Daily Prayer Guide: Friday Dec 11

Bible Reading

John 1:14-34

14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.  15 (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'”)

16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”  20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.”  21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.”  22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”  23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,'” as the prophet Isaiah said.  24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.  25 They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”  26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know,  27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.”  28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’  31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.”  32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.  33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’  34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

Meditation

The Gospel of John wastes no time addressing one of the most profound aspects of our faith: The Word of God, God himself, became human. We profess a God who is all knowing, but his knowledge of the human condition is not some kind of detached academic exercise. In Jesus, God dwells among us and experiences all the highs and lows of human life, first hand.

As we await the Lord’s return, the voice of John the Baptist still “testifies” and “cries out” today, calling us to repentance and exhorting us to prepare for the Lord.  John’s entire mission was to point people to Jesus. As he told his followers, “[Christ] must become greater; I must become less” (Jn 3:30 NIV). When religious leaders asked John about his own life and ministry, he deflected attention away from himself and pointed toward Christ instead (vv. 22-27).

Being prepared for Christ’s return involves repentance, spiritual growth, and active engagement in Christ’s mission to restore our world. We are not alone in this pursuit. Jesus has baptized his followers with the Holy Spirit (v. 33). God is with us even as we await Christ’s return.

Reflection and Prayer

God “became flesh” and will continue to be united with humanity for all eternity in Jesus’ resurrected body! Spend time in silence to consider this remarkable claim of scripture and to offer praise and thanks to God.

What are the highs and lows in your life right now? Bring them before the Lord in prayer, trusting him to be with you in both the trials and the blessings.

Ask God to reveal areas where repentance is needed in your life. Invite the Holy Spirit to continue transforming your heart and preparing you for Christ’s return.

What part can you play in preparing the world for the Lord’s return? Pray for opportunities to point others toward Christ.

Written by Sean Fahy

Click here to download Week 2 Prayer Guide: Sun Dec 6-Sat Dec 12

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Love All

Act Local: Share gifts of time and resources with those in our community. At the Impact Tree in the Atrium, find opportunities available for individuals, families and life groups. All the information you need will be on the cards by the Tree. Take a card – put an ornament on the tree.

Give Global: On Sunday, December 13 during services, we'll take up an Advent Conspiracy offering (a direct result of spending less) to give towards clean water projects and wheelchair needs in Honduras, Kenya and Romania. If you won’t be able to join us at services on that day but still want to participate, just write "Advent" in the memo of your check and drop it in any of the offering boxes.


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