I trust that you all had a very nice Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends. We certainly have a LOT to be thankful for! Often times we take so many things for granted. We woke up this morning, that’s enough right there to sing God’s praises before we ever put our feet on the floor! My children have a prayer that they pray every night before bed. The very end of the prayer says, “See me safely through the night and wake me with the morning light.” God certainly did just that if you’re sitting here reading my blog! 🙂 Have you thanked Him yet? Let’s take a moment right now to say, “Thank you, God, oh how I praise you for waking me with the morning light! Thank you that I have life! Thank you for the gift of another day!”
The last of the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, and now we enter into the month of December. We enter into Advent. Our family has never really focused on an Advent bible study until now! Today I decided to be disciplined enough to sit down and read the bible along with a bible study guide provided by Good Morning Girls for their first week of Advent. I’m so glad I did! I will discuss the scriptures below. I do not just want to reference the verses for you to look up, although feel free to dive into the Word as well. I am going to reference what message is relayed in the verses and offer my thoughts on them. I find it is more convenient for the reader to have the information being discussed in front of them. This will also hold the reader’s interest as well, which is huge for me. How did I start this? By saying that I disciplined myself to sit down and read the verses in the bible. I will be honest and say that a lot of times if the material is not presented in the discussion, in the past I have not been successful in completing a bible study if I had to actually grab my bible and look up the verses myself. Call me lazy – it’s okay, I can take it – BUT there is also a solution to this as well as Good Morning Girls now has their Advent bible study on YouVersion! Yea!! I can carry this with me on my phone and look up the verses from there. They have thought of everything, and for this, I can’t thank them enough! (No, I am not getting paid to promote their site, their studies, or YouVersion either. I just really, really, really like them both!) My point is that I will discuss the verse in today’s study while providing you what the verses are saying. Feel free to grab your bible and read along with me! I am using the New Living Translation or NLT bible. We could get into a whole debate on which bible is the most accurate or the best version of the bible to use, but for me, I need all the help I can get. I find that the NLT provides the verses in a format that I can actually grasp!
We began with Luke 1:26-38 which almost everyone knows about how the angel, Gabriel, appeared to the virgin Mary to let her know that the Lord was with her. Mary was initially confused and a bit disturbed learning that she, a virgin, would be having a baby. I can imagine that she listened in awe and wonder as Gabriel told her that she would be with child! Can you imagine the shock and disbelief when he told her that the Holy Spirit would come over her and the power of the most High would overshadow her? I can only imagine that she hung on his every word at this point when he said that she would conceive and give birth to a son! The baby to be born would be holy! He would be great and called The Son of The Most High! He would be called The Son of God! Mary’s humble spirit shines through when she responds to Gabriel’s news by saying that she was the Lord’s servant and may all that he said about her come true!
I have heard this story so many times, but today I also gained an insight into this verse that I never had before. The focus is always on Mary, as well it should be since she is going to give birth to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! However, this section in the bible also makes reference to Mary’s relative, Elizabeth, who they once believed was barren. Gabriel told Mary that Elizabeth had become pregnant in her old age, had conceived a son, and was now in her sixth month. Gabriel is saying to Mary in this message about Elizabeth that nothing is impossible with God! Focus on that for a moment. Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing … let it soak in … not one single thing … is impossible with God! I found great comfort in the message of reassurance that Gabriel provided. Nothing is impossible with God! For the word of God will never fail!
The next verse referenced in the bible study is John 1:1-5. I will be honest and say that a lot of times I get confused by bible verses. I had to go back over this one a few times to grasp what it was saying about how in the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God and the Word was God. It talks about how He existed in the beginning with God and goes on to say that God created everything through him and that nothing was created except through him. I paid special attention to the part that says that the Word gave life to everything that was created and his life brought light to everyone. Let’s say that one more time. His LIFE brought LIGHT to EVERYONE! This portion of the verses referenced says that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Christmas will be here before we know it. There is so much to do at this time of year – from putting all the decorations up, to buying those presents, to attending parties and get-togethers – but I encourage you to stop to take time to focus on the real reason of the season. Jesus is truly the reason for the season! It’s not about the presents under the tree! It’s about the birth of Jesus! From the angel, Gabriel, delivering the message to Mary of what was to come, to the moment that Jesus enters this world as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothing lying in the manger, Jesus is the light of the world and with His birth God has brought hope to us all.
I will close with the following verse referenced on the Good Morning Girls page: