Advent Week 2

Last week, we meditated on the fact that Jesus, the light of the world, is the source of all our hopes.

This week we discover Jesus as the source of true JOY. Following Jesus’ birth, Simeon prophetically shared with Mary that, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him.” (Luke 2:34)

Throughout the New Testament we discover joy in the darkest of places.  In places of senseless violence, opposition, persecution, trials… among poverty, hunger, sickness and injustice.

Today, we have joy knowing that Jesus has the final say, and that there will be a day without senseless violence and injustice. So now we hold tightly to these words of Peter again, explaining that joy surfaces and even carries us in the hardest of circumstances.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.  You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”

-1 Peter 1:6-8


Father God, source of all hope and joy, so often it’s difficult to see beyond the hardships right in front of us.  We often don’t sense your presence.  For those of us in that place, would you draw near again and immerse us in your glorious, inexpressible joy?  Focus our eyes on Jesus, who for the joy set before him endured the shame and pain of the cross.  Fill us with the joy of your salvation, restoration and grace.


New Identity

Thanks to Jesus, I have a new purposeful identity.

In Christ I renounce the lie that I am rejected, unloved, dirty, or shameful because in Christ I am completely accepted.

God says…

I am God’s child (John 1:12)

I am Christ’s friend (John 15:5)

I have been justified (Romans 5:1)

I am united with the Lord and I am one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17)

I have been bought with a price: I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)

I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27)

I am a saint, a holy one (Ephesians 1:1)

I have been adopted as God’s child (Ephesians 1:5)

I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18)

I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins (Colossians 1:14)

I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)

I renounce the lie that I am guilty, unprotected, alone, or abandoned because in Christ I

am totally secure.

God says…

I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1,2)

I am assured that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)

I am free from any condemning charges against me (Romans 8:31-34)

I cannot be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39)

I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21,22)

I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected (Philippians 1:6)

I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)

I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)

I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)

I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16)

I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)

I renounce the lie that I am worthless, inadequate, helpless, or hopeless because in

Christ I am deeply significant.

God says…

I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13,14)

I am a branch of the true vine, Jesus, a channel of His life (John 15:1,5)

I have been chosen and appointed by God to bear fruit (John 15:16)

I am a personal, Spirit-empowered witness of Christ’s (Acts 1:8)

I am a temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16)

I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

I am God’s coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1)

I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 2:6)

I am God’s masterpiece, created for good works (Ephesians 2:10)

I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13)

*Taken from Neil Anderson’s book, “The Bondage Breaker”