Advent 2016: Christ Was Born For This: Day 2

A Prophet Proclaims What Is to Come

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Today's Text: Hebrews 1:1-2, Jeremiah 1:5-10, Jeremiah 30:1-3, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:2-7, Isaiah 40:1-5

Text: Hebrews 1:1-2, Jeremiah 1:5-10, Jeremiah 30:1-3, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:2-7, Isaiah 40:1-5

PROPHET INTRODUCTION:
   In the Old Testament, prophets were set apart to deliver God’s Word to God’s people. The prophets of old delivered various parts of the same message: the people’s need for redemption and God’s plan of salvation.
   The Old Testament prophets delivered a message they themselves did not accomplish. This sets Jesus Christ apart from all other prophets. He is both the messenger of redemption and the means through which it is accomplished.
   Until Christ, prophets were only the bearers of God’s Word, pointing to another who would ultimately fulfill it. Christ comes to us as the Prophet bringing the words of God, but He is also the One who would accomplish the salvation He and all the other prophets proclaimed.
   In this first week of Advent, we will look at what a prophet does: proclaims what is to come, calls for repentance, and declares God’s living Word. And we will see how Christ was the perfect Prophet and remains our perfect Prophet today, calling us to share in the work of proclaiming the message of mercy and grace He secured through His life, death, and resurrection.

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A prophet proclaims what is to come. One of the main roles of a biblical prophet was to foretell the future, highlighting both the discipline and healing that would come to God’s people. Foretelling the future would often lead to repentance, while also kindling hope that God would bring lasting peace to His children.  

Every year I try to begin the season of Advent by convincing my children to watch A Muppet Christmas Carol with me. Sadly they missed the heyday of The Muppet Show, and are thus scared of both puppets and muppets, so they have little appreciation for Kermit as Bob Cratchit or Miss Piggy as his disgruntled wife. But to me, Charles Dickens’s classic story of Christmas Past, Present, and Future stumbles into some gospel truth.

Dickens’s ‘Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come’ whispers my worst fears about the future: the world is dark and bleak, and my own life life is deemed as worthless and regrettable as yesterday’s ashes. The future that is foretold by Dickens’s ghost hinges on the life and behavior of Ebenezer Scrooge. And I make that same assumption when I think about the future: I look to see myself. If the future depends on whether or not I’m on my best behavior, Christmas Future is bleak indeed. But when the prophets of the Bible foretell the future, the future they foretell is Christ.

Foretelling the future seems like a risky business. The punishment for getting it wrong was actual death, so it doesn’t seem worth it to idly prophesy about horse racing and love affairs. In spite of this, it’s tempting to look to the prophets for “what will happen next”—for answers to questions like, What will I get for Christmas? But a prophet’s ministry is not about doing spectacular tricks for a crowd. Still, that’s really the crackerjack truth: we would like our prophets to give us a small picture of what’s coming next.

Biblical prophets didn’t focus on those details; they gave the big picture of what is to come. The true focus of a prophet was to proclaim, “Here is who God is,” and because of that, “Here’s what He will do.”

An example of a prophet foretelling the future, both in the big and small picture, is Ezekiel. He was 30 years old when he received his call to be a prophet (Ezekiel 1:1), and he spent the rest of his life prophesying about the restoration of Israel and the coming Messiah. He did give details about the rebuilding of the temple, but the big picture was this: The Messiah is coming! (Ezekiel 17:22-24; 21:25-27; 34:23-24; 37:24)

Old Testament prophets foretold Christ’s promise to come and redeem humanity. That is Christmas. That is the answer to the bleak darkness of any future. The answer to the threat of the Assyrians was Christ. The answer to the terror of King Herod was Christ. The answer to race wars is Christ. The ultimate answer to any temporal problem is Christ.

The Old Testament prophets are straining and longing for the future. They are looking for fulfillment, and that fulfillment is Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2). He is the future we are longing for. He is the reason we have great hope, for “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:2).

The future is bright. Amid the cold of winter, Christ is our bright shiny future, just as men have sung for thousands of years. The prophets foretell the future, and the future they foretell is Christ. Because of this, we can cheer with Tiny Tim, “God bless us, every one!” We can look at the days to come with courage because the truth of our future is Christ.

 

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  • I admit I struggle understanding some of Old Testament. But this I know I’m amazed that we have AFather God, who loves us so much that He gave us His Word as a guide to live by. It does share Jesus from Genesis to Revelation! I don’t need to know everything about the Old or New Testament down pat. Knowing Jesus and His love is all I need! There’s my hope!

  • ed sheeren

    I can’t really help but admire your blog, your blog is so adorable and nice “  

    http://www.edsheeran.co.uk

  • Kayla Rodriguez

    ” The answer to any temporal problem is Christ.” I need that reminder. EVERYTHING PROBLEM IS TEMPORARY THERE WILL BETTER DAYS. I love this, thank you for sharing. Keep the Word grooving!

  • Wow so tenderly beautiful and awesomely power is our Savior! Thank you for sharing these words of the Lord.

  • SarahPozzi

    Christ is the future! My Future means everything to me.

  • Caitlin San Roman

    Muppet Christmas Carol is my FAVORITE Christmas movie so that just made me so happy

  • For it is only because of His light do I dare speak the truth.. For the light outweighs the darkness, and only through His Mighty Name darkness MUST flee… But it is for us fleshy sheep must we believe what we can’t touch, smell, or see…

  • Lillian Gochee

    This is so true. Christ is my future, my life, MY EVERYTHING!!!

  • Christ is the future!! Christ is our future! What an eternal relief!

  • Stephanie

    Love that this study is teaching about the history and meaning of prophet. Love these SRT devotionals that go deeper

  • Amazing that I can attend church my whole life and not understand what “advent” means or is really about! Reflecting today on a whole new understanding of this season. Thankful for this study.

