Advent Devotional

Joining us each day is easy:

Joining us each day is easy:

**Button doesn't work? Text DEVO to 43506 to receive advent devotions directly to your phone.**

Deck the halls.

Light the tree.

Sing the Carols.

Christmas is coming!

As a church family, we want to remember together that we have hope this Christmas season, no matter what difficulties we may be facing.

We have hope because Jesus has come and is coming again.

This devotional guide is a 25-day countdown to Jesus’ birthday. The days ahead are what Christians call “Advent.” Advent is a word that simply means “coming”. It is about remembering the impact of Jesus’ coming to Earth on Christmas and waiting in hope for what the Bible calls “the second coming of Jesus” when He will return again.

Our hope is that this devotional will give you an opportunity to spend time with God once a day. If you miss a day, don’t stress or give up! The goal here is to get you thinking about Jesus this holiday season rather than just peppermint mocha and gift wish lists. It’s not meant to be a burden.

This guide is set up to take you through the Bible, mostly looking at the lives of Old Testament people who were waiting in hope for the Messiah (Savior) to come. They lived in a time before Jesus’ death and resurrection. They desperately needed hope for the brokenness in their lives. So do we.

For 25 days together as a church family, we will countdown to Christmas by reading God’s Words to us, thinking about what God is telling us, remembering the hope of the gospel, praying honestly, and applying what we’ve read. We don’t want you to feel as though our “apply” challenges are an obligation. Don’t feel like you must do each one. Instead, use the ideas as motivation to look for ways to think of others this Christmas season. Remember, Jesus didn’t come so that we could all get presents for ourselves. Instead, He gave us the gift of Himself so that we could give Him away.

So choose a quiet place each day, turn off your phone, and grab your Bible, because hope is coming!

Scroll down for DAY 1

Day 1

Adam & Eve

Read: Genesis 2:4-9,15-25, 3:1-7

Hope: God created Adam and Eve and loved them too much to let their sins be the end of the story. In Genesis 3:14-15, we see God had a plan from the beginning to one day send Jesus to rescue us from our sin to bring us back into His family. He would make the world perfect again and rescue His children from the pain they had caused themselves. If you accept His forever love, He promises to one day wipe away every tear from our eyes and we will no longer have to wonder what it would be like to live in heaven with Him.

What would it be like if you had never felt sad or lonely or sick or afraid? What does it look like to trust God even when you mess up?

Pray: God, thank you for sending Jesus to rescue me so that my mistakes are no longer counted against me. Thank you that the lie that Adam and Eve believed is not the end for me or for this world. Help me to believe that you aren’t withholding good from me when you ask me to obey. Amen!

Apply: Start a thankfulness list and put it on the fridge. Keep adding to it each day until you reach 100 things you are thankful for.

Day 2

Noah

Read: Genesis 6:9-18, 7:17-24, 8:1,18-21, 9:12-17

Hope: Even though Noah was saved from the flood because of his righteousness, he was quick to change his mind after they reached dry land. As much as we wish we could be perfect, the Bible says that “no one is righteous—not even one.” —Romans 3:10 (NLT) The Good News of Jesus is that “God made Him who had no sin, to be sin for us (on the cross) so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV) What a relief!

What would it look like to have joy even when hard things are going on in your life? How can we still have hope when we mess up?

Pray: God, thank you for sending Jesus so we can have hope in our lives. Please forgive us for where we mess up and fall short of what you want from us. Thank you for loving us always.

Apply: Write 2 Corinthians 5:21 above on an index card and put it on your fridge or a place where everyone can see it easily and often. As a family, challenge yourselves to memorize it.

Day 3

Babel

Read: Genesis 11:1-9

Hope: Have you ever wanted to be famous? What do you think causes that desire?

This story of Babel, in the first book of the Bible, was about people wanting to be worshipped because of their pride. The pride of man divides but the humility of Christ unites. We see in scripture God will unite each of those languages to praise Jesus’ name: “I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, ‘Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!’” (Revelation 7:9-10) (NLT)

Why do you think God values humility over pride?

Read Philippians 2:5-8 for follow up conversation.

