Online Daily Devotionals
For the past several years, Ginghamsburg Church has produced the Transformational Journal (The TJ) as a tool to grow our church family in God's word. In 2013, Ginghamsburg will sharpen its discipleship focus and better equip individuals exactly where they are on their spiritual journey. Although, Ginghamsburg will no longer produce a weekly TJ, these new devotionals offer a range of reading plans tailored to where you are in your faith walk.
For the week starting December 01, 2013
As the old song goes, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” Hope, joy, peace and love— the deepest longings of the human heart are much closer to the surface this time of year. Advent is a season that invites us to imagine a world set right and that empowers us to live into that world—partnering with the God who is in the manger in making it a reality. This week, in our study, we will explore the Advent theme of hope.
Day 1: Read Psalm 33
What does waiting on the Lord have to do with hope? Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a prisoner under the Nazi regime, once said, “Life in a prison cell may well be compared to Advent: one waits, hopes and does this, that or the other—things that are really of no consequence—the door is shut, and can only be opened from the outside.” What does he mean, and how is it related to Psalm 33?
Day 2: Read Isaiah 26
This chapter doesn’t mention the word hope, but the imagery of a sunrise is a common metaphor for hope. What does this chapter teach us about our hope? Verses 7-9 are interesting. What is the relationship between hope and desire? How aware of your need for God are you? How would a more acute awareness of that need influence your hope?
Day 3: Read Romans 5:1-11
According to this passage, what is the basis of our hope? What does the author mean when he says that our hope “does not put us to shame”? How does this passage encourage you? How does it challenge you?
Day 4: Read Romans 8:18-39
How does this passage enlarge your understanding of the Christian hope? Is it just for us as human beings, or is it even bigger than that? Put verses 24-25 into your own words. How does this influence your understanding of what hope is?
Day 5: Read Hebrews 6:9-20
What is the relationship between diligence and hope? Is hope passive or active? Is it something we wait for or something we live out of? Explain the difference. How does the imagery of our hope as an anchor for the soul encourage you?
Day 6: Read 1 Peter 1
According to this passage what is the source of our hope? What is the goal of our hope? What does it mean to have “a new birth into a living hope”? What sort of action does this passage call us to in light of our hope? What would this call to action look like in your own life?
Day 7: Read 1 John 2:28-3:10
Hope is a word that gets used a lot, and because of that its meaning gets watered down. After spending a week with the word, write your own definition of the Christian hope. What is it? What does it have to do with Christmas? How should the hope that we have in Christ change the way you live?