Advent Devotionals

Advent Daily Devotional - Birds and Flowers Can Teach You About Your Most Important Things

Day 16

Dan Ryder
How Can a Weary World Rejoice? Advent 2022

Day 16 – Mon, Dec 12

 

“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.”
(Luke 12:29-31, New Living Translation)

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!”
(Luke 12:22-24, NLT)


Today’s Reading: Luke 12

Listen to Luke 12 on her.BIBLE.

 

In the Christmas movie “Jingle All the Way,” two fathers of young sons experience desperate holiday circumstances. Both are in hot pursuit of the popular toy of the moment. The first, who is wealthy enough to buy the prize, races from store to store, battling crowds, only to find that the toy is sold out. The second doesn’t have enough money to buy the toy. He schemes and plots ways to steal the robot to delight his son on Christmas morning. Each man, in his urgency, completely neglects the most important thing: his family.

Where do you see yourself in this chaotic holiday scene? Even though it is a light-hearted comedy, we have all experienced the anxiety that comes from feeling like what we want and need is just out of reach. We worry, plan, balance the checkbook yet again, hope for the promotion, or work just a little bit harder to hopefully gain a bit more security. Whatever you might be experiencing, persistent Christmas marketing can easily add to the stress of the season. 

And yet the time leading up to Christmas is a perfect time to examine your foundation — where you’re investing your time, energy and resources and why. It’s a time to recalibrate, like consulting a GPS navigation device to show you where you’ve strayed off course. 

In Luke 12, Jesus invites us to reorient by focusing on our relationship with Him. Ravens, by their God-given instinct, look for nesting materials, for food and for shelter. And they are fed. Lilies send down roots, drink water and spread open to the sunshine. And they are beautiful. They function as God designed. Their natural relationship with their Creator is one of dependence, peace and growth. How much relief might our movie characters have experienced if they had realized that they have a heavenly Father who cares deeply for the small details of life that really matter?

Reflect

“These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need” (Luke 12:30-31, NLT). What is one area of your life where you sense God inviting you to “seek His kingdom” and rest in Him during this Advent season? 

What “most important thing” might you be neglecting in your busyness or worry?

Faith Asked Question: A Deeper Dive

How can you focus on what truly matters and not get carried away by this season's busyness?


 

Dan Ryder works with Cru® in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He and his wife, Andrea, have three children. They enjoy watching movies, having friends over for meals and playing with their two French bulldogs.

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