Advent Week 4: Day 7 – LOVE

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It is Christmas Eve. What does a verse about the genealogy of Jesus have to do with Christmas Eve and what does it have to do with love? Everything.

Centuries passed after Adam and Eve believed the Serpent’s lie that God was lying to and defrauding them, and they made the choice to disobey Him. Centuries passed after He told them the consequences of their sin and He told the Serpent the consequences of his deception.

“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15, NKJV)

Centuries passed from that moment to the time that the angel Gabriel spoke God’s words to Zechariah and to Mary and to Joseph. And Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem. And “the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”  (Luke 2:1-7, NKJV). And an angel said to the terrified shepherds, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Luke 2: 8-12, NKJV). Centuries passed and God kept loving us and kept executing His plan of redemption through generations of men until His plan of redemption was fully accomplished.

It is Christmas Eve. What does a verse about the genealogy of Jesus have to do with Christmas Eve and what does it have to do with love? Everything.

May you awake on Christmas Day full of anticipation and gratitude for God’s incomprehensible love for us. For you. Merry Christmas.

Advent Week 4: Day 6 – LOVE

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Prayer

Ancient of Days. Jehovah Shalom. Father.  May our faith (our abiding trust in You and Your promises) be constant, our hope (confident expectation of eternal salvation) be unwavering, and our love (unselfish love for others, growing out of Your love for us) be deeply rooted and maturing. Thank You for Your love.

 

 

Advent Week 4: Day 5 – LOVE

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What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep. No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31-39, NLT).

Prayer

Creator. Ancient of Days. Father. There is so much in life that is uncertain. Thank You that one of the things we can be absolutely sure of is, “Nothing can separate us from You love.” Thank You for Your love and for this assurance that we have in You.

 

 

 

Advent Week 4: Day 4 – LOVE

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Prayer

El Elyon. El Channun (Gracious God). Father. Thank You for reminding us through this verse that the true proof of Your love for us is what You did to redeem us, not our circumstances. Help us love as You love us.

Advent Week 4: Day 3 – LOVE

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Lyrics for “Good, Good Father” can be found here.

Prayer

Adonai. El Shaddai. Father. You have lavished Your love on us. That You have done so because You chose to and adopted us into Your family, is beyond our understanding. Our true identity is found in You and this truth is the antidote to insecurity and despair. We are Your children and You are the Good Father. Thank You.

 

 

Advent Week 4: Day 2 – LOVE

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Prayer

Almighty God. Omnipresent One. Father. Thank You that we do not have to earn Your love because we never can. Thank You for loving us and sending Jesus as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Thank You, Father. Thank You.

 

Week 4 Advent 2016 – The Love of Advent

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“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

(Isaiah 9:6, NKJV)

 “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16-17, AMP)

The full lyrics of this hymn can be found here.

Prayer

Elohim. Eternal God. Everlasting Father. Thank You. Thank You for Your love. Thank You.

 

 

 

 

Advent Week 3: Day 7 – JOY

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“Promise of Joy”

This weeping.
Your weeping.
You have tried to stop it.
Keep it hidden from those who know and love you.
Not wanting to cast a gloom on the preparations
for the celebration of the birth of the Messiah.

And you have been successful.
Smiling when others are around.
But needing hiding spaces.
to let it out:
The bathroom.
Your pillow.
Your car.

It continues.
This weeping.
This anguish.
This sorrow.
This aching of the heart.
This weariness of the soul.
It has lasted longer than you ever thought it could.
Sapped your strength.
Made even ordinary tasks seem monumental.
But you are holding on with everything you have.
Trying to hold everything together.
And you have not let go of hope.
Even through the tears.

Dear One,
He sees you.
And He is holding you.
Even around the jagged edges.
And whispering this truth to you.
Listen.
“This weeping. This anguish. It has an end date on it.
The night will end. Morning is coming. Morning is coming.
And with it joy.
The joy known only to those who endured the night.
Reached again and again for grace.
White-knuckled hope.
Whispered broken Hallelujahs.
Kept on trusting.
Chose to say, like Habakkuk, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
This is His promise of joy.
And He, your exceeding joy, will keep it.

© E. W. Wright December 2016

Advent Week 3: Day 6 – JOY

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Prayer

Father, we accept the psalmist’s invitation to sing for joy to You, YAHWEH. We shout aloud to You, the Rock of our salvation, even if we do so through tears. Even if our days may seem long and our nights unending during this Advent season. We sing for joy because You are our Refuge and our Fortress and You are with us every moment. Immanuel. And joy is found in You.

 

Advent Week 3: Day 5 – JOY

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Prayer

Almighty God and Father, if there is ever a time for us to shout for joy to You, sing the glory of Your Name, and make Your praise glorious, the Advent season is definitely the time, as we focus on Your incomprehensible love for us.  Halleluiah!