My Advent: Weekly Devo #4

This past week at Element Church we walked through week #4 our Christmas sermon series called “My Advent:  What does it mean for me?”  In this series we are going back to our Christian roots, lighting a candle in the Advent wreath each week and talking about what Advent truly means for me.  But we don’t want to leave the sermon in the auditorium each week, we want to help you bring it home with you and apply it to your everyday lives.  So each week, we have created a video devotional that will help apply the message from the weekend to your life with some practical next steps.  Below you’ll find a short, 3 minute video that you can watch as a family, small group or individual.  You’ll also find a manuscript, that if you want to lead your family or group through this devotional on your own without the video you can do that as well.

Today is the last video devo for our sermon series called My Advent here at Element Church and we are talking about “What does Advent mean for me?”  I hope these have been helpful to you as we talk about what the coming of Jesus means for us.  This last Sunday we talked about peace.

That the peace God gives is not the absence of problems but His presence in the midst of them.  Something I started thinking about is this:  We often look for God’s presents when what He wants us to see is His presence.

We sometimes view God as our cosmic Santa Clause in the sky.  That if he would just give me what I need or provide for me what I want, THEN I would have peace.  But peace isn’t something that God does for us, peace is who God is.  It’s found in His presence.

Look at what Jesus said in John 14:27 I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

 Jesus does want to give us a gift, but it’s not a gift that the world can give.  It’s not something we unwrap from under the tree or something that arrives in the mail.  Peace is Jesus in our lives.  That regardless of what we face and regardless of what we go through; no matter the pain, no matter the circumstance Jesus is our peace.  The gift that God gives us is peace!  Peace of mind and heart.  That no matter what I go through, I can still have peace.

Sometime before Christmas Day this week, I challenge you to find a box that’s laying around your home.  Any size box will do.  Then together as a small group, family or by yourself, I want you to wrap that box with nothing in it and place it under the tree with the other gifts.  Then on Christmas Day, after all the gifts are opened, I want you to open that last box from Jesus.  It’s empty, I know, but as you open it, I want you to remember John 14:27.  That Jesus is giving us a gift, it’s a gift the world cannot give, peace of heart and mind.  That no matter what we get for Christmas, no matter what happens in our life, it’s not what God can give us, it’s that He gave us Himself.

So let’s take that verse, John 14:27, put it out on social media with the hashtag #MyAdvent, and let’s everyone know about the peace that only God can give through Jesus.

Jeff Maness
I am a follower of Jesus first, husband to a beautiful wife, father to four amazing children, lead pastor of Element Church in Cheyenne, WY, and blogger of all things life.

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