Day 2 // Promises

“The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” Jeremiah 33:14 (NRSV)

Part of the adventure of any journey is the anticipation of what you will experience, who you will encounter along the way and where your destination will take you. As a child I remember the trips we took. My parents would build the anticipation with promises of what we would see and do together. We’ve begun a journey we’re calling the Advent Adventure – A 25-day journey to a meaningful Christmas. But imagine for a moment those on the advent adventure before His coming. Over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament pointed to the coming of the Messiah, the first coming of Christ. These were all promises that we can look back on today; promises that were literally fulfilled; promises made to those anticipating His coming. We better understand what they must have felt when we read the promises of the second coming of Christ.

God always keeps His promises. Sometimes it can seem like He will never do what He says He will do and we can become discouraged. Maybe that’s why He gave them over 300 promises for His first coming. Promises offer us hope. Hope that God will do what He says He will do. Maybe you’ve become discouraged wondering if God will fulfill His promises to you. The people of God in Jeremiah’s day were living in a very difficult time. Many had already been defeated and exiled by an adversary that would soon destroy their city and deport them to a foreign land. Though the circumstances didn’t seem promising, Jeremiah reminded the people that God would keep His promise. “The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”

Do you keep your promises? Christmas is filled with promise. God kept His promise and sent His one and only Son to be the Savior of the world! Through Him we are able to keep the promises we’ve made.

“Thank You Father for keeping Your promise to send Your One and only Son to be my Savior from sin. Enable me to keep the promises I’ve made to You, my spouse, my family and others to make this the most meaningful Christmas we’ve ever had.” In Jesus name, Amen

What are the promises God has given you that give you hope?

Think of the promises you’ve made to others. Are you a promise keeper?

In what ways can you affirm your promises and fulfill them? Learn to lean on God’s strength to fulfill your promises.

Day 1 // God Is With Us

“The Lord Himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call Him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” Isaiah 7:14 (NLT)

We’re beginning a journey today, a 25-day journey to a meaningful Christmas that I’m calling The Advent Adventure. I’m glad you’re coming with us. It’s a journey that will keep us focused on the real reason for the season and enable us to encounter Christ along the way.

In today’s Advent passage, the prophet talks about a sign that God would give His people to look for as they awaited the coming of the Messiah. The sign would be unmistakable. Nothing like it had ever happened before or since. A virgin would conceive a child? (No wonder people thought prophets were weird.) Who ever heard of such a thing? It’s not possible! Yet that was the miracle of Christmas, wasn’t it? History records it. The sign points to a promise. A virgin would conceive and give birth to a son who would be called “Immanuel” which means “God is with us.”

As we take this journey together, we take it with Him. God is with us! That was the promise of Advent. Advent simply means “coming” as in Christ is coming and for us now He has arrived. Immanuel is here, present by His Holy Spirit to make real to you and me the presence of God in our lives. That can be both comforting and disturbing. What does it mean to you to know that God is with you? He is not distant or far removed from us. The Greek poets said, “In Him, we live and move and have our being.” Your journey will become an adventure to the most meaningful Christmas you’ve ever experienced if you will practice the presence of God along the way.

“Thank you God for becoming man, that I may know You and relate to You. Thank you that You are with me, completely available to me 24/7. Help me to practice Your presence moment by moment in this Advent Adventure.”

In Your Son’s name, Amen.

What are ways in which you can practice the presence of God?

Is it comforting or disturbing to you that God is with you?

How does recognizing God is with you make a difference in your life?

What signs has God given you that He is with you?

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