Pray: God, help me see the value of humility and the hurt of pride. Thank you for sending Jesus to show us what humility looks like in our life.

Apply: Write a note of encouragement to each of your family members or to a neighbor or close friend and give it to them.

Day 4

Abraham

Read: Genesis 12:1-3,15:1-6

Hope: Abraham believed God enough to leave everything that he knew;  he trusted that God would give him a son, even as an elderly man. Abraham was an imperfect man, but because he believed that God would keep His promises, he took a leap of faith and he had a son when he was 100-years old. Because of his faith, his great-great-great-great-great (you get the picture) grandson was JESUS!

What are some crazy things that Christians have done that required great faith?

Pray: God, my faith is small right now. Help me to trust you and step out this holiday season to obey you in what you are asking me to do.

Apply: It feels risky but invite someone to church this week. Ask the Holy Spirit for the faith to do it and leave the results to God!

River Run Worship

River Kids

River Run Youth

Day 5

Leah

Hope: Have you ever felt overlooked, unloved, or picked last? Even though Leah wasn’t wanted by Jacob because of her appearance, God chose her for a special purpose! She had a son named Judah who started the lineage of David and Jesus. God chose Leah to be a part of Jesus’ family tree. Like Leah, even when we feel rejected by people in this world, we can know how valuable we are because of what God thinks of us. His opinion is the only one that matters. We don’t have to prove ourselves or earn His love and affection as He has already shown us how much He loves us when He died on the cross.

Pray: God, help me to see myself the way you see me. Help me to show that unconditional love to someone else this week.

Apply: Who in your life feels insecure on the outside and needs someone to show them that God has a special purpose for their life? Connect with them and meet up.

Day 6

Joseph

Read: Genesis 37:18-36, 50:20

Hope: Even though Joseph’s charmed life resulted in a pit and a prison, he continued to trust God and eventually God placed him in a palace. Because of his faith, he ended up saving all of Egypt and his brothers from death (Jesus was a descendent of Joseph’s brother, Judah, so it’s a good thing he continued to trust God!)

What messes have you faced in your life? What has your perspective been like in the midst of those messes? Looking back, how has God shaped you into who you are because of those terrible or difficult things?

*Parents: Share a story from your life to your kids where God shaped you through a difficult time in your life.*

Pray: God, living in a broken world can be overwhelming. My pain and struggle are real but I am holding on to you! I know you have a plan to redeem even my worst circumstance for good and for your glory.

Apply: Take some time today to write a letter to kids that are in the hospital over the holidays. Involve your small group or family to join you as well. Bring your letter to church (December 12th) or FUSE (students; December 8th) to put in the Christmas mailbox.

Day 7

Moses

Read: Exodus 11:1-3, 12:11-14

Hope: God was serious about rescuing His people, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt. God told them to put the blood of a lamb on their doorpost to say they belonged to God, what shows you that you belong to God?

What you just read is what Jews and Christians call the first “Passover” because the angel of death passed over the homes of the Israelites because of the blood of the lamb. This holiday is still celebrated every year by Jews. The good news that Christians have is that Jesus willingly died on the cross and rose from the dead during the Passover holiday many years later so that no more sacrifices would ever be needed again. None of us need to fear punishment for our sins because Jesus has paid for them once and for all.

Pray: Jesus, thank you for dying so that I could live. Thank you for rescuing me from sin and slavery in my life. Help me to remember that this is why and what we celebrate this Christmas season.

*Parents: Encourage your children to lead in a prayer during this time.*

Day 8

Joshua

Read: Joshua 1:1-9

Hope: When God calls you to do something, He is the one that is going to make it happen! It’s not what you want to do but what he is calling you to do. God is the true leader of Joshua here, which made him a great leader to his people.

We have a leader today that was even greater than Joshua: Jesus! Jesus is a conquering king. Whatever obstacles you are facing today, the good news of Jesus is that He has overcome them already by His blood shed on the cross AND He has given you the same power that raised Him from the dead to live inside you: the Holy Spirit. So, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NLT)

Pray: God, I know that you have put dreams in my heart. Give me faith to trust what you say and follow where you lead, even when it seems crazy! Let me give you the glory when the walls come tumbling down.

