Advent - Day 23

 

Day 23 : Van & Erin Zuck

Scripture : 1 John 5:11

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading 1 John 5:11. As we draw nearer to the day that we celebrate the birth of
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, may we take our focus from earthly gifts and lay it solely upon the gift God Himself gives testimony to: eternal life in his Son, Jesus. By faith and faith alone, the most beautiful gift we could ever imagine awaits every man, woman, and child, from every tribe, tongue, and nation. The gift is forgiveness of sin and eternal life with Jesus. The price has been paid in full for all mankind.  Jesus paid the price as He walked the road of Calvary. He was crucified, died, buried, and resurrected for an unworthy sinner such as me. As we seek this Christmas to give the “perfect gift”, help our focus be firstly on the perfect One whom we celebrate. Amidst a world of brokenness, may we love others enough to speak of this truth and share His Gospel message of forgiveness of sin and eternal hope. Let our love for Jesus be the catalyst that forces us to reach beyond our own selfishness and share our hope with a lost and hurting world in need of a Savior.  


REFLECTION

Forgiveness. Peace. Hope. Joy. As many search, the answer to all of life’s questions lies within the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Who will you share the gift of the Gospel with
this Christmas?  


PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus so that we can receive the gift of eternal life with you. Humble our hearts, Lord, and mold us into the servants you desire us to be. As we commit each day to You, may our lives be a reflection of Your grace and mercy so that we may be used as You desire in kingdom work. We praise You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. We pray for those who are lost and do not know You as their Savior. May all glory and honor be Yours as You move our hearts to share the hope that is found in Jesus. Thank You for Your unconditional, undeserved, unending love. We love You. Amen!


ACTIVITY

Go around the dinner table and share stories of God’s goodness this past year.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 22

 

Day 22 : Jeff & Jo Young

Scripture : Titus 3:3-7

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Titus 3:3-7. It is so wonderful to know that God saved us not because
of anything we did to warrant such favor from Him, but because of His grace and mercy. The fact that we could never do anything to merit God’s favor leaves us free to pursue a relationship with Him based solely on His love for us.  The Word of God says to “set your mind on things that are above, not on things of the earth” (Col 3:2) and “put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires and covetousness which is idolatry” (Col 3:5). As we ponder God’s Word, let’s remember we are a new creation in Christ no longer controlled by the flesh, but transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit in us.


REFLECTION

During this Christmas season let’s reflect on what Jesus did for us! He saved us and we cannot do anything to deserve this great gift.


PRAYER

Holy Father, we thank You for the price your Son, Jesus Christ, paid for our sins. We thank You that You chose us - not because of our worthiness, but because of Your grace and mercy that was poured out on us. We praise you for giving us power through the Holy Spirit to throw off sin and walk in accordance with Your will for our lives. Amen!


ACTIVITY

Invite someone that you think might be alone for Christmas tomorrow to join you and your family for lunch or dinner.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 21

 

Day 21 : Brett & Karen Williams

Scripture : 1 Timothy 1:15-17

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading 1 Timothy 1:15-17. I am struck by this verse because Jesus came into this world as an infant. Like this time in history, as we anticipate Christmas Day, imagine the anticipation as Mary and Joseph waited for their Son, the Savior of the world. We as dads, moms, aunts, uncles, and grandparents are so thankful for the gift of children. God’s gift is Jesus being born to save us from our rebellion against God. How great the gift of eternal life we have in Jesus Christ! Christ has shown His immense patience towards you. Let us make sure this Christmas season that we are grateful for His patience. 
 

REFLECTION

Is there someone this Christmas season you need to extend immense patience towards? How has Jesus shown you patience in your life? 


PRAYER

Jesus, thank You for showing patience to us that while we were blind in our sin You were patient with us, showing mercy even in our foolishness. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Allow us to have patience with those around us that still don’t know You. Allow us
to show them love and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen!


