Skip to main content

Advent Devotional #14

Below is today's repost from the Advent Devotionals I've been putting up here. There are some good thoughts to be found, but the main thrust of the devotional refers you to get online and listen to some sermons which expand the idea. I haven't listened to those sermons, but the link is still there, you'll have to copy it into your address bar, because the link doesn't work.

I would add this to your reading: what can you do to strengthen your relationships with your church family? Not just your local one, but with believers everywhere? How can you help them grow? That will be a continued part of our conversation in the months to come...

Today's devotion from Goshen College:


By Greg Yoder, a senior music major from Perkasie, Pa.

SCRIPTURE: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 (NRSV) Scroll down for complete Scripture.


This passage from Paul's first letter to the church of the Thessalonians is nothing if not encouraging. Paul writes to this new and developing church, encouraging them in their faith. "Be joyful always; pray continually."

In the first centuries, the church was an international fellowship; distant congregations supported and encouraged one another in letters similar to this one from the pen of Paul. Today, the church is again a global family; our brothers and sisters in the global south are growing in number and in vibrancy.

Recently I have had the opportunity and privilege to read the writings of some of the leaders in these churches, and I find their words encouraging, a true testament to the light that is the good news of Jesus the Christ. Bishop Danisa Ndlovu of Zimbabwe (president-elect of Mennonite World Conference) speaks of worship in a sermon entitled "Worship Christ in the Nations," and he says, "Worship is active, to reach out, to meet the needs of others."

Ndlovu's words testify to the light of Jesus, especially as he continues. "There is pain in worship...Those that God calls must rejoice in the pain of reaching out to others."
Life with Jesus may not always be easy or happy, but it will be filled with joy.

During this Advent season, let us pray continually for our brothers and sisters in faith, around the world and in our own communities. Let our reaching out be an active worship, and should we find it painful, let us reach out joyfully, testifying to the Light.

To read and hear more from Bishop Danisa Ndlovu and other leaders in the global Mennonite church, visit:


SCRIPTURE: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 (NRSV) Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

View all of this season's devotions at

Goshen College


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Book: The Gospel Call and True Conversion

A quick note: This book, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, is currently available on Kindle for $4.99. This is the second in a series of 3, and the first, The Gospel’s Power and Message, is available for $2.99.The Gospel Call and True Conversion. The title of this book alone sounds intimidating, and adding that it’s written by one of the heavyweights of American Reformed Christianity, Paul Washer, does not lessen the intimidation factor. Washer is known to be a straightforward preacher—for good or for ill.What did I find in The Gospel call and True Conversion? I found some things to like:1. Paul Washer is passionate for the truth. He wants to know the truth. He wants to proclaim the truth. He wants the truth heard. He wants you to know the truth. This is good. It is good to see someone not try to base theology on popularity or as a response to modern events, but to base it clearly on truth. 2. There is a strong emphasis on the reality that true conversion (from the title) will resu…

Sermon Recap for July 29 (and 22)

Good Morning!Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: are stockpiled here:!July 29 AM: (Audio)
July 29 PM: (Audio)
July 22 AM: (Audio)July 22 PM: (Audio)