Christmas - Hope - Day 1

Opening Prayer: 

Dear Lord, during this Christmas season we pray that you will guide us to see the hope that comes from believing in your son Jesus-Immanuel-God with us.  In quietness and strength we come in his name. Amen.

Note:  As we begin these Christmas devotionals, each week will focus on a different gift from God—Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.  The overall theme will be “Using God’s gifts to us to focus our hearts on Jesus.

 

Read: Isaiah 7:14 NIV

 “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.”

 

Reflect: 

This week we focus on God’s gift to us of Hope, so let’s keep in mind what Hope is.  The Life Application Bible defines Hope this way: “God promises comfort, deliverance, and restoration in his future Kingdom. The Messiah will rule over his faithful followers in the age to come. Hope is possible because Christ is coming.” 

 The Christmas season is built around the Hope of the coming Lord Jesus as stated in this Scripture from Isaiah.  Written between 500 and 700 years before Christ was born, this prophecy provided the early Israelites with the prediction that the Messiah would be coming to save them.  It is one of the many predictions given to them to give them Hope--- something to look forward to.

Hope is very important to us.  I know in my own life when I am in a period when I think I don’t have something to look forward to, I begin to wither and have my own pity party.  I remember several years ago my wife and I went through a period when we were only spinning our wheels.  Life had become mundane and we began to focus inward, and the pity party began.  We took a mini-moon (couples weekend away) to assess our lives and talk about what was important to us.  Out of that weekend we set new goals for our marriage that focused more on God and our future plans.  We left that weekend feeling refreshed with a renewed focus on God.  We again had hope about our future and renewed energy.

 When the Israelites focused on this Scripture, they could feel renewed happiness that comes from the expectation of the coming Messiah before them.

 

 Apply:  

I like today’s Scripture in the New Living Translation “All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” Isaiah 7:14. Immanuel- “God with us,” means we don’t have to wait for some distant event to have him in our lives to give us hope.  After Christ’s death and ascension, he sent the Holy Spirit to live in us all the time.  When you feel down, remember as a believer you have the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide your steps and comfort you.

 

Closing Prayer: 

Our Lord Jesus, help us remember that you grew beyond the babe in the manger and you are here to guide us each day.  Help us remember you are our Hope.  In your Name we pray, Amen.

Today’s Family Christmas Calendar Activity:

Start this Christmas Daily Devotional Plan on the Pathway App or subscribe to receive emails

Pick up a calendar at your campus. Learn more at ChristmasAtPathway.com

Terry Schneider