FOCUS DAY 6:
Hope is “NOW”
HEAVENLY CONVERSATION 6: “Discipline and Delayed Satisfaction (Patience)"
KEY: F (God the Father Speaking);J (God the Son, Jesus Speaking); S (God the Holy Spirit Speaking) [Read the verse(s) and “Heavenly Conversation” as a family. Suggestion: Choose a different family member to read each part of God’s conversation.]
F “Christmas is about hope! It is good to talk about hope. Religious leaders have looked for hope for hundreds of years. They longed for a Messiah, or Savior, to rescue them from the troubles of life and society and evil.”
J “At my birth, however, they were looking for the wrong type of hope, mostly political. When I arrived at Christmas, they seemed to have forgotten that I was bringing them hope for fulfillment in their lives through forgiveness and freedom from sins.”
S “Isaiah clearly prophesied of your coming, Jesus. He wrote, ‘Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. [7:14]’”
F “Luke reminds us that we prophesied you would be born in Bethlehem. We announced it in Micah 5:2 and fulfilled it in Luke 2:4-7. We prophesied you would be declared by a Messenger in Isaiah 40:3 and fulfilled it in Luke 1:17. That is when we sent a forerunner, John the Baptist.”
J “We even let them know many events of my life story, like my entering Jerusalem on a donkey before my death and resurrection. We foretold it in Zechariah 9:9 and fulfilled it in Luke 35-37.”
S “My coming presence and power at Pentecost was also announced in Leviticus 23:16,21 and fulfilled it in Acts 2:1-4. That was when I was given to the Church to empower their lives. Our presence would forever be able to live, not only in the tabernacle or temple, but in their hearts each moment of each day – a personal relationship.”
F “True, we announced our Christmas gifts for years to anyone who would listen and believe.”
J “And many did listen, as your disciples proved.”
S “We inspired Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, and he wrote, ‘Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;’ - Paul truly understood the hope Christmas brought to earth.”
F “He did. More recently, one of our believers, Reinhold Niebuhr, wrote a challenging, hope-filled prayer: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.’ He honestly understood the need for hope in our lives in every situation. ”
J “When I see a manger or a cross on a Christmas tree ornament, or a Christmas display, I pray believers will seek the hope we offer them. Many do!”
S “When I see a dove or angel, I pray the same thing – I have so much hope to give them each day when they ask for it. Many believers talk with me all day long. I love it!”
F “Christmas is truly a time of hope! Everyone can have hope right now! Let’s pray with and for them right now!”
J S “With pleasure…”
1 Cor 13:13, 1 John 3:3, Psalms 31:34, Acts 2:1-4; Isaiah 7:14, 40:3; Thessalonians 1:3; Micah 5:2; Leviticus 23:16,21; Zechariah 9:9; Luke 2:4-7, 1:17, Luke Chapters 35-7; “And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”; “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”; “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 Cor. 13:13,Psalms 31:34, 1 John 3:3
MY CHOICE DAY 6:
I will put my hope in God over myself.
DAY 6 ACTIVITY:
OPTIONAL: Celebrate Advent Sunday 2, PEACE
You will need two purple candles. If you celebrated Sunday 1 on November 29th, use that candle again. If you did not, you can combine the HOPE Family Devotion with this one. Consider assigning a different bullet point to family members, or have the same or different person share the entire Family Devotion. Everyone might read the Thought together. Be worshipful and creative!