Advent Days 1 and 2 – Isaiah 9:2-7

1In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

Welcome to our family Advent study! Advent is an arrival or coming, and it’s a time for us as Christians to prepare for the coming of Jesus on Christmas. Our reading plan during Advent will explore the Christmas story and is based on the family-friendly Advent study “Truth in the Tinsel” by Amanda White. We will be using the daily scriptures in our personal time at the feet of Jesus while we SOAP (Not sure what SOAP is? Go here for the tutorial.) and then sharing these scriptures with our families so we can all prepare together and learn what Christmas is really about. For ideas to keep the young ones engaged and daily ornament crafts, get your copy of “Truth in the Tinsel” here.

Below is a SOAP journal entry from our team to help dive into God’s Word. We encourage you to join in this study by sharing in the Comments section on our website. You can share what God’s teaching you or your family, prayer requests, family Christmas traditions, funny responses from your kids, etc.

The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

God the Giver | Dyea Rowland
Wow, what a fast year 2015 has been. I’m sure all the left-overs from Thanksgiving have just been finished. You know what that means, right? Yep, we have officially entered the joyful Christmas season! I am looking forward to this Advent study with all of you. Making the fun crafts and sharing the Christmas story with my kiddo. Not only these pleasant things, but sitting with Jesus everyday – growing closer to Him and stronger in the Word. My wish for you this season is all of the above and even more than you can ever imagine the Giver to give.

Scripture

Isaiah 9:2

Observation

Okay, I get to start us off in the study, so here we go! In our scripture today, there is a lot that we can take from Isaiah 9, but I’ll focus on just two verses. Verse 1, we read that God’s children had been divided and lived in the literal “dark ages”. Winter helps set that stage for us as it gets dark early-yuck. Thank goodness for all the bright and beautiful Christmas lights to light everything up. But here it meant the lack of knowledge, truth, and an entrapment of bondage to the ways of this world. The prophecy in verse 2 stated that the great light would come (read Matthew 4:12-19 to see this prophecy fulfilled and 5:13-18 to see how we are to live out the rest of our lives in brightness). This was God’s gift to us – Jesus was our light to come and he did. Jesus, our light while he was here, but, he knew he wouldn’t be here for long. Jesus said that once he left, he would need us to be that light. That is preaching the gospel (letting our light shine). And doing our good works (not to forget bringing up Jesus in the midst of the acts–to glorify the Giver, God). As it was in the days of the dark ages, with such a lack of knowledge, truth, and so much bondage, it seems to be the same in today’s age. What a wonderful gift that would make this season, for all of us to shine that light so freely given and to shine it brightly – as bright as humanly possible…

Application

This is to be a time full of peace, joy, and moreover Jesus. Sometimes it seems as if it becomes quite the opposite. Greed, pride, impatience, and loss of focus seem to take over. As I enter this time where a bondage to the materials of this world tend to make its way to the forefront, let me remember You, my Giver. People are watching; let me act as Jesus would have me and not forsaking his namesake. Have me shine my light so brightly this Christmas season, far into next year and through eternity. Forgetting not, my One True Giver.

Prayer

Father, You know that I sure do a lot of talking (big talk at that). How about I stop talking and do! All that I am, all that I have is because of You. Let me give as You…what a life that would be. Amen.

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Posted on December 1, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I love your bent on today’s reading, Dyea! And the word of the day with our families is “light” too. My Advent pocket calendar that Holly made for us is all stuffed and hanging from my stair railings, ready to get started tonight with my family in preparation of our hearts for the incarnation!
    Reflecting right now on my daughter getting out all of the pieces of my fragile nativity scene last night, and as she played with its pieces, dropping one from her hand and breaking the shepherd’s head off. That would have been a good opportunity to come before the Lord and talk about our brokenness…instead of the screaming and yelling fit I threw about a material possession being broken. Alas, his head has been glued back on, and now I’m feeling convicted on a do-over. God, I come before You broken, in need of Your light. Please shine it through our family time tonight and draw us closer to You.

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  2. How was Day 1, y’all? A couple things I learned: (1) do not judge the success of family devotions by the number of your teenager’s eye rolls and (2) putting the two-year old in a dark closet with a flashlight that barely works does not help them better understand that Jesus lights the darkness but does help them better understand what fear is.

    Packing up our calendar for the road the next few days. I’m going to put each day in a separate paper bag and then use our Discover One Thing emails on my iphone to read the day’s scripture. Traveling for the holidays? This study is mobile!

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  3. The magic word for today is “kingdom”. A chocolate chip cookie for you if you can tie the Magic Kingdom into your discussion yet still end your discussion talking about Jesus rather than a princess. Game on!

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  4. I started day 1 reading the scripture of the day at supper (that seems to be the only time we are all together and not busy with something) and did what jess does I had them listen for the word of the day and raise their hands when they hear it. Then after supper they get a little treat from the advent box we made. then the youngest colors the ornament and hangs it on our Jesus tree. This has really worked well these first 2 days.

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    • Yay Rebecca! Happy to hear it’s working! Last night, we did ours on the road at a Subway, lots of distractions. Neither one could concentrate on the story long enough to hear the word of the day, even after I stressed it and said it 5 times over. Note to find a place and time without so many distractions. I asked the kids if Jesus is the King of their hearts, and my daughter informed me she doesn’t have a King in her heart, just a Queen.

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