Advent Devotions

Friday, December 4

Philippians 1:9-11

My prayers this time of year are usually pleas for sanity in the midst of a chaotic season, for grace toward family members (and their grace toward me!), and for enough soul-peace to greet my Savior well. If I’m feeling especially others-centered, you might hear a prayer for folks in frigid climates who don’t have homes or who can’t afford heat.

But I’ve never prayed for someone’s love to overflow with knowledge and insight. Nor have I asked God to help that person determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ she may be pure and blameless.

But what better thing to pray as we approach Christmas? It’s a season chock-full of opportunities to determine what is “best.” We must decide where to spend money, how to fill our time, and with whom to share that time. This means there are also plenty of opportunities for missteps that put our purity and blamelessness at risk.

We have to discern how a tradition of gift-giving can be practiced in a way that brings glory to God. We must take notice of the stranger and the outcast in a season that’s overwhelmingly family-oriented. We can’t let the Christmas lights blind us to God’s demand that we be righteous in all ways—personally and corporately.

Ultimately, these verses are Paul’s prayer that God’s people would live a gospel life until the day of Christ, including during the Advent season. It’s a prayer that they’d increase in love, in knowledge, and in wisdom, so that they can stand before Christ in righteousness and confidence.

As we anticipate Christ’s return, may our love overflow.

Prayer: Lord, may our love overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help us to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ we may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

The Advent devotions follow the Common Lectionary texts. You may use the devotions in a number of ways, but you are encouraged to do the following:

  1. Read the passage through at least once. (Each devotion includes a link to the Scripture passage for the day.)
  2. Reflect on the passage and pay attention to how God might be using it to speak to you.
  3. Read and consider the devotion.
  4. End in prayer. You may begin with the prayer offered at the end of each devotion or pray your own prayer.

Posted on December 4, 2015, in Advent Devotions, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Advent Devotions.

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