Saturday, December 10th

Longing:  An Advent Devotional Overland Park Church of the Nazarene Advent 2016 Saturday, December 10th   CONNECT As we continue our journey in Advent, let us sing, pray, and study our hopes and promises for our Savior:   Opening Prayer God of timeless grace, you fill us with joyful expectation. Make us ready for the message that prepares the way, that with uprightness of heart and holy joy we may eagerly await the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.   Hymn Take a moment to meditate on “Prepare the Way” by Brian Boniwell. Especially allow your mind to imagine what “preparing the way of the Lord” looks like.   There was a man of God whose name was John. He came to speak for the light. The voice of one in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord." (Chorus) Prepare the way of the Lord. Prepare the way of the Lord. Prepare the way of the Lord. Prepare the way of the Lord. Mountains and hills shall be brought to the ground, the winding paths be straightened and all on earth shall see his face; prepare the way of the Lord. (Chorus) He's the lamb of God and you must follow him who takes the sin of the world, for he has come to give you life. Prepare the way of the Lord. (Chorus) CCLI#14428   GROW:  Matthew 3:1-12     We are entrusted with the task of preparing the way for God’s kingdom. Remarkable as it may sound, the God of all creation trusts you and me to bear witness about Christ. Yes, despite how sinful we have been, despite the wrong we have done, and despite our own lack of faith, God wants to use us for God’s glory. It is a ridiculous notion or, rather, it would be ridiculous if we didn’t believe in the God who redeems all things through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.     As we read on Tuesday, in Matthew 3 John the Baptist proclaims, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” He further explains how essential it is to “bear fruit worthy of repentance.” For John, the journey of repentance doesn’t stop at confession or baptism. Rather, repentance necessitates a complete reorientation of our lives. No longer are we to serve ourselves; we are to serve the kingdom of God. After all, we cannot encounter the abundant love and grace of God without extending that love and grace to others. While our salvation is not dependent upon our actions, our actions should show evidence of God’s saving work in us. In this way, the Holy Spirit enables us to be used by God to prepare the way for God’s kingdom. God wants to use you and me to share Christ’s grace with the world.     Honestly consider: what fruit is repentance bearing in your life? In the past week, how have your actions been an example of Christ’s grace? In the same way, consider the opposite: what areas of your life are not bearing fruit for God’s kingdom? Lift your thoughts to God in prayer. Ask God to illuminate those areas of your life that need to be changed so that they better represent the love that you have been shown through our Lord.    SERVE Name someone in your life that needs to see a sign God’s grace. Perhaps it is a coworker who you see regularly, but who doesn’t have many friends. Maybe it’s an acquaintance who never seems to fit in. It could likely be someone you know who is in great financial or emotional need. Today, purchase a meal for that person. If they are willing, join them for the meal. Do this as an example of God’s generosity and as offering of thanks to the Lord.  — Pastor Travis Caldeira

Longing:  An Advent Devotional

Overland Park Church of the Nazarene

Advent 2016

Saturday, December 10th

 

CONNECT

As we continue our journey in Advent, let us sing, pray, and study our hopes and promises for our Savior:

 

Opening Prayer

God of timeless grace, you fill us with joyful expectation.
Make us ready for the message that prepares the way, that with uprightness of heart and holy joy we may eagerly await the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Hymn

Take a moment to meditate on “Prepare the Way” by Brian Boniwell. Especially allow your mind to imagine what “preparing the way of the Lord” looks like.

 

There was a man of God whose name was John.
He came to speak for the light.
The voice of one in the wilderness:
"Prepare the way of the Lord."

(Chorus)

Prepare the way of the Lord.
Prepare the way of the Lord.
Prepare the way of the Lord.
Prepare the way of the Lord.

Mountains and hills shall be brought to the ground,
the winding paths be straightened
and all on earth shall see his face;
prepare the way of the Lord.

(Chorus)


He's the lamb of God and you must follow him
who takes the sin of the world,
for he has come to give you life.
Prepare the way of the Lord.

(Chorus)

CCLI#14428

 

GROW:  Matthew 3:1-12

    We are entrusted with the task of preparing the way for God’s kingdom. Remarkable as it may sound, the God of all creation trusts you and me to bear witness about Christ. Yes, despite how sinful we have been, despite the wrong we have done, and despite our own lack of faith, God wants to use us for God’s glory. It is a ridiculous notion or, rather, it would be ridiculous if we didn’t believe in the God who redeems all things through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    As we read on Tuesday, in Matthew 3 John the Baptist proclaims, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” He further explains how essential it is to “bear fruit worthy of repentance.” For John, the journey of repentance doesn’t stop at confession or baptism. Rather, repentance necessitates a complete reorientation of our lives. No longer are we to serve ourselves; we are to serve the kingdom of God. After all, we cannot encounter the abundant love and grace of God without extending that love and grace to others. While our salvation is not dependent upon our actions, our actions should show evidence of God’s saving work in us. In this way, the Holy Spirit enables us to be used by God to prepare the way for God’s kingdom. God wants to use you and me to share Christ’s grace with the world.

    Honestly consider: what fruit is repentance bearing in your life? In the past week, how have your actions been an example of Christ’s grace? In the same way, consider the opposite: what areas of your life are not bearing fruit for God’s kingdom? Lift your thoughts to God in prayer. Ask God to illuminate those areas of your life that need to be changed so that they better represent the love that you have been shown through our Lord. 

 

SERVE

Name someone in your life that needs to see a sign God’s grace. Perhaps it is a coworker who you see regularly, but who doesn’t have many friends. Maybe it’s an acquaintance who never seems to fit in. It could likely be someone you know who is in great financial or emotional need. Today, purchase a meal for that person. If they are willing, join them for the meal. Do this as an example of God’s generosity and as offering of thanks to the Lord. 

— Pastor Travis Caldeira