Grow, Pray & Study Guide: Advent, Week 2

Our hope at River City is that you grow daily in your walk with God! One way to do that is to spend time with God every day. This Grow, Pray and Study Guide (GPS) is just one easy way to connect with God on a daily basis.



Philippians 2:1-2

“Like-minded….same love…one in spirit.” Does this describe your holiday gatherings? I’ll admit that at most gatherings, holiday or not, these phrases don’t always sum up the people in the room. Could it be that I’m looking at it the wrong way? “Like minded” does not equal agreement. It also doesn’t equal “agree to disagree.” The premise of this verse is that we are “united with Christ.” If this is true, then what binds us together is much stronger than the things that we have to “agree to disagree”. Is there someone in your family, church, work, etc that you can’t agree with some of their (you fill in the blank) beliefs? The challenge here is to find your common ground and if your common ground is Christ to choose to love that person. Yes, you can debate. No, you don’t ever have to fully agree on anything. Except the fact that the same baby that came into the world changed both of your lives. Now that is a place to start. Spend some time in prayer today around people that came to mind as you were reading this devotional.



Philippians 2:3-4

If we all lived by this verse, one of two things would happen: We would live in a perfect world or everyone would be a doormat and nothing would get done. Obviously this is an extreme reading of this verse. If we look at the life of Jesus he did nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. If we look at the life of Mary and Joseph they did nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. They never tried to play the “my son is God” card so Jesus could get more playing time in Nazareth’s REC league. No, their life was a gift to the world. Jesus was a gift to the world that brought salvation to all (John 3:16). As a Christian your life is a gift of light to the world. “Doing nothing out of selfish ambition” is not devaluing yourself. “Considering others before yourself” isn’t being a doormat. Honestly, it is being a servant leader. I’d like to challenge you to memorize this verse. Type it out and put it in a place that you see regularly. This verse is a great one to make your motto. It makes your life a gift to the world.



Isaiah 40:3-4

Mary. Joseph. Donkey. Inn Keeper. Elizabeth. Zechariah. Gabriel. All of the people had a role in the story of God breaking through heaven and coming to earth in the baby Jesus. They each played a huge role in preparing the way for the Lord. I bet there are even a larger number of people who did things not “book worthy” that prepared the way for Christ’s birth. Maybe there was an experienced mother who gave Mary some advice. Maybe Joseph asked his buddies, “What do you do when your son has a god complex?” Significant people along the way helped prepare the way of the Lord. We are called to do the same. People have prepared the way of the Lord in our lives as well. Who are they? Marilyn. Wade. Brian. Greg. Karen. Mike. Anthony. Mark. Eric. Becki. Spend some time and make a list of those who have prepared the way for the Lord to work in your life.



Isaiah 40:3-4

Glenn. Parker. Anthony. John. Sarah. Bill. Emily. Molly. People have prepared the way for the Lord in our lives. We are called to do the same. Make a list of those in your life that you believe are “preparing the way of the Lord in their life.” Spend some time in prayer for them.



How about we end the week with some worship. What are some of your favorite Christmas songs? Make a list of three songs and look them up on youtube. Spend 10 minutes in worship and prayer as you listen to these songs to start off your day!