Come Up Higher Advent Devotions

Blessings to you!

(Distributed by Scripture Union)

His Kingship Foretold

Day: 5


Pray

Lord Jesus, I bow before you in worship today. You are my God and King!

Scripture

Zechariah 9: 9-13 |
 9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
 10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
 11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
 12 Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope;
even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.
 13 I will bend Judah as I bend my bow
and fill it with Ephraim.
I will rouse your sons, O Zion,
against your sons, O Greece,
and make you like a warrior’s sword.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

Reflect

What might surprise someone about the description of this King?

Apply

Is there anything about Jesus that surprises you? If so, what and why?

Pray

Lord Jesus, continue to help me get to know You better each day. Keep surprising me with Your love and power.

By the Holy Spirit

Day: 7


Pray

Holy Spirit, come afresh into my heart, renew my mind and lead my life throughout this day.

Scripture

Matthew 1:18–24 |
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
 20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
 24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

Reflect

Why do you think it was important that the baby be conceived by the Holy Spirit?

Apply

How would you have reacted if you had been Joseph? Has God ever asked you to do something quite incredible? How did you react?

Pray

Lord Jesus, build in me a strong and trusting spirit so that I’ll be willing to do whatever You may call me to.

Preceded by John

Day: 8


Pray

Speak to me today, Lord. I’m here and ready to listen to Your Word.

Scripture

Luke 1:5-17 |
5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.6Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.
 8Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
 11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. 16Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

Reflect

What did the angel say was to be John’s task in life?

Apply

What tasks does God have for you this day or this week? Is there someone whose life you could help prepare for Jesus to come in?

Pray

Lord, give me eyes to see those around me with whom I can share all that You’ve done for me.

Announced by the Angel

Day: 9


Pray

Gracious father, I praise You for Your unfailing love and for inviting me to spend this time with You.

Scripture

Luke 1:26–38 |
 26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
 29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
 34“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
 35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God.”
 38“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

Reflect

How did Mary feel when she heard this momentous announcement?

Apply

How do you react when God calls you to a surprising or frightening task? What can you learn from Mary?

Pray

Lord Jesus, give me the faith and trust to follow where You lead me and do what You ask of me.

With Great Rejoicing!

Day: 10


Pray

Heavenly Father, I rejoice at the thought that You love me so much that You gave Your beloved son for me.

Scripture

Luke 1:39–45 |
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,40where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

Reflect

How did Elizabeth show her joy at Mary’s news?

Apply

Has God done anything in or through you that has made you rejoice so unreservedly as Mary did? If so, thank him.

Pray

Thank You, Lord, for Your constant presence with me and for all You do in my life each day.

 

The Birth of Jesus

Day: 11


Pray

Lord, as I read Your Word today, help me to enter into the wonder of the birth of the Savior

Scripture

Luke 2:1–7 |
 1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

Reflect

Why did Mary and Joseph have their baby in Bethlehem?

Apply

Are you surprised that the Lord would be born in such humble circumstances? How does that make you feel about him?

Pray

Lord Jesus, remind me again today that humble circumstances don’t determine a person’s worth; You’ve already done that.

The Angel’s Good News

Day: 12


Pray

Almighty God, how I praise and thank You today for the Good News the angels announced that first Christmas.

Scripture

Luke 2:8–14 |
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

Reflect

What immediately followed this momentous announcement of good news?

Apply

Meditate on what that “Good News” means to you. Who could you share this good news with in the next few days?

Pray

Thank You, Lord, for this great “Good News” about You. Help me to share it effectively with someone soon.

 

(Distributed by Scripture Union)
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