WELCOME TO ADVENT 2018
Shades Crest Baptist has focused throughout 2018 on what it means to be a community of faith. As part of our community of faith we celebrate together with other followers of Christ from around the world this Advent season. Advent (arrival) is a time of waiting for Christ to return to earth as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We give of ourselves and love the Lord and others while we wait on His return.
Advent is the first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays. Advent ends on Christmas Eve. It is a time of anticipation and waiting. Below is an Advent Guide for the week. You are encouraged to take time daily and focus on waiting in anticipation on our Lord Jesus Christ return. May we all follow the example of Christ in the things we say and do.
As part of the Shades Crest community of faith we encourage each other to take time out daily and pay attention to letting Christ transform us to be more like Him. We hope you find this guide as one tool to help.
Suggestions to begin your daily devotional time
Each day, before the daily reading, light one Advent candle to represent Hope. “We light this candle as a reminder that Jesus is our hope.”
Sit still for one minute asking God to still your mind and heart so that you can focus on His presence and accepting His hope found in Jesus Christ.
Assist young children to find Scripture in their Bible to be read. Monday – Thursday Scripture is a follow up of Sunday’s Connect Group lesson.
WEEK ONE: HOPE
The Week of December 2
Sunday: Today in worship we focused on Who Is Jesus. Read the titles and the verses of all 3 below and identify which title you need most, now in your life. Share why? He is the: 1. Anointed (Messiah) One—John 4:25-26, 2. Bread of Life—John 6:35, 3. Light of the World—John 8:12 (can refer to advent candle). What is one thing that you can do to make sure Jesus is the Anointed One, Bread of Life or Light of the World this advent season? Pray a prayer of adoration (praise) to God. Recognize His presence, faithfulness, love, grace and assurance. Use one of the names above as you pray.
Monday: Read Genesis 37:1-11. What activities did you do or you think you will do at the age of 17? When have you felt like someone was playing favorites and how did you respond? Although Jacob had a favorite child, what does it teach us about our heavenly Father’s love for everyone? Thank God in prayer that He sent His One and Only Son for all mankind and not just for certain people. How do I respond to others? Do I offer them hope through Jesus?
Tuesday: Read Genesis 37:12-22. Israel/Jacob must have been clueless about the sinfulness of his favoritism of Joseph and how it hurt his other sons, and almost killed Joseph. But God, our all-knowing Father, did know what would happen to Jesus, His One and Only Son when he sent Him to earth. Reflect on how much God loves you and take time to give thanks for His love. Pray for guidance as you seek to make a difference in someone’s life who needs to see God’s love and have hope in a practical way this week. We represent hope to a hurting world.
Wednesday: Read Genesis 37:23-28. How does it feel to be betrayed? How can this passage help us to trust God or put our hope in God? Joseph must have kept his hope in the Lord. Write down something that you need to put your hope in God with today. Place it in an envelope and seal it. Pray that you will put your hope in the Lord no matter the circumstance. Praise God for who He is.
Thursday: Read Genesis 37:29-36. There is a way to look at death through the lens of the world’s way and through the lens of the gospel (Good news of Christ’s death burial and resurrection). How do you see death? Is there hope? Pray for someone you know who has had a loss in their life—death, broken relationship or job. Take time to write this person a note or send a text.
Friday: Read Psalm 46. No matter what we go through in life God is present. Joseph, in Genesis, knew he was not alone in life and we can know that as well. What is going on in your life right now that you need to remember that God is your refuge and strength? He provides hope when we see no options. Thank God for being your refuge and strength.
Saturday: Read Psalm 46:10. The shepherds heard from God in the quietness of the evening when the angels shared the good news of Jesus’ birth. (Read Luke 2:8-14) In Genesis, God spoke to Joseph through dreams. An angel spoke to a different Joseph, who was pledged to be married to Mary (Read Matthew 1:18-21) while being still as well. How are you doing with being still? As you pray, tell God you are available to Him and “be still”. As we prepare for corporate worship tomorrow, pray for our community of faith and invite a friend to join you. Pray for the lost and for those who need hope. Lift up the name of Jesus through a favorite Christmas song, then get your clothes, Bible and offering prepared for worship tomorrow.