Preparation Produces Hope
As the hectic hustle and bustle of the holidays is now underway, take some time every day to reflect on the importance of this time of waiting and preparation. In a time when our world seems to be spinning out of control, we must remember that everything God does, or allows, is according to His purpose and plan.
Our purpose in celebrating Advent (the four week season of preparation prior to Christmas day) is three-fold:
1) To remember how God has graciously revealed Himself to man since the beginning of time,
2) To keep us centered on Jesus during this busy holiday time, and
3) To trust that God is sovereign over all things.
During the second week of Advent, we remember how God has graciously revealed Himself to man since the beginning of time and how we can prepare our hearts to trust Him.
Throughout the Old Testament we read of God preparing His people to receive His gift of grace—the coming of Jesus into the world. From the calling of Abraham to Isaac’s obedience, from Jacob’s surrender to the words of the prophets, we read of God building-up and preparing a nation to be His people. They were chosen by God, not because they were special, and not because they were capable, but because they were to be the people through whom God would reveal His plan of redemption and fulfill His promise to send a Rescuer to save man from His sin (Genesis 3:15) .
In God’s mercy and grace the nation of Israel was blessed and sustained by their God. The nation grew in their knowledge and understanding of God and of His will and ways. God desires the same for all who are called by His name. In our journey of sanctification (from the moment we were saved until the time God takes us home to Heaven), we are to participate in preparing ourselves to be more and more like Jesus. While it is God who conforms us (Romans 8:29) and it is His Word that transforms us (Romans 12:2), we are to participate by focusing our thoughts and our time on knowing God better and enjoying Him more. This is done by reading and studying the Holy Bible, by prayerful communion with God and by having fellowship with other believers.
Pause and Prepare
As you make preparations for Christmas celebrations, make time to pause and prepare your heart. Do this by looking for Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
In addition to the prophets, God also revealed Himself through types and patterns. Every type and pattern found in the Bible whispers the name of Jesus and reveals God’s prophetic plan. The types and patterns point to the Person and works of Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, the Saviour of man.
The purpose of the types and patterns recorded in the Old Testament was to further prepare God’s people to recognize and receive their Messiah. In our time, these types and patterns help us to “see” Jesus better. “Seeing” Jesus helps us to focus on Him and to let His Holy Spirit direct our thoughts and actions.
Make time to read the Bible every day. Look for Jesus on every page. He’s there in types and patterns that reveal all of His wonderful attributes and works.
Take a minute to read, “See Jesus on every page of the Bible.”
It will help you get started in looking for Jesus on every page of the Bible. Select a couple of the types or patterns and do some further study. Read the Scripture verses, passages or even the books, as a way to prepare your heart for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
See Jesus On Every Page of the Bible! More than 200 glimpses of Jesus in types and patterns!
The Season of Advent (the 4 weeks before Christmas)
Will You Find Rest This Advent Season?
Advent Candle 1 – HOPE: Prophecy Gives Hope (video)
Advent Candle 2 – LOVE: Promise Reveals Love (video)
Advent Candle 3 – JOY: Jesus Is Our Joy (video)
Advent Candle 4 – PEACE: Pause to Find Peace (video)
Christmas-themed GOT QUESTIONS?
- Does “Xmas” Cross Jesus Out of Christmas?
- The Most Important Lesson for YOU in the Nativity Story?
- Misconceptions about the Journey to Bethlehem (video)
- Errors in the Nativity Story? Is Jesus’ birthplace wrong?
- Who were the Three Wise Men? Fact or legend?
- How Did the Wise Men Know to Follow His Star?
- Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 Days After Jesus’ Birth? Or Was It Much Later?
- What is the significance of the Three Kings' gifts?
- Was Jesus born in a stable, a cave or a house?
- Was Mary a Levite, making Jesus both King and Priest?
- Was Jesus born in September (not December?)
- Should we celebrate Jesus’ birthday in September?
- Was Jesus born in a stable, cave or house?
- Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?
- How did Jesus become a man?
- How did Jesus become a man?
- Do You Get These 7 Things Right or Wrong About the Nativity Story?
- Are You Stuck in the Middle This Christmas? (short video lessons from the popular comedy TV show "The Middle.")
- What are the Prophecies of Christmas? (video)
- Where are the genealogies of Jesus in Mark and John?
- Why are There Two Different Genealogies for Jesus?
- A Boastful Christmas Letter
- Peace Delivers Hope
- Promise Ignites Hope
- Preparation Produces Hope
- Prophesy Reveals Hope
- Alone at Christmas? Feeling lonely?
- Another reason God came to dwell with man.
- How can you have a white Christmas without snow?
- Christmas, abortion and Joseph, the forgotten man of Christmas
- Remember the Wonder of Christmas
- Will you find rest, peace and joy this advent season?
- A Christmas Morning Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
- What If You Had Been There When Jesus Was Born? (video)
- Pause to Find Hope (video)
- Pause to Receive the Promises of God (video)
- Pause to See Jesus (video)
- Pause to Hear God’s Plan (video)
- Christmas Trivia Fun
- Songs of Christmas Series: Away in a Manger; Mary, Did You Know? Rose of Bethlehem; Good Christian Men Rejoice; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; I Wonder As I Wander; What Child Is This? The First Noel In the Bleak Midwinter (a golden oldie)
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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