Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements?
Call to Prayer
For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Prayer of Confession
Confession is formative. It trains us to recognize the ways our hearts have become de-formed and how Christ is at work bringing redemption in our lives. Pray with this in mind.
Dear Lord Jesus, knowing that it’s possible to “do Christmas” and miss Advent, today I want to fill my heart as full as possible with you. You are the One who has come and is coming again. Isaiah’s words fuel my worship and shrink my worries.
Hallelujah, so many times over! Knowing the government of the whole world already rests on your shoulders fills me with a joy second only to knowing your shoulders fully bore the sin of the world, including mine. As this day begins, I gladly surrender to your reign of grace. Amen.
Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.
Advent Reading Plan
During Advent this year we are using the He Reads Truth and She Reads Truth Advent Devos. Readings in this plan will cover the whole of Scripture and directly point us to Christ. We will resume our OPC|M Daily Reading Plan on December 26.
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) for Sunday’s sermon. Go ahead and read the following passage(s) and use theParables Reading Plan + Study Guide to journal what stands out and what you have questions about in the passages. Below is a helpful commentary that can help to fill in the gaps.
Read: Mark 13:33-37 + Romans 12:6-8 + 1 Peter 5:8
Mark uses similar imagery to this parable in his gospel. Servants are giving two things from their Master: authority and work to do. The conclusion is the same: They are responsible for knowing their Master well, so that even though they don’t know when he will return, they know what he will be expecting. Obedience is everything for followers of Christ.
The Apostle Paul concludes similarly in Romans 12:6-8. Everyone is given different gifts according to the grace given, but obedience in using them is what matters. Failing to use our gifts would be like Pevensie Children refusing to use the gifts (swords, a bow, and a healing draught) they received from Father Christmas in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Our Heavenly Father’s gifts to us are given to be used up on living between two Advents!
Finally, 1 Peter 5:8 gifts us with wise counsel and enduring hope for living in times like these:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Ponder: Which passage is bringing you comfort today? Take these words and mediate on them before the Lord. Ask him to confirm, strengthen, and establish you through them today.
Evening Prayer of Examen
Where did you move with or feel close to Jesus today?
Where did you resist or feel far from Jesus today?
Where is Jesus leading you tomorrow? Ask for joy as you follow him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say, ‘The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have now come, because the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been thrown down. (Revelation 12:10)