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Advent Week 1 – Day 4 Devotional

By December 7, 2023Daily Devotional

Hearing God’s Voice from His Word

James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Take a moment and turn your attention to God. Tell God that you desire to trust and obey Him. Ask God to speak to you from His word.

Psalm of the Day

Psalm 97:1-5 The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coasts and islands be glad. 2 Clouds and total darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 3 Fire goes before him and burns up his foes on every side. 4 His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5 The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord—at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
Read the Entire Psalm

The Lord Reigns – We have reason to rejoice always, why? Because the Lord reigns. He will always reign and nothing will threaten His reign. His reign is perfect and glorious. Praise the Lord who reigns.

John 20:19-23 – The Message
19-20 Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side.

20-21 The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were awestruck. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”

22-23 Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

Having God’s Ear through Prayer

  • Express thanksgiving to God.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you.
  • Confess your sin to Him and receive forgiveness.
    (1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”)
  • Bring your personal requests to God.
    (Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before God”)
  • Pray for someone in your small group.
  • Join with others from River and pray for Christian Challenge. Tonight is their Christmas formal at the church. Pray for Christian friendships to be strengthened. Pray for students that may not know Christ to turn to Him.

Living as God’s People by applying the Bible

Scripture Reflection from the Sermon

“And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Cor. 2:3-5)

In a display that reminds us of God breathing the power of life into Adam in the Garden of Eden, Jesus breathes the power of the Spirit into His disciples in a shuttered room in Jerusalem following His resurrection (John 20:22). We must see that it is precisely this power of the Spirit that compels and empowers the church to be the agent of God’s mission in world.

But, contrary to what we might expect, the Spirit’s power is not manifested primarily through our great strength, impressiveness, or wisdom but through our humility, meekness, and simplicity. Spiritual power is not harnessed by bowing up, but by bowing down.

Take some time this morning to humble yourself before God. Open your hands to Him and pray, “Holy Spirit, empty me of myself and fill me with your presence and power.” Ask the Holy Spirit to reveals His power and the truth of the Gospel through your life today. Remember that feelings of fear, weakness, and inadequacy don’t disqualify you from sharing your faith, but actually qualify you to do it with power and effectiveness.