BUY TODAY: I DIDN’T WANT TO BE THAT GIRL!
ADVENT DAY 10: HOW TO HOPE THE RIGHT WAY - We hope in a lot of things, especially around Christmas. We hope for goodwill and peace. We hope the pound of fudge we inhaled won't end up on our waistline. We hope that the bills won't stack too high come January. We hope we win the lottery. We hope and we hope. - In reality, our hope is more like wishful thinking. We hope this & that will come true. However, that being said, there is a sort of uncertainty. We really aren't sure our hopes will come to pass. I mean, we wouldn't bet our lives on it. - When our hopes are disappointed (as is often the case), a seed of distrust in planted in our heart. We build up little walls for protection. We grow cynical. We have doubts and fears. We build fortresses. We run and hide. - What if our HOPE is wrong? - Go to my blog at www.sueaallen.com to finish today’s reading. - #devotional #Jesus #Advent #Christmas #traditions #holidays #Christian #Christianity #bible #dailydevotional #seekHimfirst #shereadstruth #morningprayer #wellwateredwomen #goodmorninggirls #readthroughtheBible #butfirstJesus #intheword #womenintheword #womenoftheword #biblestudy #coffeeandJesus #powerofprayer #intheword #Biblestudymoments #lampandlight #womenlivingwell
ADVENT DAY 9: THE ULTIMATE TEST - The older I become, the more I realize that my story is less about me and more about God. He is writing my narrative. And if I lean into the voice of the Holy Spirit, I can see the story of redemption being penned. My prayer is that you see God working in your life today too. - This is the purpose of God in all that he does in creation and redemption. God’s purpose in all that he does is: to magnify his sovereign grace and keep us in our humble place.—John Piper, Desiring God - Read Genesis 22:1-14. God made a promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:2, "I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing.” When Abraham and Sarah were well up in years, Sarah finally gives birth to their long-awaited son, Isaac. There must have been an overwhelming, celebratory, exuberant kind of joy at the birth of their baby boy! - Little did they know...God wasn't done. There was an even greater test of their faith to come. - “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Genesis 22:1-2 - As Abraham journeyed to Moriah, he must have felt overwhelmed with emotion. Confusion. Doubt. Anger. A ball all mixed-up, twisted and tied. Why would God ask him to sacrifice his beloved son? There is no way that Abraham could put the pieces together. He had no idea...God was painting a picture, a foreshadowing, of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. - God was illustrating to all mankind what justifying faith looks like. God asks us to do many difficult and painful things, but we can be confident that Emmanuel God is with us...even in the hard. It can be scary to trust God when He asks us to do something against our natural instincts and abilities. We can't always make sense of God. Remember. Reflect. We have a trustworthy, sovereign God. - What is God asking you to offer up to Him? - #advent #Jesus #bible #Christmas #holidays #sacredholidays #devotional #dailydevotional #God #Christians #womenintheword
ADVENT DAY 8: BEAUTY IN THE WAITING - During the hustle & bustle of Christmas, it seems counter-intuitive to think about waiting. However, life is brimmed with such moments. Imagine putting yourself in the shoes of the Israelites of old. They waited & waited & waited for the promised Messiah to arrive. And over & over & over, God promises that the day would surely come. - Read Gen. 18:1-15. Abraham & Sarai were growing old, and their expectant hearts had grown doubtful. For years they waited for a child but instead grew bitter and broken. Although Sarai had taken matters into her own hands and tried to find a resolution, she wound up more desolate than before. Lonely. And bruised. Her plan backfired, creating heartache and anguish. - "Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!” Gen. 16:1-3, 5 - Like Sarai, we all have waiting seasons. We wait for a child. A job. Better health. A long-awaited answer to prayer. It's unavoidable...this life is filled with WAIT. It is easy for us to push and prod to get our way. We want things done a certain way. We think we know what is best. Honestly, we just don't like our current season...we think ANYTHING would be better! - We struggle with accepting God's plan for our lives. Do we trust that He really knows best? But in God's eyes, waiting is part of our sanctification. It is how He works within us. Molding and scraping. All part of His plan. Our pride is broken so that humility can be born as a reflection of His image. - Abraham and Sarah waited for a son, and God fulfilled His promise. Their son Isaac was born, such a precious gift. A reminder that God is faithful. His timing may not be what we expect, but nonetheless, it is always perfect! - #Jesus #Bible #devotional #verseoftheday #seekHimfirst #God
