“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 11
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
Continue lighting two of the purple candles in the Advent wreath this week. Ask your family to think about and imagine the sunset and the beauty of nature. Then, talk about how God created it all, and how He also created humans in His image, with many talents and abilities. Talk about your family’s specific talents and then use those talents to make an ornament to put on the Christmas tree.
Gifts and Talents | Becky Newman
The verse before this, Romans 12:3, tells us to be humble within the body of believers. God has designed the church to work together as one body in service of God and for His glory. If we get arrogant in our gifting, these pride-filled parts lose their effectiveness for God’s purpose and weaken us as a body.
The Christmas season has many talents and gifts on display — baking, singing, crafting, giving gifts, dancing, making music, acting, etc. It’s exciting to see all these talents You’ve given individuals and imagine how You can use each one of them in the one body of the church. My youngest got to sing “Away in the Manger” as a solo at his school’s Christmas concert, and for a 5-year old, he was simply amazing. Of course, one of his goals is to be on the kids version of The Voice. As my kids discover the gifts and talents that You’ve given them, I need to guide them with Your wisdom on how You give us these gifts to use in service of You, in Your church and for Your glory. And I need to keep my pride in check too. When they show and shine their talents and gifts, they are shining Your light, not mine.
Lord, thank You for the gifts and talents You’ve given me, my husband, and my kids. May we use them for Your glory and the benefit of the church and not become prideful in using them.
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.