Thursday (1/9/20)

Read Luke 2:21-35

As we think about the life of Jesus and who we are discovering Him to be, it is really necessary to see His story intertwining with the significant people around Him. Simeon and Anna are two of the people that I can’t wait to meet in heaven!

  • What do we discover about Simeon from this passage? What kind of man is he? 
  • Picture yourself being a young Mary and Joseph. How are you impacted by this meeting at the Temple?
  • How do you think Simeon’s story of faithful waiting would impact their faith?
  • What do you think Simeon realizes afresh about the God that he has served?
  • Is there some insight that you see in this passage about who God is? Who He is revealing Jesus to be?

Wednesday (1/8/20)

Read  Luke 1:5-25 and 1:39-80

Now Elizabeth also never actually talks to Jesus, and neither does Zechariah. But they certainly encounter the Holy Spirit.

  • As you read about this incredible older couple, what do you learn about them? Who are they?
  • We don’t really get any insight from the scriptures why this couple is chosen to be the parents of John the Baptist. But what would be your speculation about that?

We are all born into an existing story line. Parents who have a story, family, relatives. The same is true of Jesus. We are impacted by the stories we are born into, and Jesus was as well. 

  • What traits do you admire as you read the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah?

Tuesday (1/7/20)

Read Matthew 1:18-25 and 2:13-23

Joseph was completely within his rights according to the Law to publicly separate from Mary once she was pregnant and the child was not his. His decisions reveal a lot about the character in him.

  • Who is Joseph? What do you see in his character?
  • Jesus is a baby in these interactions, so not actually talking to Joseph. But how do you see Joseph impacted by his part of the story?
  • What stands out to you in these two passages? Any discoveries or realizations?

Monday (1/6/20)

We have just finished the season of Advent culminating in Christmas. The season that we are in now, sandwiched between Christmas and Lent, is called Epiphany. The season of discovery. 

Epiphany: a festival on January 6th that celebrates the arrival of the Wise Men who came to visit Jesus.

Epiphany: a moment of sudden insight or understanding.

Epiphany: a moment when you suddenly feel that you understand, or become conscious of something.

Epiphany: an appearance or manifestation of a divine being. 

We are going to take time these next eight weeks to discover Jesus through the eyes of those around Him. Each day we will read the story of a different person and their encounter with the living God as manifest through Jesus Christ. 

Surprise. Doubt. Disappointment. Adoration. Confusion.

All these emotions erupt from the pages of the gospels as normal people, people just like you and I, get a chance to interact with the God of the universe.

Throughout the weeks, you will see words in italics – they are synonyms for the word epiphany or discovery! Try to keep track or highlight them.

Each day as we read the stories of the people whose lives intersected with Jesus’ life, imagine yourself there, meeting Jesus, looking into His eyes, experiencing Him, discovering who He is. You’ll see some similar questions throughout the weeks. But focus on the discovery of Jesus.

During the first week of this devotional we will read stories of those involved in and around the birth of Jesus. You can check out this video from The Bible Project for an overview:

Read Luke 1:26-56 and 2:41-52

  • Try to not let any familiarity with the story cause you to skim these verses. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to teach and guide you.
  • Who is Mary? As you read these stories, describe how you see Mary:
  • What do you think Mary is “treasuring in her heart” after being scared that Jesus was lost?
  • What does she discover about Jesus in these interactions with Him (albeit – one is an interaction where Jesus is only a couple cells large in her uterus!)
  • Are there any new discoveries about Jesus that you notice?

Sunday (1/5/20)

We will end this series by reviewing weeks three and four. And by listening one last time to O Come, O Come Emmanuel (or twice if you try both!):

In weeks three and four of reading:

  • What stood out to you about who God is?
  • What stood out to you about what God has done or is doing?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • Spend some time praying and preparing your heart quietly for our gathering time this morning.


Saturday (1/4/20)

In the spirit of remembering, let’s look back at the first two weeks of this Advent series. Let’s mine the scriptures we’ve read, the ideas that the Holy Spirit has impressed upon us, and the resolves we have made. 

Read through your answers, ask the Holy Spirit to make His word come alive in your heart.

In the first two weeks of reading:

  • What stood out to you about who God is?
  • What stood out to you about what God has done or is doing?
  • What did you learn about yourself?

Friday (1/3/20)

Read Isaiah 61

KNOW (what does the text say about God?)
BE (What does the text say about us?)
DO (what is the text calling me to do?)

Take time today to think through those questions from this passage.

KNOW:

BE:

DO:

  • What are the ‘ruins’ in your life? Reflect on how the Lord has begun to restore some of your ‘ruins’?

REFLECTION OF THE YEAR

Where have you seen the Lord grow you this year? 

How has pruning been involved in that? What fruit (Galatians 6) can you rejoice in as you see it spring up in your life?