ACTIVITY

Volunteer with friends or family at a homeless shelter.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 20

 

Day 20 : Scott Reger

Scripture : Romans 6:23

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Romans 6:23. In preparing for something, we provide a context for what we should be focused on. As often happens within the weeks leading up to Christmas, I fail to cultivate an environment where my heart is prepared. With this in mind, I find myself looking at Romans 6:23. I never truly appreciated Romans 6:23 the way I should’ve until I read the context of the entire chapter, specifically verses 21-22. Look at the contrast of these verses. “So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification – and the end is eternal life.” Paul had spent chapters 5 and 6 pouring truth into the lie that in order to receive a multiplication of grace there must be a multiplication of sin. God, in His love for us, wants to move us far from our sin to grasp the great gift that is His Son. In this context we find verse 23. The wages of a life enslaved to sin reveals an endgame of death; permanent, physical and spiritual death. I’ve done everything to earn this outcome. The fruit of a life enslaved to God, bound to the free gift of salvation found in our Savior Jesus Christ, yields sanctification and eternal life. I’ve done nothing to merit this gift. This Christmas, when everything around me cries out to cloud the context of the Gift of this season, may this passage prepare my heart to celebrate.


REFLECTION

What are some other verses that can help you celebrate Jesus this Christmas?


PRAYER

God, may this greater understanding assist me in truly walking in a new way of life, 
when my sin nature calls out to me to be enslaved to it. But may this greater understanding also allow me to boldly proclaim this truth in greater clarity to those who may have never heard it! Amen!


ACTIVITY

Go to the store and pick out a toy for a little boy and a little girl and donate it to a local charity.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 19

 

Day 19 : Matt & Kristen Strayer

Scripture : Galations 4:4-5

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Galations 4:4-5. Waiting for something you really want can be very trying.  Right now kids near and far are eagerly waiting for their last day of school before vacation and are probably even more excited to find out what will be waiting for them under the Christmas tree. Like us anticipating Christmas, God’s people couldn’t wait for the arrival
of the Messiah. They knew God was going to send the Messiah but they didn’t know when. God had been silent for nearly 400 years prior to Christ’s coming. Despite the silence, God hadn’t forgotten! He had a plan and He had the perfect time for His rescue plan to begin. His plan was to send his own Son, Jesus, who became just like you and I in every way. He was fully human and yet also fully God, living a perfect, sinless life. He came so that we might be rescued from our sin and brokenness and become sons and daughters of the one true God. Where we once didn’t belong, we are now fully included, all because of the free gift of salvation through Jesus. Now that is a gift worth celebrating!


REFLECTION

How have you seen evidence of God’s perfect timing in your life?


PRAYER

God we thank You that You are a God of order. Thank You that Jesus came into the world at just the right time. We also praise You for the perfect timing of Your work in our lives. Jesus, thank You for coming and living just like us in order to save us. Help us to live a life of meaning out of our position as Your sons and daughters. Amen!


ACTIVITY

Write a letter or email to someone you know that is in need of encouragement today.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 18

 

Day 18 : Chad & Lindsey Smith

Scripture : John 3:16

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading John 3:16. Jesus. He’s the greatest gift anyone could ever have. This season, many of us are familiar with celebrating with family, friends, and expressing our love through, temporary gifts that fade with the passing years. There can be such excitement and anticipation for giving and receiving love through material objects. But John directs our thoughts and desires to consider God’s love for us in a different kind of gift that is not material, but a Man. It’s the gift of His only Son, Jesus. God’s solution to a fading and dying life due to our wrongdoings was the life, death, and resurrection of His sinless Son Jesus. This gift comes with a promise for those who have faith. Whoever believes in Jesus will not perish, but instead have eternal life. John 1:12 says that all who receive and believe in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. The gift comes with life free from sin and the biggest family and greatest celebration there will
ever be. I can’t wait for that eternal holiday.


REFLECTION

How does this truth in God’s Word change the way you think and act this Christmas season?


PRAYER

God, the gift of Your Son Jesus is better than any other we could receive. This Christmas
season, would our joy be that You are our Father and You have promised us life forever in
Jesus. Please let this gift not just be a seasonal celebration, but our daily joy. Amen!


ACTIVITY

Pay for a person behind you in line today.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 17

 

Day 17 : Ben & Angela Schwartz

Scripture : John 1:14

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading John 1:14. “The Word became flesh and took up residence among us.” 
To better understand the miracle of God’s Word becoming flesh in the form of Christ we turn to John 1:1-2: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” And Philippians 2:6-8: “who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death - even to death on a cross.” Jesus emptied Himself to become a man among us, susceptible to sin and death, in order to represent the full grace and truth of God. Christmas is celebrated as the beginning of the Word becoming flesh in the birth of Jesus Christ. Tragically, the greatest selfless act in human history is overshadowed by a fictional character handing out presents. Let the person of Jesus be the greatest gift we celebrate this Christmas.


