Monday, 3 November 2014

Day 3: The Source of Strength

Welcome to our 25 day Advent study and Advent Calendar which we are preparing through November to be able to use in December.   Each day has a Bible Study related to Advent, a worship video, a passage telling the Christmas Story and a Bible verse to ise on your Advent Calendar.  You can download the PDF with today's study and verses here.

Advent Study
'May [the Lord] strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when out Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones.'  1 Thessalonians 3:13 

These words from the apostle Paul to some of the very first Christians are a great lead-in to how God’s way of salvation is exactly opposite to the world’s. Where worldly theologians would encourage us to strengthen ourselves, Paul prays that God Himself would be the strength of His people. Paul could write this with confidence because there are many places in the Bible that tell us that this is true, such as Psalm 28:8 – “The Lord is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation.”

What comfort in these days of Advent to acknowledge that while our own strength is limited, God’s is limitless. There will always be times when our strength is not enough; but when God is working on our behalf even the worst trouble cannot overcome God’s strength.

The world would not expect this, thinking that we can accomplish this on our own by being so good that there is nothing to blame. But Paul reminds us that the only way we can truly be blameless before God is to have our sins forgiven. This forgiveness can only come through faith and trust in Jesus who took away the punishment for our sins so that He might present us blameless to God.

God, when I do things on my own and fail to invite you into the process the results are hit or miss. I now release my selfish ways and invite you into my life. I ask that you be present in my thoughts and actions. While Christmas is traditionally a very demanding time of the year, help me to focus o the real gift of the season, your son Jesus, who you sent to take away the sins of the world. I am so grateful for your gift of forgiveness. Amen.

Think about how you have done things in your own strength and the results.   How had God's forgiveness changed your life and how can you tap into God's supernatural strength in the future?

Worship Video

Christmas Story 
The Branch From Jesse 
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him -
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord -
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.
 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.

Bible Verse 
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from roots a Branch will bear fruit.

You can see our creative responses at AdoreHimCreations and NewlyCreative.

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