Take a moment to consider these questions: What is the longest amount of time you’ve had to wait for something? Does waiting strengthen your faith or weaken it? When you wait, do you wait in hope for God or is your hope in the thing you are waiting for? How can shifting your focus to desiring more of God change the way you wait on His perfect timing? Waiting is not always easy. But remembering that God has a good plan and gives His children good gifts helps remind us of truth and offers perspective on the days where hope is deferred and circumstances are tough. Whether what you are waiting for is a desire or a promise God has made, remember that God’s timing is perfect. We can have faith and trust God, even when we have to wait.
MEMORY VERSE: “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
Joseph and Mary took baby Jesus to the temple to offer a sacrifice and dedicate Him to the Lord, just like all parents did for their first-born Jewish sons. While they were there, they met a righteous man named, Simeon. God had promised Simeon that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Messiah. He kept that promise as Simeon approached Mary and Joseph and was able to take baby Jesus into his arms. Also in the temple that day was Anna, a prophetess and elderly widow, who spent her days in the temple worshipping and praying to God. Anna had been waiting her whole life for the Messiah God had promised. The Bible tells us that she came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God, talking about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. Just like Simeon and Anna, we are waiting on one of God’s greatest promises. God HAS promised us that Jesus is coming back, we just don’t know when. It is good news worth telling others about!
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This year Watermark has put together a family advent guide. Inside this guide there is a daily passage of scripture to read, a devotional, and some discussion questions to talk about with your family. The goal of this is to prepare you and your family's hearts for the Christmas season and to focus your minds on the true meaning of Christmas. Take time at dinner each day to walk through the devotional for the day.
As you are in the car this week, ask your child about something they have had to wait for. Ask them if waiting is difficult or hard, and if there is anything that helps them wait patiently. Waiting can be hard. It helps when we shift our focus to God with reminders of truth, like how God gives good gifts and has a good plan. Help your child remember who God is, what He’s like, and that He can be trusted. Pray together about the things you are currently waiting for.
Practice the memory verse together as you are getting ready for bed. Then spend time in prayer, asking God to give you confidence in Him and His promises and patience in the midst of waiting.
Give your child a small, early Christmas gift and then tell them they must wait for the rest. Remind them that just like we wait for Christmas each year but know it will come every December, we know Jesus will return, we are just waiting on God’s perfect timing. We don’t know when, but this we know to be true: God ALWAYS keeps His promises. Jesus is coming back!
Pray and thank God for keeping His promise to send a Messiah. Ask Him to help you prepare your heart as you look forward to celebrating Christmas this year.
Next week we will review the 4 character traits we've talked about so far this year!