  • This study was a true God send. I had just sent a text to a friend explaining how stresses and emotionally drained I have been feeling- due to an fairly large impending decision I need to make. The uncertainty of the future consumed me. I thought I needed to do the exact correct thing to make sure my future would be all set. But the truth is, no matter what decision I make- my future will not be all rainbows and butterflies. But I can rest in the truth that the Creator of rainbows and butterflies holds my future. I find so much peace in knowing that. Thankful for a God who sends such timely reminders.

  • Wow. This study put my heart in a quiet place filled with a serene kind of joy. My prayer is that I can share this type of joy with others this Christmas. A peace that surpasses all…

  • Christ IS the answer – this is not a patronizing statement or pat answer Christ our source of Hope, Joy, Love and Light…

  • Kristin

    Today’s study reminds me to rest in the truth that God is here and He will not leave me or my family in times of darkness . We are in one now and I am trying to hold on to the spirit of Christmas and stay positive. I must admit i am struggling , but sitting before the candles every night puts that glimmer of hope back in my heart. I need to trust God knows my future and gives me the tools to live it.

  • Rebecca – thanks so much for such a well prepared, well articulated study. So so much encouragement here. I woke before dawn with my youngest and finally found time and quiet and motivation to sit down and read the word. The companionship and orientation of this study helped me read His word. Words I needed to hear.

  • Today’s reading was great! John 14:26 “The Comforter will teach you all things….and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.”
    This verse is so comforting. So often we don’t know what to do in life. We wonder what we’re supposed to do next. THIS is the answer- “the Comforter will teach you all things.” For us to be in sync with our Comforter, we have to spend time with Him. He clearly tells us what HIS purpose was- “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1 Tim. 1:15
    If we are living our lives with any other purpose than bringing sinners to Him, WE’RE WRONG. Our number one priority should be pointing people to HIM 100% of the time, whether that’s at work, church, home, the grocery store, the gas station, family reunion, etc- Sharing His saving grace with other sinners is to be our priority.

    • Jane

      So true and easily said! I think it was a reassuring confirmation when in the beginning of this read in Jeramiah, God said that He gives us His word already to share and spread. I totally agree with what you’ve said. As long as we keep close to His word and His command to go preach the gospel, we will never find life dull but rewarding, even if we don’t see fruit.

  • Great thoughts! I love the reminder to look outside of ourselves and at the big picture: The Messiah!

  • Candice Solomon

    I have always struggled to understand the meaning of the Bible in the original scriptures. I am excited to see how much I can learn after reading the scriptures and then reading a broken down, made into common language, for me.

    To be a prophet must have been amazing and scary at the same time. Knowing what is to come and seeing so many believe but also those who did not. Knowing that the Immanuel was coming must have been the most amazing news to know and tell of.

    • Alyson

      I’m just beginning to return to God. I was raised catholic, my children attend catholic schooling. So many things have happened recently, in particular with my daughter. I find myself in a conundrum of sorts on speaking out for her and wanting karma to get those that have treated her unkindly. After acting hastily yesterday and worried I made a bad choice, I came and read today’s readings. Im comforted. I know God is there and he is guiding myself and my children, that I just need to listen to him: speak to him with my concerns. To look at the bigger picture. My daughter won’t be this young always nor will she know a good portion of these girls in 20 years. God is telling me that this too shall pass, the darkness will be lifted and the deaf will hear again soon. Thank you for sharing you words and the lords. Blessings to you.

      • Anna Leigh

        Even more comforting, we don’t have to rely on karma to make the crooked straight…we have a Savior who promises to! And He uses us despite our weakness.

    • Bethany Ellerina

      That’s the amazing thing we can share the good news of Christ saying he has already come to save us. It’s scary and exciting just like when the prophets told it!

  • “The ultimate answer to any temporal problem is Christ.”
    What I love so much about this is that the name of Christ carries so much hope, optimism, expectation, and anticipation for the future. No matter what we may see in our world now, no matter how dark it is, Christ is hope. He’s the reason for optimism. He’s the reason to expect more. He’s the reason to anticipate great things happening in our future.

    We have seen a great light!

    • Stephanie

      Christ is our brother and he loves us beyond measure! He is still the answer today and through prayer in His name our Father in Heaven continues to bless us with the redemption and the hope that Christ gave to us. I am so grateful for this season and the reason we celebrate the birth of our beloved Savior.

  • Alle McCloskey

    I love that these prophecies of old that applied to Christ’s first coming are still applicable today as we are a people waiting in a dark world for the light to come again!

  • God is my hope for the future. He is and always will be my strength!

  • Krystal

    Perfect reminder to strengthen and renew in my heart and mind who Jesus is and that He is our future, hope, light in darkness and our courage ALONE!

  • Rebecca W. Mayo

    What a wonderful reminder! I loved this reflection

  • Lindsey

    I have been asking God to speak to me lately. He has not said anything but I am waiting. I know one day he will tell me the right words at the right time!

    • Sarah

      I understand that! This has been a very busy season of life which has left me deeply longing to hear and feel God’s presence/voice in my life again. To hear what He has to say for me and what He is trying to teach me. I appreciate this study cause I know even though I may not feel those at this time, His words are still true and I can read them everyday. He will use even time time to grow and teach us. :) I pray for strength while you wait!!

  • Isaiah 9:6 really struck me…

    Sometimes I look up words (even easy ones) to emphasize their meaning…

    wonderful-extremely good
    counselor- a person who gives guidance on personal, social or psychological problems
    Therefore, Jesus is extremely good at giving guidance on our personal social and psychological problems.

    Everlasting- never ending
    Father(ing)-treating one with protective care
    Therefore, Jesus never has and never will seize to treat us with protective care

    Mighty- great and impressive power and strength
    God-supreme being
    Therefore, not only is Jesus supreme over all creation but he is impressively powerful and strong

    Prince-a ruler regarded as outstanding or excellent
    Peace- freedom from disturbance and war (quiet, tranquility, serenity, untroubled)
    Therefore, Jesus is the ruler and bestower of freedom from disturbance, war, and trouble. He is also the bestower of quietness, tranquility, and serenity.

    I found a lot of hope here. I know I need a savior who is all of those things.

