What does God’s love mean to you? Spend a few minutes really allowing the love of God to sink into your heart. He cared so much about us that He came down to earth to begin the rescue plan. How can you show love to those around you this week?

 

Prayer

Dear God, on this second week of Advent, we begin a spiritual pilgrimage as we joyously anticipate Christmas day, a reminder of the birth of our Savior. Thank you for your love, which transforms our lives. In His name, we pray. Amen.

 

WEEK 1

JOY FOR ALL PEOPLE

This is the first announcement made by the angel to the shepherds. Joy to the world is the resounding message of the season because true joy is not found in our circumstances but in our Savior Jesus Christ who has come to the earth!

 

Reading

OT: Psalm 98:1-6 | Isaiah 11:2

NT: Luke 2:1-10 | 1 Peter 1:8-9 | Philippians 4:4

 

Reflection

Is something stealing your joy? How can the truth of these verses restore it? Philippians 4:8 points us to how we should align our heart & mind in order to accomplish that. How can you be someone who spreads joy to others this week? Think of practical ways to make it happen.

 

Prayer

Lord, as we enter the Christmas season, we want to take time to thank you for sending your Son to be born as a baby and to become our Savior. We rejoice in knowing that we have eternity ahead and we have great joy in our hearts as we trust in Him daily. Amen.