REFLECTION

In what ways can our family express the love, patience, and grace of Christ to others this season?


PRAYER

Father we thank You that You plan all things for Your glory, that You would send Jesus to earth in human form to live perfectly among sinners, to be tempted by Satan, to be falsely accused and sent to the cross. Would You change our hearts this Christmas season? Would You shift our earthly desires away from gifts, toys, clothing, food, vacations, and towards You? Jesus You ARE the Christmas miracle that we long for. Help us to be more like You. Help us to be giving of our time and money, patient with one another, and to lend a helping hand. Embolden us to share the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Amen!


ACTIVITY

Find a person in need and take them dinner.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 16

 

Day 16 : Colton & Lee Salyards

Scripture : John 1:1-8

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading John 1:1-8. On Christmas, Jesus Christ was born, though He did not come into existence at that time because He is eternal. In this passage, John writes about Jesus, 
a human yet also the Creator of the universe. We exist because God created us. He created us with specific gifts that make us unique and valuable to achieve His purpose. Living without Him would be abandoning the purpose for which we were made. “The darkness can never extinguish the light” means evil will never overcome God’s light.  Jesus Christ brings light to humankind which allows us to see ourselves as we really are (sinners in need of a Savior). He removes the darkness of sin from our lives and lights the path ahead so we can see how to live. Jesus is the true light helping us see our way to God. We are to be a reflection of this light, on display to an unbelieving world.


REFLECTION

How can we reflect the light of Christ rather than ourselves?


PRAYER

Heavenly Father, You are the author of life and all things. Please help us to acknowledge who we really are and how in need of a Savior we are. Help us to reflect Your light to the world (our friends, family, and co-workers). We love you. Amen!


ACTIVITY

Find a family with kids and offer to watch them so they can go on a date.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 15

 

Day 15 : Nick & Janae Nuss

Scripture : Matthew 2:1-12

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Matthew 2:1-12. Christmas for many is a period of giving and receiving material things. How often do we remember what we were given as worldly gifts year to year? This passage reminds us that Jesus was the greatest gift given to us. You can see in the passage that the Magi worshipped Jesus and they went on a long journey to seek Him. The Magi sacrificed time, convenience, and personal safety in order to find Jesus. When they found Him, they dropped everything and worshipped Him. They offered their best gifts, gifts fit for a King. How often do we give Jesus our best? We must be willing to put Jesus first in our lives. Doing this means sacrificing our time, money, and talents for our King. 


REFLECTION

We each must make our own journey to find Jesus and to meet Him personally. How can we make Him a living reality in our lives? We cannot send Magi to bring back news for us like King Herod – We must seek Him out ourselves.


PRAYER

Lord thank You for sending Your Son and for giving us the unique opportunity to celebrate this during the Christmas season. Thank You for giving us Your Word and for reminding us that Jesus is the greatest gift we can receive. Please open peoples’ hearts during this time and let them pour out their best for You. Amen!


ACTIVITY

Go out to eat tonight. Make a card for your waiter. Thank them and let them know that
you will be praying specifically for them this week.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 14

 

Day 14 : Matt Snyder

Scripture : Luke 2:1-20

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Luke 2:1-20. Joseph is called back to his native town for a census. 
Pretty poor timing, as Mary was far along in her pregnancy. The time came while they were in Bethlehem for Mary to give birth, away from all family and friends. They couldn’t find a single place where there was enough room for them, so they made room with the animals. It was here that the Savior of the world would be born. The mightiest King in all of eternity made His grand entrance in a dirty lowly stable. He could have come like the mightiest of storms or like a ravaging fire, with strength and power. Angels could have ushered Him into the world with singing and blasts of trumpets. But no...He came as a baby through a virgin woman. He came in silence, in the dead of night. And who helped usher this King into the world? Shepherds. A group looked down upon by society in that day. How significant this scene is for us. Jesus’ humble beginnings would only foreshadow His coming ministry. He came to heal and rescue poor, suffering, and broken hearted people of the world. He, the King and Savior of the world, came to rescue people like us. For, “I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Our response must be that of the shepherds and angels, one of worship, glorifying and praising the King who brought the good news for all people.


