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Posts tagged with: Advent

A waiter serving diners.

Servant Leadership Once Again

Three weeks ago, we encountered Jesus’s call to servanthood. As you may remember, in Mark 9 the disciples were arguing about which one of them was the greatest. In response, Jesus said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (9:35). In chapter 10, the disciples are once again seeking their own exaltation and Jesus is once again emphasizing the call to servanthood.

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Hands held together in prayer over a Bible.

Audacious Prayer

We live in a curious tension when it comes to the Lord. On the one hand, we rightly bow before him, offering ourselves in humble worship. On the other hand, we experience friendship with God that invites us to be completely honest with him.

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Close up of instruments used in investments.

The Perplexing ROI for the Follower of Jesus

In Mark 10:25, Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God. This distressed his disciples, who wondered who could be saved. When Jesus said that everything is possible with God, Peter wanted to make sure his place in the kingdom was secure. So he said, “We have left everything to follow you!” (10:28). Peter was probably hoping for a word of reassurance, something like, “Don’t worry, Peter, you’re in. You’ve earned your spot by your sacrifice.” But what he heard from Jesus must have been both comforting and perplexing.

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People helping others.

Hearing the Hard Word of Jesus

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and…

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Clay being shaped on a potter's wheel.

Ready for a Change

In yesterday’s devotion I suggested that in our world of instant-gratification, we need a season like Advent to teach us how to wait. Advent is a season of longing for a Savior to touch our lives and heal our hurting world. Today, on this first Sunday of Advent, the prophet speaks of a longing for change — the desire for God to shape our lives amidst a world that often seems like it’s out to crush and derail us from following the One who came in the flesh to show us the way home.

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A child wearing a Santa Hat staring out the window waiting in anticipation.

Preparing for Advent: Learning to Wait

With tomorrow being the first Sunday of Advent, I want to suggest this season of intentional waiting is a perfect context for leaders to grow in this discipline.

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Waiting for the Son

Our Advent season of preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ is drawing to a close. Today we focus on our waiting for the Son, the Son of God who will save his people and, indeed, the whole world. Isaiah 9 gives us a prophetic glimpse of this saving, ruling, divine Son.

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Nativity Scene, Willow Tree Figurines.

Advent Devotion: Waiting with Joy

Today is the third Saturday in Advent, a season of preparation for celebrating the birth of the Savior. The main mood of Advent is one of serious hope. It’s a time more of quiet longing than loud celebration. But many Christians let the third Sunday of Advent be a time of joy…

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Advent Devotion: Waiting for Forgiveness

Today is the second Sunday in Advent, a season in which we prepare for Christmas by remembering just how much we need God. In particular, we need God to save us by forgiving our sins. Psalm 130 reassures us that this is exactly what God will do for us, thus inviting us to wait upon the Lord and put our hope in him.

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Christmas Advent Calendar Mittens hanging by a fireplace

Waiting for the Shepherd

This is the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of the season in which Christians throughout the world prepare for a fuller, richer celebration of the birth of Jesus. Advent is a time of expectation, waiting, and hope. During the four weeks before Christmas, we put ourselves back into the mindset of the Jews as they yearned for a Messiah two millennia ago. Moreover, we get in touch with our own hope for the second coming of the Messiah. (The word advent comes from a Latin word that means “coming” or “visit.”)

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Advent Calendar Boxes

Waiting and Hoping

Today is the last day of the year. Yes, yes, I know we’re still in November, and the calendar doesn’t change for another 33 days. But, today is truly the last day of the so-called Christian year (sometimes called the liturgical year or the church year). The yearly cycle of worship, Scripture, and prayer that centers in the life of Jesus is coming to an end. Tomorrow, a new year begins with the season of Advent.

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