Saturday, December 10, 2016

Advent Day 10



"The blessing of Mary, through the gestation and delivery of Jesus, remains one of the most controversial miracles ever recorded. Never before, and never since, has there ever been another immaculate conception. Of all people from the beginning of time, God chose this one young woman, and no one else, for the birth that would change the entire world, forever. And here, in this passage [Luke 1:46-55], Mary recognizes the magnitude of what God has done, and she worships. She calls out the good faithfulness of God, reciting the mighty movement of His actions throughout history. She tells us that for those who fear Him, His mercy will stand, from generation, to generation (Luke 1:50). In other words, God has already chosen and will continue to choose us, again and again. He chose us first in Eden, in Egypt, in the wilderness, in Israel, in Gethsemane, and on the cross. He chooses us now, in Advent and all of the church seasons that come in between and after. 
Through Mary, God chose us, all these generations later. Out of her obedience and willingness, the miracle we long for has already come to us. Jesus. Immanuel. We are already filled with the only thing that can meet our every need."
~Kris Camealy, p48-49



Resources:
Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting by Kris Camealy. Available at Amazon.
Come, Lord Jesus Advent Book Club at Creative and Free.
Visit my church's website where we are offering a weekly Advent theme devotion and resources on our blog: Grace Church 


Friday, December 9, 2016

Advent Day 9



"As we wait this Advent for the fulfillment of God’s ultimate recompense, let us live no longer as captives in our sin and brokenness, but as prisoners of hope (Zachariah 9:12). Let these promising words of Isaiah bind our wounds and relieve our grief. Let this hopeful passage drip like sweet oil over you, removing the ashes that have once been your uniform. Though we wait, we claim the joy of the Lord with our shouts of thanksgiving and praise for this, the good news!" ~Kris Camealy, p44


Resources:
Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting by Kris Camealy. Available at Amazon.
Come, Lord Jesus Advent Book Club at Creative and Free.
Visit my church's website where we are offering a weekly Advent theme devotion and resources on our blog: Grace Church 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Advent Day 8



"It is written in Isaiah the prophet:
'I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way - '
'a voice of one calling in  the desert,
Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.' "
And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins." 
Mark 1:2-4

"A missionary by training and calling, John spent his life on the move, fulfilling the prophetic call of his own life, in order to prophesy about the coming of Jesus. John was born for this very purpose (Luke 1:13-17). Our own lives too bear the mark of calling. God continues to call us first, to repentance, then, to mission. While the culture shouts the material beauty of the Christmas season–lights, ornaments,parties,gifts, our lives might offer a less flashy, but far more exciting narrative–sin, repentance, grace, manger, cross, resurrection! When we tell the true story of Christmas, even to our own hearts,we make room for Jesus to come fully in. We cannot tell the story without remembering our own need for a Savior. There is someone among us who needs to hear a truer version of the story, the version that tells it like it was, like it is still, and how it will be in the end.  This is the story where you want to reveal all of the spoilers. John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins(Mark 1:4), his voice calling out into the wilderness, the barren, Christ-less places of the world, prepared the soil of hurting hearts, a place for Jesus to enter in–to fully come. His words are for us today, even as they were for the people of Judea and Jerusalem. In order to prepare the way, we must make a way for our own hearts to receive Him, by way of repentance." ~Kris Camealy, p38.




The globe in the above picture is a Christmas ornament I bought for my daughter who loves globes. I took the opportunity to take some pictures of it before I shipped it to her. :)

My favorite line from today's reading: As Christ-followers "our lives bear the mark of calling. God continues to call us first, to repentance then to mission." May we each embrace that call during this Advent season and find a way each day to share with others the love of God through the gift of His Son. 

Resources:
Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting by Kris Camealy. Available at Amazon.
Come, Lord Jesus Advent Book Club at Creative and Free.
Visit my church's website where we are offering a weekly Advent theme devotion and resources on our blog: Grace Church 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Advent Day 7



I originally read Kris Camealy's book Come, Lord Jesus, back in August and September as part of her launch team. The reading on day 7, Kairos, Not Chronos, had a significant impact on me and I wrote about it in a guest post on Kris' blog (read it here). In fact, I took the title for my Advent journal and these posts from this reading:

"...God isn't operating in chronos, but rather acts according to what He determines to be the "fitting time," kairos. How discouraging this can seem to us as we wait! What we are tempted to miss in the waiting is what we cannot see - what God is working behind the scenes on our behalf. When we imagine God to be slow, or even late, it is because we have assumed, even expected, (dare I say insisted) God operate according to the time frame that suits our comfort. We want to force Him into chronos because we can track that. We perpetually forget that God's ways are not our ways.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
...The time God gives us in the waiting is a gift, whether or not it feels that way in the moment. He is not late in His coming. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9)." ~Kris Camealy, p33-34.




Resources:
Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting by Kris Camealy. Available at Amazon.
Come, Lord Jesus Advent Book Club at Creative and Free.
Visit my church's website where we are offering a weekly Advent theme devotion and resources on our blog: Grace Church 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Advent Day 6



"Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
    for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
    but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
    that glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
    and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
    and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him
    and make his footsteps a way."
Psalm 85:8-13

"With such a beautiful promise of God's goodness, it's a wonder that we would even be tempted to return to our folly, as this passage calls it, to our sin and foolish living. But we will and we do. Which is precisely why we need Immanuel in the manger and on the cross." ~Kris Camealy, Come, Lord Jesus p29.


Resources:
Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting by Kris Camealy. Available at Amazon.
Come, Lord Jesus Advent Book Club at Creative and Free.Visit my church's website where we are offering a weekly Advent theme devotion and resources on our blog: Grace Church