Category Archives: Advent

Anticipate Peace

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Anticipate Peace

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.—Isaiah 53:5

This long section of scripture, spoken hundreds of years before the birth and death of Christ, is chilling. While it is devasting to know God was aware that his only Son would be pierced, crushed, punished, it's equally hopeful that with it comes peace and healing. This is our God. Finding his way through the impossible dilemmas of human life. He found a way to pardon and punish. He found a way to uphold His love and justice. He became the sacrifice for the sin of all humanity. How about that for a perfect solution—it's peace.

DO THIS: Make peace with people today: those you love and those you don't.

PRAY THIS: God, help me to extend the peace that you so generously gave to the entire world.

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He’s God Of The Details

Vince Miller Speaker and Author to Men
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Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 18 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God's Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men's Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at www.beresolute.org. See his latest book and small group study Called to Act: 5 Uncomplicated Disciplines for Men.

Vince Miller Speaker and Author to Men

Anticipate Grace

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Anticipate Grace

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.—John 1:16

The grace sandwich here is an unusual expression. Grace means, undeserved favor. Therefore, we are recipients of a generous double helping of undeserved favor through the coming of Jesus Christ. This is because our Heavenly Father is not like an earthly father. He is willing to overextend himself, even to the point of it costing him something precious. He extends grace even when we don't deserve it and consciously reject it. He gives undeserving humanity both the baby in a manager and a Son lifted onto a Cross.

DO THIS: Accept your generous helping of grace.

PRAY THIS: God, may I never reject the undeserved grace you have lavished on me.

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Anticipate Non-Receptivity

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Anticipate Non-Receptivity

He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.—John 1:11

You could read this verse and hear the sadness of the human condition. It implies a social rejection of the divine creator. Or you could read it differently, the way I believe John wanted his readers to understand it. That in spite of our stubbornness and non-receptivity, we have a compassionate and caring Creator that looks beyond our rejection and still came to his own.

DO THIS: Accept a God who comes to you.

PRAY THIS: God, while I do frequently reject you in my stubbornness, thanks for continuing to coming down and even pursing me.

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Anticipate Understanding

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Anticipate Understanding

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.—John 1:6-8

Some men will have only one task in this life. While the job will seem insignificant, it can have powerful consequences. For example, consider a placekicker on a football team. Or the technician who tunes the engine of a formula one race car. Or a lawyer responsible for cross-examination. Their tasks, while simple, have enormous consequences when performed poorly, including the loss of a game, the loss of a race, or the loss of a trial. John's one life task was simple, bear witness to the light. While John got to do this for Jesus in the flesh, we have a responsibility to do this in the spirit. Bear witness to Jesus Christ the light of the world.

DO THIS: Bear witness to the light.

PRAY THIS: God, thanks for bringing the light to the world, and may I ever give testimony to the name of Jesus.

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Anticipate Marvel

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Anticipate Marvel

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.—Luke 2:33

If you are a father, you know what it means to marvel at new birth. This is especially true with your first child. Your early days home are filled with adrenaline, and you'll run on fumes till you finally crash. Bringing this baby home can be awkward and scary and equal parts awesome and terrifying. But imagine walking into a church that first week and encountering the most righteous and devout man you know, who then looks down on your child and says this!

Lord, now you are letting your servant [Simeon] depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.—Luke 2:29-32

Marvel, at the child born to be Savior, light, revelation, and glory to the world.

DO THIS: Spend 5 minutes, marveling with God.

PRAY THIS: God, we don't deserve it, but you did it, and men everywhere marvel. Therefore so do I.

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Anticipate Haste

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Anticipate Haste

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.—Luke 2:15-16

Backstory: There were some shepherds out in a field. Busy watching their sheep in the darkness of the night hours, shazam, a stunning light illuminates the area. In the pitch black of the night, they are blinded by light and fear. From out of the light appears an angel, dispelling fear and bringing some good news and with it joy. The angel announces that the Messiah has finally come, and points to Bethlehem and a baby named Jesus who is the Christ. At the announcement, from out of the light comes an angelic singing choir. Talk about a late-night show!

