Advent 2021 - Making Room
Welcome to Advent 2021! Well, almost! It actually starts on November 28th. But I wanted to extend the invitation now, to give you the opportunity to prepare. Now is the time to order those Advent books, or subscribe to those online resources. Don’t try to get it all “right.” Just take a baby step and let God meet you there. He knows just what you need. I cannot wait to spend this season with you!
Advent 2021 is here, and it begins with hope. I don’t know about you, but I have found it difficult to hold onto hope amidst the heartache and confusion of these tumultuous times. Join me in taking a practical look at the beautiful and famous poem that is Lamentations 3.
You would be hard pressed to find anything more desired than a little peace and quiet these days. We live in a time of almost constant noise, notifications, and distraction. But the Prince of Peace has come and it is within our power to allow him to rule our hearts and minds. This gift of peace is available for all who will seek it. This week we will look for ways to quiet the noise and cultivate a garden of peace in the soil of our hearts.
Growing in peace
Now that we have cleared out some space to sow our garden of peace, God can bring growth from those seeds. But how does he do it? And how can we cooperate with the Spirit as he grows us?
Harvesting. As we all do the hard work of sowing & growing, it’s a relief to remember that at some point we WILL be harvesting, right? I love this part!
Have you ever noticed the times the Bible says “make my joy complete?” I wonder what could take our ordinary, run of the mill joy, and make it complete joy! Walk with me through the 5 scriptures that contain this mysterious phrase over this third week of Advent. We will begin with what John the Baptist had to say on the subject.
Part 2 - In My Name - Jesus mentions making our joy complete two times, both recorded in the book of John. Check out what Jesus says will make our joy complete in John 16 today.
Part 3 - Love & Obedience...its not either/or. In John 15, as Jesus is preparing his disciples for life with the Spirit, he mentions the roll that love and obedience play in making our joy complete.
Part 4 - Spread JOY! In John’s later years, as he lived out his life in exile, he was able to gift our world with his legacy through his gospel, three letters, and the book of Revelation. After witnessing hundreds of miracles and being allowed a glimpse of heaven, what does this spiritual giant say makes his joy complete?
Part 5 - Unity. In our final installment, let’s examine what the most prolific writer of the New Testament says will make his joy complete. At this point in the story, Paul had started many churches all over the Mediterranean world and was finally awaiting his death sentence in a jail in Rome. The book of Philippians is a true masterpiece on the subject of joy. But what is the one thing that would make it complete?