Daily December Devotional — Day 30

IMG_1350

Today’s Verses:

Luke 2:36-40

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

Today’s Questions:

What is the significance of Anna’s age as you read this passage?

What do you make of the fact that the person who spoke about Jesus “to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” was a woman?

What do you think it means that the grace of God was on Jesus? How do you picture that manifesting itself?

Can you identify all the people or groups that we have come into contact with over this month of study who were waiting in expectation for the arrival of the Messiah? How might you refer to their example as you wait for the second coming of Christ?

Today’s Prayer:

Father, thank you for your Word. Thank you for the example of Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, the wise men, the shepherds, Simeon, and Anna. Their sacrifice, devotion, and faithful obedience and waiting amaze me as I have come to learn more about their lives and context. Thank you for your servant, Luke, for writing his account with a commitment to investigating what happened so that we may be certain of what we have been taught. Never let me forget, Lord, that these were real people who lived on this earth and struggled with the same kinds of doubts and fears and longings that I struggle with today. Thank you, Lord for the sacrifice that Jesus made on my behalf, for the robe of righteousness I now live within as a result, and for the knowledge that Jesus will come again and make all things new.

Daily December Devotional — Day 6

IMG_1176

Today’s Verses:

Luke 1:26-28

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Nazareth is about 80 miles north of Jerusalem. Galilee, like Judea, was under the rule of Herod the Great. Only two angels are identified by name in Scripture – Gabriel and Michael. In Latin Vulgate, “greetings” is translated “Ave.”

Today’s Questions:

Why do you think God wanted Mary to know she was highly favored and that he was with her?

What do you think Gabriel meant when he said, “The Lord is with you”?

What do you imagine Gabriel would say to you if he appeared at God’s instruction?

Is there any situation you are facing, or face regularly, that would be eased if you simply reminded yourself, “The Lord is with me”?

Today’s Prayer:

Father in heaven, what a thing it must be to be highly favored by you and to be told by an angel that you personally sent from heaven, “the Lord is with you”! Lord, would you speak words of love to me? Would you share with me again and again how you made me on purpose, a masterpiece of your hands, and that you are with me right now. Let these words penetrate my guarded heart and preoccupied mind. Help me to know, to really know, you love me.