Thursday, December 17, 2015

From Austin Seminary: "Advent Devotional" for December 17

"A gift from our community of faith to you. We at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary are devoted to preparing outstanding leaders for Christ’s church. One of the ways that we nurture leaders is by building a loving community of faith and extending God’s grace to others. In this season of anticipation, we extend God’s grace to you and invite you to explore this book of Advent devotions. Through this collection, please join us as we prepare to receive God’s greatest gift—the birth of Jesus Christ."

CLICK HERE for a complete schedule of this season's devotionals.
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Advent Devotional for Thursday, December 17

Isaiah 12: 2-6

There is almost a contagious excitement in the days right before Christmas. Most people are busy making last minute plans. Whether it be for travel, shopping, or dinner-making, everyone is on one accord, heading to the big day. I remember when I was a child being so excited for Christmas morning to arrive, I could barely contain my joy. I think I walked around with a permanent grin on my face, waiting for Christmas morning and all those nice shiny presents that would magically appear under the tree!

Sure enough, the morning would come and the presents were under the tree, as I had been assured they would be. My joy was uncontainable and I heaped praises and thanks upon my parents, who at that moment, were the best people in the entire world! There was always an unexpected present, something my parents knew I needed or wanted but had not asked for. That gift became my most treasured gift. I could not wait to tell my friends all the wonderful things I had received.

As I grew older and my faith walk with God became stronger, I began to understand that there was much more to Christmas then colorful Christmas trees and the shiny presents that lay beneath it. A Savior is coming. A Savior is coming and bringing my assured salvation, something I didn’t know I even wanted or needed. As I trusted in my parents when they said my gifts would be there, I could trust in my God that the promise of Jesus would be fulfilled.

Isaiah prophesied to the people that one day Jesus would come. On that day, the people would sing praises to God for their salvation. God’s name would then be known throughout the nations for all the glorious gift that God has done for them. There would be shouting and singing for the people would be filled with Joy, for salvation had come at last.

As we draw nearer to the time of Christ coming into the world as God has promised, let’s remember to look beyond the shiny things and sing praises to God for our Salvation and all God has done for us!

God of all nations, we praise your name. We give you thanks for fulfilling your promise to us and sending Christ into the world as a precious baby. A baby that would bring us salvation and a complete relationship with you. In this season of joy and merriment, help us to keep our eyes fixed on you. In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen.

Stephanie Butler
MDIV Student from Cibolo, Texas

For the glory of God and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is a seminary in the Presbyterian-Reformed tradition whose mission is to educate and equip individuals for the ordained Christian ministry and other forms of Christian service and leadership; to employ its resources in the service of the church; to promote and engage in critical theological thought and research; and to be a winsome and exemplary community of God's people.

This post produced with Bible Gateway reference/link 

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