North East Circuit of IM Churches

Devotional for Sunday 29th November

This devotional for Sunday 22nd November has been produced by the North East Circuit for use in their churches, and is made available for any churches/individuals who would like to use it this weekend.

Introduction

“The One who is the True Light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” (John 1:9)

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, and tonight in my home church we will light the first candle on our Advent Wreath, the Candle of Hope.

After the events of this year, the World, now more than ever, needs hope.


Hymn: O come, let us adore Him


Bible Reading – Isaiah 9:2, 6 & 7

2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light, a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow.

6 For a child is born to us, a Son is given to us. And the government will rest on His shoulders. These will be His royal titles; Wonderful  Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  7 His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end, He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of His ancestor David, The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this.


Devotional

The definition of the word hope in my dictionary is; “A feeling that something you want may happen; A course for hope; something that you wish for.”

Although not in my dictionary I prefer this definition, “Hope is like a light shining in a dark place.”

On the Legonier Ministries web site, they have a list of “Reasons to hope when all seems hopeless”; I share with you some of that list which I feel is most applicable for us today.

  • Hope moves us forward; Christian hope is a realistic expectation of a joyful longing for future good and glory based upon the reliable Word of God.
  • Hope energizes the present; it is worth living today because the eternal tomorrow is so much brighter.
  • Hope lightens our darkness; hope doesn’t always remove our pain and sorrows, but it does shine bright light into those valleys of despair and points to the sunrise at the end of them.
  • Hope increases faith; faith fuels hope and hope fuels faith.  Hebrews 11 makes it clear hope and faith are closely tied together.  The greatest believers are the greatest hopers and vice-versa.
  • Hope is infectious; we can inspire and motivate through our inspiring hope.  We cannot only encourage other Christians; unbelievers may ask the reason for the hope they see in us.
  • Hope stabilises in the storm; like an anchor hope grabs what is out of sight.  As one Puritan put it “The cable of faith casts out the anchor of hope and lays hold of the steadfast rock of God’s promises.”

In this season of Advent may we all put our hope in God, the things of this world may disappoint us, people may let us down, but in God we can trust.


Prayer

Heavenly Father, we praise and worship You for You alone are worthy of our praise and adoration.  We are in the season of Advent, regardless of what is said in the media, Christmas is not cancelled, no matter what is happening in the world, in the coming weeks help us as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the reason for which He came and the Hope we have in Him.

Help us to share this good news with family and friends, the greatest gift is always available, we don’t have to queue for it or spend hours on the internet seeking it, all we have to do is open our hearts and minds to Jesus, for to seek Him is to find Him.  We pray this Christmas many will seek and find this gift of greatest price, so that they too will have the hope that is in Jesus, for as surely as He was born in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago He will one day return in all His glory; in Him the best is yet to come.

Thank You Lord .

Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer


Benediction

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forever.  Amen.