God Wants You to Do What His Word Says -Advent 3 (2019)

In the song “God’s Christmas List” which inspired this year’s Advent Devotional series, the second verse goes “As children we believed/ The grandest sight to see/ Was something lovely wrapped beneath the tree/ Well heaven surely knows/ That packages and bows/ Can never heal a hurting human soul” and then launches into what grown-ups would want for Christmas. 

God’s Christmas reminder about gifts is in James. 

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created…Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says…whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it– not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it– they will be blessed in what they do.”  (James 1:17, 22, and 25).

Yes, God’s Christmas List would include doing what His Word says.  But amplifying that, we are reminded to aim for purity and freedom from fault by… looking out for others.  It’s not a matter of every man for himself, doing God’s Word, and checking off boxes of personal righteousness.  That’s what Pharisees did.

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world

God wants us to do what His Word says, by looking out for others.

Think about it:

  • How do you practice an “other-person-centered” life? 
  • If you’re already looking out for others as a daily practice, that’s great!  If not, what actions and mindsets need to change?  What does procrastination say?  When one says, “I’ll help them later” what are they really saying?
  • When Mary was approached by the angel Gabriel, she said “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me– holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation” (Luke 1:46-50).  How does this display both gratitude for the gift of the Father and a larger view to others?

What God wants for Christmas is… to do what His Word says, looking out for others

Dear Lord, Thank You that You are the Giver of the best gift beyond our imagining:  Yourself– in the person of Your Son Jesus Christ.  Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit to guide me.  Help me to be grateful for what You have done and never take Jesus and His salvation for granted.  Give me confidence to share Him with others, looking out not just for myself but for the eternal welfare of others as I should.  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 3, 2019

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