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Advent Devotion, 20th Day of Advent – Aubre Wells
December 22, 2017
Advent Devotion– Aubre Wells

Verse: Ps. 102, Ps. 148, 2 Sam. 7:18-29, Gal. 3:1-4, Luke 1:57-66

As I read the Scriptures designated for “my day” in our Advent devotional, I wondered how I would be able either to thread each of these verses together into one cohesive piece or to choose just one upon which to focus. If you have taken a moment to read each of them, you likely see my dilemma.
So, I read them again. And again. And suddenly, I knew what I needed to share from this day’s readings. The message I hear in these seemingly independent writings is this: God is worthy of our praise in EVERY circumstance; God is trustworthy in EVERY circumstance; and God is with us irrespective of our feelings in EVERY circumstance.
We live in a culture where want supersedes need; where everything is urgent even if it is not important; and where at least 1 in 6 of us is taking medication for our mental health. This is not the life God designed for us in creation. God’s plan was for us to desire a relationship with Him that could not be satisfied with other idols. God desired that we rely solely on Him for our needs. God wanted us to first love Him and then love each other. Hard to imagine loving each other when we often find our own selves hard to love.
Life as it is today in our break-neck paced, social media infested world in no way resembles what God promised Abraham, or Elizabeth and Zechariah, or David, or Paul. Thankfully! As Christians, we are promised comfort and calm in the midst of the storm. We are promised contentment and peace when life makes no sense. We are promised life eternal in the face of earthly death and
decay.
In Christ, God’s promise IS fulfilled. We are freed from guilt and shame to live a life of incessant gratitude for the GIFT of salvation manifested in Christ’s death on the Cross. God is with us. . . Emanuel! Let us be like those saints who have gone before us. Let us, too, “believe God and be credited as righteous in His sight.”
We understand this time of Advent is a time of preparation. As we “prepare our hearts and minds for
worship” each Sunday, let us do the same daily, moment by moment if necessary, during these days approaching the celebration of our Savior’s birth. Christmas is indeed meant to be a celebration! We celebrate family, friends, food, and frivolity. Foremost, however, is our celebration of THE gift we were given by our Heavenly Father: the promise of salvation which came to us in the form of a
baby born in a stable. Thanks be to God.
“He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; He will not despise their plea. Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” Ps.102:17-18
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Advent Devotion, 19th Day of Advent – Lori Robertson
December 21, 2017

Seeing Advent As A Child
Luke 1:39-48

Children have a way of seeing things as both simple and magical. Advent can be a time to prepare our
hearts for such childlike faith and joy.

A is for “Advent” is from the Latin word “Aventus” meaning coming. Let me prepare my heart for the coming of Christ with the same anticipation, joy, and wonder that a child has when they are waiting to do something that they are excited about. O Come Emmanuel!

D is for Doesn’t – Reminding me that my preparation doesn’t end on the 26th. Not just during Advent, but every season I hope to remember and live by Mary’s words, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

V is for Venue – A venue is simply defined as “a place where something happens”. How simple that our King was born in a stable in such humble conditions. I doubt that many adults would be excited about birthing a child in a barn among animals, but I bet most children would be! What kid wouldn’t be excited about a birth in a stable with animal friends? As part of my preparation this Advent season, I hope to find joy and gratitude in the simple things….even in the things that are unexpected and
don’t seem like blessings. For when I am joyful and thankful, I believe that I am able to walk more fully in my faith.

E- Excitement – We read in Luke 1:41 that Elizabeth’s baby, who we know was John the Baptist, leaped in her womb when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting. Mary was pregnant with Jesus. I want to have the same joy filled, child-like excitement about my faith.

N-Nesting – Toward the end of a pregnancy, many women feel the overwhelming desire to get their home ready for the new baby. This is desire is referred to as “nesting”. Elizabeth was a faithful Jew and she anticipated the coming of a savior. When Zechariah told Elizabeth that she would have a baby – despite the fact that she had been barren for years – she didn’t doubt him. She was going to be the mother of John the Baptist who in turn would prepare the way for Christ. Although this was a surprise, it had been anticipated. Let my heart and mind focus on the preparation not just the celebration of this season. I once heard someone say that “preparation is confidence’s twin.” Let me prepare my heart and build my faith so that when uncertain times come, I am rock solid in my faith.

T-Take Heart – He has overcome the world! In this season, I am preparing for one incredible celebration. Take Heart! Jesus has overcome the world!!! I can think of nothing more worthy of excited and joyful preparation!

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