    • Mia

      As a follower who has trouble grasping the intended meanings of scripture, I find what you have done very helpful and eye-opening to the power of these names!! Thank you very much for sharing, I wrote down about every word to remember!

    • Nicole

      Yes thank you so much for this!!

    • Kim

      Lacey, Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom today. They touch my broken heart this morning. God is good!

    • Alle McCloskey

      Thank you for sharing your research – breathes new life into phrases we are used to hearing this time of year!

    • Alle McCloskey

      I love that these prophecies of old that applied to Christ’s first coming are still applicable today as we are a people waiting in a dark world for the light to come again!

  • Keri McCue

    “The true focus of a prophet was to proclaim, “Here is who God is,” and because of that, “Here’s what He will do.”” – So true. And we should be exclaiming this as well! We so often focus on what God can do in our lives but we should really be exclaiming what God will do in the world.

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Nicolette

    I love that Christ is the fulfillment of every prophet’s ministry, and that as The Prophet He establishes our future in Him, through His Advent, and ultimately His sacrifice to make us truly His forever and ever.

  • Sonja Matthews

    “The truth of our future is Christ!” Such a amazing truth that I need to embrace fully. Cause then I don’t worry about those things I can’t control!

  • This is my first Advent study and my first SheReadsTruth study. I’m excited to get started. I bought the hardcopy. Do I use it along with the web/app? I’m already underlining and highlighting in my book but there seems to be additional commentary online. I love the line “Old Testament prophets foretold Christ’s promise to come and redeem humanity. That is Christmas. That is the answer to the bleak darkness of any future. He is the future we are longing for.” We all have uncertain futures so even though we all live very different lives, and face different challenges, our answer is the same. That is lovely.

    • Rebekah

      Welcome to the She Reads Truth community, Misty! Isn’t the book lovely?! You can use the book on its own (Scripture is living and active and breathed out by God). The commentary on the She Reads Truth app or website adds community and conversation. Either way is great!!

  • My own sin is overwhelming and today was a fight to trust and believe the grace of God. What hope in “Immanuel – God with us”. What hope in the salvation that Christ brings. “Christ Jesus came to save sinners.” And that last line of the devotional – “We can look at the days to come with courage because the truth of our future is Christ.” Yes and Hallelujah!!

  • Nichole

    A precious woman in Sunday school gave me this Advent study book Sunday. As I read the text, it becomes so clear how wrong my focus has been on and about the Christmas season. I thank God for the dear woman who passed this along. I am humbly honored to be here with you studying this Advent season. Blessings

    • Charlie

      I love your post. It is wonderful how God puts the right people in our path!

  • Robyn Porter

    I love how God knows when to put the printed word before me right when I need it. This year has been one of the hardest I’ve gone through in a while. I lost my uncle at the beginning of the year after many years of suffering from COPD. Then in June, we found out my aunt had Stage 4 bond cancer on her spine with only weeks to live. I attempted to contact my spiritual therapist for some counseling, only to find out he was gravely ill and he passed away in July. My aunt did in fact die in August. We didn’t have her memorial service until September. Our Thanksgiving was extremely difficult to get through, spending it with my only surviving widower uncle, husband to my dear aunt. So Advent is precious to me this year – the reminder of the birth of my redeeming Christ, my salvation, my King. When it seems like I have no one else in the world to comfort me, I know I always have Jesus, now and forever. Amen.

    • Jen

      Robyn, praying for healing this season and that through the pain and sorrow of missing loved ones you are given peace and comfort. My husband and I to have had a hard year as well, losing two grandmothers and yesterday my husband was pall bearer for funeral of a dear lifelong friend. He has lost 2 of his 4 lifelong friends and is just 38 years old. We are finding peace in knowing the pain all of these people are released from, living in perfect peace and harmony with our King. But, the memories and sadness can still be hard. Praying for you.

  • This message was so needed today- in the perfect moment. 11 months ago my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer and had surgery. Last month we found out that the cancer has already returned. The past month has been difficult as we watch his personality and abilities change. I have had to grieve losing “my dad” as he is no longer himself most days. It has been difficult to know how to celebrate this holiday season. We are grateful for the time we have with him and the grace God has shown our family in this journey, but we know that this holiday season will probably be his last. Today’s message reminded me of what I have to celebrate- my future is Christ. Christ was born to save me and give me eternal life- that is the truth that I cling to these days. Needed that reminder and peace tonight.

    • Lindsay

      Oh Laura, I cried as I read this. I’m so sorry you are in a season of darkness right now. It’s hard to see and so difficult to understand what is going on. Prayers that you see even glimpses of how your dad once was and prayers that this is the best holiday season you have ever spent with him. Much love coming from my little corner of the world.

    • Denise

      Dear Laura – please celebrate the holiday season knowing that this may be your dad’s last one and have the festivities and the wonderful meal and the family and friends and such. I lost my dad 2 years ago (physically) to Alzheimers but Dad was gone long before that. The holidays that came were celebrated as much as close to usual allowing for the mood that Dad was in at the time. Sometimes things were shortened; sometimes lengthened. Every day was a new adventure. Now he is in heaven with all the family members that have gone on before and he is himself again. No more sorrow, no more pain. I look forward to joining him and all the heavenly throng when it comes to be my time and we will praise God forevermore !

  • Caroline

    I’m a junior in high school, and this season of my life seems so filled with major questions looming overhead- questions that I soon have to answer. Where will I go to college? What will I study? Where is God going to lead me? It’s stressful and exciting all at once, and I pray night after night for an answer, but I think I just received it: I’m headed towards Christ. He is my future. What else could matter?

    • Amanda

      Caroline, I will pray that you will follow where Christ leads you with love and bravery. Keep your eyes and heart open.

    • Sue

      Claim with faith God will open or close doors for you as you earnestly seek His guidance. Then look for it with expectancy. It’s exciting to trust and look for his direction this way and is a demonstration of our faith!

