The Advent season draws us into the miracle in Bethlehem, a baby who came to save the world. But, as we rejoice at our Savior’s birth, we can’t help but go out into the world, changed, telling others of the good news. This Advent study was crafted by Seacoast Church pastors, staff, and contributors to remind us that God gave us the most precious gift in the form of a little baby who would redeem the world.

A daily devotional, December 3 – 24

So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:28 (ESV)

His Promised Return

Christmas Eve has arrived—the night of Jesus’ miraculous birth. It’s time to celebrate our Savior coming into our midst, into our chaos. Yet, what is so amazing to me is that this marked the first of his appearances on Earth. Jesus, born of a human mother and God, our Father, set in motion a journey... Read More ›
When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
Luke 2:39-40 (NIV)

Unwavering Obedience 

When I think about Mary and Joseph, one word comes to mind: obedience. From the moment the angel visited Mary, and appeared in a dream to Joseph, they both showed unwavering obedience. It had to take a lot of faith for a young virgin and her soon-to-be-husband to accept the calling placed on them by... Read More ›
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)

Sharing the Good News 

Think about when you have received good news. You want to share it with everyone you know, right? An engagement, an acceptance letter, a baby, a place so beautiful that your photos can’t do it justice. What about sharing the news of someone who will always love you, who wants to save you and give... Read More ›
For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.
Luke 2:30-32 (NIV)

The Longest Wait

Have you ever had to wait for something? I mean, really, really wait? I think all of us have longed for something that hasn’t arrived or found the distance from point A to point B longer than we would have chosen. If God had just asked for our input! In today’s passage, we meet a... Read More ›
...who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2:6-7 (ESV) 

Taking The Form of a Servant

If you were given the choice to be born into a royal family or to be born a servant, which would you choose? If we’re honest, I think most of us would choose royalty because they hold positions of privilege, power, and status. So why did Jesus, the one person who has more authority than... Read More ›
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.
Psalm 71:23 ESV 

Don’t Wait

A few months ago, I finally decided to go to the doctor for something that had been bothering me for over 18 months. You see, whenever I ate certain food, I would have problems with it going down once it reached my esophagus. Whenever this happened, I knew it needed to be checked out, but... Read More ›
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds.
Psalm 145:4-6 (NIV)

The Greatest Gift 

When I was growing up, my mother was the absolute champion at making our birthdays not only a day to remember but an event for our entire family. Still, to this day, she is enthusiastic about birthdays and encourages the shared family celebration to last at least a week. I have often told my husband... Read More ›
After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished.
Luke 2:17-18 (NLT)

See For Yourself

The shepherds in Luke 2 were the first ones to hear the news about Jesus’ birth from the angels. But they didn’t just spread the word based on what the angels told them. They went to see Jesus for themselves. And once they did, they were so overwhelmed with joy and amazement that they couldn’t... Read More ›
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
Matthew 2:9 (NIV) 

They Came From Afar 

The manger scene often depicts Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, along with the shepherds and wise men, but we’re not certain when the wise men actually arrive. It might be right after Jesus is born, 12 days later, or two years. Regardless, the wise men play an important part in the Christmas story. Having traveled... Read More ›
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
Matthew 2:1-2 (ESV)

Focus on Him

Think of  a time when you were faced with a tough decision. Maybe you were presented with a couple of opportunities and making the right choice felt like a heavy task. I am sure each of us has experienced something like this. Instead of trying to tackle the decision alone, how can we direct ourselves... Read More ›
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

The Gift of Peace

Isaiah spoke these words of prophecy about Jesus at a time of great darkness, approximately 740 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. But the prophecy came true, giving us the greatest gift that has ever been given to our world. Christmas is all about celebrating Jesus’ birth. Genuine Love “For to us a child... Read More ›
“Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “See the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel” which is translated “God is with us.”
Matthew 1:22-23 (CSB) 

God With Us 

Recently, my five-year-old little boy was having trouble going to sleep. He came to me, crying, “Mommy, my sisters share a room, you and Daddy share a room, but I’m the only one with no one. I’m the only one all alone.” Even though his room is right next to ours, he wanted and needed... Read More ›
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)

Out of the Darkest Night 

When the angel delivered the best news in history to the shepherds in Bethlehem—that the Messiah was finally here after generations of waiting for him to redeem all that was broken—their initial response was not joy, but fear. I appreciate the detail of humanity here in the Christmas story. God showed us the shepherds were... Read More ›
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
Luke 2:15 (NIV)

Go and See

On February 8, 2023, a routine Wednesday morning Chapel service at Asbury University in Kentucky turned into an unplanned, multiweek revival, after a student openly confessed some of his sins to the small group who stayed afterward—and it changed the atmosphere. They felt God’s presence. News spread and people from around the world poured in.... Read More ›
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 2:6-7 (NIV)

The Birth of a Mother

Today, December 10th, six years ago, the time came for my baby to be born. I always wanted to be a mother, and yet I found myself wishing for one more day to own my time, as if something deep inside of me foresaw the many ways parenthood would transform my everyday life in an... Read More ›
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
John 1:9 (NIV)

Hidden Treasure

From a young age, I can remember being aware of a spiritual darkness, but I didn’t have the accurate words to describe the pain that I sensed from others and within me. Yet, people often told me I had a beautiful smile that brightened a room. So, I learned to pretend that light was burning... Read More ›
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Luke 2:4-5 (NIV)

His Perfect Plan

Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem is not a mere coincidence; it’s a fulfillment of ancient prophecies, of the words by the prophet Micah that had echoed through the corridors of time: But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one... Read More ›
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me, one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Micah 5:2 (ESV)

Look in Bethlehem

I love rooting for the underdog. The team least expected to win takes home the victory in the final minutes of the game. The quiet, awkward kid becomes the superhero, gaining the powers and saving the day. We see it in the movies. We read it in the books. And it’s in the Bible too.... Read More ›
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:20 (NIV)

Confident In God’s Plan

My eyes popped open in the middle of the night. A loud male voice had startled me out of a dream. “Habakkuk!”  The voice was so compelling, I grabbed my Bible from the nightstand, still foggy from sleep, and turned to Habakkuk, a book I knew little about. I expectantly read the three chapters that... Read More ›
And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.
Luke 1:36-37 (ESV)

He Never Forgets

When the angel, Gabriel, tells Mary she will bear the Messiah, he also makes a point to tell her that her much-older cousin, Elizabeth, is six months pregnant. I’m sure God had many reasons for making sure Mary knows this. For certain, it shows that hers is not the only miracle going on—that God is... Read More ›
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Luke 1:30-33 (NIV)

Would I Say Yes?

I have often wondered what it must have been like to be Mary in this scene. Read More ›
“...because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
Luke 1:78-79

A Break in the Silence

Silence. When was the last time you experienced it?  In my attempts to write this devotional, peace and quiet have been hard to find. I keep changing locations, but the sounds of daily life keep following me. When I was a little girl, I remember my dad taking us on a hike and having us... Read More ›
Christmas is a story of coming and going. There is near-constant movement throughout the stories in the gospels. Everyone is heading somewhere.

An Introduction to Advent

Join us as we journey to Bethlehem, rejoice at our Savior’s birth, and go out into the world, changed. Read More ›