ADVENT DAY 7: DECK THE HALLS WITH JOY - Since therefore the children [believers, children of God] share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.” Hebrews 2:14 - “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood,” - God sent us Jesus because He loves us so. Let us be reminded. "For God so loved the world that He sent us [JESUS]" (Jn 3:16). As a child of God, we have been hand-chosen by Him. Adopted. Set Apart. God had our salvation in view when He sent us His Son. Oh...the thought of this makes my heart twitter. - "He himself likewise partook of the same things,” - Jesus is the face of God. Deity becoming man so that we would know Him. Jesus is fully God, yet fully man. Although this truth is difficult to grasp, it is a basic tenet of our faith and part of Scripture. Jesus is relatable because He suffered as we do here on earth. - "that through death" - God became man so that He could die for our sins. Christmas is the predecessor to Easter. The two walk hand-in-hand. Christmas proclaims, "The RESCUER has come", whereas Easter says, "It is finished. You are REDEEMED." - "he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil" - The devil's greatest weapon against us is our sin. But, Jesus came and put an end to sin by dying on the cross. He paid our death penalty. The penalty that the devil tries to accuse us of every single day is dead. - What does this mean? - We don't have to wallow in our sin! We are guilt-free. There is no shame or condemnation. We have been set free! And we can walk in freedom with our head held high because we have been justified. And the devil can't steal our salvation away. - So, go ahead, live free. Shout joy. You are redeemed! - What is stealing your joy? What biblical truth to you need to believe? - #blessed #Jesus #Friday #beauty #joy #Christmas #advent #God #verseoftheday #christian #blogger #christ #holidays #sacredholidays #insta #freedom #christianity #faith #truth #prayer
ADVENT DAY 6: GOD’s PURSUIT OF YOU - Sin. It mucked things up. It is THE THING we wrestle with every day of our lives. It causes us such distress and harm. And inwardly we know, "This isn't how things are supposed to be." - Adam and Eve cave. They take a bite. And at the very beginning of humanity, sin enters in. And if we end the story here (as so many do)...we would miss the story of JESUS unfolding before our eyes. By stopping short, there is no hope. The lost believe this earthly world is the end. - Read Genesis 3: 8-13. The remainder of Scripture serves as a story of how God overcomes and rescues us from sin by sending His Son, JESUS, who is the face of God. And in the coming days, we will look at various accounts of Scripture that depict our fallenness of man and the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. A love for His people to partake in His glory (John 1:3). But not only to be partakers (observers, beneficiaries), but also to savor and enjoy Him through a personal encounter. - This is the purpose for Advent. To experience Jesus anew. To open our eyes to who He is and who we are. To realize that we were made to see and savor His glory. That is my prayer for all of you! I pray that you will relish, delight in, treasure, and love Jesus more! - As we look around, we should not be shocked at the sin we see far and wide. For without God, we all are lost. Sinners sin (Rom. 3:23). There is no good outside of God (Psalm 16:2, Romans 7:18). - But then.... - God shows up. And ahhhh...this might be my favorite verses in the Bible. - “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”Genesis 3:8-9 - God doesn't leave. He doesn't withdraw. He doesn't throw His hands up in the air. Instead, he "passes over our sin" (Rom. 3:25) as a foretelling of someone who would take our place on the cross. Throughout the pages of Scripture...with every turn...we are seeing glimpses of JESUS. - #Jesus #God #advent #Christmas #devo #bibleverse #dailydevotional #QT
ADVENT DAY 5: THE DEPRAVITY OF MAN - Read Genesis 3:1-7. Our first real encounter with Eve occurs in the Garden of Eden. She is approached by a "serpent who is more crafty than any other beast in the field" (v.1). - Here's what "Crafty" does NOT mean: - His favorite store was Michael's - He had a huge Pinterest following - He knew how to knit like my grandmother - The Hebrew word for crafty is arum, meaning subtle, shrewd, sly, or sensible. We are given a depiction of Satan as someone who could pull the wool over your eyes. A smooth talker. A liar (John 8:44). One who doesn't have your best interest in mind. - Satan, a fallen angel (Jude 1:6), desires to have power and authority over God. Satan continues to lead this rebellion today and bring many with him. He desires to be fully exalted to the position that only belongs to God. In his attempt to deceive and tempt, He subtly asks Eve, "Did God actually say? (v. 3)" - Then doubt creeps in. Takes root. And grows. - As I ponder this initial sin, I am reminded of the sin in my own life. How I am tempted to doubt God. Is God really good? Does He truly love me? Are His words true? Can I trust Him? Why is being a Christian so hard? Like Eve, it is tempting to look to the tangible things of this world for our hope and security. It is tantalizing to try to control our lil' ole' worlds. It is desirous to jump on the bandwagon of materialism for Christmas. But if I do, would God be pleased? Would the longings of my soul be satisfied? - When we try to fill our longings with anything other than God, we will come up empty-handed. - It is important that we understand the doctrine of sin. Sin is what has caused the disruption in God's original design. Sin and its consequences have resulted in a broken relationship with God. But thankfully, this story is not done! God does not abandon us here. He sends us Jesus to overcome sin and its consequences through the gift of salvation. Jesus is God's answer to the problem of sin. This is why Christmas is such a big deal! - What earthly stuff do we seek to be satisfied? - #dailydevotional #deepquestions #gettingreal #christ #Jesus #God #Bible #Advent #free #study #biblestudy #devotion