advent

Day 12 | Advent \ Love

“But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead.’ And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.” - Matthew 2:19-23 ESV

Study Bible note written by Michael J. Wilkins, Ph.D.

“‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’” - Matthew 22:36-40 ESV

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Day 11 | Advent / Love

Loving Father, 

Help us remember the birth of Jesus,

that we may share in the song of the angels,

the gladness of the shepherds,

and worship of the wise men.



Close the door of hate

and open the door of love all over the world.

Let kindness come with every gift

and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing 

which Christ brings,

and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.



May the Christmas morning 

make us happy to be thy children,

and Christmas evening bring us to our beds

with grateful thoughts,

forgiving and forgiven, 

for Jesus’ sake.

Amen.
— Robert Lewis Stevenson

“Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’” - Matthew 2:13-15 ESV

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” - Hosea 11:1 ESV

“For to us a child is born,

    to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder,

    and his name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God

    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9:6 ESV

“As one whom his mother comforts,

    so I will comfort you” - Isaiah 66:13a ESV

In the story A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens says:

“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” 

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Day 10 | Advent \ Love

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for from you shall come a ruler

    who will shepherd my people Israel.’

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.’ After listening to the king, they went on their way. 

And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.” - Matthew 2:1-12 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” - John 3:16-17 ESV

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Day 9 | Advent / Joy

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” - James 1:2-4 ESV

Study Bible note written by Grant R. Osborne, Ph.D.

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Day 8 | Advent \ Joy

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV

“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” - Luke 2:19 ESV

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Day 7 | Advent / Joy

 “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

‘Glory to God in the highest,

    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” - Luke 2:8-20

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Day 6 | Advent \ Peace

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ’Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’ - Luke 2:13-14 ESV

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” - Romans 5:1 ESV

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Day 5 | Advent / Peace

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” - Luke 2:1-7 ESV

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 ESV

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Day 4 | Advent \ Peace

“And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, ‘Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord’) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.’ Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,

    according to your word;

for my eyes have seen your salvation

    that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

    and for glory to your people Israel.’

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.’

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” - Luke 2:22 -38 ESV

Bible Study Tools. com says: The biblical concept of peace is larger than that and rests heavily on the Hebrew root slm, which means "to be complete" or "to be sound." The verb conveys both a dynamic and a static meaning"to be complete or whole" or "to live well.”

( https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/peace/ )

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Day 3 | Advent / Hope

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’ And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” - Luke 1:26-38 ESV

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” - Hebrews 11:1 ESV

“For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed” -Luke 1:48b ESV

“And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.” -Luke1:50 ESV

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3 ESV

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” - 1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV

Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning. ( http://amzn.to/2Ax8sls ):

“faith combined with hope grows into trust.”

“Ruthless trust ultimately comes down to this: faith in the person of Jesus and hope in His promise.”

and

“trust is our gift back to God, and He finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for the love of it.”

 

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Day 2 | Advent \ Hope

“…we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” - Romans 5:2b-5 ESV

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” - Galatians 4:4-5 ESV

“In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged.” - Romans 5:5 The Message

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Day 1 | Advent / Hope

"But the angel said to him, 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.'

And Zechariah said to the angel, 'How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.' And the angel answered him, 'I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.' And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home." - Luke 1:13-23 ESV

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,

    for he has visited and redeemed his people

and has raised up a horn of salvation for us

    in the house of his servant David,

as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

that we should be saved from our enemies

    and from the hand of all who hate us;

to show the mercy promised to our fathers

    and to remember his holy covenant,

the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us

     that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,

might serve him without fear,

     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

to give knowledge of salvation to his people

    in the forgiveness of their sins,

because of the tender mercy of our God,

    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high

to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

    to guide our feet into the way of peace.” - Luke 1: 68-79 ESV

 

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