This year, for the first time, I’m doing an Advent reading plan and I love it.
Thanks to my sweet friend, Hope, she pointed me in the awesome direction of She Reads Truth, a daily online reading plan/devotional. I’m not typically one for reading plans because I feel like you can inadvertently constrict the Holy Spirit by reading only a certain amount (but what if He wants you to go further, or not go as far as the reading says and just meditate on one verse or one word even?), but I love their Advent reading plan because it serves as a launching pad into your own deeper study.
For today’s MMM I want to share with you a few of the quotes from the Advent readings that have sparked my heart and helped me to more rightly see this holy season.
“Because you have done this… he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” -Genesis 3:14a, 15b.
No sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed. -Matthew Henry
Joy is only as satisfying as repentance is deep. -Raechel Myers
If we are unable to keep the laws our Lord set before us, and if Christ’s life covers that for us anyway, why would we try at all? For some, it’s a checklist. A way to show others how strong we are on our own. “I’ve never killed anyone, I’ve never cheated on my husband, I pray every single day.” This line of thinking, the “good works” mentality, negates the grace of God. It tricks us into thinking that we didn’t need Christ’s sacrifice of His life because we can be perfect on our own. -Diana Stone
It is not an easy thing to wrap one’s head around, that Christ, the Word, has no past or future tense. He always was, He always will be. St. Augustine said of Christ, “He ‘was’ before his own flesh; he created his own mother. He chose her in whom he should be conceived, he created her of whom he should be created.” -Amanda Williams
“For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor – spending and being spent – to enrich their fellow men, giving time, trouble, care, and concern, to do good to others – and not just their own friends – in whatever way there seems need.” -J.I. Packer
We do the right thing with the wrong heart.
We do the right thing with a right heart.
And it’s absolutely not enough.
Nothing we do can garner acceptance or atone for sins. Nothing can.
Our sacrifices are not sufficient – however genuine they may be. No matter how much we do justice and love mercy and walk humbly, our “blood of bulls and goats” is never going to be good enough to do what the shed blood of the Lamb of God accomplished on our behalf.
You see, God always knew that a Greater Sacrifice would have to be made. And once and for all, it was. -Raechel Myers
Waiting always carries tension. I would imagine that Elizabeth (and Mary) went to their Father many times a day, asking for the strength to remain faithful, the eyes to see the miracle, and the heart to bear the responsibility of stewarding His good gifts.
Think of times of waiting and tension in your own life, times when you don’t know what God is orchestrating in your life. In those times of the in-between, are you not drawn closer to God because He is the only sure thing?
He is sure and certain, in times of waiting and tension, excitement and expectation. We can rest confidently in His goodness and nearness. – Hayley Morgan
In this Christmas season when hearts ache as much as rejoice, let us hold fast to the promises of our Lord of a second coming, of life after death, of grace covering our sins. We can believe in what we have been told, and we should. Like any relationship, distrust whittles away a bond over time. While God knows our humanity and weakness, our prayer should be, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) -Diana Stone