Follow Along Advent Readings, Day 6

Today we are considering Day 6 of a Painted Advent devotional. Thank you for joining us for the past several days. Let’s jump in!

Jesus coming to earth made a personal relationship with God possible.

No longer do we need an intermediary priest to act as a go-between for us. It’s now possible for us to have a  one-to-one relationship with God. When we confess our sins and accept Jesus’ sacrifice of His life to cover the penalty of our sins, we can stand righteous before God. He even calls us his sons and daughters.

The era of the keeping the law handed down to Moses is gone, swept out the back door for the front-door welcome to the era of grace.

Good News To Be Shared

Verse 16 tells us that up to this point no man has seen God at any time, but now Jesus tells us that if we have seen Him, we’ve seen God. Being part of the grace-era means we should be living out this amazing relationship in a way that draws others to it. It’s not a secret to be hoarded but good news to be shared.

Just like the shepherds, we have the joy of spreading God’s grace to those around us. And we certainly live in a culture today that could use a bit of grace to smooth frayed emotions and ragged relationships.

Where has God placed you in this season of life? How can you be a speaker of grace to those around you? Share your thoughts below.

 

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Follow Along Advent Readings, Day 4

Welcome back to Day 4 of our discussion about the Painted Advent devotional from the Bible app. Today’s painting is called Good News.

You never know when it will happen.

You’re going about your daily work all things appearing normal when BAM! A chorus of angels lights up the night sky and scares you to death! At least that’s what happened to the shepherds in the Christmas story. What had been an ordinary day for them turned into an extraordinary one in a moment’s notice.

I wonder if the shepherds noticed anything different that evening.

I imagine all of heaven on the brink of a holy explosion—the angels barely containing their excitement. Was the night sky especially bright? Maybe a shooting star or two streaking across the sky in anticipation of what was about to happen? Or perhaps the air was charged with electricity, the impending fulfillment of ancient prophecy.

All we know is that one minute all was normal and the next it was not—the world forever changed.

The same can be true for us.

Within each day lies the potential for a Richter-scale change, for the glory of God to burst upon our everydayness with a power that takes our breath away.

What will that look like? It could be an angelic visitation (those things still happen today). But it could also be an invisible but just as mighty display of God’s power as evidenced by a changed heart, salvation for a loved one, a healed relationship, a new job, a sick person made well, a prodigal come home.

We go about our lives always praying for what God lays on our heart while watching for His displays of power. Today could be the day!

What do you think about living in holy expectancy? Share your thoughts below.

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Christmas To-Doers List 2017: Watch, Part 2

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Watch for Him

To help you continue to watch for Jesus this Christmas season, please read the Scriptures below. Consider how Zachhaeus watched for Jesus. What can you learn from Zacchaeus? How can you watch for Jesus today? Please comment on what you learned in the Comment section below. Remember,  be a doer of His Word this Christmas season!

Jesus Comes to Zacchaeus’ House

Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.
And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him,  and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”Watch Day 3jpg
So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.
But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

How can you watch for Jesus today?

Be a doer of His Word!

Merry Christmas

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“Blue Letter Bible – Luk 19: Gospel of Luke 19 (Blue Letter Bible: NKJV – New King James Version).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 6 Dec, 2015. <http://www.blueletterbible.orghttps://www.blueletterbible.org/nkjv/luk/19/1/p1/s_992001>.

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Follow Along Advent Reading, Day 3

The Painted Advent devotional for today is named Heaven’s Loss.

This title made me consider something I’ve never thought of before—how hard it must have been for the angels to watch Jesus go. Jesus coming into the world is a startling event, a heavenly invasion. We could not come to God, so He sent His Son to us.

A Polarizing Event

His birth was also a polarizing event. The night He was born, the only place Joseph could find for the birth was a stable. While the shepherds, three wise men, and possibly Herod recognized Him for who he was, most did not. By worldly standards, He was born into a dubious situation. The village where Mary and Joseph lived believed Jesus to be born out of wedlock, a calamity for sure.

Yet the Bible is clear about Him. John 1:4 tells us “In Him was life and the life was the light of men.” From the very beginning, evil tried to snuff out that life, that light.

New Life

The wonder of it all is that when we invite Jesus into our own lives, He suffuses our very being with new life, His life in the form of the Holy Spirit who leads us and lights our way. When we align our will with His, our life takes on an earthly and heavenly significance  and purpose we would never be able to match on our own.

Heaven’s temporary loss was our eternal gain!

How has Jesus been “your gain”?

 

 

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Christmas To-doers List 2017, Day 3: Watch

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 3: Watch for Him

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Luke 2:8

Day in. Day out.

Looking. Watching. Waiting. Shepherds in the fields faithfully caring for their sheep. Diligence is their watchword.  Always searching for the finest pasture, the best shelter, and the freshest water.  Looking, watching, and waiting, day in and day out. Night after night. Until one night. O Holy Night!

“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

Faithfulness in their daily work allowed the shepherds to see Jesus. Had they not been diligent in their mundane tasks, they would have missed the angel’s message,  and they would have missed Jesus. Shepherds watching for the Good Shepherd.

Look. Watch. Wait.

The same thing we do for Jesus.

Look for Jesus this Christmas season. Watch for glimpses of Him as you go through  your ordinary days. Wait for Him to act. Chores, tasks, errands, and suddenly He’s there—teaching, comforting, directing, healing, and loving.

  Watch for Him in your everyday chores and holiday tasks.

Look. Watch. Wait.Watch Day 3jpg

The same thing Jesus does for us.

Jesus constantly looks out for our best interests and watches over our every concern. He waits to draw us into closer relationship, greater trust, and deeper faith. Stolen moments in the crush of the day. Precious minutes at His feet in the rush of the season. Day after day, silent night after silent night.

He looks, watches, and waits for you.

Action Points:

  1. Look for Jesus today. Notice the blessings He sends your way and then look for ways to be a blessing to others.
  2. Watch for Jesus today. What is He trying to say to you? What is He telling you? What does He want you to do differently this Christmas season?
  3. Wait for Him. Jesus is calling you to rest in heavenly peace with Him. Tarry with Him for a few moments. Get your Bible, turn to Luke 2 and listen to the beautiful music below. Wait for Him to restore your soul.

How will you watch for Jesus today? How will you make time to wait for Him? Please leave a comment in the Comment section below on how you plan to watch for Jesus, or how you saw Him today.

Did you miss a day? Don’t fret, just click on a link below.

Day 1: Believe Him

Day 2: Make Room

Watch for Him.

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