- Scriptures for Reflection –
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days. – Micah 5:2
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn
– Luke 2:1-7
- Devotional Guide –
A Promise Perfectly Kept
God kept reminding His people that He was coming and reminding them that He had not forgotten. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the Son of a virgin, a King to rule according to the lineage of David, ushering in an era of unprecedented peace. Israel watched and waited, filled with longing and expectation for this promised Deliverer. One night a night just like the many that came before, God came—just as He said He would. A young woman named Mary, who was pregnant, journeyed alongside Joseph, her betrothed, from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be counted for the census according to Caesar’s decree and took refuge in the only place available: a stable. And right on time, Mary gave birth to her firstborn son. He was wrapped in cloths, laid in a manger and given the name Jesus because He would save His people from their sins.
He Fulfilled Every Word
With hindsight, we see in Jesus the fulfillment of all that the prophets spoke concerning the Messiah. We understand that our Lord has done just what He said He would do in exactly the right way, at exactly the right time. We also see that God is full of compassion. He saw the desperate need of His people. He cared and acted by sending His only Son to save them. May our hearts be encouraged! Let Advent be a time to reflect on God’s good attributes and His faithfulness to do exactly what He said He would.
The Scriptures Testify About Him
Reflect on these verses and how Jesus fulfilled all the promise God made about the coming savior:
Romans 5:6-8; Galatians 4:4-7
Matthew 4:12-17; John 1:4-5; 12:46
o As you read over the prophecies and fulfillment, which one stood out to you the most? Do you think you would have realized that Jesus was the one that fulfilled them? Why is it important that you read and understand these prophecies?
o Consider Joseph and Mary, what is amazing about God using them to fulfill His promise? What does that tell you about God’s ability to use you to accomplish His will? Are you as willing as they were to do whatever God asks of you?
o God sending Jesus reveals something about His grace and mercy to us, how do you reflect these attributes of His? When is the last time you did something to help someone who could never repay you? Pray for a generous heart like the Father’s.
o God in the keeping of His promises reveals the truth and reliability of His word. What about you? Does your “yes” mean yes and your “no” mean no? Can others around you depend on what you say? Ask a close friend or family member if they feel they can trust your word. Pray for grace to be as trustworthy as your Father.
Scriptures to reflect on this week
o Sunday - Isaiah 53:10-11 and Romans 5:1-2
o Monday - Isaiah 53:4 and Matthew 8:14-17
o Tuesday - Isaiah 61:1-4 and Luke 4:16-21
o Wednesday - Revelation 21:1-22:5
o Thursday – Psalm 110:4 and Hebrews 5:5-6
o Friday – Genesis 49:10 and Luke 3:33/ Revelation 5:5
o Saturday – Psalm 132:11/ Isaiah 9:6 and Acts 13:23/ Romans 1:3
Scripture Reflection Questions
o What is God teaching me about Himself in this passage?
o How does this truth affect the way I live my life?
o Who can I tell this good news to?
- Family Discipleship Time –
Set aside some time to intentionally talk with your family this week about how God keeps His promise to His people, reflect on how Jesus fulfilled what the Old Testament promised regarding Him.
The items you need:
· 5 Advent candles (optional) ideas on our Pinterest
· Have a member of the family pray before you start the discipleship time
Lighting of the Advent Candle
· Have a member of the family light the first and second candle.
· Have a member read the following passages aloud:
· And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. - Luke 2:3-7
· And there, in the stable, amongst the chickens and the donkeys and the cows, in the quiet of the night, God gave the world his wonderful gift. The baby that would change the world was born. His baby son. - The Jesus Storybook Bible
Remind your family of the promise God had made His people and how long it took, now explain how Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of God’s promise.
· Do you think God’s people were surprised that the promise took so long?
In your own words tell your family the story of Joseph and Mary
· How do you think Joseph and Mary felt when they realized God chose them to fulfill His promise? How would you feel?
In your own words tell your family where Jesus was born and what happened afterward.
· Is that where you would expect God to be born? Do you think it was an accident?
· Have a family member pray and thank God for His good promises.
· Away in a Manger
· We have lots of week 2 family activity ideas on our Pinterest page (pinterest.com/actswaco)
· Choose a craft to do as a family and stay attentive during this time, no tv, phones or distractions. These are the moments you kids will remember!
· This week do the activity you promised last week, discuss with them about what it was like to wait, get the hints about it and ask if the promise was what they expected? How did it help them experience what God’s people did? Reflect together on the faithfulness of God in keeping His promise.