    • Nichole

      First, so proud of you for doing this and your show of faith commitment at your age. I have two teen daughters. My high school senior awaits acceptance letters, is dating first true boyfriend who leaves for boot camp in July. I think of her as I read your comments. Like you, she knows where her help comes from. I humbly offer prayers up for you and I pray I once again find this same child-like faith and wonder you both have. Blessings

  • A wonderful advent beginning. I’m sitting here just about to extinguish the first advent candle after reading todays devotion.Feeling at peace. Thank you

  • Ellie Shepherd

    It’s so reassuring that our future doesn’t rest in our abilities. I know that I mess up time and time again. I know that I fear the future even though I’ve been told time and time again that I don’t need to.

    Something that stuck with me is the consistent answer that the prophets always gave – Christ is the answer. It’s almost as if throughout the Old Testament they just kept saying – hold on a little longer, it will be okay. Just keep holding on, keep trusting, there’s a plan.

    I pray that I can absorb their words and know that truth and walk in it daily.

  • Fulfillment is Christ. I pray that I remember that and so do all of you. I’m finding myself in a season where I’m constantly trying to figure out my purpose and have a fulfilling career ( I’m a typical millennial and have changed jobs several times) it’s put me in a rut that I see and I don’t know how to get out ( worst rut to be in) I need to run towards Christ and then look beside me.
    Merry Christmas everyone! May you all be encouraged this advent season!

    • Amanda

      Merry Christmas to you, Nicole. I understand where you are coming from. Saying some prayers tonight for you.

  • I am thankful for this season. It is a time for me find the joy of Christ and to allow Him to guide me.

  • Shelly Turnbough

    Praying for all my sisters who have voiced their concerns! Blessings to all

  • Stephanie Flowers

    Same problem! I know you can find day one on the she reads truth website.

  • Lindsey

    Ok this is not a spiritual question but I’m needing some help here. I purchased the advent study but when I click on it it still says “sample” so I’m not sure if I’m accessing it or not. Also I really loved today’s but missed day 1. Does anyone know how I can access the first day?

    • Jenna

      Are you on the app? Or the website.
      On the app, all of the days should come up in a list, should be easy to select the first day.
      If you are on the site, the name of the study is in the sidebar, you can select it and then select the first day!
      Hope this helps :)

    • Barbara

      On the app, look in the upper right corner for 3 short lines. Tap those and you can choose this plan and then choose the day you want to read. Hope that helps!

  • Emily Stisser

    Love love love. Very relatable

  • Katelyn

    I’m in such a seemingly hopeless time right now, and my heart is so broken. I need the light of Christ and the hope of Christ now more than ever. I’m thankful for this advent season and for the lessons God is teaching me through you wonderful women. Thank you for sharing.

    • Abigail Renee Edmons

      Praying for you, Katelyn! ❤️ Our God is for us, not against us. So thankful He loves us no matter what we do!

    • Robin W.

      Praying for you, too. Hang in there sweet sister.

    • Alex

      Isn’t it tough when it feels like God might not change our circumstances? I don’t know what your hopeless circumstances are right now but I know I often feel hopeless about certain things in life even amidst the overwhelming hope of eternity with Him. I frequently need to be reminded that He has plans for me–and they are to prosper me! He is the Creator and He loves ME so he must have something good planned for me! You are loved, Katelyn!

      • Katelyn

        Thank you so much, sweet sisters in Christ. I have felt your prayers abundantly! I am battling the hopelessness of a broken heart after a two-year relationship I had hoped would end in marriage. The Lord has other plans, and I am praying to see the hope in that. Thank you so much for your prayers, I truly have felt the peace of God today. <3 Thanking God for you all!

  • I always ask God whats going to happen next and He says trust me. I say whats in my future Lord? Which way should I turn? He says trust me. He wants my faith He wants my trust in my unknown future. I’m working on trusting in His promises.

    • Amanda

      Me too, Angela! And I need the reminder to trust so I got it tattooed on my arm! One tattoo I’ll never regret. About 10 years ago, a friend with a gift of knowledge and prophecy told me that God had a word for me and that word was trust. I doubt and get scared but then I put my trust in Him and he always calms my heart.

      • Angela

        I love that you have that tatooed on your arm. Did you tatoo a scripture or something like “trust God” Yes I’m trying to change the way I think. Not always easy.

  • Praise God that the future does not hinge on my success or failure in this world. Praise Him that He is bigger than everything-and that His future is not bleak but beautiful. Thank you for this study SRT!

  • We were talking in a study group yesterday about life purpose and to see God’s call on Ezekiel’s life in what would have been “middle age” back then (oh thank you that 30 is now still so young) just gives such peace knowing God uses everyone and everything in His timing. No telling what your future has in store.

  • Hannah Morris

    Reading today’s message has given me the strongest feeling of peace. Knowing that my God has come to cover my sins makes my heart burst with love for my savior. Thank you for your words and reminding me of the hope that comes with knowing Jesus. So excited to start this advent journey and to bask in the Lord’s love this Christmas season.

  • Lindsey Grudnicki

    Christ is the “heir of all things”… How rich our inheritance is who know Him!

  • Steevi Fox

    I am very excited to start this I just stumbled upon this today and caught up for Advent. I cannot wait to dive into this, THIS is the truth behind this time of year not all of the other things that tend to get in the way and distract us from our truths. Merry Christmas all!!!

  • Courtney Dowell

    Today’s reading was so exciting and comforting. It speaks to how BIG God is and how powerfully He keeps His promises. I hope to bring this excitement and truth with me throughout today and this season. I live and serve in the Philippines so I’m missing out on the winter at home in the States, but I am certainly not missing out on the true reasons we have to celebrate. Thank you SRT and SRT community!

  • This is so encouraging to hear. I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety about the future and worried about what is to come next. I have been struggling with the idea of death and what comes after. It is to the point where I am starting to fear living my every day life instead of death. But this is so encouraging to hear today because now I know my answer to my future and it is Christ. I can find my rest and peace in Christ. Taking this season of Christmas and really trusting in the promise that Christ is coming and he can give me the courage to face tomorrow is unbelievable. Great devotion and very powerful

  • Sara Pappas

    “For unto us a child is born”
    And so entered the greatest gift of all!

