Sunday Week 1 of Advent- Healing for the Nations
Updated: Dec 8, 2019
Salvation for the Nations*
"It is too small a thing for You to be My servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make You a light for the Gentiles, that You may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth."
This four week Advent celebration focuses on the Lord's plan to save people from every nation, every race, and every tongue.
This week’s Advent scriptures moves from the creation of man, to the fall of man and ends with the promised redemption of all mankind: healing for the nations. For, as today’s passage states, Jesus’ sacrifice was far too great to limit the people who could benefit from it.
Annunciation- anonymous (1130-1149); Tretyakov Gallery (Russia)
What was God's plan for bringing salvation to the ends of the earth?
[Jesus' sacrifice for all people. John 3:16]
Paul cites today's scripture verse as a mandate from God to him and Barnabas to spread the gospel to those who were not Jews (Acts 13:47). This meant caring about and loving people who were not like them. What does this tell us about God's will for all people?
[God does not prefer some people over others. Romans 2:11]
If God loves all people, and He determines where and when they will be born, why do we act as if being born in a particular country or with a particular skin color is something we earned or deserve?
For Further Discussion
In light of God's intent to save people of all nations, what are some practical ways you can expand your personal borders and increase your impact with people who are not like you? [Some ideas**: individual and corporate repentance & seeking forgiveness; make reconciliation an intentional focus; form multi-ethnic relationships.]
To go one step further, what should your attitude be toward racial reconciliation within your church, your neighborhood and your schools? What does that look like in your personal life in purposeful actions? [Some suggestions*: examine your heart, evaluate your church community, evaluate the ethnic makeup of your church leadership.]
Close In Prayer
Revelation 7:9 gives us a beautiful glimpse of what God means by bringing salvation to 'the ends of the earth'. If you are a Christ follower, pray that your desire would be like that of Paul and Barnabas-- to see all people, including those who are of different races, cultures, nations and religions--as Jesus sees them.
Make A Joyful Sound!
Our family likes to end our Advent devotional time with a Christmas carol. Click on the Songs for Advent- Week 1 tab for some suggestions, or sing your family's favorite carol together!
*If you are observing Advent with an Advent Wreath, light the first candle today and each night this week.