REFLECTION

Is your heart unstirred by the humble King who came to save the people like you and me?
What is your response? What should our response be?


PRAYER

Father, may we ever stand in wonder and awe at the person of Jesus. He came as a
baby, but left the King of the world. I pray that today, we would have a heart of worship, responding just as the shepherds and angels did, praising and glorifying the risen King
who made a way for us to have a personal relationship with the God of the universe. May
we know and proclaim the “good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Amen!


ACTIVITY

Donate hats, gloves, coats or boots to a school near your for kids that are in need this winter. 

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 13

 

Day 13 : Alex Kluesner

Scripture : Luke 1:67-79

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Luke 1:67-79. As we read this passage we get to see the deeper meaning
of Christmas. As John, Jesus’ cousin, is born we see the great faith of Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth. Zechariah knew early on that John was going to be used in a big way! He was going to be the prophet that pointed to Jesus as the Son of God who took away the sins of the world! Zechariah wasn’t selfish with the birth of His son. God was not selfish with the birth of His Son. Zechariah had complete faith and trust in what was about to come. He knew that a Savior was being born and that John needed to help guide people to Him. As we go through the holiday shuffle, we need to remember that Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of Christ and proclaim Him as John did. 


REFLECTION

What are some things that keep popping up during Christmas time that distract us from proclaiming that our Savior was born? How can we point people to Jesus as the Son of God who took away the sins of the world?


PRAYER

Lord, we thank You so much for Your love and the gift of salvation through Your son Jesus.
As we look back and celebrate Your son’s birth, we pray that we are still focused on loving and worshipping with complete faith. Seeing the faith and dedication that Zechariah had shows me what I need to be focusing on this Christmas season. I pray my family sees You this Christmas season and doesn’t lose sight of what this celebration is all about. Amen! 


ACTIVITY

Put together a couple of care packages (granola bars, peanut butter, crackers, gloves, hat) and put it in your car for the next time you see a homeless person in need. Include a letter letting them know they are loved.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 12

 

Day 12 : Paul & Nicole Kestel

Scripture : Luke 1:46-55

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Luke 1:46-55. My wife Nicole and I have three beautiful children. When we discovered we were having our first baby, I vividly remember the various emotions we experienced. At first it was feelings of disbelief and shock that quickly changed to feelings of inadequacy and nervousness, then finally excitement and sheer joy of the blessing that God was bestowing upon us in becoming parents. In this text, we see Mary praising God for the unborn Son she is carrying. It’s almost like Mary is past the stage of shock that
she’s having a miraculous baby and is to the point of joy of praising the Lord for who He is. 
God has chosen her as the vessel for the Savior to enter the earth to save all mankind. He
didn’t choose a wealthy ruler, princess, or even an experienced mother. Instead, He chose
a humble servant, a virgin, a young teen girl to be the one to carry the King of Kings! We often think of inadequacy as a bad thing, but actually it pushes away pride, allowing us to give God all the glory. In the passage, Mary mentions how God helps her become mindful of His mercy in His plan as she does not have the experience to raise a child, let alone the Savior of the world. She knows she is going to have to rely on Him. Mary sees how God
has worked, using her ancestors and now her in executing His amazing plan for salvation.  


REFLECTION

What are some ways that you feel unlikely, unqualified, or too lowly to be a servant of God? How can “Mary’s Song” be an example of turning feelings of pride or inadequacy into the praise and joy that can be shared with others?


PRAYER

God, please help us to see that although we are unlikely servants for You, You still chose our family as vessels to carry out Your plan of helping people find their greatest joy in Jesus. Please turn us from our pride and help us rely on Your power and give You all
glory. Help us to experience the joy of serving You this Christmas. Amen! 


