Welcome to Advent season on Jumpstart! This year, we will be going through an Advent devotion written by Park Community Church in Chicago, Illinois. We encourage you to walk through these devotions with friends and family, so that together we can remain focused on Christ during the craziness of the Christmas season. We pray that this resource greatly blesses you and builds you up in your faith as we dig into the Word together!
Advent is a time we can refresh our amazement in the prophecy and arrival of Jesus the Messiah, growing closer to Him as we proclaim our longing for His coming again. We pray this devotional will challenge and remind you of the hope, joy, preparation, and love that we experience as we anticipate Christ’s birth.
Just over 2,000 years ago, around this time, Mary was about to give birth, filled with anticipation. We all know the story. We’ve dressed our children up as shepherds, glued cotton balls to paper to make sheep, and set out figurines in a nativity. But the story of the birth of Jesus began long before that day, long before Mary was even born. The story of Christmas is written in every page of the Bible. Let’s start at the beginning, the day everything went wrong.
Read Genesis 3:1-7
What three reasons led Eve to eat the fruit?
Read Genesis 2:9
What are the two qualities of every tree in the garden? How does God’s provision in 2:9 make Eve’s reasons in 3:6 even more foolish?
Eve ate the fruit in order to fulfill desires that God had already offered to meet.
What do you think are the core desires behind those tendencies? At the very bottom of your heart—what are your needs you are seeking to have satisfied?
Read Ephesians 2:12-18
There was a time when the world lay in sin and error, pining for love, happiness, security, and joy. No matter how much they consumed the things of the world, they were still hungry. Satisfaction was impossible. Because those cravings can only be satisfied in God and because of sin, there was a dividing wall of hostility between us and God. But at Christmas we celebrate the gift of satisfaction. God sent His Son so that we might have access to Him, the fulfillment of all our desires.
Read 2 Peter 1:3-4
Consider all you have received through the gift of Christ! Now look again at those core desires behind your sin tendencies. How can those hungers be satisfied through the great and precious promises of God?
See the compassion of God in the face of Christ. God has not left you to battle your sin alone. He does not expect you to pick blind obedience over the deepest desires of your life. Instead, He has come in the flesh so that He could win back for you all the things your heart craves in Him. Choose satisfaction in God over going hungry eating at the table of this world.
This Jumpstart Advent series was written and produced by Park Community Church in Chicago, IL.