Apply: Ask someone in your family or neighborhood how you can help them or do something for them this week.

Day 9

Ruth

Read: Ruth 1:1-5, 2:1-12, 4:9-12

Hope: A big part of hope is placing our confidence in the faithfulness of God. We see this in Ruth and Boaz as they put their faith in God. Where is one place that God has been faithful to you?

One of the most amazing things about the good news is that Jesus is the faithfulness of God. Jesus died on the cross for our many messes because of God’s great love for us. That’s faithfulness! Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Pray: Lord build my faith. I recognize you are faithful and help me build my faith where I would never doubt your faithfulness.

Apply: Read through Psalm 40 and meditate on the words with a mind of faithfulness.

Day 10

Samuel & Hannah

Read: 1 Samuel 1:9-20, 2:1-10

Hope: What’s the biggest Christmas gift you’ve ever gotten or want? What would it be like to give that gift back after enjoying it? If God gave you what you’ve been asking for, what would it look like for you to “give it back to God,” the way Hannah gave Samuel back to God and use it for His glory? 

What’s amazing about God is that He never asks us to do anything He hasn’t first done Himself. Like Hannah, God gave up His only son, Jesus, so that we could be close to God again after sin broke our relationship.

Pray: Lord, you know the desires of my heart and delight to give good gifts to your children. Help me to see myself as only a steward of the things that you give me, using them for your kingdom and your purpose.

Parents: River Run Church is hosting an opportunity for some intentional time for parents to just be together or maybe get some last minute shopping done! From 6-9 pm on December 20th we are taking all the excuses away for being able to enjoy time together worry free. We will have a team of volunteers to engage and play with the kids with toys and games as well as food! It’s just $5 per kid! All ages are welcome as it relates to your comfort level.

CLICK HERE to sign up today!

Day 11

David

Read: Psalm 23

Hope: We have all gone through hard things in our lives: suffering, doubt, broken relationships, even the death of a loved one, but we don’t need to live in fear of pain or death. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, we can know for certain that our eternity is secure—not because of being a good person—but because we have a Good Shepherd who has laid His life down for us, His sheep.

Which part of this psalm, written by David, speaks to you the most and why?

Pray: Lord, thank you for caring for my every need. You give me strength. You silence my fears. You give me rest. Thank you that you are good, and your love never stops pursuing me.

Apply: River Run Church is caroling tonight and you and your family are invited to join in! Come and make a joyful noise! Click here for more information

Day 12

Elijah

Read: 1 Kings 17:8-24

Hope: God provides food for us and we are thankful but ultimately, he provides for us what we truly need of salvation for our sins. We find that in Jesus and what he did on the cross.

Although it can be frustrating, God doesn’t work on our timetable. Sometimes, God seems late. “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 ESV)

Where in your life have you seen God provide when it seemed like there was no hope, like the way Elijah provided for the widow and her son?

*Parents: Share your answer to your children*

Pray: God, as I look back at my life, I can see that you have always provided for me even if it wasn’t in the way I expected. Help me to remember that you are always faithful and that I can count on you to be with me through anything I go through.

Apply: Choose a day where you or your family don’t use your phone or electronic devices for an entire day. We know! Sounds pretty daunting, right? Take the challenge and focus on being intentional with your family and those you encounter throughout the day.

Day 13

Elisha & Naaman

Read: 2 Kings 5:1-14

Hope: Naaman is the last person you would expect to be healed in the story. Naaman was the enemy to Israel and the least likely person to ask for help from his enemy! Yet he asked in humility for help from Elisha and even more crazy, Elisha heals him!

In many ways this is our relationship with Jesus. We were enemies to God yet when we surrender in humility, we can find grace and salvation in Jesus. “and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—” (Colossians 1:20-22)

Pray: God, I have doubts and struggles, help my unbelief! Bring healing to the areas of my life that I need it most. Give me the faith to trust and obey.

Apply: Jesus told us to love our enemies. Is there someone in your life that you have a broken relationship with or need restoration? Pray for them.

Day 14

Ezra

Read: Ezra 1:2-5, 3:10-13

Hope: The Israelites had been captives in a foreign land, stripped of their identity, and unable to worship freely because the temple was destroyed. This left them lost and without a home.