ACTIVITY

Make a Chirstmas card for your postal worker and leave it in your mailbox for them to receive.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 11

 

Day 11 : Mark & Amanda Jackson

Scripture : Luke 1:39-45

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Luke 1:39-45. The birth of Christ brought great blessing to the people of Israel and to the entire earth. There was great blessing and joy for Mary, who would give birth to our Savior. She did nothing of herself to merit blessing; In fact, the greatest blessing she received came to her through a close relationship with Christ as His mother. Through belief in Jesus we are also recipients of God’s blessing, as our faith in Christ brings us into relationship with Him. Just as Mary’s presence brought joy to Elizabeth, we should use our blessings to bring joy to others.


REFLECTION

How have you been blessed by your relationship with Christ? How could others be blessed through you this Christmas season as a result of your relationship with Christ?


PRAYER

God, You are the source of all blessing. Thank you for sending Jesus. Because of Jesus, we have reason for hope and a joy that cannot be taken away. Guide us this season to look at all the ways You have blessed us. Remind us of Your goodness so that we may be filled with joy. Enable us to share the blessings You have given us with those around us.  May we share with the community
the eternal hope we have because of the salvation that comes through Jesus. Amen!


ACTIVITY

Invite a friend or family over and make them dinner.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 10

 

Day 10 : Bryant & Jenn Hays

Scripture : Luke 1:26-38

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Luke 1:26-38. It is miraculous to think that God, with full knowledge
of all that was to happen, sent Gabriel to a non-descript town and to an extraordinary woman.  Both were according to His sovereign plan, as Christ was to have a connection
to Nazareth. In all this, it is Mary’s story that strikes me as particularly awe-inspiring. 
She had been chosen and had found favor with God. This young godly virgin, likely only
14 or 15 years old at the time, was told what would happen to her and she believed. Declaring herself a servant, she said in her own way, “ Your will be done.” Mary went
from fear to faith, from troubled to courageous. But through all of this look at the One
who is to come. This Jesus would be conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. 
The Son of Man and Son of God, the fullness of both kept from the inherited sin of
Adam’s seed. He is the Holy One, sent to be great, sit on David’s throne, and reign
without end. And this only scratches the surface of all that Christ was to be. In the end, 
the only proper response to the call of God is one like Mary’s: “May your word be fulfilled.”


REFLECTION

It is often during this time of year that the reality of Christ is in our thoughts and on the top of our minds. What word from the Lord needs to be fulfilled in your life? What will
you do to remember that reality in the year to come?


PRAYER

Lord Most High, You have been gracious beyond words to us. We want to glorify and magnify Your name. Jesus, we want to serve You; help us to be servants as Mary was and empower us to fulfill Your word. Make our desires line up ever increasingly with your will and desires. Fill us with the joy of knowing You and let that joy overflow into the lives of the people around us. Finally, we ask that You would come and rule and reign in our
hearts and lives. Amen!


ACTIVITY

Put together snack packages and deliver them to a local fire or police station.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 9

 

Day 9 : Charles Harp

Scripture : Matthew 1:18-25

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Matthew 1:18-25. Christmas is celebrated around the world but its true meaning has been diluted by gifts, parties, traditions, etc. We must not forget that the
very center of Christmas is the virgin birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus, because He was God’s Son, had to be free from the sinful nature passed on to all human beings by Adam. Jesus was fully human because He was born of a woman, but He was
also fully divine because he was conceived by the Holy Spirit. That is the true “miracle” 
of Christmas. The word Jesus means “the Lord saves”.  The word Immanuel means
“God with us”. Jesus’ name and His mission are one and the same.


REFLECTION

What can we learn from Joseph in this passage that can be an example in our everyday life?


PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, our traditions of family meals, cookie making, excited children leaving Santa milk and cookies, and bell ringers collecting for the needy are all wonderful Christmas memories, but help us always to remember and thank You for the virgin birth
of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to earth to save us because we can’t save ourselves from sin. 
No matter how good we are, we can’t eliminate the sinful nature present in all of us. Help us to realize only Jesus can do that. He didn’t come so that we might save ourselves; He came to be our Savior from the power and penalty of sin. We thank you, Jesus, for your death on the cross and the opportunity You give us to hand control of our lives over to
you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!


