Day 23: Advent 2016 Daily Devotionals
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.
Tuesday, Day Twenty-three, December 20th
Dear Lord Jesus, as we enter into these final days of Advent I pray that the slowing You have been bringing upon me comes to rest in inner stillness deep within me, which then allows me to rest in Your glorious presence. Help me to become inwardly still that I may come to know You more intimately, as I ponder Love that has taken up residence in me at the deepest levels of who I am. Lord, help me rest in Your love that casts out all fear, ends all violence and brings all things together in divine wholeness. In the precious name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen
Read 1 Peter 4:7-11 slowly: Do not rush. Savor each word. Listen to God’s Word. 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: Peter speaks of the need for sound judgment and a sober spirit for the purpose of prayer, as the end is near. He also speaks of hospitality without complaint. He speaks of our giftedness, which should be employed in the service of one another as an act that manifests our realization of God’s grace is upon us. Peter then makes some profound statements; Speak as one who is speaking the utterances of God and serve as one who receives their strength from God, all so that God may be glorified. In the midst of these tremendous words Peter gives us a preeminent piece of guidance when he says “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins. Again, love is the key element that makes all God’s gifts meaningful for us and gives us the ability to glorify God with all we say and all we do.
Questions to consider: How well are we allowing love to color our judgement? How are we allowing love to make us sober? How is this affecting our prayer life? Are we hospitable to others without complaint? How does what we say indicate our love for one another? How are our words and God’s words the same; how are they different? How does what we do indicate our love for one another? How do our actions fail to glorify God? How do our actions glorify God? Reflect on your answers and observations with regard to inner stillness.