Bible Readings: Dec. 16 – Dec. 22

Christ Was Born for This is our Advent season worship theme for 2013. From December 1st (Communion Sunday) to Christmas Eve our worship messages will focus on various aspects of biblical truth as to why Jesus came to earth. These Bible Readings and Prayer Points are loosely based on the book Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation by Joel Beeke and William Boekestein (RHB, 2013). This book is readily available in both paper and Kindle editions.

Click here to download these readings in PDF format:
Readings Advent 2013 Christ Was Born for This V

We recommend you have a notebook and pen for answering questions and recording your thoughts and insights. Bring this notebook with you to Faith Group for discussions and prayer times. Select a quiet place and consistent time to read and pray. We also recommend you pray for a moment before you read God’s word and ask for his illumination by the power of the Holy Spirit as you read.

Abbreviations: TAI – Think About It | PP – Prayer Points

Monday, December 16

Ephesians 2:14-18
TAI: Jesus came to bring peace. “Rivers of peace will never flow from the polluted spring of the unregenerate human heart” (Beeke, loc 849). What was the dividing wall of hostility? Reconciliation through Christ makes peace possible – how? Why is peace with God so vital to the human soul? Why is the promise of peace so critical in our witness to lost people? How has peace through Christ changed your life?

PP: Pray for the peace of Christ to make a tangible difference in your witness to others. Ask God to make his grace evident in your everyday relationships. Thank God that the gospel breaks down barriers: between Jew and Gentile, between races, between ethnic groups and peoples. Rejoice, and praise the Prince of Peace!

Tuesday, December 17

Matthew 10:34-39
TAI: Jesus came to bring a sword. Wait a second! Just yesterday we read that he came to bring peace. Now a sword – Why? Yes, after reading the passage, why? Doesn’t that contrast with “Peace on earth good will toward men”? Explain. J.C. Ryle says (as quoted by Beeke, loc 918), “So long as someone is resolved to keep his sins, and another desirous to give them up, the result of the preaching of the Gospel must needs be division. For that the Gospel is not to blame, but the heart of man.”

PP: Pray for changed hearts in the lives of lost people this Christmas, especially for your Sacred 7. Ask God for help to bear the cross on your way to the crown! Express your absolute trust in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Wednesday, December 18

Isaiah 61:1-3
Revelation 21:4
TAI: Jesus came to bind up broken hearts. The world is full of brokenness. Sin is the reason. With rebellion toward God will come pain and misery. To this world the Father sent his Son. Can you think of gospel examples of binding up the broken in the teaching and ministry of Jesus? How did Jesus minister to you in your suffering? Will you be the hands and feet of Jesus in touching hurting people this Christmas?

PP: Thank God for sending Jesus to bind up the wounds of your own broken life. Ask him to keep you alert to suffering and mourning people this Christmas season. Pray right now for anyone you know who is in the throes of heaviness. Rejoice that through the gospel of Christ the wounded and broken can be made whole!

Thursday, December 19

Galatians 4:1-7
TAI: Jesus came to give us adoption as the children of God. What amazing joy to contemplate that Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven…” How is an heir, when a child, no different than a slave? What is the implication of the phrases “born of woman, born under the law” in v. 4? What does it mean to “redeem” something? What is the evidence in your life that you are a child of God?

PP: Embrace the truth that in Christ you are “no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir” through God’s grace! Praise God! Worship him in prayer! Be thankful! Ask God to help you take to heart this incredible promise of his word. Pray for a friend who is not a child of God, in Christ, for their salvation and sonship.

Friday, December 20

2 Peter 1:1-4
TAI: Jesus came to make us partakers of the divine nature. “Christ, the eternal Word, was made flesh so that He could offer Himself as the atoning sacrifice for His people to make them right with God” but not only that “we have also been given the privilege of becoming ‘partakers of the divine nature’ “ (Beeke, loc 1008). Do you think of yourself as partaking in God’s divine nature? Do you think of others in our church that way? What has God given to help us along the way (v. 4)?

PP: Thank God for the privilege of “standing on the promises of Christ my King” as the hymnwriter said. Rejoice that in Christ you partake of the divine nature! Ask God to help you think of your fellow-believers this way, as “partakers of divinity.” Ask God for grace to completely escape the lust-enslaved corruption of this world.

Weekend, December 21-22

Isaiah 9:6-7
TAI & PP: Jesus came to reign as King forevermore! Savor truths of this prophecy. Take them to heart. He is your Wonderful Counselor, a Mighty God every day of your life, your Everlasting Father, and our Prince of Peace. Rejoice in it. Pray for our Choir and Children’s Choir as they lead us in worship Sunday morning, with leaders Emily Danger and Marlea Anderson. Submit yourself once again to the Kingship and Lordship of Jesus Christ in your life, delighting in his grace.