And what was the response of these men? Let's go check it out!

DO THIS: Make haste and run, not to busyness but to the timeless story of a Savior born.

PRAY THIS: God, may my heart never grow tired of hearing the story of the birth of Jesus. It's a story worth remembering and celebrating.

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Anticipate Detail

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Anticipate Detail

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn..—Luke 2:1-7

It's worth reading this scripture a couple of times. It's the only recorded account of the birth of Jesus in all of the four Gospels. And while this is the case, the details are stunning. It appears that the most powerful man in the Roman Empire was exerting his influence through the demand of a worldwide census, but we all know another narrative is at work. The Caesar was not dictating this moment—God was. God is the ruler of even the smallest details. Note these Old Testament predictions about this moment. The prospect that any one person would satisfy eight prophecies was just 1 in 10 to the 17th power. Now, this is real influence and real detail.

  • Bethlehem as the birthplace—Micah 5:2
  • The virgin birth of a boy—Isaiah 7:14
  • The seed of woman (therefore human and divine)—Genesis 3:15
  • A ruler of Israel to be born—Micah 5:2
  • Of the lineage of David who was also born in Bethlehem—Isaiah 9:6-7
  • A King from the line of David—Isaiah 11:1
  • A new kingdom that will never end—2 Samuel 7:16
  • A new king David will come from David—Jeremiah 23:5

DO THIS: Praise God for His detail.

PRAY THIS: God, thank you for giving us your son and the remarkable detail that provides me with even more reason to believe.

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Anticipate Talking

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Anticipate Talking

And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.—Luke 1:64

You may recall Zechariah's mouth and tongue were closed for his lack of belief that his wife Elizabeth would carry a child. But something happened between the impossibility of the idea to the moment of their child's birth. He discovered belief. At the naming of his son, his tongue loosed, and he spoke.

Brother, God is still looking for men to speak out in faith rooted in Him. Today speak out. Do not be silent about what God has done in your life.

DO THIS: Speak out for God today. Tell someone something that God has done in your life.

PRAY THIS: God, you have done so much for me. My only possible gift is to tell others what you have done.

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Anticipate Song

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Anticipate Song

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior"—Luke 1:46-47

There are moments in life that are hard to capture. They create a song in the soul. Mary, at this moment in her pregnancy, is filled with it soul-praise. Every follower has these moments in their life. Sometimes they are few and far between. But we need these times. We need to pause and reflect on what God has done and is doing. Just like Mary, we must praise the Lord, God, and Savior.

DO THIS: Stop and reflect on these three things:

  • One great thing God has created you for.
  • One great thing the Lord has lead you through.
  • One great thing the Savior has rescued you from.

PRAY THIS: God, I praise you for all the things you have done for me. I do not deserve a single one. But you have had grace and mercy on me in every way. Praise your name.

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Anticipate Unusual

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Anticipate Unusual

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.—Luke 1:39-41

And now the plot thickens. We discover that Mary and Elizabeth know each other. They are cousins, pregnant cousins. One young. One Old. One married. One not. One is carrying the prophet, John. One is carrying the savior, Jesus. This is a royal gathering of two boys, soon to be born, a duo that will rock the world. One is proclaiming the way. One who is the way.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."—John 14:6

PRAY THIS: God, you are always up to unusual things that usually make sense. Thanks for the added details, they make having faith in the unseen a little more visible.

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Anticipate Unbelievable

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Anticipate Unbelievable

And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy - the Son of God.-Luke 1:34-35

Can you feel the anticipation? The Word comes to Mary before the child is born. It's unthinkable, it's unbelievable, and it's miraculous. To think that God would not hinder a human process and plant a seed of divinity in one righteous woman. The child's name? The Son of God, in human skin. It's the promise of a new life. And this is only the beginning of the human rescue fro1n sin and death, and new life not for one mother, but the whole world.

DO THIS: Thank God for your miraculous new life.

PRAY THIS: God, thank you for life new in Christ, through not only through your Son1s birth, but his life, death, and resurrection.

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