Have you ever felt like an outsider and didn’t quite feel like you’re at home?

The good news is that no matter how out of place you may feel, you will always have a home with Jesus. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, He makes his home with us when we accept him into our lives. The Bible says we are the temple of God and through faith he is rebuilding the temple in us. Ephesians 2:20-21 says, Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.

How is God calling you to come back to Him and rebuild your faith?

Pray: Jesus, it’s with both shouts of joy and tears of gratitude that I come to you today. Rebuild my faith and give me strength to persevere even when I feel like I am in stranger in a land that is not my home.

*Parents: FUSEmas (a Christmas Celebration) is on Wednesday Night for students 6th-12th grade from 6:00-8:30 PM. We would love to have your students join us! Click here for more information.

Day 15

Isaiah

Read: Isaiah 7:14,9:6, Chapter 53

Hope: Each of these passages is a prophesy foretelling of Jesus 700 years before He was even born (there are 20 in Isaiah alone)! What does it mean to you that Jesus is your “Immanuel” (God with us), Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and Suffering Servant?

What’s amazing about Jesus is that He both understands the struggles we go through (Isaiah 53) AND He is sufficient to meet every one of those needs. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).

When Jesus came to the Earth, He was the “Messiah” or “Savior” the world had been aching for. He is what our hearts have been aching for.

Pray: Jesus, thank you for humbling yourself enough to come to this Earth, to suffer for me, and to be the Savior that I’ve been searching for. Help me to turn to you when I am in need rather than things that won’t heal the ache.

Apply: Volunteer for your River Run’s Church’s Christmas Eve service. Get your family involved! Click here to sign up (LINK TO ADD)

Day 16

Ezekiel

Read: Ezekiel 37:1-14

Hope: Ezekiel was a prophet (someone called by God to speak on behalf of God to His people (the Israelites). God spoke to Ezekiel in visions.

God’s people (Israel) were exiled from their homeland, had no king, and no temple to worship God. They got into this mess because they were divided and not following God’s commands. It would have been almost impossible to imagine how this situation could be remedied, but God gave Ezekiel this vision to give him hope that the God we serve can bring even the driest of dead bones back to life again.

The truth is that we were once like the dead bones in this story. Our sin separated us from God and we were hopeless to fix it, but “God so loved the world that he gave his only son, Jesus, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV) Jesus brought us from death to life when He died on the cross and was raised again three days later.

Pray: Thank you for the reminder today that you can even save the person who seems the furthest from you. Help me to believe it and be a part of the resurrection story you are telling right now!

Apply: Write down three people that you know don’t know Jesus and pray for them daily. Keep that list on your fridge or somewhere you’ll see it often.

Day 17

Daniel

Read: Daniel 3:1,4-6,11-12,16-27

Hope: Daniel’s three friends would rather have died a terrible death than worship fake gods. They believed God would either rescue them or give them the strength they needed to endure it, knowing they would be with Him in eternity.

How has the world we live in tried to get you to “bow down” to things other than Jesus or place something in front of your relationship with God? What do you think would give you the same courage these three had to endure whatever persecution you might experience as a result of not following the crowd?

When the guards threw the three friends into the fire, they saw a fourth man. This was Jesus! Even when we go through the fiery furnace of life, enduring trials because of our faithfulness to God, Jesus promises to be with us every step of the way.

Pray: Jesus, thank you for “never leaving me or forsaking me,” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) when I go through trials. Give me courage to stand up for you when everyone else is bowing down to other things.

Day 18

Hosea

Read: Hosea 2:14-23

Hope: Hosea was another prophet of God whose life is an allegory of God’s relationship with His people, Israel. You see, Israel was unfaithful. Israel kept going after fake gods and worshipping them instead. They didn’t keep the promise they made when they said they wanted to be in relationship with Him.

Hosea is telling Israel that God is going to forgive them and take them back, even after all they have done to Him.

How has God been faithful to us even when we have messed up?

The amazing thing about being a Christian is that our ability to stay faithful to God doesn’t change His faithfulness to us. “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13).