  • Kasey Summers

    Very thankful the “ultimate answer to any temporal problem is Christ”!!

    • Jane

      Yes!! I loved this as well!

      • Ashley

        Amen! Cast your anxieties on him! This is my lesson for the day. We will never be able to predict our futures or even truly clearly map them out, but we can be sure of our promises in Christ.

  • Kasey Summers

    I was thinking about what is my temporal problem…. Sometimes there seems to be just so much going on I struggle to slow down.. because I feel like if I do that then I won’t be able to get everything done that I need to get done.. sometimes I feel like I am spinning so many plates at the same time but that I am never doing “enough” for the Lord for my husband, for my family, my friends, my girls… work… but God wants us to slow down.. He says in Isaiah he is our comfort. psalm 46:10 i wear on my neck everyday as a reminder to be still.. to know God is in control and I am not and never will be and praise the Lord for that!!  I loved how Rebecca said in the devotional today that Jesus is both “the messenger of redemption and the means through which it is accomplished.” He is our perfect Prophet, Priest, & King! Christ proclaimed what was to come and then he accomplished what was needed for our salvation. I don’t have to feel like I need to do more because Christ has already done it all. Everything I need for my salvation. Everything I will ever need and more.. He is it. I must be still and remind myself that God is with me always.. he is always near and he has always got everything under control. If I can trust Him with my salvation, which I know I can… I can most definitely trust Him with everything else in life!! So excited about this Advent series!!

  • Today’s reading gave me comfort. I am comforted by the fact that God loves his children and will lead them to salvation my sending Emanuel. He has a plan and He cares for his sheep. It’s amazing to think about how much love God has for us “For unto us a child is born”.

  • Melody Suarez

    If God never did a single thing in our life again today, dying on the Christ would still be enough and He would still be worthy of praise!

  • Johanna

    i loved this. it reminded me that Christ is my fulfillment too. when I’m anxious and waiting for life to feel meaningful or for my efforts to feel purposeful, I need to remember my fulfillment is in Christ only.

    with all of the injustice in the world today, it is good to also be reminded that Christ is the answer to all the bleak darkness of the future. I’ve felt hopeless about a lot of social issues recently, and that promise gives me hope.

  • Jess Gardiner

    From a sermon I heard recently. This quote has encouraged me so much to face the unknown future with great joy and peace!
    For the Christian the worst case scenario is your name is written in the Lambs book of life. The worse case is that the tomb is empty. That glory lies in front of you. We know how the story ends. We know who is the LORD, we know He is faithful and good to keep His promises. We know he is in control. These truths hold us unshaken in any and every suffering.

  • Jess Gardiner

    So much rich, precious truth today! My heart explodes that we now KNOW God through His Son! God has spoken! God has acted on behalf of a broken and dark humanity! Using the imagery of light for my kids, we talked yesterday how Jesus is the LIGHT, driving away the darkness, the evil, the blindness- that we might know God and enter into joy, security, love and hope. My dark fears about the future are like me placing my hands over my eyes in a bright room. Shaking in fear and despair, forgetting that I live and breathe in the light!

  • Interesting that we always ask God for guidance in the “next step” when what He truly wants us to focus on is our final, eternal stop!

    • Ellie Shepherd

      Truth. Goes along with a sermon I heard recently about happiness – how we always have this life journey and we’re constantly looking for the next thing to make us happy. Our joy comes from Christ and when we allow ourselves to be happy in every situation….the rest follows suit.

  • The fact that Jesus is the prophet AND the message blew me away a bit. Whereas all of the prophets prior to Christ longed for the fulfillment of their message, waiting for the ripening of the kingdom, Christ comes to fulfill the message (Matthew 5:17). He comes to let us know that the waiting is over. The kingdom is in us (Luke 17:20-21). He is here.

    I think that I confuse the periods of my life where I’ve waited for times where Christ was waiting too. Those in-between times frustrate me and leave me feeling ready for the game to start, but what I forget is that I’m in the game. Even in the “waiting times” of my life, God is not inactive. The kingdom isn’t on hold just because I’m at a crossroad. At any time in life, we are instructed to behold the kingdom and work in it. Why? Because Christ is the answer. He is coming. He has come. Oh, what a great light!

  • Thank God our answer to every earthly problem is Christ!

  • Kathryn

    The ultimate answer to ANY problem is CHRIST. I just love that!

  • “The truth of our future is Christ” I love that!

  • Alanna Davis`

    In John 1, John describes Jesus as the Word. I love that imagery, especially as Hebrews points out to us that not only was Jesus the message of the prophets, but He was and is the Prophet. That is the message of hope, the true message of Christmas and a message I definitely needed reminding of.

    Also I love that we started out this study looking at the prophets and what their jobs were. This devotion in particular came at just the right time I think for my sister and I hope to share it with her as she struggles to understand the truth of who Jesus is. I would definitely appreciate some prayers that God would open her heart and give the understanding of who He is.

  • Adrienne

    Another reminder that God love is dearly… just remind me again that he came to save not to condem. Embodiment of the Good news in flesh, in action, in word. Jesus you are stunning!!

  • Jesus proclaims in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” I love the point that He is the one who proclaims AND accomplishes His word.

    • She Reads Truth

      I love this too, Jerie! Thanks for this reminder!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Praise God that Christ is my future. Christ over my life! Amen, Thank you Rebecca!!

  • One of my fears as of late has been the fact that my children have to grow up in this obvious twisted world. But then I look back at the OT, seeing they had equal problems, maybe not as magnetized due to social media, and the prophets reminded them there is hope. God has a plan. God has an answer. And here we are, on the other side of God’s greatest sacrifice. We KNOW the answer is Jesus. May I NEVER forget that.

    • Hannah

      Thanks for this reminder Sara. I too have to capture thoughts of worry and replace them with the truth in God’s word, esp regarding my kids.

