Incarnation, Devotions, & Reading (Dec 23, 2016)

The Fullness of God Dwelled in a Womb

An excellent devotional from Jared Wilson.

10 Ideas and 10 Tips for Family Devotions in 2017

Great thoughts!

Less important than how you do family devotions is that you do family devotions.


Dad, take responsibility for family devotions. Lead your family by leading them to the Word and leading them in prayer.

Drop Everything and Read

Reading is not an activity for when everything else is done. It’s an activity to put in our schedules first. We must guard and protect this time to nourish our minds and our souls.

Birth of Jesus – Gospel of Luke Ch 1-2

A fantastic start to their new series covering the Luke’s Gospel… and just in time for Christmas!

Light for Those Who Sit in Darkness

This Christmas may God cause our hearts to explode with real joy over the salvation that comes through Jesus. If that is going to happen, we first need the courage to reckon seriously with the darkness within us. And if we do this, then we’ll truly appreciate that “a light has dawned” among us (Matthew 4:16).

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Free Advent Ebook

The season of Advent begins December 2 this year, leading up to Christmas. 1

I love Advent because it helps us remember how long humanity waited for a Savior.

It emphasizes the glorious miracle of Jesus’ coming into the world that He created.

This ebook collects together the devotional thoughts that I posted during Advent in 2015, revised and edited.

I’ve hoped to provide a brief sweep through the entire Bible’s storyline, showing how the crucial the Advent of Christ is. Thus, the first devotion begins in Genesis 3, and the final one ends in Revelation 22.

Click here or on the book cover to download the ebook.

Give Thanks

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

Thanksgiving Day is primarily designated as being two things: the day before Black Friday and the day for being grateful.

Of course, some people skip both of these meanings in order to opt for a guilt-free day of gluttony. With all of these different ideas swarming about, how ought we approach this holiday?

First, gluttony does not cease to be sin simply for a holiday’s sake.

Well, that takes care of one.

And as for Black Friday, Jesus’ words against materialism and idolatry are too many to mention here, so let us scratch that one off as well.

But what about Thanksgiving being the day to be grateful?

For a follower of Christ, thanksgiving cannot be limited to one day. If we believe that Christ, the God-man, died in our place, then the entirety of our lives must be overflowing with thanksgiving.

In fact, a thankful spirit is so fundamental to the Christian life that Paul commands it in all circumstances. The final three words are the most difficult to bear. We are commanded to be thankful, regardless of our situation. This is God’s will.

Yet how can this be?

How can God command us to be thankful in the midst of unemployment, chronic illness, or the death of a loved one?

Is God unsympathetic to our circumstances?

No, instead, true thankfulness can only come from a sincere heart. Thus, it is God’s will for us to realize that as His children we always have a reason for giving thanks. Though our health or loved ones may fail us, our eternal and loving Father cannot fail.

In fact, it is no coincidence that only two verses before, Paul also commands that we “rejoice always.” When in all circumstances we are in communion with the One who is both good and sovereign in all circumstances, we have reason, then, to be thankful in whatever life throws our way.

May we, therefore, give thanks to the God that never fails us, not simply today but every day, in every circumstance.

Introduction for Week 2 of Advent

SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah. (1 Samuel 16:13 ESV)

The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4 ESV)

OPENING THOUGHT

God’s over-arching epic narrative for humanity began in Genesis and slowly forms a crescendo of anticipation for the coming Savior, the Serpent-Crusher.

We know that He would be the offspring of woman and come from Abraham’s lineage (Judah’s line to be more specific). Also, Israel’s exodus from Egypt prefigures the coming of the Moses-like Prophet to free His people from sin, and before his death, Moses told Israel to watchfully wait for this Prophet.

Following his death, Moses’ disciple, Joshua, led Israel into Canaan, conquering the land promised to them through Abraham.

For 400 years, Israel is ruled by God through designated judges; however, the Israelites eventually demand to God’s prophet, Samuel, that they want a king like all the other nations.

Samuel reluctantly appoints the first king of Israel, Saul of the tribe of Benjamin. We quickly learn, however, that Saul is quite a terrible king, so the LORD has Samuel anoint a new king from the tribe of Judah, David.

The heart of this week’s readings is God’s covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7.

In that chapter, God promises to give to David an offspring that will sit on the throne forever. This, of course, is the promised offspring from Genesis 3:15.

He will come from the lineage of David, and the Serpent-Crusher will be an eternal king, whose reign over the entire earth will never end.