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Session 8

The importance of preparing the way

Read: Luke 1:57-80, Malachi 4:5-6

Tis the season for family gatherings and work parties. Hosting a holiday celebration involves much more than putting snacks and drinks out on the table. It takes time to prepare for the company.

The preparation isn’t always glamorous, like cleaning toilets and scrubbing floors, but it’s always worth it. Without preparation, the grandest of events are good ideas.

Luke 1:57-80 describes the birth of Zechariah and Elizabeth’s son, John. God had a special purpose for John’s life. John was filled with the Holy Spirit so he could preach repentance and help prepare people’s hearts to hear from Jesus, the Messiah who was coming soon. 

John’s role wasn’t always the most glamorous. (Matthew 3:4 records John wearing animal skins and eating bugs.) But without John’s preparation, the world wouldn’t have been ready for the message Jesus came to share.

Christmas is more than parties, music, and presents. Celebrating the birth of Jesus is a grand event that deserves the best preparation. Advent is our preparation. Thankfully, this doesn’t require scrubbing toilets or cleaning floors. Instead, Advent is a time to quiet our hearts, slow down our pace, and turn our focus from the hustle and bustle to the One this season is all about. 

When we take time to prepare, Christmas can go from being another commercialized holiday to truly being the most wonderful time of the year.

When we take time to prepare, Christmas can go from being another commercialized holiday to being the most wonderful time of the year. May this Christmas be different as we prepare our hearts and minds for the coming celebration of the Messiah. 

Reflect:

  • How has Jesus changed your heart and life? Where would you be today without Him? Take time to thank Him for all He has done. When you are running low on holiday cheer, remember your answers to these two questions and thank Him all over again.
  • What is one way you can keep Christmas about Jesus? 
  • Where can you schedule in at least 10 minutes to spend time alone with Jesus?

1

What are you waiting for this Christmas?

What are you waiting for this Christmas?

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2

Jesus came to be a different kind of king

Jesus came to be a different kind of king

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3

Has God forgotten you?

Has God forgotten you?

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4

How to find peace this Christmas

How to find peace this Christmas

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5

Do you believe God is with you?

Do you believe God is with you?

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6

Four clues to who Jesus wants to be to you

Four clues to who Jesus wants to be to you

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7

The surprising benefit of being honest about your doubts

The surprising benefit of being honest about your doubts

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8

The importance of preparing the way

The importance of preparing the way

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9

When the situation seems impossible, remember this truth

When the situation seems impossible, remember this truth

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10

A blessed life is not always an easy life

A blessed life is not always an easy life

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11

How to accept praise and stay humble

How to accept praise and stay humble

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12

When the right thing is not the easy thing

When the right thing is not the easy thing

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13

Jesus is not afraid of your mess

Jesus is not afraid of your mess

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14

What happened when Jesus came to earth and why it’s a big deal

What happened when Jesus came to earth and why it’s a big deal

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15

God can do great things through imperfect people

God can do great things through imperfect people

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16

This is really good news

This is really good news

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17

How you see Jesus shapes how you see Christmas

How you see Jesus shapes how you see Christmas

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18

What you miss when you only know half the story

What you miss when you only know half the story

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19

What does it look like to worship?

What does it look like to worship?

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20

The most beautiful gift you can give this Christmas

The most beautiful gift you can give this Christmas

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21

What if the miracle doesn’t look how you thought it would?

What if the miracle doesn’t look how you thought it would?

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22

A reason to be generous this Christmas

A reason to be generous this Christmas

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23

How to celebrate Christmas all year long

How to celebrate Christmas all year long

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