  • Adrienne

    So glad to know today that my future is in Christ! He holds my every day, and no matter what tomorrow may bring, I can face it because He is gonna be right there with me. I don’t have to be afraid, and I don’t have to worry because He is in control of it all. No matter what I face He will take care of it. Thank you Lord Jesus, thank you.

  • Whitney

    Thankful that Christ was and still is the answer. Let my actions and reaction mirror Him in all circumstances.

  • Leslie Ann

    Christ is the answer to every question, to every problem we face. I’m holding on to that today amid an uncertain future. He is enough.

  • Lisa E.

    Today as my son faces an unknown medical outcome, we need to feel that great light that brings hope to our hearts. As we wait, Lord Jesus, come.

  • “He is the reason we have great hope…”. I love this! Leaning into Jesus this morning and placing my hope in Him for what has looked like a bleak future for far too long. Thank you for this precious reminder.

  • Betsy P.

    First, I LOVE that the prophets offered pictures of God’s grace and power to transform us in addition to His wrath and judgment (“See, I have appointed you today over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and demolish, to BUILD and to PLANT.” Jeremiah 1:10). In the midst of my own sin and struggles, those reminders of grace make me feel as if I can breathe again. How humbling is it to think that Christ has shouldered my self-created burden permanently.

    Second, I am praying that this Advent series will be water for my parched soul and strength for my weary heart. It has been so difficult lately to see light and hope in the world around us…it seems like every time I scroll through the news I am met with another tragedy, another nasty debate, another string of biting words. I can only imagine that the Israelites felt much the same, though to an even greater extent in the midst of their captivity and defeats. Oh Lord, help us to see You in the midst of the brokenness. Give us eyes to see You clearly, ears to hear You, receptive hearts to receive Your Word, and hands and feet that follow in obedience.

  • Kaitlin

    With all the happenings in our world, our nation, our daily routines, our minds, what a beautiful reminder. That the future is Christ. This was so encouraging! Everything, yes, EVERYTHING, points to Jesus. He is the reason!

    • Sara

      Agreed! What we feel is really no different than what they felt in the OT, even if the circumstances are slightly different. We can get so caught up in feeling lostness, that we can forget the answer is JESUS

    • Hannah

      Amen! Yes, I LOVE how everything points to Christ. The past. The present. The future. And because Christ is unchanging, loving, and for His children, this is a sure hope and constant joy no matter the current situations or future fears.

  • Lindsay Sterchi

    With everything going on in our world, what an amazing truth that Jesus is our hope in everything. I find myself leaning into this longing today, asking that Jesus will come into the midst of pain, suffering, and division and heal us.

  • Casey K

    This was SO encouraging to me today! I’ve been feeling my future will be bleak and terrible. Depression has a way of doing that. My husband and I tried to get pregnant for over a year and finally did in September… then lost the baby in October. How long will it take us to conceive again?? When will we be able to look into the future and see a sweet baby in our arms? I read this message and see the immense hope the prophets had for the coming Christ, even though they never got to see the day he arrived. They had hope of a future they would never get to witness. Christ is here and He has risen. I can have even more hope than the prophets. So thankful for this advent season and for the softening of my broken heart.

    • Kara

      I’m sorry for your loss. May God hold you close in this hard season.

    • Lynne

      Casey, I’m so sorry for your loss! May God continue to give you His peace and comfort. I am praying for you! His timing is perfect!

    • Bek

      Casey, I’m so sorry for your loss. My husband and I have been trying for almost 2 years. Infertility is such a battle and we have to constantly look to God for hope and care. This so resonated with me as well. Praying for you and your heart.

      • Lindsey

        Casey & Bek, I pray that you feel the peace that only God Almighty can provide as we covet prayers on your behalf. Bless you in this Christmas season.

      • Casey K

        Oh Bek, my heart breaks for you. Honestly the best thing that came out of this miscarriage was that at least we know I can get pregnant, something I thought might be impossible! I’m praying right now that God blesses you with a sweet baby soon!

    • Emily

      Wow, our stories are similar! My husband and I have been journeying through infertility for the past year an a half. I got pregnant through IVF at the beginning of September and lost the pregnancy a few weeks later. Only Jesus has brought me peace and is healing my soul from sorrow deeper than I ever could’ve imagined. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Lifting you up in prayer this morning & praying that Advent is a time of healing for us all.

      Emily

      • Casey K

        Emily I’m so sorry you’re going through this too! It seems like there are so many of us out there suffering the losses of our precious ones. I pray that God would fill both our wombs again.

    • Colleen

      So sorry for your loss!! Will be praying through Advent for you and the other sweet ladies on here who are hoping to have babes soon. ❤️

    • Linda Ruth

      Casey, Bek, and Emily, I’m grieving with you today. Your stories are so similar to my own, even to the timing. After trying for well over a year to get pregnant, we finally conceived in the late summer. We were overjoyed and told EVERYONE! only to lose the baby in September at 8 weeks. The depths of the heartbreak, the shattering of dreams, the sharp disappointment every month when my period came … the awful empty feeling, especially at Christmas, reading about Elizabeth and Mary and longing, yearning, aching for a baby of our own … having to bear up under people’s well-meaning comments that were still so hurtful … watching friends get pregnant and wanting to rejoice with them, yet with the ever-present sorrow … wondering if my body was defective … it is a painful walk. As Casey mentioned, you are not alone. There are many of us who have walked this journey.
      .
      My story has a happy ending. After six long, very long months, I conceived again in March. This time we told NO ONE, not even our parents. Only our medical team knew. We kept it close to ourselves until I was nearly six months pregnant, when the size of the baby made it impossible to hide. I walked on eggshells that entire pregnancy, whispering prayers. And our beautiful, healthy daughter was born a week before Christmas – a Christmas very different than the year before.
      .
      Our pastor preached this past Sunday on the awesomeness of Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth, coming as a vulnerable baby. This whole journey of infertility, pregnancy loss, and being pregnant is a case study in vulnerability. I took heart, and I pray you take heart, in the truth that Jesus KNOWS. He KNOWS every feeling in your broken hearts, every desperate cry, every crushing disappointment. He KNOWS. He CARES. He is close to the broken-hearted, and brings comfort to those who mourn.
      .
      And I pray that, like Sarah, and Rebecca, and Hannah, and Elizabeth, God will bring a child of blessing into your families. Much love, dear sisters.