Just like Israel, we have been more faithful to other things than God. Yet, because of what Jesus has done, we can have a completely restored relationship with Him, not feeling the shame of our past mistakes. This is the hope of Christmas!

Pray: God thank you for being so faithful to me. Your love inspires me to love you better.

Apply: Buy coffee or another little treat for your mom today.

Day 19

Jonah

Read: Jonah 1:1-17, 3:1-10

Hope: None of us can relate to being swallowed by a fish, but all of us can relate to running from what God has called us to do. Although stepping out of our comfort zones and obeying God can take a great deal of courage and strength upfront, look at the miracle we are choosing to miss out on if we say no! When Jonah finally went to Nineveh and warned them of God’s imminent judgment, the entire city repented and was saved. It’s estimated that there could have been 150,000 people saved simply because Jonah finally obeyed!

The Lord…is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT) God was patient with Jonah and He was patient with the Ninevites. Because of Jesus, we don’t have to face the wrath that our sin deserves. How comforting that God isn’t waiting with lightning bolts to strike us down when we mess up! Instead, He gently calls us to learn from our mistakes and turn toward Him!

Pray: God, give me the courage to go and tell others about what you did through Jesus on the cross. Although I may want to run and avoid awkwardness at all costs, you are already softening people’s hearts to hear and receive your grace. Help me to obey you right away!

Apply: Bake and bring cookies to your neighbors. Use the opportunity to bless them and invite them to River Run’s Christmas Eve service. Share this link here: (LINK TO ADD)

*Pick up a Christmas Eve family communion packet this morning at church for Day 24 devotional.*

Day 20

Mary

Read: Luke 1:26-38, 46-55

Hope: Over 400-years has passed since our last reading! All the prophecies and promises about the Messiah (Savior) coming that we’ve seen since Genesis are about to finally be fulfilled! How perplexing that God chose for Jesus to be born to a poor, unmarried teenage girl! Try and think about what it would be like for Mary in the context of that day.

What kind of thoughts would be going through your mind? Why do you think she was able to have faith that all of this was real, and that God chose her to bring Jesus into the world? What are some steps you can take to continue to build your faith and embrace what purpose God has for you?

Although none of us will ever get to say that we had the honor of birthing the Savior of the world, God often chooses the unlikely to accomplish His great purposes! The good news of Jesus is that we not only get to be forgiven of anything we’ve done wrong, but that God wants to use us, too!

Pray: God, I want you to use me in your plan to save the world and bring others to you through Jesus! I am yours. As Samuel said: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10). Help me to listen for you. I know you have chosen me for a special purpose.

Apply: Babysit or set up a kid swap for someone in the next couple weeks who needs a break or a date night. Do it for free to bless them!

Day 21

Joseph

Read: Matthew 1:18-25

Hope: You can be confident that God will do what He promised He would do even if it looks strange. Joseph’s fiancé was pregnant with a baby that wasn’t even his, a big no-no. But God did promise a Messiah and the angel reminded Joseph of that promise and encouraged him to trust the Lord. Joseph did and married Mary. Think about the amazing experience Joseph had by being Jesus’ dad because he trusted the Lord. What are some promises God has made you that He wants you to trust?

Fun fact: Joseph’s family tree can be traced back to King David in the Old Testament. All the prophecies said that the Messiah would come through the lineage of David! And it finally happened: Jesus had come. The message of the Christmas season (Advent) is that Hope (Jesus) has come. We no longer must wait for a Savior. He is here, and He is Jesus!

Pray: God, thank you that even when things look strange or not good, you keep your promises. I will trust in your promises. Thank you that by trusting you, I get to experience your forgiveness, freedom, and eternity with you because Jesus has come…hope has come!

Apply: Call someone in your family or connect with them. Share a meal or coffee together. Whatever you choose – be intentional with the time you have together.

Day 22

John the Baptist

Read: Luke 1:57-60, 67-80, Mark 1:1-8

Hope: John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin and God orchestrated things so perfectly that He used John as the one who would prepare the way for Jesus. John’s role was to prepare people’s hearts to hear the good news Jesus was about to bring. How can you be a person God can use to prepare people’s hearts to embrace the love of God?

