The God We Hardly Knew: December 14

Advent Guide Cover - 2017

“It may well be, as Jesus says, more blessed to give than to receive. But it is more difficult to receive” (142). Today’s reading is about receiving. Specifically, it is about receiving grace from a position of weakness and poverty. This entry is pointed, but it is soaked in truth that will refresh you and help you embrace the Good News that Jesus meets our deepest needs.

Bonus: To set the tone, today’s entry includes a video of a beautiful hymn that will press these truths into our hearts. Click here to listen.

READ

  • Micah 5:2-5; Matthew 5:3-6
  • Watch for the Light, 141-149

REFLECT

  1. What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Why would this author lead with the statement, “No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas without being truly poor” (141)? Do you agree?
  2. Think of a Christian you know who you feel models the characteristics Jesus describes as “blessed” in Matthew 5. What is it about this person’s life that stands out to you as spiritually poor, meek, or hungry for righteousness?
  3. Do you agree that receiving is more difficult than giving? Why or why not?
  4. We frequently sing about God’s grace or talk about it in our Bible studies. But are you really ok with receiving grace if it means confessing your spiritually poverty? Why do you think we prefer so strongly “to think of ourselves as givers – powerful, competent, self-sufficient, capable people…” (144) rather than owning up to our deep weakness and poverty?

RESPOND

Let a large portion of your prayer time today be a prayer of confession. Rather than rushing to ask for grace and forgiveness, confess not only that have committed sin, but that you see your desperate spiritual need, that (apart from Christ) you are sinner. Then thank God for his grace and wisdom in sending us his Son as a baby, a gift we would have never requested that meets our eternal need.

 

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