Category Archives: The ADVENTure of Christmas

The ADVENTure of Christmas 12/5/15

Just like people of old times were hoping for Christ’s first coming, today, believers world-wide are hoping for His second coming. As surely as the prophecies were fulfilled regarding His birth, the prophecies regarding His return will also soon be fulfilled.

Dec 5

One such prophecy is found in Luke 21. Let’s look at verses 25-28:

25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near,” Luke 21:25-28.

By the way, yesterday we talked about bringing hope to others. As we continue to see the signs of Jesus’ second coming (evil, disasters, etc.) there will be increasingly more and more opportunities to bring hope to the world.

Another prophecy is found in the second to last verse of the Bible, Revelation 22:20. Here, Jesus says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” This is His promise to us as His followers. Our response to that promise is found in the second half of the verse, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

Part of the ADVENTure of Christmas is:

  • To lift our eyes to the clouds in expectation that today could be the day that He returns
  • To add our voices to the chorus of, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus”[1]
  • To let the desires of this world fade away as we renew our desire for Him to snatch us up from this world and take us into heaven to live with Him forever.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Come!

Today’s Family ADVENTure!

Family Activity: Have a family worship time with some favorite Christmas hymns and include Even So, Come by Chris Tomlin (link below).

Dinner Discussion: How can you bring hope to the world, especially this Christmas? Consider giving water or supplies to third world countries or refugees through a charity like World Vision or Compassion International.
[1] Even So Come by Chris Tomlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw5Fq-svvQ8

The ADVENTure of Christmas 12/3/15 & 12/4/15

12/3/15

In any great adventure story, there is always a villain. In our ADVENTure, the villain is our archenemy the Devil. Because he knows the peace and power that hope, joy, and love can bring, he tries to keep us from finding them, much less fully experiencing them in our lives. In fact, because Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year, it is easy to plow through all the festivities the season provides and end up with less hope, joy, or love than when it all started.

Dec 3

Brothers and sisters, this should not be!

For every wonderful promise that was fulfilled with that first advent of Jesus, our villain tries to keep that promise hidden and out of our grasp. Such is the case with hope.

Hope remains hidden behind unmet expectations.

Whether they are realistic or not, each of us has certain expectations in our work, in our relationships, in our families, even in ourselves. It isn’t wrong to have expectations, the challenge lies when you put your hope in something or someone so strongly that your hopes are dashed when the expectation is unmet. Circumstances, people, and even you, yourself, will become a disappointment. God never will. “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed,” Isaiah 49:23b, NIV.

We are wise when our voice echoes the words of Lamentations 3:24-25, NIrV . . . 24“I say to myself, “The Lord is everything I will ever need. So I will put my hope in Him.” 25 The Lord is good to those who put their hope in Him. He is good to those who look to Him.

The only Person Who will not only meet, but far exceed your expectations is Jesus. In Him, alone, will you find what you are longing for.

Today’s Family ADVENTure!

Family Activity: Setup a nativity in your dining room or wherever you eat most meals, but do not place baby Jesus in the manger yet (store him away for a few more weeks). Place the wise men in another room far away from the crèche. Put the shepherds in still another room. When you see the empty manger, ponder the hopes and expectations Jesus embodies.

Dinner Discussion: Share an example of a time when your hopes were dashed. Discuss how you should have clung to the Lord in this situation.

 

12/4/15

During the past couple of days, I have been sharing ways that we can find hope in God. Once your soul has found true hope, the natural response is to share the hope you’ve found with others.

Dec 4

Part of the ADVENTure of Christmas is to look for opportunities to bring hope to those who cross your path. Some may cross your path quite naturally – such as extended family members, co-workers, neighbors, and friends.

It is probably not too difficult to figure out how to bring hope to those you already have a relationship with. Here are a few examples:

  • A listening ear
  • An encouraging word
  • A sincere offer to help
  • Praying with and for them
  • A note sent through the mail
  • Spending quality time together
  • Sharing God’s truth and perspective
  •  Giving of your time, abilities and resources to help

And then there are others who would not normally cross your path, unless you were given the opportunity. For example, our church is providing a few opportunities to bring hope to others this Christmas season in the following ways:

  1. Operation Christmas Child – a shoebox filled with small gifts for children around the world
  2. Food from the Heart – a Christmas meal for Cheney families in need
  3. Gloves & Scarves – a bit of warmth for homeless women in Spokane will be collected at our Women’s Ministry Christmas Event tonight, “Christmas Joy”.

Let’s be people who look for ways that we can share the hope we’ve found, whether that be with people we know well, or with those we do not know. Hope is a universal language that can be understood by anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

As we take the next few days to reflect upon the missing artifact of hope this Christmas season, let’s read the first 10 verses of Psalm 25 from the New Living Translation.

O Lord, I give my life to you. 2 I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.  All day long I put my hope in you. Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past. Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord. The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. 10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

Psalm 25:5b says, “All day long I put my hope in you.” What would happen if we carried those nine little words around with us “all day long” today?

Dec 2

To put your hope in God means you wait or eagerly look for God in every detail of your life. You expect Him to show up. What does it look like to put your hope in God “all day long”?

  1. You begin the day by placing your hope in Him.
  2. As situations arise during the day, you refocus your hope upon Him.
  3. As you lay your head on the pillow at night, you recount the ways you’ve seen Him show up and you ask Him to help you trust Him for the situations where He has yet to show up.

Make no mistake, it’s not a matter of if He will show up, it’s just a matter of when. Will you join me in putting your hope in God?

All.

Day.

Long.

Today’s Family ADVENTure!

Family Activity: Memorize Psalm 25:5. “Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.”

Dinner Discussion: Recount the day together. What are some instances from your day where you saw God show up?

Your Friend in Ministry,

1Signature