  • Jessica

    So thankful to be in the Word this morning!
    As I sit in the quiet of the morning, I am reminded of God’s great love for us and His promise to never leave us. Though trials may come, and they always do, I know that I am always in the presence of God. As it was stated above, “The ultimate answer to any temporal problem is Christ!” Amen, Amen, Amen!
    Blessings to all—

    • Sarah Jenik

      “Though trials may come… I know that I am always in the presence of God.” This was just the beautiful encouragement I needed to hear this morning, thank you sister :)

  • Susan Dexter

    We all have hope in our future when we keep seeking Christ! He is our future!

  • “We can look at the days to come with courage because the truth of our future is Christ.” ❤️

  • Samantha Waters

    I am so thankful that Christ is the future and it is already set. That He will return. That life is not just chance. That He has a plan.

  • Robin W.

    Super excited to enter into this time of advent with you women. Praying that God would reach each of us, right where we are.

  • Yes! Thanks so much, Brenna.

  • This is my first SRT bible study. Would love to hear how some of you use the book/bible/web page to study each day. I’m a little confused! :)
    Thanks!

    • Brenna

      I begin my reading the Scripture for the day. I journal any thoughts or questions I have as I go through that. Then I read the SRT devotional (which is more helpful if I’m feeling confused by the Scripture and have lots of questions!). I then journal my response to the devotional. I buy the study books so I use that primarily. I then like to come here and read comments for any additional insight or prayer (if I have time that day).

      Hope that helps! :)

    • Sarah M

      I come here daily and read the Scriptures. Then I journal the highlights I glean from the study here each day. Sometimes it’s the bold phrases, but a lot of times, it’s something else that pops out at me. I have bought the guides here and there, but I mostly just come here each day on my phone and participate. Sometimes I’ll hop onto Instagram and see what others gleaned there as well, and read through the comments. :)

    • Payton Provencio

      I start by studying (like a textbook) the verses. I take notes, highlight, even sometimes make summaries. Then I go back through and pray/read over the verses and let it absorb, allowing myself to feel it. Then I journal through my response to what God is telling me. I like to think of it as letting it go from my mind to my heart to my soul. That’s just my personal way that I feel I am best able to process everything. Try different things, you’ll figure out what works for you.

      No matter what Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” It’s hard to start studying the bible and it can be very confusing at times but He will meet you! Keep seeking Him, keep praying, and keep asking questions!

  • April M.

    In the midst of death, grieving, and an uncertain future, I find so much peace and comfort in being reminded that Christ IS my future and because of that I have an unwavering hope!

  • Anna Kate

    Beautiful! I absolutely love this time of year, and above all else studying the meaning behind the celebration.

  • Sandy's

    Just like the Israelites in the Old Testament I cry out “How long oh Lord!” How long will evil rule the earth? We wait with anticipation for the days the prophets spoke of with hope.

  • Sitting in my dark living room, next to my glowing Christmas tree, I particularly appreciated the reminder that while we are people walking in darkness, we have seen the great Light. What a wonderful way to bring truth to my children as we put up our tree and lights….we do this to remind us that Christ came as the light of the world!

    • Maria Baer

      Sarah, this is my first Christmas with my steps kids (last year they were with their mom) and I’m trying to bring more of the Nativity significance into the season especially the littlest one who is obsessed with Santa. I love how you use the Christmas tree lighting to symbolize light in the darkness.

    • Robin W.

      Love.

    • Jody Heavenrich

      I love this, too, Sarah! Thank you for sharing.

  • The Isaiah 40:1-5 passage screamed at me this morning. Comfort. Speak tenderly. Listen. I usually seek these things from God, putting the focus on me.
    In comforting others, speaking tenderly to those God has placed in my path who are in pain, and listening to the lonely and hurting… especially for what they’re not saying… THEN the glory of The Lord will appear. I see HIS glory when I comfort, speak tenderly, and listen. Other-focused instead of me-focused.

  • Christ changed everything! He is undeniably the answer and the only way!

  • Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
    I often struggle with not seeing the whole picture, Especially in today’s brokenness, but when I read about the Old Testament prophets I feel so in awe that the Lord has me here and now. I get to experience what the prophets foretold. We are celebrating Christmas, Christ coming in human flesh, as a baby, to rescue His people. It happened…Scripture records it!
    The OT prophets are straining and longing for the future.” It must have been so hard to proclaim the good news of Christ and redemption but not see it fulfilled. The prophets had the “conviction of things not seen.” Thank you Lord for the example of the OT prophets!

    • Libby

      I love this reminder! We get to celebrate what the OT prophets LONGED for!

  • Jackie B

    In the midst of a season of crisis (day 85 to be exact). The Lord has done so much work already, but there are still a few major pieces out there over which I have no control. And no assurance that, while things are better in one area now, they won’t get to this place again in the future. Prayed for eyes on Christ before reading this. Needed the reminder here that we can rest assured because “Christ is the truth of the future.” He is good and true and with us no matter what comes or how this crisis ends…good or bad. And even if my worst fears are to happen, I would get through on the basis of his steadfast love and mercy and power.

    • Bg

      Praying for you Jackie B.

    • Robin W.

      Standing with you, Jackie. Father, comfort my sweet sister this morning. Would she be able to rest firmly, securely in your arms today. Thank you, Jesus.

  • Isaiah 9:2 gives me such hope that His light can shine upon the darkest situation.

  • Michelle

    How comforting it is to rest in the promises of God, our Heavenly Father!

  • Oglatha

    Simply reminds me we have something Great to look forward too.. hold on everyone

  • I confess I dread the crazy business of Christmas and the changes to my routine life. I’m praying this study will put the light of Christmas back in my heart, and I will experience the true, joyful meaning of what Christmas is about.

