Advent 🎁 2 Corinthians 8:9 – Grace

I thought we’d take a little diversion from our genealogies in 1 Chronicles to focus on the coming of Jesus. We are in the season of Advent for a few more days, and then it will be Christmas once again. We’ll look at some Bible passages, including prophecies that speak of Jesus.

Advent is the time of year some churches dedicate for preparing for Jesus’ coming–both of them! The Bible tells us about Jesus’ first coming as a wee baby, so humble and mild. Jesus himself also promised that he would come again and return for us. So Advent is not only a preparation for Christmas but a reminder to be ready for Jesus’ return.

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Ecclesiastes 6:1-9 – Enjoy Life!

Read Ecclesiastes 6:1-9

That old wind Solomon is chasing or dreaming of chasing! The last line is great! “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.”

Before he gets to that realization, Solomon took a bit of a turn down a dark road in this reading. I’m sure you also noticed the enormous amount of (one hundred) children referred to in his lament. With hundreds of wives, he likely had many offspring, so 100 would not have sounded too lavish to be believable!

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2 Peter 3:14-18 -Growing in Grace

Read 2 Peter 3:14-18

I really like the Peter character as he’s being portrayed in the television series, “The Chosen.” Angel Studios has done a marvelous job of casting and creating historically possible back-stories to draw us in and touch our lives. I can relate to Peter, so as I read his closing today, I couldn’t help but picture that character. Sometimes having a visual can be helpful, especially if you’re a visual learner like me!

I get the feeling that Peter could go on and on about the dangers we’ll face as followers of Christ. He would have had personal knowledge of what it was like. But he lived in the world immediately after Jesus’ death and resurrection. There are a lot of similarities still present today. Thankfully, we can apply Peter’s wisdom to what we see happening in the world around us.

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1 Peter 5:10-14 – God’s Grace For You

Read 1 Peter 5:10-14

God’s fingerprints are all over this text. God’s kindness is the reason we have everything we have. The inheritance God is holding for us is beyond valuable. It’s all because he sent his son, Jesus, to rescue and redeem us.

How do we respond to God when he picks us up, brushes us off, and puts us back on track, on his firm foundation? Peter gives praise! “All power to him forever! Amen.” How can we help but overflow with gratitude for the grace God extends to us!

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James 2:14-26 – Living Out Your Faith

Read James 2:14-26

James introduces this section by suggesting a problem he must have observed. “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions?” Certainly we’d all agree that faith should show itself through deeds of loving service.

In a recent Bible study discussion, I marveled at my pastor husband, David’s comment about this text. He posed an interesting scenario of observing a discussion about faith between our author here, James, and the apostle Paul. We’d see two very faithful men with two very different perspectives. Is that a bad thing? After all, the gospels all talk about Jesus’ life and ministry from different viewpoints. When it comes to understanding our faith, these differences can be confusing.

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