The GT Weekend! ~ Advent Week 3
The GT Weekend!
At Gracefully Truthful, weekends aren’t for “checking out”.
Use this time to invite the Almighty’s fullness into you life in a deeper way!
Saturdays and Sundays are a chance to
reflect, rest, and re-center our lives onto Christ.
Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with other women in prayer,
rest your soul in reflective journaling,
and spend time worshiping the Creator who
longs for intimacy with each of us!
Worship Through Journaling
Worship Through Journaling
1) On Monday, Rebekah reminded us what Advent truly is about. Are you like me and need this reminder? Or are you one of those who truly doesn’t become caught up in the hustle and bustle, carefully drawing boundary lines on your time and budget? With a large family and a love for all things Christmas, I confess many years of struggling to focus on spiritual things rather than material busyness. Pursuing things of far less value than the One True God makes us more like the shepherds who received the prophet Ezekiel’s chastisement instead of the humble shepherds who were first notified of Christ’s birth. Rebekah’s Journey Study illuminated that the Good Shepherd was born that night. As all of Israel waited and prepared to welcome the Messiah, so we wait and prepare our own homes and hearts for the Christmas season. In what ways are you intentional about keeping Christ at the center of your everyday focus in the Christmas season? What’s one thing you can implement this weekend to shift your focus onto the Savior? Take time to identify the biggest culprits of stealing your heart’s focus; pray over these as you surrender to Christ!
2) Decades ago when I first read of Abraham sacrificing his son, I doubt I considered how Abraham’s heart may have wrestled with God’s command. Many years of studying Scripture has shifted my perspective to see Abraham’s unswerving faith. He was confident in God’s promise to secure Abraham’s line for generations to come through Isaac, so it was obvious Isaac would survive somehow. (Hebrews 11:19) Abraham’s faith allowed him to follow God in obedience. However, my mother’s heart can’t help but ask, “What on earth?! Why God?!”. For me, I would have been undone had I been in Abraham’s sandals, yet I know there have been many times when I’ve had opportunity to grab hold of God’s faithful promises as I faced seemingly impossible odds. Where have you walked a similar “mountain path to sacrifice”? What specific encouragement can you take from Abraham’s example of faith? Read a few psalms this weekend and make one-word descriptions of God’s character that you discover as you read His word. Cling tightly to these unchanging truths regardless of your circumstance. Be reminded that a crucial aspect of Advent is found in impending sacrifice. Both Isaac and Jesus carried burdens on their backs to the place of sacrifice. Isaac didn’t understand, but Jesus did; He knew His advent was fulfilled by His sacrifice to pay for our sin!
3) Centuries ago, the early church counted down the four weeks before Christmas as a tradition for preparing hearts for the “coming” of Christ. Just as Israel waited for the Messiah, so Christians practiced Advent to celebrate His infant arrival. In yesterday’s Journey Study, Mary pointed out that believers today are between two advents, Christ’s birth and His glorious return. Israel yearned for Messiah’s first advent and we groan for His second appearing. While we live in the “in-between”, we prepare our hearts for another advent through the disciplines of prayer, worship, and reading His Word. How will you wait? What practice of waiting do you want to lean into more fully in the coming year? How we choose to wait has direct implications on the anticipation we feel for Christ’s return. Preparing for Christ’s second advent ushers us deeper into Christ’s presence as we press into “eager anticipation” for all God has for us in Christ Jesus! (Romans 8:19, Ephesians 1:11-12) One practice that reminds us of Christ’s love displayed in coming and returning is regularly confessing our sin. While not as exciting as preparing for Christmas, confessing our sin reminds us that Christ loved us enough to not only pay the sin-debt we owe, but return again to take us Home as His Bride forever!
Praying Scripture back to the One who wrote it in the first place is a great way to jump start our prayer-life! Pray this passage from Philippians 2:7b-8 back to the Lord and
let His Spirit speak to you through it!
And when He had come as a man,
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.
Lord, I know I am eternally blessed because I belong to You. In this love, I see Your hand even the negative and painful things of life. When I am intentional to remember that You are always good, and You will always do good things, You provide peace and assurance whatever my circumstances look like. I confess to You, Lord, that when I shift my focus off Your good character, I slip into fear and anxiety, anger and bitterness as I focus on the challenges in life instead of You. Forgive me of these times of choosing self over You!
Help me to seek You first in all things. Help me to see you in the regular daily rhythms of life. Reflect Your goodness through me to others. Lord, I pray this Christmas season would signal an advent of my own walk with You; a fresh preparation to welcome You as my Kingly Shepherd.
I praise You for choosing to take on flesh and dwell among us. We are Your creation, and you desire relationship with us, but we, – I –, am so very fallible. Remind me to cling to the truth: I am loved, seen, and heard by You.
Worship Through Community
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