Advent Devotionals

Nov 28 - Dec 25, 2021

This year, we are once again offering the Advent Daily Devotionals written by our staff. Subscribe to receive devos delivered to your inbox. If you have subscribed using your email address in the past to receive the Advent or Easter devotionals, you will automatically receive the devotionals again this year. It is our hope and prayer this Christmas season that you experience the birth of Christ in a new way.

After the Presents

Mark Schatzman |

December 25, 2021

The words from last night’s Christmas Eve service still echo… “IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!”

The Birth of Christ in Scripture

Mickey Rapier |

December 24, 2021

It’s Christmas! Merry Christmas Everyone. Joy to the World the Lord is come! May you have the brightest and best Christmas ever. During this season, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior, and ponder the wonder of Emmanuel, God with us. Listen to Mickey Rapier as he reads the harmony of the scriptures in the foretelling and telling of the birth of Christ.

Wait...

Aaron Parks |

December 24, 2021

How do you feel about waiting? When you know you are going to have to wait for something, what emotions well up inside you? Do you get stressed out and anxious when something takes longer than expected? What about waiting for something you aren’t sure will actually ever come about?

A Life of Praise

Scott Jones |

December 23, 2021

Growing up, my mother had a Precious Moments nativity set handed down from her grandmother. It was my favorite one in our house (didn’t every house have at least 5?) because it didn’t just have one angel… it had THREE! If you asked young Scott what his favorite story was in the whole Bible, his answer would have been “the heavenly host one.” 

Thoughtful Worship

Caleb Freeman |

December 22, 2021

Luke 2:19 describes Mary, the mother of Jesus, treasuring and pondering on what a group of shepherds had said about her Son. The shepherds had been told by angels that Jesus had been born and was the Savior, Messiah, and Lord. 

Prayer and Action

Margo Bodishbaugh |

December 21, 2021

In the previous verses, the angel gave the shepherds the “Good News” that the Messiah was born, and then he left and went back up into heaven. The shepherds hurried to find Joseph, Mary, and the baby. After they found Him, they told everyone who would listen what the angel had said about Jesus. 

Do Not Be Afraid

Collin Jackson |

December 20, 2021

You know those moments you get scared of something that catches you by surprise?Sweet Erin Rose (my wife) has become a master in the art of surprise jump scares.

Making a Place

Brian Pope |

December 19, 2021

It is amazing to see the first situation our Lord and Savior encountered was that “there was no place for them….” The irony of it is striking when you consider the overall mission and purpose of Jesus–that through His perfect life and sacrifice He makes a place for us in the family of God. 

The Time Was Right

Michael Smith |

December 18, 2021

It couldn’t have come at a worse time. They had just begun to find a little bit of normalcy during an engagement that had been anything but normal (angelic messengers, prophecies, and a virgin conceiving a child!). Then along came a government mandate...

Preparing the Way

Christy Morris |

December 17, 2021

In the first chapter of the gospel of Luke, we see the priest Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth receiving news that they will have a son. Upon hearing this Zechariah displayed doubt; and because of this, he was silenced until the child was born. Once Zechariah was able to speak, being filled by the Holy Spirit, the first thing Zechariah did was proclaim all glory to the Lord.

The Joy of Trust

Andy Petry |

December 16, 2021

“Are you living by faith, or are you living for what you think is best?” Those words from my college chaplain still echo in my mind. I was in the back of the chapel at my small college, running the sound board with my thoughts racing about the state of my life--a college graduate, unemployed, and frustrated at how God kept giving me opportunities I never wanted. 

To Respond or React?

Beth Kenyon |

December 15, 2021

Imagine you are 15 years old, doing your daily business, when an Angel pops in to say, “Surprise, you are going to have a baby, name him Jesus….. and oh, He is God’s Son.” What would you do?   

Jump with Joy!

Chip Jackson |

December 14, 2021

Here are two words for this Christmas season. First is skirtaó (skeer-tah'-o). It means to leap, to jump, to skip. Second is agalliasis (ag-al-lee'-as-is), meaning exultation, exuberant joy, wild joy, ecstatic delight, exhilaration. Skirtaó & Agalliasis. 