John’s message was, “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us (that Jesus is coming), to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79 (NLT) If you’ve ever felt like you were in darkness, walking through the shadow of death or ever needed peace, know this: the light of heaven, Jesus, has come!

Pray: God, fill my heart with peace today as I remember that you light up my darkness. May that light fill me up in such a way that, like John, I can’t help but go and prepare the way for others to hear about you!

Day 23

Nativity

Read: Luke 2:1-20

Hope: Throughout the entire Old Testament, the Jews were expecting a conquering king to one day save them, and yet God chose for Jesus to come as a baby and be born to a poor teenaged girl. What was His first outfit? Rags. Who were His first visitors? Stinky shepherds. How would He save us? Not by victory with the sword, but by dying a criminal’s death on the cross. He is worthy of all praise, glory and honor, yet our God is humble! How does God’s humility move your heart to worship Him today?

John 1:14 (The Message) says, “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” How comforting it is to know that our God humbly moved in next door! We celebrate our Savior who is “Immanuel” (God with us)!

Pray: God, thank you for coming near to me by sending Jesus. Thank you for modeling your humility in the nativity story and giving me hope, not just at Christmas, but all year round and for eternity.

Apply: Plan with your family to be at Christmas Eve Services tomorrow night and RSVP here (LINK TO ADD) if you haven’t yet.

Day 24

Cross

Read: John 19:17-30

Hope: The entire culmination of Jesus’ 33-years on Earth was this moment. It seems pretty anti-climactic. Thousands of years of waiting for the Savior and now He dies? We may be tempted to think that maybe He was only a man and our hope for a Savior was just wishful thinking, but what Jesus did that day on Golgotha was all a part of God’s plan.

1 Peter 3:18 (NIV) says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”

Hebrews 12:2 (NLT) says “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.” Reflect on how Jesus chose death on the cross for you.

What we need most in this life is forgiveness. All of us were far away from God in our selfishness, greed, hatred, and lust. Our sins separated us from Him in His perfection. But God’s love for us was so strong that He was willing to sacrifice Himself in our place. He took the punishment we deserve so that we could be close again. That’s what Jesus really did when He died. Your hope is that no matter what you’ve done, how bad it seems, or how long you’ve strayed, Jesus has taken away your sins and made you clean.

Pray: Jesus, thank you for taking the punishment that I deserved and giving me complete forgiveness. Thank you that the waiting is over, and Hope has come!

Apply: Read through 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 and then have communion together with you family.

*Pick up a Christmas Eve family communion packet tonight at Christmas Eve service.*

Day 25

New Heaven & New Earth

Read: Revelation 21:1-7

Hope: The wait is finally over, the day is here, it is Christmas! The day is filled with celebration, gifts, and being with family. We all celebrate a savior born into our world. Although it’s hard to wait, there will be a day soon when we get to be a part of this restoration that the book of Revelation talks about. Jesus will return. There will be no more tears or pain or death. When Jesus came back to life on Easter Sunday, He was foreshadowing our future “resurrection.” What an amazing gift to us!

Pastor Tim Keller puts it like this: “The resurrection of Christ means everything sad is going to come untrue and it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost.”

What are you most looking forward to about heaven? After reading how wonderful heaven will be in Revelation, how does that compel you to tell your friends and family about Jesus? Who are three people God is putting on your heart right now to tell?

Even though we are forgiven of our sin, we still live in a world broken by sin and surrounded by people who have not accepted God’s gift of hope. It’s exciting to think about heaven and Jesus returning, but, until then, we have a job to do. Jesus, after He was resurrected from the dead and right before he went back to heaven, gave us the important last words in (Matthew 28:19-20) to “go and make disciples.” It’s important to recognize that His command was not wait until you feel less awkward or wait until you know more about the Bible. Go and make disciples NOW.

Pray: God, thank you that one day all my pain will be gone, and I will get to see you face to face. Give me the power of your Holy Spirit to share the HOPE of Jesus with everyone I meet so they too can experience eternity with you. Amen!

Apply: Pick a new Bible plan that you will start the day after Christmas on the “YouVersion” or “Read Scripture” Bible Apps.