Week 4: December 24 - 30 - LOVE
Weekly Family Devotion:
As we come to Christmas and we focus on Jesus’ first coming at his birth, we also are challenged to look beyond. We think of Jesus’ promise to come to people in salvation if they will receive Him. And, we ponder His promise to come again, raise all those who are in Him, and renew the Heavens & the Earth. In all of Jesus’ “comings,” the overarching theme is love! It was love that caused the Father to send the Son into our world so that we could have peace, hope, and joy. In the New Testament, the Apostle John writes a very famous statement: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The word here is from the Greek verb, Agapoō. We are probably most familiar with the noun form, Agapē. This word for love is a very deep word and essentially speaks of a love that is centered in the well-being of others. At the heart of Agapē is the idea of blessing. We set our affection on God or others to be a blessing to them - with God this takes the form of worship, gratefulness and obedience; with others, we treat them as ourselves and bless them accordingly. At the heart of the Christmas season is the love of God for us - a settled desire to free us from our bondage to sin and bring us the fullness of His love. This Advent purpose is summed up well in another writing of John: “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.” (1 John 4:9) God has been seeking our life (peace/wholeness; hope; joy; etc.) and it has been about His great love coming to us in Jesus Christ!
God has come to us in love! Watch the video for this week from The Bible Project, and then take some time to discuss how Jesus brings you love and how you can bring that love to your family and friends by blessing them.
Daily Scripture Readings:
This third week’s readings focus on LOVE and the presence of Jesus - the One who fills our lives with love and moves us to love & bless others at Christmas and beyond.
Sunday: God’s presence among us: Zechariah 2:10-11
Monday: God’s presence as a human: Philippians 2:5-7
Tuesday: Jesus’ presence is with us always as we walk His path: Matthew 28:20
Wednesday: Jesus presence is with us; He will never leave us or forsake us: Hebrews 13:5
Thursday: As we abide in Jesus, His presence bears fruit in us: John 15:4-5
Friday: Jesus is present as our Atoning Sacrifice and Advocate: 1 John 1:9-2:2
Saturday: Jesus is coming and we will see Him and know His presence: 1 John 3:2
Prayer for the Week:
O God, enlighten my mind with truth; inflame my heart with love. O God, inspire my will with courage; enrich my life with service. O God, pardon what I have been; sanctify what I am. O God, order what I shall be and thine shall be the glory and mine the eternal salvation through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen. ~ a Morning Prayer from crosswalk.com
Joy to the world, the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room;
And heav’n and nature sing, And heav’n and nature sing
And heav’n and heav’n and nature sing
Joy to the world, the Savior reigns; Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy
He rules the world with truth and grace; And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love
And wonders, wonders of His love
Living Advent This Week:
Below are some simple ideas for you to live LOVE this week.
Pray you that would love your family well this holiday season and always.
Pray for God’s love to fill your life so that it would flow to others.
Meditate on the fact that God loves you and accepts you if you are in Christ.
Write a blessing that you will read to your family members on Christmas Day.