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One Woman's Pilgrimage

    by Linda Bush Cannon

Advent Devotionals - December 12th through 18th
Date Posted: December 12, 2010
Advent Devotions - December 12th

Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

Even though the better part of my daily mail is bills, flyers, catalogs and rubbish, I have to admit that there is always a bit of anticipation when I read through my mail. As the Christmas cards begin to arrive, I often smile just reading the return address, reminded of a distant friend, and then I tear open the card with childlike enthusiasm to see what they have written. Our hearts always seek out good news that will bring us great joy, don’t they?

Tis’ the season – how are you sharing the good news of our Savior’s birth? Are you praying each day for the Lord to bring someone into your life with whom you can talk about Him, and share the joy of salvation? Do your Christmas cards offer the true Christmas story tucked somewhere within the holiday pictures and Christmas letter? Have you taken the opportunity to invite someone who doesn’t yet have a personal relationship with Christ to come with you to church, or to your home? We may not have the commanding presence of an angel, but certainly we can quietly, in our own way, bring the message of the love and gift of Christ to others this Christmas. Ask the Lord to give you “God eyes” to see opportunities to tell them "... a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord."

Advent Devotions - December 13th

Luke 2:12 "This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

A sign – the Greek word used is “semeion”, and it also means mark – that by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others and is known. The signs of Christmas are all around –houses and lawns decorated with brightly colored lights, a pine tree filled with ornaments, special events at schools and houses of worship, parties, and of course, the endless commercials vying for your attention and dollars! Subtle holiday hints? Not so much!

Often the most beautiful houses are adorned only with small white candles in each window, a green wreath decorated with a solitary red bow, or a simple manger scene on the mantle. These quieter remembrances of Christmas are classic, proclaiming the season in a rich and striking manner.

What mark are you making today for Christmas? Is your life a sign which points to the Savior? Don’t get so tangled up in the tinsel that your sign to the world is just that of another harried and hassled, gift-toting Christmas casualty. Purpose yourself this day to allow the Christ-child to mark your walk/talk as “that by which you are distinguished from others”. Be known as a Christ-follower this Christmas – make your mark for Him.

Advent Devotions - December 14th

Luke 2:13 "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,"

What do you think of when you hear “heavenly host”… Martha Stewart, perhaps? All poised and utterly perfect in every way? No so much, huh?

Well the heavenly host here means a multitude coming from heaven – an army/band of soldiers. The greek word stratia comes from a derivative of stratos (an army from the base of, as encamped). Psalm 34:7 tells us that “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.”

The shepherds weren’t the only ones who had a host of heavenly angels with them. We do, too! God has sent His angels to encamp around us and rescue us. Encamp can also mean to abide, to pitch a tent – angels are abiding with us, staying awhile to watch over us. Now while we are meant never to worship the angels, but the Lord Himself, creator of angels, we certainly can thank Him for sending these winged warriors to protect us from the enemy and his army. As you go about your day, stop and thank God for all the things from which He has protected you with his angelic army.

Advent Devotion - December 15th

Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When we give glory to God, we honor Him, and He is pleased. Glory is translated from the Greek word doxa, the root of the word doxology -- an expression of praise to God, especially a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service. Doxa speaks of splendor, brightness, majesty, a thing belonging to Christ; the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ. Another reference says “the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Savior’s return from heaven.”

God’s glory came to earth once in the form of a tiny baby. And the glory of Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, Messiah, will come again soon when He returns in victory. We can experience that peace today, if we ask confess our sins and ask Christ to become our Savior and live in our hearts, until that day when we shall be blessed to be forever with Him in His glory someday. Receive His gift of eternal life, and peace on earth, in your heart – won’t you invite Him in today?

Advent Devotion - December 16th

Luke 2:14 "When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

Have you ever had the experience of someone telling you about something, and you dropped everything to go see what they were talking about? Didn’t realize you had so much in common with those shepherds, did you? Imagine, here they were, coming straight off of the experience of seeing and hearing a multitude (a LOT) of angels singing in the sky. Instead of talking each other OUT of the truth of what they had just heard and seen, they put “feet to their faith” and decided to check out what these here angels had said to them. Notice, they immediately understood that this was from the Lord, something He had told them about. They took immediate action.

Have you been praying about something lately? Are you watching and listening for the Lord to give you an answer? Now I grant you, He may not send a heavenly multitude of angels to sing outside your bedroom window tonight (then again, you never know…), but are you paying attention and looking/listening for His answers? And when He does answer you, do you procrastinate or analyze-to-death what you think you might have heard Him whisper into your soul? Or like the shepherds, do you jump up spiritually to see the thing which the Lord has told you about?

Maybe it’s time to get up and take action on what He has told you… today.

Advent Devotion - December 17th

Luke 2:16 "So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger."

We hurry off to those crazy 4am store openings to get huge bargains on gifts… we hurry off to work, school, the gym, soccer practice, recitals, grocery stores, doctor appointments… the endless activities that jam-pack your calendar each day. However, one definition of hurry is “a state of urgency or eagerness”, and that puts a more positive spin on a word that is usually given a negative connotation.

Do we come to our time alone with Jesus in a state of eagerness? Or is it just one more appointment in this hamster wheel season we call Christmas? Another activity we race through so we can check it off our list and get on to the next pressing matter?

When the shepherds acted upon their eagerness, they found Jesus. We have the same opportunity – Jesus is waiting for us each day to find Him, to come to Him with the enthusiasm and zeal of a child racing to the tree on Christmas morning to unwrap her gifts! He has the gifts of love, joy, peace, rest, abundant living -- all wrapped up in Himself, just waiting for you to receive them.

Advent Calendar - December 18th

Luke 2:17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,

A familiar Bible study topic (and area with which most of us struggle from time to time) is gossip. You hear something “juicy” and want to pass it along. Oft times it bubbles up in us like the lava in a volcano, heating and rising until we think we’ll explode if we don’t tell someone. Unfortunately, just like that molten liquid, the spilling of the info can be destructive and painful – something from which one will never fully be able to recover from, or if you’re the gossip, you will never be able to take back. It’s no wonder the Bible so often addresses gossip and slander. One of my favorite Scripture verses that I pray (daily) is Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips.”

However… there are times when it is joyful and healthy and altogether appropriate to “start spreading the news” about something wonderful -- and the shepherds wasted no time in telling everyone they knew about the good news of Jesus’ birth. Today they'd be knocking on doors, phoning, emailing, text-messaging, Facebooking, Twittering, faxing and doing whatever they could to tell people they'd just seen a host of heavenly angels!! Alert the media - film at 11!

Sometimes it's harder to share the quiet love in your heart of Jesus and the amazing news of His free gift of salvation. Without all the fanfare, where do you begin? Like a gift, just give your story to someone, open it up like the bow on a gift, one step at a time. Just as He helps you to not speak out hurtful words, God will give you the words you need to share the greatest present you've ever had - a personal relationship with the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Now there are some words (and a gift) that will last!

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Biography Information:
Linda is "...simply one woman running hard after Jesus, in an effort to be authentic and always growing in my devotion to Him, while open and real in the hopes that my life might point to and glorify Christ my Lord." She has been a women's Bible study leader for over 17 years, and is a wife, mother, certified personal trainer, life coach, health/wellness coach, Pilates/Pilates Reformer instructor, writer, photographer and "wild 'n crazy wacky woman of God" She lives in NJ, and is happiest when she's outdoors by a stream or in a park with a book, cooking for family and friends, or simply enjoying early mornings in God's natural sanctuary of nature. Her life verse is Philippians 3:7-14.

You can find her on her website at
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