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.
Christmas reminds us to surrender to the good news of a God who is with us. It’s about trust — not a belief that God will work things out as we want — but faith that however God works things out is ultimately what we need and more, what we really want.
Look through the significant things that you are facing in your life. Take a few moments with God to honestly process through your fears about what those things might cost you. Ask Him to show you today how God being with you is going to help you face your fears.
Read Luke 1:26-38
Many of us have heard this story a million times, so be sure to slow down and ask yourself a few questions. What exactly is the angel telling Mary? And what will it cost her?
Read Deuteronomy 22:20-24
This passage is incredibly difficult to understand and stomach in our culture, but ask yourself one question.
What would it mean for an unwed teenage girl to be discovered pregnant in Mary’s culture?
Read Luke 1:38
What a great and incredible gift that Mary received, the privilege to carry our promise fulfilled and raise the Son of God! At the same time, what a great cost to Mary’s own personal safety and dreams. In this moment — the first encounter with the angel — Mary already knew what this news would almost certainly cost her. She knew it compromised her hope of being married to her fiancé, the acceptance of her community, and maybe even her very life.
In spite of all these justifiable fears, what was Mary’s response to the angel in verse 38?
At Christmas, we too receive an incredible gift. We get God’s promise fulfilled, the Son of God. Like Mary, we are told that we will carry Christ inside of us through the power of the Spirit. Yet also like Mary, this great gift comes at great cost to our own personal safety and dreams.
Read Luke 14:25-33
God is going to write a story with your life that glorifies His name, but He does not pretend that it won’t come at a cost.
Spend some time praying and asking God to reveal to you the places that you are avoiding His call on your life because of what it might cost.
Mary could face anything because she belonged to God. We too can face anything because there is one thing our obedience will never cost us, and that’s God. Jesus said He will be with us always and never leave us nor forsake us. Let that truth give you the courage to tell God today the words of Luke 1:38.
This Jumpstart Advent series was written and produced by Park Community Church in Chicago, IL.