Initial note: to make the most of these devotionals it is suggested that the disciple does their best to enter into the Scripture as if hearing it for the very first time, as if they are in the presence of the very first hearers. Allow yourself to feel the location, and the message in a sensory manner. In other words live God’s Word. I have found that this approach can move us into what can only be described as a timeless place, where we can truly experience the slowing we seek in God’s presence.
Friday, Day Nineteen, December 16th
Lord Jesus, help me to see through your eyes and to be who you are calling me to be. I wish to see You and You alone as I, by Your grace, grow and mature; spirit, soul, body and mind, so as to become a reflection of Love into the world each day of my life. I pray to share in the Holy Spirit all that You are making me into as part of this Advent preparation and I thank you Lord for the grace to do so. In the precious name Jesus Christ I pray. Amen
Read 1 John 4:7-12 slowly: Do not rush. Savor each word. Listen attentively as the narrative unfolds. You may want to read it several times, with no agenda but to simply hear God’s Word spoken into your heart. Allow the words to reverberate in your mind. Be open and aware of any thoughts and feelings; physically and emotionally without dwelling on them. Let yourself slowdown in God’s presence. Feel the slowing. When you feel fully recollected consider the thought that follows. Finally consider the questions provided. You may be drawn to journal your thoughts as you move through God’s Word. Be open to this direction as it comes upon you.
Thought: Love is the power of new birth. New Birth is synonymous with being born of God. God is love! Love has been revealed in Christ Jesus who was sent by God into the world that we might live through Him. As God’s beloved we show our awareness of God, Love, by loving one another. Without love for one another we don’t really know Love even if we say we do. “If we love one another, God lives in us, and Love is perfected in us.”
Questions to consider: How does it feel to be referred to as “Beloved”? Are there areas in our lives when your love for others is not very evident? If so what does that say about our relationship with God? How do you feel, what runs through your mind when you contemplate, “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” How do you feel, what runs through your mind when you consider God’s love for you?