Archive for the ‘ Religion ’ Category

Preparing Your Heart – The Second Week of Advent 2019

Once again, this series is a re-post from five years earlier, with some additions by me.

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It is now the second week of Advent! (See last week’s devotional thought here and here.)

Again, Advent is a time to remember our Lord’s first coming as we look forward to His imminent return.

So, let us prepare hearts for encountering the Lord!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-14, ESV

It is important for us to remember that God’s people, the Israelites, those who painstakingly preserved the written Word of God and pursued righteousness, failed to recognize Him when he came to them quite literally in the flesh.

Jesus said just three chapters later, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him” (John 4:23). Our culture today is largely spiritually dull, even in many churches.

Ask yourself, “Would I recognize God if He approached me today?” Seek His face in prayer, Bible reading, and the fellowship of believers. Ask God to reveal Himself to you. Too many missed Him the first time around. Seek the living Lord! Have faith that He is returning soon!

“For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 16:7b, ESV

VerseD: Romans 12:21

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21, ESV

If the Antichrist was in front of you, dying of thirst and starvation, would you help?

We help others for God’s glory. He does not need our help defending Himself or the Church.

Simply do good.

VerseD: Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Psalm 100:4, ESV

Always give thanks to God, for everything all the time, praising Him for His love and good works.

It is the fastest route to God’s heart.

VerseD: James 1:13

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
James 1:13, ESV

God cannot be bargained with, nor does He tempt us. He may allow us to be tested, and He may let us tell, scream, complain, and plead.

He has a plan, is in control, and waits for us to call on Him for help and wisdom.

VerseD: Hebrews 11:1

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

Faith is not blind trust. Faith is based on trust in what we have come to know guiding our beliefs.

Because Christ is risen, we have faith in eternal life and His imminent return.

VerseD: Luke 12:3

Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
Luke 12:3, ESV

We may think we can get away with private sins and things nobody was around to see, hear, or know.

But God sees and knows all, and we will stand before Him one day.

VerseD: Isaiah 25:1

O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
Isaiah 25:1, ESV

Our God, who planned out history and redemption before the world was made, is faithful to fulfill all He has willed and promised.

He is worthy of our praise!