ACTIVITY

Make cards of encouragement and hand deliver them to residents at a nursing home.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 8

 

Day 8 : Adam & Christina Hannan

Scripture : Zechariah 9:9

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Zechariah 9:9. There are three things this verse is telling us: 
1. Rejoice! Because... 2. The King is coming! And when he comes... 3. He will be
righteous, victorious, and lowly, (or humble). This prophesy was carried out when Jesus, the King of Kings who was born in a barn, literally came riding into town on the back of a young donkey. The people were indeed rejoicing, because the king they were waiting for was here. But they struggled with his lowliness. They were expecting someone to come in and wipe out the Romans, and Jesus clearly wasn't the proud military ruler they had envisioned. A week later, they no longer rejoiced in Jesus. They no longer followed Him. They abandoned Him and crucified Him. And still the humble Savior loved them and was willing to die so that they could live.


REFLECTION

Do you find joy in Jesus because of who He is or because of what He can do for you? 
Would your joy and trust continue if Jesus answered your prayer in a way that's completely different than the way you expect or hope?


PRAYER

Jesus, we thank You for who You are. Though You are God, You humbled Yourself and became a man. You love the poor, the sick, the weak, the vulnerable, and the outcasts. You've promised great things for meek people who trust in You. Jesus, help us to trust You more. You are righteous, victorious, and lowly. I pray that our family celebrates You with great and
lasting joy. Amen!


ACTIVITY

Pick one person that you don’t normally think to pray for and pray for them everyday
this week.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 7

 

Day 7 : Mike & Denise Hambly 

Scripture : Micah 5:2

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Micah 5:2. Micah prophesied in 735-710 BC of the coming Messiah, 
Jesus Christ, in great detail long before Jesus was born. He tells of the city that David
and Jesus were to be born in, Bethlehem, which is confirmed in Luke 2:4. Joseph and Mary were from Bethlehem as well. Even though Bethlehem was small among the clans
of Judah, Jesus would come from it to be ruler over Israel. Isaiah 9:6 describes this:
“For unto us a child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon
His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, He was in the beginning with God.”  The Word refers to the second person of the Trinity, Jesus. This same Messiah from Judah, born
in Bethlehem, has always been and will always reign through eternity.


REFLECTION

God went to great detail to verify His Words in the Bible, if only people would listen and study the scriptures accurately. As repentant receivers of the Gospel, we can help others
to see the truths of the glorious Redeemer, Jesus Christ. He was born a baby in the city
of Bethlehem to be the Savior of mankind and Ruler of all, for all of time. And yet He
chooses you and me to represent Him in this present age as ambassadors for Christ
and Holy Priests, considered righteous in the eyes of God! How and in what ways
does God want me to serve Him today and in the days and years to come?


PRAYER

Lord of Lords for all of time, thank You for sending Jesus to pay the price for my sins. Though I feel small and sometimes insignificant, one of thousands and millions in this world, You are able to do great and wonderful things through me. Use me and show me Your path for my life. Help me to be always willing to be used by You and for Your kingdom work. I pray that You will be glorified in all that I do, and all that we do as a family - not just for this Christmas season but the rest of our lives. I love you Lord! Amen!


ACTIVITY

Pick out a few books, used or new, and give them to a teacher at a local school to send home with a child in need.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 6

 

Day 6 : Drew & Renee Fober

Scripture : Isaiah 40:9-11

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Isaiah 40:9-11. It was seven years ago this October that my wife and I were going to get an ultrasound; she was early in pregnancy and had just had a scare so we were going to check on our baby. As the image appeared on the ultrasound monitor we could quickly see our lives were going to change big time; clear as day, we could see two babies.  As we made our way back to the exam room, two nurses followed me to make sure I didn’t pass out. We were both in a little shock. Once that passed we were quickly on our phones calling, texting, posting on social media about the excitement of having twins. If there was a high mountain around, I might have even been compelled to climb to the top and shout, “We’re having twins!” We do that with good news. We share it quickly and loudly. And today, sharing good news is easier than ever. So what is our response in sharing the Good News at Christmas, to our children, to our friends, family, and co-workers? Often, for me, it is to allow Christ to be left in a Hallmark card moment, where baby Jesus is in a manger in humble surroundings. It’s a wonderful image, no doubt. But we know the story doesn’t end there. I waste the opportunity to proclaim that this Child commands heaven and earth, that our God is all powerful, yet gentle, and a nurturing Father. What awesome news, and yet rather than being bold in sharing the news, I am content to allow the story to end in the manger. Ephesians 6:19 says,“Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.” There is good news to share during Advent, and we should be on the proverbial mountaintop, proclaiming the greatest news known to man. 


