God Wants Us to Have Faith-Advent 20 (2019)

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see… And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.’ (Hebrews 11:1, 6)

When we made Christmas lists and wrote letters to Santa as children, we hoped that on Christmas morning, under the tree, we’d find what was on our list.  We might have been so excited we couldn’t sleep that night at all, and before sunrise we’d be creeping down the stairs to look and see if Santa had come.  We believed Santa existed and he read our letters and reindeer could fly with a sleigh full of gifts for good girls and boys.

God operates differently because God isn’t fictional.  He’s real.  Therefore, our faith is in someone worthy of hope and assurance.  There is no doubt that what we ask for in His will, we will receive…all those precious promises!  When God has our faith on His Christmas list, He doesn’t need it for His benefit.  He wants it for ours.  That’s because He knows our faith acknowledging His grace and forgiveness are what saves us and that’s what He wants.  Everyone to know Christ and be saved!  “The LORD rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness” (1 Samuel 26:23).  That—in itself—is all the reward we could ever ask for, but He gives more.  He gives us a relationship with Him through Christ for all eternity. 

Think About It:

  • But when God gives reward for faith there’s an individual element to it too.  In Matthew 16:27, we read “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done”.  How does the “individual aspect” incentivize the Christian toward good works? 
  • Why does He reward the individual? 
  • Read Ephesians 6:7-8  “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.”  How is God’s reward offered without prejudice?

God wants…us to have faith!

Dear Lord, please remind me, even when the task at hand is hard or unpleasant, even when my circumstances are stressful and undesirable, even when my struggles are greater than my pleasures, that it is You whom I am serving.  Help me to have the kind of faith You reward.  May I be found obediently serving You and doing so with joy because I know You exist and I know You reward faithfulness in serving others.  I love You, Lord.  Amen.


Join me beginning December 1, 2019 by signing up on the sidebar of my Home Page to receive these daily devotionals. Let’s enjoy exploring what might be on God’s Christmas list.

Acknowledging inquiries about an entire season’s devotionals for your study group’s planning purposes, Seminary Gal’s prior seasons’ Advent devotionals can be accessed via the archives to the right and are as follows:  

  • Last year’s Advent Devotional Series (2018) Storyteller began December 2, 2018 and entered into the Christmas story through its telling.
  • The 2017 series Still Christmas, began December 3, 2017 and was the Advent complement to the Lenten series, Be Still and Know that I AM God.
  • The 2016 season devotionals were called Timeless: The Message of Christmas for All Ages” and explored how the message of Christmas is timeless truth, for all ages of people, and for all ages at all times.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love as we looked into the Word, saw the face of our Lord Jesus, and experienced restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless. The 2016 devotionals began November 27, 2016.
  • The 2015 season devotionals were titled Incarnation and involved digging deep–and yes, I mean deep– in this important mystery of Christian theology.  They began November 29, 2015.
  • Carol Me, Christmas! remains one of my most popular offerings and tells the Christmas story through our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.  You can access all of the numbered devotionals from 2014 via the archives.  They began November 30, 2014.
  • The 2013 series was Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up in Person and examined the Prologue to the Gospel of John.  It began December 1, 2013.
  • The 2012 series focused on Expecting the Unexpected…the unexpected, unlikely, and uniquely divine qualities of God’s perfect plan outlined in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.  It began December 1, 2012.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 20, 2019

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