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“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 14
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
1 John 4:7-12
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
It’s good to show our love for others during the holiday season, just as God showed His love for us through the gift of His Son. Make Christmas cards for your family members and friends to show your love. While you work, think of other ways you can show love to others. Continue lighting two purple candles on your Advent wreath this week.
Love As He First Loved Us | Marianne Toovey
1 John 4:11-12
Gospel John gives a simple command. Love one another as Jesus loves me. But how is this done? John then expands on this idea in his first letter. I can love others because God loved us so much that He sacrificed His own Son to save us. Having received God’s love, I am automatically capable of loving those who have also received it. As our love flows to each other, it becomes evident that the love we share is from God.
Christmas and love go hand in hand. We give gifts to friends and family because we love them. We watch Hallmark movies about finding love at Christmas time. One of my all time favorite movies even takes a popular love song from the 60s and substitutes the word “Christmas” for “love”. And while silly, the song actually still makes sense. You just can’t have Christmas without love! Why? Because Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s arrival to fulfill a destiny that proves God’s love for us once and for all. So instead of worrying about fitting in all the holly & jolly I possibly can into each day, I want to devote my time to sharing the love God’s shown to me with others.
Father, thank You for that undying love. For the amazing gift we’re preparing to celebrate. Help me to grab onto it and freely share it this Christmas (and all year through). Show me ways to love on the people in my life in a meaningful way. And I pray that the love I share is evidence of Your love for them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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.