REFLECTION

We should proclaim Christ at all times, but during Christmas there is a special opportunity to be bold in faith and illustrate the God we have. What are some ways you can put God on display this Christmas season?


PRAYER

Father, we thank you for Good News. Life can bring such joy in both the small and big events in our lives that are truly good. But let us understand the best news is You.  Give us boldness in proclaiming You and the strength and mercy You afford us. Amen!  


ACTIVITY

Make cookies as a family and deliver them to your neighbor.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 5

 

Day 5 : Dana & Sam Deines

Scripture : Isaiah 11:1

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Isaiah 11:1. “A shoot will come from the stump of Jesse”, the father of
King David. The house of David had been dormant for around 600 years. As we know, Jesus came from the house of David. God can do anything. He can bring forth a Savior from what appeared to be a lifeless stump - or family line. In a confused, selfish, and fallen world, a new green Branch (Jesus) can and did emerge. How often during what is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” with lights, music, and fanfare can we get confused and become lifeless ourselves? We can get caught up with joy being equated to things of this world. What will fruit look like for us this year? Will we look outward before inward? Will we find joy in giving rather than receiving? Can we find compassion for those who are hurting? Will we be bold and courageous in helping others hear, see, touch and feel the power of Jesus? God calls us to be His hands and feet. The best gift that we can give others is understanding and believing that there truly is Hope in a dark world. God is with us. Let your words and actions make Christ known. 


REFLECTION

As a family, or with a group of friends, especially in this season of Advent, share hope. 
Let your thoughts, words, deeds and prayers signal to God and others that your light does not come from a string of red, green, blue, and gold, but rather from above.


PRAYER

Father God, please forgive us for our selfishness. We all too often think about what’s in it for me instead of how we can be Your hands and feet. Please let us seek You in all we do. Let Christmas 2017 be a first.  A time where we live differently because You are in us.  Let us see the world as You do, and help us to be bold and courageous on behalf of Your Kingdom.  While this world is beautiful, it will vanish.  Let our eyes be focused with an eternal perspective and let us bring those that cross our paths to Your feet.  Thank You for sending Your Son, for forgiving our sins, for loving us, and for being the Creator and Maker of new life. Amen! 


ACTIVITY

Make cards full of love and encouragement. Drop them off at a hospital near you.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent

 

Advent - Day 4

 

Day 4 : Aaron & Grace Culley

Scripture : Isaiah 9:6-7

 

DEVOTION

Start by reading Isaiah 9:6-7. The coming of Jesus Christ was spoken by the prophet Isaiah approximately 700 years before Jesus’ birth. Isaiah uses beautiful names to describe our Lord. “Wonderful Counselor” signifies Jesus as a refuge from our burdens and One that is fully aware of God’s holy counsel. “Mighty God” means that Jesus is strong and unable to be overcome. “Eternal Father” means that Jesus reigns forever, with no end in time. “Prince of Peace” means that Jesus is the only one who can purchase peace between God and man. Isaiah proclaims that Jesus will reign in God’s kingdom and establish justice and righteousness. One day, pain and suffering will end. Isaiah ends by saying that the Lord established His kingdom with zeal. We have a part to play in building God’s kingdom in a similar way. God can accomplish his purposes without us, but he chooses to let us join Him. Do we portray the same zeal in bringing others to follow Christ?


REFLECTION

What names for God mean the most to you at this season of life? Can you confidently say you belong to Jesus’ eternal kingdom?  If not, what needs to change? If yes, are you bringing people to Jesus’ kingdom with the same zeal that God used to establish His kingdom?


PRAYER

Lord, as our realization of Your love and sovereignty increases through the words of David, let us draw near to You in awe. May we understand what Jesus’ birth and life as a human meant not only for us but for the world. Let our hearts grow passionate toward that mission and towards Your will of sharing that Gospel message. Amen!


ACTIVITY

Find a need and meet it! There are people all around us in need. Look for someone that you can help and meet their need.

 

 

Be sure to share pictures of you, your friends, and your family in action!

#candeoadvent