- Scriptures for Reflection –
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
- John 1:1
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- John 1:14
For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
- 2 Corinthians 6:2
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
- John 15:15
And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. - James 2:23
- Devotional Guide –
The Word Was God and the Word Became God
The Incarnation of Jesus: Simply put, it is the theological term used to describe how God became a man in the form of Jesus. While easy to define, it is much harder to describe and wrap one’s mind around. GOD became a human, one of his own creation, yet He was still God. So rather than trying to understand the mystery of HOW this can be, maybe a better question is to ask WHY Jesus would do this. Why would Jesus leave the kingdom of Heaven to be born into an earthly family?
First and foremost, it was to provide salvation to each of us. Jesus was the sinless sacrifice for all of mankind’s sin. He died, rose again, and was victorious over sin and death. This made a way for anyone who calls upon Him for the forgiveness of their sin to have a relationship with God. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says “today is the day of salvation.” If you have never received the gift of salvation, right now, TODAY, is a wonderful time to ask Him into your life.
Camping with Jesus
John 1:14 states that Jesus, the Word, “made his dwelling among us.” He was born into a family, grew up, and dwelt with his own creation. Imagine Him hanging out with his disciples at a campfire along the shoreline, eating fish they caught earlier in the day. They likely told stories about their experiences together, laughed a lot, and were good friends. This is God’s heart for us – certainly we are to be in awe of Him, show respect to and honor Him. God coming as a man, Jesus, is His invitation to us to know Him as His friend as well. Another word for “dwell” is to live in a tabernacle or tent. God wants such a close and real relationship with each of us that Jesus spent 33 years on Earth to spend time with His creation – it’s like He pitched His tent and set up camp right beside us. Doesn’t it make you want to light a campfire, roast some marshmallows, and make some S’mores with Jesus?
Inviting Others to the Campfire
While Jesus taught and ministered to those around Him, He was also someone who enjoyed simply being with others, sharing a meal, or hanging out in their home. And not just with those who had an impressive pedigree, but He sought out those who were scorned as “sinners” by the religious leaders of that time. In John 13:34-35, Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” If Jesus walked around your neighborhood, school, or job, who would He stop and speak to, invite to join His campfire? This is a special season when our hearts and thoughts are on the birth of Jesus, His gift of salvation and His friendship to us. Let’s take time to consider those around us who also need a friend and invite them to join our campfire.
· Imagine what it would have been like to grow up with Jesus as your neighbor. What would that look like today? What things might you do for fun with Him?
· What are some practical ways we can we show that same love and friendliness to those, maybe even our next-door neighbors, who aren’t believers yet?
· Who can you share about God’s love and friendship with this week? Pray and find an opportunity to do so.
· Campfire songs:
o Friend of God
o What a Friend We Have in Jesus
· Invite someone over and share S’mores around the fire pit. No fire pit or chimenea? How about cups of hot cocoa while visiting or playing games and listening to Christmas music?
· List people you know who haven’t accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation and pray for them.
Scriptures to reflect on this week Scripture Reflection Questions
· Sunday – John 1:1, 14 What is God teaching me about Himself in this passage?
· Monday – 2 Corinthians 6:2 How does this truth affect the way I live my life?
· Tuesday – John 15:15 Who can I tell this good news to?
· Wednesday – James 2:23
· Thursday – Revelation 3:20
· Friday – John 13:34-35
· Saturday – 1 Peter 4:8
- Family Discipleship Time –
Set aside some time to intentionally talk with your family this week about God Becoming a man and what He did that we could not here on earth. And what His life and death mean for us.
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, second and third candle.
· Have a member read the following passages aloud:
· 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. – John 1:14,16-18
· 14-16 Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. – Hebrews 4:14-16
In your own words talk to your family about Jesus becoming a man, talk about Him having a family, being a kid, or having to obey His parents.
· What do you think it was like for Jesus’ family while He was growing up?
Talk to your family about why it is important to us that Jesus went through all the normal hard things we do in life.
· Does it make you feel differently about talking to Jesus now that you know He has been through it too?
· Have a family member pray and thank God for His Son, Jesus.
· We have lots of week 3 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 pick a craft or family activity that requires everyone’s help. Reflect on what it would have been like to work, play or spend time with Jesus as a man. Be sure to share your amazement with your family.