Grace Extending


Celebrating Advent Together

Way of Grace faith family!

I'm excited to begin an Advent journey with you using Pastor John Piper's book, "Joy to the World: Daily Readings for Advent". I think you will be extremely encouraged as we prepare our hearts for the worldwide celebration of Christ's incarnation and birth.

And using this book, and this blog post, we can do that together! Here's how:

1. Beginning December 1st, read the devotional entry for each day leading up to Christmas.

2. After reading and reflecting, share a thought, quote, prayer, verse, or question in the comments section below.

3. Bookmark this webpage so you can return to it regularly throughout the month and see what others have shared.

I'm excited to hear about how this book has and is encouraging you in light of Christ's coming. May God use it, and our family encouragements, to keep our eyes fixed on the King who came at Christmas. Grace to you!

Pastor Bryce


Dec 22 What a great reminder of the believer as we grow in in the knowledge of the Lord we tend to become "bored" with the foundational things of the Lord. Lord may we continue to enjoy your word and truth, and apply it to our lives,
“Life and Death at Christmas” is very real to me, and I can relate well to Piper’s description of his mother’s death during Christmas time. On December 15, 1999, I performed CPR on my favorite aunt after she collapsed in front of the Christmas tree at 2:15 in the morning as we waited for help to no avail. Her funeral was on December 22 at the Methodist Church she had attended her entire 57 years, and her burial the following day in an icy cold Illinois cemetery. “What is life for, if not to intensify our affections--in both life and death.” How precious that we are destined for an ultimate homecoming and abundant life forever.
Father, may "the sweet things of this season [not] become substitutes of the final, great, all-satisfying sweetness of knowing Jesus." May we always be ready to say, "Christ has been a true friend."
This was a great start to my day by reading the following from the 14th:
"God works all His transformation in us through faith in all that He is for us in Christ."!!! Hallelujah ;)
From December 11th reading..
Satan wanted us to stand condemned before God forever. With the coming of Jesus, God's word tells us that "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus".( Rms.8:1)
What has stood out to you, or touched your heart, in terms of these readings? I hope you will leave a note below.
I love this... "May we say from the heart... I joyfully ascribe authority and dignity to you [Jesus], and bring my gifts to say that you alone can satisfy my heart, not these." May we, like the magi, worship Him in this way.
Piper has a way of zeroing in on the glory of God instead of getting lost in the “margins “. Great reading!!
I thoroughly enjoy the little details that each gospel writer decided to include in his particular account. Matthew tells of lowly sheep herders or shepherds who are the first to come and worship the newborn Jesus. Luke skips this and shows us an entourage of “court magicians or wise men” who come to pay homage to this babe in a manger. Shepherds, the lowest of low in Israeli society and a band of foreigners, Gentiles considered unclean and unfit to visit the Messiah. Yet these are who our God chose to be some of the very first to “come and see” His new born Son. And it is no different today. He calls those at the bottom of the ladder, the broken, the undesirable, sinners to come and worship His Son even now. This gives me much encouragement and leads to eternal joy. Thank you, O gracious Father in Heaven.
December 5th....Where Jesus is concerned, let there never be a "no vacancy" sign in our hearts!
December 5th....Where Jesus is concerned, let there never be a "no vacancy" sign in our hearts!
The focus on the individuals in the Dec 2 and 3 readings was encouraging. May God keep us humble and expectant this Advent season!
I was excited to see this devotional “kick-off” with a verse from the portion of John’s gospel that is called Jesus High Priestly Prayer. Looking at 17:26 Piper says “Jesus’ final goal is not that we simply see His glory, but that we love Him with the same love that the Father has for Him”. Pg vi. And you might ask yourself, “self how do I accomplish this?”. A paragraph down Piper gives us the comforting answer: “The Spirit bestows in our lives love for the Son by the Father.” How amazingly wonderful that this generous act of God is yet another sign of His grace that is so generously poured out upon HIs chosen people. Come O come Immanuel!
"What Jesus wants for Christmas is for us to experience what we were made for--seeing and savoring his glory." (from the Introduction)
"Our prayer is that this little devotional will help you keep Jesus as the center and the greatest treasure of your Advent season." (David Mathis, from the preface)
Excited for you to read, share, and return to this comment section!

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