Longing: An Advent Devotional
Overland Park Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, December 18th
As we continue our journey in Advent, let us sing, pray, and study our hopes and promises for our Savior:
Opening Prayer (Utilize this lengthy prayer as a time of reflection and repentance)
Eternal Light, from Nazareth’s Burning Bush
virginity burned by Love into maternity!
From her You took your mortal flame,
From her received beloved Name.
And not by livid sky, on Horeb’s height,
With voice of fearful majesty
Was this new Covenant
Now made by God.
In quiet night, from love-enriched stall
In lowly Bethlehem,
New Covenant, You spoke God’s Law of Love
In helpless Infant cry!
O God enfleshed in Virgin womb,
All-might made humble on that holy night!
O mighty, Hand of God, creative force,
And lordly Arm of God,
Stretched over boundless realm,
You are become a tender infant arm,
A Child’s hand seeking for a woman’s breast!
O little arm of Infant God,
Reach to my hungry breast!
O mystery of Might descended to the Lowly,
O Son of Mary, raise me to Your Father,
Make me holy!
GROW: Isaiah 7:10-16
Another prophecy from Isaiah has as its backdrop the threat of war. The northern kingdom of Israel and Aram attempted to invade Jerusalem and replace Judah’s King Ahaz with a puppet ruler who would be favorable toward Assyria. Suffice it to say King Ahaz and all of Jerusalem were terrified by the prospects of the impending invasion and threat on their lives.
Into this threat the Lord provides the King with an incredible act of assurance through the prophet Isaiah. The Lord tells King Ahaz he can ask the Lord for anything. Nothing is out of bounds. Nothing is to deep or to large of a request. It is an incredible request really. TheLord of heaven and earth has given him the opportunity to resolve any and all of his crises.
Ahaz refuses the opportunity to name a request, claiming he couldn’t possibly presume to make such a request of the Lord. Again, God “offers Ahaz a sign—any sign he wants-to convince him to trust in God; but Ahaz still refuses the sign, say that he will not test the Lord.”
What signs is God offering you, but you refuse to accept it? What is staring you in the face, but you refuse to ask for it? Too often our faith is so weak we cannot accept what the Lord is offering us. Unrestricted and wide-open is the love and mercy of God!
Today, consider how God has been speaking to you in the past few months. What big things is God trying to do in and through you? Take 10 minutes today to write out a vision for the big dream God is giving you for life and ministry to the world. Once you write out the vision, ask the Lord to give you a daily plan to receive God’s answer to that vision, and then act on it.
—Pastor Phil Hamner