Pastor Mark's Advent Devotionals

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Archives for December 2020

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Saved In Hope

An Advent Devotional on Romans 8:18-25 One of my professors in Bible College disliked the hymn "This Is My Father's World". He said: "If this is my Father's world, then He did not do a good job". The hymn writer thought about God's creation. My professor thought about God's new creation. And yes, in that sense this is most definitely not God's world. The Bible is blunt a...

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In Our Place

Advent Devotonial on Hebrews 7:23-28 After Jesus' death and resurrection, He ascended into heaven. There the Father exalted His Son by seating Him at His right hand (Eph. 1:20). This very moment, Jesus is interceding on our behalf before the Father. As our high priest He is able to save us completely (v.25). Not that we are partially saved. Our redemption is secured by t...

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Weep No More

An Advent Devotional on Revelation 5:1-14 Many believers are intimidated by the book of Revelation. I get it. It reads quite different then let's say 1 Kings or Matthew. But Revelation is part of inspired Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16). Ignoring it means missing out on what God wants us to know. One key to Revelation is to remember that it is "the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1...

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But God

Advent Devotional on Ephesians 2:1-10 Make-over TV programs always show a before and after picture. In one snapshot the living room looks like a bomb exploded. In the next photo you see how the experts turned it into a crisp and organized space. We see what it was and what it became. Paul does the same thing in our passage. He paints a before and after picture of believe...

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Mind Blowing

An Advent Devotional on Colossians 1:15-20 The brain is an astonishing piece of machinery. At roughly the size of a fist, weighing only 3 pounds, it is a superhighway of information exchange. Signals zip from one neuron to another at lightning speed. Our brain sets us apart from every other creature God made. But our brain cells fall woefully short when we try to fully g...

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No Match for The King

An Advent Devotional on Matthew 2:1-18 The world has had its share of crazy politicians. King Herod was definitely one of them! He was famous for his fits of rage, the killing his favorite wife and three sons, and drowning a high priest. Toward the end of his tumultuous rule Herod became paranoid. On his death bed he arranged the execution of hundreds of Jewish leaders. ...

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Our Greatest Treasure

An Advent Devotional on Matthew 2:1-12 Did you ever watch a Christmas play without the wise men in their turbans and long gowns? Probably not. I hate to burst your bubble, but the wise men probably arrived weeks or even months later. They left their homeland after Jesus was born (v.1), which implies a time gap. When they do arrive, Jesus is not a baby, but a child and the...

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Longing

An Advent Devotional on Luke 2:22-38 Today we find the young couple with their son Jesus in the temple fulfilling the stipulations of the law (vs.22-24). Jesus goes unnoticed, except by two individuals, Simeon and Anna. That both Simeon and Anna encountered Jesus is yet another example of God's impeccable timing (vs.27,38). The temple was a huge building, surrounded by a...

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Missionary Zeal

An Advent Devotional on Luke 2:8-21 Jesus' birth announcement does not begin with: "In the same region scribes read the law and debated in the temple". Nope. The angel of the Lord comes to shepherds watching over their flock (v. 8). To say that these men were unlikely recipients is an understatement. First century Jewish shepherds were considered ignorant and untrustwo...

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A Simple Birth

An Advent Devotional on Luke 2:1-7 The simplicity and brevity of Jesus' birth narrative is striking. We like to fill in the blanks with our nativity plays and story books. In them Mary rides a donkey and Joseph always runs frantically from door to door trying to find lodging. This, and many more popular traditions, fall into the "it may have happened this way" category bu...

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God Is Gracious

God Is Gracious (Luke 1:57-66) It must have been a funny scene as neighbors and relatives busily gestured to Zechariah. His baby boy would be circumcised today and what was supposed to be his name? Then again, this was how they had communicated with Zechariah for the past nine months. Remember the event that had changed Zechariah's life dramatically. He had been on duty ...

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Mary Did You Know?

Mary Did You Know?(Luke 1:46-56) The song "Mary Did You Know?" is a well-known contemporary Christmas song that raises an intriguing question. What did Mary know about the child growing inside her? Luke tells us that when the shepherds left, Mary pondered all that had taken place (Luke 2:19). Mary had her thoughts. Our text unveils a few. After her exchange with Elizabet...

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The Greatest Story

The Greatest Story (Luke 1:39-45) Today we witness a joyful reunion between two women, both with unexpected pregnancies. Elizabeth, who was barren and of age (Luke 1:7), now carrying John the Baptist. And then there is Mary, still trying to wrap her brain around the miracle of her conception. The Holy Spirit had come upon her. Her womb was now the temporary home of the ve...

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How Will This Be?

How Will This Be? (Luke 1:26-38) That the entry of King Jesus would be unusual was clear from the start. God did not dispatch Gabriel to Jerusalem but to Nazareth, an obscure rural village with a poor reputation (John 1:46). And God did not select a princess to be the mother of Messiah but a lowly servant girl (Luke 1:48). Welcome to God's upside-down way of doing things...

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A Common Journey

A Common Journey(Matthew 1:18-25) I have always felt a little bad for Joseph. Among all the cast members in the Christmas Story he tends to be easily forgotten. We zoom in on Mary, the shepherds, the Magi, and the host of angels. But Joseph? He easily gets lost in the shuffle. But his predicament was quite serious. His fiance Mary was with child, supposedly of the Holy S...

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Sure Deliverance

An Advent Devotional on Isaiah 9:1-7. The kingdom of Judah was religious on the outside but rebellious on the inside. God's people offered the prescribed sacrifices and prayed the appropriate prayers, but they were just going through the motions. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, the people walked in darkness (2) and judgment was ahead. The Babylonians would come, ransa...

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Rebellion Overruled

An Advent Devotional on Psalm 2. How will future commentators and historians look back on 2020? What words will they use to describe this most unusual year? I doubt the word "humbling" will appear on their list, but it should. We can put a motor vehicle on Mars and unravel the mysteries of DNA. But one virus appears, and it effectively shuts down our entire world! I call ...

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Everlasting Kingdom

An Advent Devotional on 2 Samuel 7:8-16. One day David decided to build a house for the Lord. He felt it was not right that he lived in a lavish palace while the Lord dwelled in a tent. God said no. David had too much blood on his hands (1 Chron. 22:18). Instead, the temple would be built by his son, Solomon. But God did have some good news for David. The Lord would make ...

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Unstoppable

An Advent Devotional on Genesis 49:8-12. In Genesis 49 the patriarch Jacob is on his death bed while he addresses each of his twelve sons. He looks back on their past deeds and prophesies about what will happen to them and their descendants in the future. Judah, Leah's fourth son, is commended for his leadership. Jacob even predicts that Judah will be held in high esteem ...

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