Daily Archives: December 3, 2018
“Advent is one of the hardest seasons of the church year to celebrate in today’s culture. As soon as Thanksgiving arrives, we are bombarded by Christmas carols, Christmas decorations, Christmas everything. We are so saturated by Christmas that we often skip over one of the most important parts: the preparation. You wouldn’t throw a party without preparing the food and drinks; you wouldn’t visit a friend without getting dressed and ready. We are about to remember the most awe-inspiring thing that happened in the whole of history: God becoming man in the glory and mystery of the incarnation. We need to set aside time to prepare ourselves for this – internally and externally” (excerpt from Rachel Telander’s “Let Us Keep the Feast”)
Join us as we prepare for Christmas with an Advent Study based on Selah Woody’s “A Traditional Advent Calendar: 28 Days of Devotions and Activities”. Each day of the study, we will post the scripture to focus on, ideas for discussion and activities with your family, and an example SOAP from our team based on the day’s scripture. If you’d like to see the full daily devotion from Selah Woody’s study, you can get the free download through Focus on the Family HERE.
Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Then, read and discuss the verse with your family around the dinner table, in the car, before bed, or another time when you can be in intentional devotion to Jesus. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts on the verse, discussion with your family, or your favorite Christmas traditions. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
Advent Study Day 4
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
Advent is a time of preparation. Just as a family prepares for a guest to visit, so we prepare our hearts and lives for the celebration of the Christ child. Have your children help clean your home as though you were expecting a very important guest. Talk about cleaning your heart too, through prayer and repentance. Throughout this week, light one of the purple candles in your Advent wreath when you gather for a meal.
Create, Renew, Restore | Becky Newman
Here’s the scene — David has just given into temptation and committed a very public adultery with Bathsheba and then has sent her husband to death by war to cover it up. This was the man after God’s own heart, appointed by God to take over as King, and yet he had some very imperfect tendencies. But he also very publicly came back to God–all of Psalm 51. If he was perfect in all that he did, we wouldn’t have these beautiful poetic scriptures that find us where we often are — imperfect people in an imperfect world regardless of position and standing.
Preparing for Christmas, cleaning up the house and decorating, is a great reminder to clean up my insides too in order to fully receive and accept the gift of Jesus that Christmas represents. I must come to repentance before God, being fully sorry for my sins, so You can cleanse me and wash me and make me whiter than snow (vs. 51:7). The word “steadfast” from vs. 10 is standing out to me today. Steadfast means loyal, faithful, committed, devoted, dedicated, and I’m going to add persevering. As long as there’s sin, all of us need reminders to renew and re-establish our persistent dedication and devotion to God. I can never sin so bad that You won’t renew and restore me in relationship to You.
Lord, thank You that You always accept me back when I stray. Clean-up my heart, Lord. Renew and restore me back, Lord. Create in me a steadfast spirit. Make me ready to accept the gift of Jesus and celebrate Christmas well.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.