Advent Study 2020

Sharing Our Stories: December 3

Writers’ Names: Stephanie G. Bradley and Bill Jackson

Writers’ Ministry:  Stephanie – SPRT, Bill – Men’s Ministry 

Assigned Text: Psalm 85

Word of the Week: Love

Psalm 85 tells us of a people who have sinned against God and have asked for forgiveness and received it and are restored to God’s grace, only to have sinned again. Once again, they go to God for forgiveness so that they may be restored and in harmony with God.

In raising our children, we were sometimes faced with a similar situation. We established rules and boundaries to help our children grow and develop into adults. Yet as they grew up they were continually faced with challenges and temptations. After they gave in, they usually realized the purpose of the rules and also saw the disappointment of their parents. They asked for forgiveness, vowed to never to do it again, but once forgiven they went on to be confronted with a different challenge or temptation. Though this cycle may have repeated itself again and again, as parents our willingness to forgive, and our love for them never wavered.

Similarly, we sometimes have conflicts with our close friends. Things can be said (especially when communicated face to face) and one person can cause hurt to the other. This may cause a friend to withdraw their friendship and love. When this happens, because the bone of friendship is still there, both parties desire the relationship to be restored and long for the opportunity to provide and receive forgiveness.

But we are not called just to love our children and our close friends. We are called to love those whose outward actions or opinions are in conflict with ours. Sometimes to the extent that we do not to even speak to them. But we are also called to love them as God’s children.

Daily Prayer: Dear God, we understand that we are not called just to love you but to honor you by loving all of your children. Give us the strength to look past our own feelings in order for us to make the effort to restore our relationships with all of your children as you desire and command us to do.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  1. Have you ever forgiven someone that has hurt you only to have them hurt you again?
  2. Have you ever hurt someone and didn’t know how to ask for forgiveness?
  3. Have you ever decided that a person’s view on an issue was enough to not want to be associated with them?

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