    • Jess Helms

      I completely understand that. I’m the exact same way and will all the Christmas madness often I forget to sit and just spend time alone with God. thats,why I’m so excited for this advent, because it helps me sit back and focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

  • I so needed to be remind it of this truth this morning. Our future is bright because of his sacrifice!

  • Alicia K

    Praying that this year’s Advent stirs my heart in a way that it desperately needs! I’ve “felt” distant from the Lord for so long. (Think 2-3 years!) but maybe by leaning into this season of waiting on Christ will help me lift my eyes out of my surroundings and onto the Lord. My hope is always ever only in Him and Him alone.

    • Mads

      Lean in hard and let yourself shut down – this morning I found myself looking up at the clock as I read, wondering if I forgot to prep one more slide for school today…and then I realized that I wasn’t truly letting myself breathe. I know I have to remind myself daily to slow down and take a breath in order to take care of myself and more importantly ask Jesus to bear the weight of the world that I can not shoulder. Keep leaning in, and have a great day!

    • Kiki

      Know you are not alone! The message at church yesterday was that God is there in the waiting, in the silence. He is working even if we do not feel or see it. Treat this not as a time of silence but a time of preparation! He is working putting all the pieces together. Trust the promise not the perception! silent times create a desperation in us for Him or gives us access to path we would never have sought out before. (From my notes) needed to hear that this Advent season. Hope it helps shift your focus as well.

  • McKenna Hazel

    ❤️❤️❤️

  • Jessica

    It’s always a small miracle when I read the same scripture and come away with totally different truths breathing life into my achy breaky heart (of COURSE there’s room for a Billy Ray Cyrus reference).

    Two things grabbed my heartstrings this morning: Jeremiah 1:10 and Isaiah 40:5. “Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms.” (Our boy Jer) And then: “Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed.” (Thanks, Isaiah)

    I need every minute of this Advent season; I need every emotion that wells up in the waiting, the pregnant pause, the breath-hold, the coming hope. Oh, how I need to remember yes, Jesus is coming, but there was a long time before He first did, a time when God was, for all we know and study, silent. That makes me shiver, cold in my bones. And then it alerts me to how God was still moving in the world, and despite (or in spite of) it all, continues to move in our world.

    Which slings me up to those two verses. In Jesus, God’s glory was fully revealed…but not finally revealed. Right? I trust (inconsistently) God is never not working to move this world to wholeness and holiness. We believers trust God’s glory has been and is being and will continue to be revealed. All at once and to His extent through Jesus, but guess what else?

    We have also been appointed to stand up in this world, to darkness and brokenness and injustice, and to further reveal God’s glory. That makes me shiver in a different sort of way.

    • Rachel

      Love this!

    • Diane Vincent

      Thank you for that comforting reminder that even when God is silent, He is working to move our world towards wholeness and holiness. If course, “in these last days He has spoken”, and His Word speaks continually. I pray for. a heart to always be listening!

    • Kendra

      Ooh, good words!

    • Kyla Joy

      AMEN.

  • Isaiah 9 — He is the God of Wholeness and there is no limit to the wholeness He brings. This is where I am placing my rest this Advent.

  • Kelly R Smith

    “The ultimate answer to any temporal problem is Christ.” I am in a season of minimal hope. The image of light in the midst of darkness inspires me. With Christ, there is always hope. When light is present, darkness cannot defeat us. I need this Advent season like a wildfire needs rain. The only answer for my runaway emotions is the peace of Christ–the One who came and will come again.

    • Elizabeth

      I will pray for you right now.

    • Ivey

      I have been here. Fighting for the sliver of light – each day – praying for your emotions and for the battle. I shared a little of my story here http://www.everydayeternity.com

    • ~ B ~

      Prayerful over you, Kelly. You are such a light in darkness yourself.

    • Charlotte Jacobs

      Oh, Kelly, I can so relate to you. There are moments each day where I find myself completely consumed by my emotions. Fighting the fight with you, sister.

      • Cristy

        I don’t know anyone’s circumstances, but I have certainly been a slave to my emotions – most of my life – until the Lord revealed just that to me. Taking every thought into captivity, and proclaiming that my God is not the author of confusion, and speaking 2 Timothy 1:7 repeatedly is how I get a grip on reality. Worrying about my tomorrows and thing that may never come about, is like riding a roller coaster of emotions. Praying for you this morning Charlotte, and the peace that passes all understanding.

    • Teresa

      I am praying for you Kelly

    • Shari Miller

      I prayed for you this morning, Kelly.

    • Toni

      Love this!

  • churchmouse

    I had to turn the tv off. Too many talking heads with various opinions about a contentious election. The doom and gloom was overwhelming. I thought about running away and eating worms! (so mature, huh?) The election results are in and they are still talking. I still turn the TV off. Because in times like these, I need Truth, not talking heads. “The answer to the bleak darkness of any future is Christ. The ultimate answer to any temporal problem is Christ. The future is bright. We can look at the days to come with courage because the truth of our future is in Christ.” YES! YES! YES! I get up early and turn on my Christmas tree lights and the darkness vanishes. I am reminded that the Light of the world came and He will come again. Put the worms away. “The future is bright.”

  • Elizabeth

    This challenges me to think about what quick fix answer I am looking for when I pray, go to church or read my bible. I am going to those places to find grace, peace, love, joy, hope for that moment or is it for the bigger moments in life. At this point in my journey I just want it right now and will worry about it more later. I am not hiding away his promise for the rest of my life. I’m was apart of this community before I got married. We got married and I forgot to leave a time do my savior. I am finding my way back and I can’t wait to see how this chance helps me be a better wife!

    • Hannah

      Elizabeth, I am so excited that God is stirring your heart to a more joyful and full relationship with Him! I find it really encouraging that HE wants us to be spiritually mature and in love with Him even more than WE want to be spiritually mature and in love with Him. He is working in us. He is a light around us. Do not give up or take your eyes off of Jesus, because He is doing good things in you!

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