Theme For The Series: In this 21 day Advent devotional we are focusing on anticipation and the Incarnation, Christ’s presence In the world, and the return of the King.
Intro Prayer: “Jesus, please help me in this time to be fully present to You and to myself that I may commune with You for the sake of your glory and the world around me.”
Silence: In this time, try and become silent before the Lord both internally and externally for 5 minutes. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to stillness.
Praise: Bless the Lord by declaring these truths about Him!
“You are the God who caring and close You counsel your people are our comforter. You are our confidence and our covenant-keeping God. You never change, you are consistent. You are creative and capable. You are deserving of ceaseless praise.”
Devotional: After Jesus was born, his parents took him to the temple to dedicate him to the Lord. The dedication was customary for all firstborn males. When they arrived at the temple that day, though there would have been many religious people around, only two had the awareness that the Presence of God had come into the temple that day.
Their names were Anna and Simeon. One had lived a life of prayer and fasting as a response to a great personal tragedy (the loss of her husband). One had lived a life of prayer and fasting as a response to a promise they had received from the Lord about the coming of the Messiah. Whether by pain or by promise they had cultivated a life of prayer which made them acutely aware to what God was doing in Jesus.
This Christmas, many people will celebrate Christmas and Christ’s birth. But as in the day of Anna and Simeon, there will probably only be a few who are profoundly and acutely aware of what God was doing in Jesus and the Presence of God in our lives.
Whether from pain or from promise let us follow their example.
Scripture: Read today’s text slowly. Feed your spirit on the words. Your goal in this time is to commune with Jesus through His Word. Take note as you sense His Presence.
Luke 2.22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Worship: Worship forms the truths of Scripture deep within our lives. This week we will be worshipping to the song O Holy Night performed by Matt Nickel Music. Lyrics are listed below as well. (If you are reading this via email, here is the link to the video.)
“O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from the Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weaknesses no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.”
Listen: Take time to listen to the Holy Spirit. Write down anything you sense the Lord speaking.
Obedience: What from today is the Lord calling you to put in practice? Could be to pray for someone, to call someone, to serve someone etc.