- Scriptures for Reflection –
“And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these
things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
- LUKE 21:27-28
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a
thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is
patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day
of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies
will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and
godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be
set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we
are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you
are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
- 2 PETER 3:8-14
14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” – John 14:1-4
- Devotional Guide –
Waiting for the Promise
We have reflected on the goodness and faithfulness of God to His people in the past. Hopefully, it has stirred in you a thankfulness for all the promises He has been faithful to fulfill in your life as well. Now we will set our eyes forward we are again in a season of waiting like so many of God’s people before us, we now wait for Jesus to come again. There are many days where the news and the things going on in this world can bring a sense of hopelessness but not for the disciple of Jesus! We like God’s people in the Old Testament have a hope that is a silver lining in the darkest of days, a light that cannot be overtaken by darkness… Jesus is that hope! Just as before we have been given clues as to when He will come, but we do not know the day or hour so we must hold on to hope because He who promised is faithful.
Back to the Garden
The promise of Jesus’ return is the ultimate fulfillment of the restoration promised in Genesis 3:15 God will then establish His kingdom back on the earth and dwell with us. We will have an unbroken relationship with Him, that is what we were created for, our souls long for communion with the Father. All the darkness that sin has brought into creation will be wiped away, imagine, no more tears no more pain no more death these will all be former things. This is the life we long for, set your heart on this hope, may it shape your thoughts, decisions, and actions. If we believe that Jesus is coming back and this is what is in store for all of those who believe let us ask “how then should I live?”
Sandcastles & the Tide
If we truly believe the promise how should that affect our daily lives? Are we living like everyone else? Are we building a large sandcastle on the shore though we know the tide will come and wash it all away? Does our day to day life reflect the fact that we are living in another kingdom? Does the way we spend our money and time reflect that we believe this life is not all there is? Build your life on the rock of God’s promise, and you will not be let down because His word cannot fail and hope in Him will never disappoint. Go and tell the world of the hope you have, hope that no tide can ever wash away… an everlasting and unfailing hope!
· Do you ever try to imagine what the Kingdom of God will be like? What do you most look forward to about Jesus return? Why?
· What does reading about the prophecies and waiting for Jesus birth teach you about how we should live we wait for His return?
· What are some things that you should do differently in your day to day life in light of the kingdom that will come?
· One way God’s children prepare for Jesus’ return is by caring for the poor, vulnerable and outcast (Matt. 25:31-46). As you look ahead to the New Year, think of practical ways you and your family or community can care for the weak in your area.
· In prayer, thank God for the reality that Jesus will return and make all things new. Confess any areas of your life—finances, time, relationships, stewardship of your body—where you haven’t been diligent in pursuing holiness. Ask the Lord to show you specific ways you can actively await His promised return in the coming year.
Scriptures to reflect on this week
o Sunday – 2 Peter 3:8-14
o Monday – Matthew 24:3-35
o Tuesday – Matthew 25:1-13
o Wednesday – Matthew 25:14-30
o Thursday – 1 Peter 1:3-5
o Friday – 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:4
o Saturday – Revelation 21:1-7 and 22:1-5
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 Jesus promises to return and make all things new & how that should change the way we live.
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, third, fourth and fifth candle. Reflect on how more light as come as you light the candles and how when God’s plan is fully revealed it will rid the world of darkness completely.
· Have a member read the following passages aloud:
· “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” - Luke 21:27-28
· “I am going to show you a secret, John,” Jesus said, “about when I come back.” “Write down what you see so God’s children can read it, and wait with happy excitement. I’m on my way… I’ll be there soon.” - The Jesus Storybook Bible
In your own words reflect on how God gave us many clues about the savior, how He perfectly kept His promise to send a savior, and how we can trust Him and His promises.
· Is it easier to trust someone when you have seen that they keep their promises? Why?
Talk to your family about Jesus’ promise to return and what that will mean for all who believe.
· How exciting is it to think about what it will be like when Jesus comes back?
· What if it takes as long as it did for Jesus to come? How can you stay excited and encouraged about His return?
· Have a family member pray and thank God for His good promises.
· Watch “God With Us - Kinetic Typography” on YouTube as a family
· We have lots of week 4 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!
· Ask your children what questions they have about Jesus’ return and if it’s something that scares them to think about. Assure them that Jesus’ return will usher in a world with no more sin, sickness, sadness, fights, punishment or having to eat foods they don’t like. Even better, those who love and trust Jesus will be with Him forever with no separation. We should look to and long for Jesus’ return. And while we wait, we should take His command seriously and love Him first and most, know His Word, care for the poor and share the gospel.