From Concern to Confidence

John Barclay |

December 13, 2021

Of all the wonderful and wise women in Scripture, I think Mary, the mother of Jesus, might be my favorite. Her humble willingness to be used by God should give courage to all God’s people. The same Angel who announced the birth of John the Baptist also announced the birth of Jesus. 

Doubting Joy

John Marquette |

December 12, 2021

“…glory given or received of men is short lived, and the glory of the world is ever companioned by sorrow. The glory of the good, however, is in their conscience and not in the lips of men, for the joy of the just is from God and in God, and their gladness is founded on truth.” 

Yeah…but God…

Rodney Holmstrom |

December 11, 2021

It’s fascinating how discouraged we can become coming out of a long and painful season. We can begin to come to a place of resignation, believing that this is the way it will always be. In this place we quickly fall into a place of deprivation, perhaps even becoming addicted to the negative versus the good around us.

Your Prayer Has Been Heard

Mickey Rapier |

December 10, 2021

When Denise and I were first married, we knew that at some point we would want the sounds of children to fill our home. We couldn’t imagine a sweeter blessing. But like most new parents, we thought it best to wait a while and get into the groove of married life before bringing babies into the mix. Not all parents get that option! But we did.

Peace

Bart Sego |

December 9, 2021

Through 27 years of marriage, my wife and I have experienced a few times when it just felt like God was silent. We were abiding in His Word, seeking Him in prayer, and needing Him to show up in challenging circumstances – usually related to job issues when I worked in business or with financial issues for our growing family. 

Nazarenes are the WORST

Matt Archer |

December 8, 2021

The town where I grew up had two middle schools—Central and Madison. Central (the school I happened to attend) had a proud tradition of excellence in academics and sports, while everyone (at my school, at least) knew Madison was terrible at everything.

God Is In Control

Pat Anderson |

December 7, 2021

God is in control. I have questioned that statement many times in my life when I couldn’t see His plan or His purpose. In the summer of 2013 my wife, Hannah, and I were pregnant with our first child and for the first time in my life I felt like I had no control over the future.

Longing for Peace

Carrie Tucker |

December 6, 2021

I begin getting ready for the Christmas season in September. My kids fill out their Christmas lists to give to their generous aunts and uncles.

The Shepherd King

Nick Roland |

December 5, 2021

I love election cycles. I get sucked into them every time. I love the ritual of that Tuesday. I have a regular election results watch meal: a big bowl of homemade chili.

Providence and Responsibility: A Christmas Story

Sam Hannon |

December 4, 2021

One aspect of the Christmas season that I enjoy most is the food. There are a few dishes or treats I enjoy in this season that I don’t get at other times of the year. One of my favorites is my grandmother’s (Mama Grace) chocolate pie.

A God-given Dream

Seth Primm |

December 3, 2021

Imagine Joseph’s confusion. “What? Pregnant?! How can this be? I know her. She’s good and faithful. This doesn’t make sense.” They were pledged to marry. She turns up pregnant. 

Anticipation

Robyn Yates |

December 2, 2021

I heard the good news on January 31st and shared it with everyone! I don’t mean just my friends and my work/church families.I told the mailman

Half-Hearted Hope

Ryan Ceola |

December 1, 2021

Have you ever looked forward to something that didn’t turn out like you hoped? Maybe it was a vacation, a purchase, or a season of life that held so much anticipation you got excited every time you thought about it.

Who is Jesus?

David Matthews |

November 30, 2021

PAUSE. Right now... stop, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and consider: What comes to mind when you think about Jesus? What role does He play in your life? What words would you use to describe how you experience Him?

A New Day is Dawning

Clark Nolen |

November 29, 2021

It is no secret around Fellowship that I enjoy a great sunrise or sunset. The sunrise reminds me that God is Creator and He has satisfied my hope for another day.

Pay Close Attention to “The Sign”

Russell Dorch |

November 28, 2021

As the sun fell behind the horizon on the lava fields of the big island of Hawaii, my wife, Dana, and I were desperate for some indication that we were on the right path. Even with headlamps, it was dark, really dark; but we were determined to see the two lava tubes that had opened up just prior to our arrival.