Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

in Advent

Advent Week 3: The Way of Return, Day 1

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THE WAY OF RETURN
MATTHEW 1:18

Joseph had a plan, a calling. He wanted to commit his life to Mary, to be her husband, and to raise a family. It was a simple plan, but one that would command his time and energies and give a central focus to his life. It had almost certainly been a family decision and would require his clan to build an addition to their home in Nazareth. It would mean hard work in the carpentry business to support future children. It would join their two families together in a new connected family, bringing in-laws and a new set of relatives. Joseph, as we learn later in this story, was a righteous man, and so it is likely that this plan arose not just from his own dreams and desires, but from searching prayers and a sense of God's will. 

How has your life been shaped by simple plans?

Have you had a sense of God's confirmation for these hopes?

How did this sense arise?

FAMILY TIME: When did you know “making a family” was part of God’s plan for you?!

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in Advent

Advent Week 3: The Way of Surprise, Day 5

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RESPONSIVENESS
LUKE 1:38-56

God will surprise us, as he did Mary. Will we share her ability to be surprised, and to respond with obedience? Hear Mary's famous words, "Here I am, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word." These words became actions. She trusted the new truth about Elizabeth and traveled to receive her friendship and support, allowing God to reorder her relationships in the light of his plan. Further, Mary moved from shock and surprise to deliberate centeredness. Her song, in verses 46-55, is a way of putting God's surprising truth about her coming child at the very center of her thinking. She reinterprets her life in tenus of God's favor and future acclaim. She ruminates on the social significance of God's action, insisting that not only her life but everyone's life and status, will be determined by this baby. She connects her role to God's ancient purposes, seeing it in terms of the promise to Abraham.

Are you accepting and obedient? 

Do you order your relationships according to your faith?

Do you put God's Son at the center of all things?

FAMILY TIME: How does your relationship with Jesus impact your outlook? Does it affect your view of school? Work? Play?

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