Advent Resources

This Sunday, December 3rd, officially kicks off the season of Advent according to the Christian calendar. Over the next weeks leading up to December 25, many in the Christian community will be doing some sort of thoughtful preparation in anticipation of Jesus' imminent second coming and the celebration of his first coming at his birth. The Christmas season comes with mixed feelings even in the Christian community. Some have lost loved ones and this is the first season they will experience the holidays without their child, sibling, or parent. Others are in the midst of family conflict, custody battles, and marital separations. Some are in bliss cradling a new baby, decorating a new home, or basking in another milestone accomplished.

Wherever this season finds you, with gifts or grief or some combination of both, there are unchanging promises this Advent season is meant to bring to our remembrance. God has given us good and perfect gifts that surpass any we may have on our gift list or can give to others.

If you don't have a way of marking the Advent season this year, we'd love for you to explore these four gifts God has given to his children, one each week leading up to Christmas. This very simple format is flexible to add to your devotional time or in addition to it.

Week 1 - God's Gift of Salvation

10 Key Bible Verses on Salvation 

Read 1 verse and commentary each day Sunday - Wednesday and 2 verses and commentary Thursday - Saturday.

Week 2 - God's Gift of Righteousness

A Heavenly Exchange  (devotional)

Sunday - Read the devotional.
Monday - Reread the verses listed about God's righteousness and define God's righteousness in your own words.
Tuesday - In Romans 3:10, 12 what does the Bible say about us? How have you seen your own unrighteousness exposed in your life and relationships? Take time now to confess to God and repent of your unrighteousness.
Wednesday - What are we to do if God is righteous and we aren't? What was history's most beautiful and horrible moment and why?
Thursday - Have you trusted in God's way to make you right with him? If not, you can call out to him right now. If so, take time to praise God for making you right with him and reflect on the ways he is changing and has changed you.
Friday - Read Psalm 23:3. How does the author describe "paths of righteousness"? Write out some guilt you're carrying now that you need to leave at the base of the cross. How does it encourage you that "Calvary is the compost pile for guilt"?
Saturday - Share this devotional with someone you know who may be struggling with guilt. Tell them how it encouraged you. Pray for them as you send it, that they would look to Jesus to take away their guilt and that they would experience his righteousness.

Week 3 - Spiritual Gifts from God

10 Key Bible Verses on Spiritual Gifts

Read 1 verse and commentary each day Sunday - Wednesday and 2 verses and commentary Thursday - Saturday.

Week 4 - God's Gift of Jesus

Jesus as the Ultimate Gift (podcast)
Jesus Is Better (TGC devotional)
Jesus is Better (TT devotional)

Sunday - Listen to the first 20 mins of the podcast.
Monday - Listen to the next 20 mins of the podcast.
Tuesday - Listen to the last 15 minutes of the podcast.
Wednesday - Respond to what you've listened to the past few days by writing out some things you learned/rediscovered and how they can help you love and worship Jesus better.
Thursday - Read TGC devotional and write out a few verses that spoke to you. Ask God to help you see Jesus' worthiness above everything.
Friday - Read the TT devotional. Resolve to "make Jesus comparisons" a daily part of your life. Write out a list of your two bins: 1) Rivals to Jesus 2) Good things in their rightful place.
Saturday - Listen to the song "Jesus is Better" and confess to him all the things you want to believe he is better than. Ask him to make your heart believe that he is better and praise him as Your greatest treasure and the greatest gift you can ever receive!