Advent 2021 Family Devotional – Week 3

Explore our Advent Devotionals for your family! This week’s theme is Joy. Learn more about how you can develop your family’s joy this Christmas season.

Advent Family Devotional – Week 3 – Joy

Explore our Advent Devotionals for your family! Within each day of the Advent Devotions, your family can read through specific excerpts from the Bible. Then, your family can engage in meaningful discussion with our questions and conversation starters.

During the third week of Advent, focus on the theme of Joy. Keep reading to learn more about how you can help your family celebrate the Christmas season and create lasting joy within your home.

Week 3 - Advent Devotionals

Week 3 - Unwrapping the Names of God "Bread of Life"

Third Sunday of Advent – December 12

Read: Isaiah 44:23; Romans 5:1-2

Have you ever seen a movie where you knew more about what was going to happen than the main character did? What would you want to tell them? Well, this sort of thing kind of happened before Jesus’ birth.

Nearly 700 years before Jesus was born, God used someone named Isaiah to tell people that Jesus would arrive one day. Also, Isaiah said that there would be someone to point others to Jesus. That person was John the Baptist.

John the Baptist was a messenger who “prepared the way” for Jesus’s ministry. When John told people about Jesus’ arrival, he spoke with joy that Jesus was coming soon! John knew that God’s way was the best way for others to live, and he couldn’t help sharing that news with everyone he met!

Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think God chose John the Baptist to spread the news about Jesus?
  • What does it mean to choose God’s way?
  • Is it ever hard for you to be joyful when choosing to obey God? Why or why not?

Monday – December 13

Read: John 12:45-46; 2 Corinthians 4:5-6

One of the most visible symbols in Advent is a candle. Throughout the Bible, God compares Himself to light. In some descriptions, He even refers to Christians as the light of the world. Here’s an activity for your family to further illustrate how God has conquered darkness.

Gather two pieces of heavy cardboard and a flashlight. Use a table knife to poke a tiny hole through one of the pieces of cardboard and a large hole through the other piece. In the evening, turn off the lights and place the cardboard with the tiny hole against the flashlight’s beam.

Have your children describe how much light they see. Compare this glimmer of light to the glimpses of God throughout the Bible before Jesus. Then, place the sheet with the large hole against the flashlight. Let your children describe what they see.

Explain that this is what Christians now get to see through Jesus. Finally, show the whole beam and compare that to Jesus’ coming and our being with the Father.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think Jesus compares Himself to light?
  • What does it mean to be the “light of the world”?
  • How can you be a light to the world or your friends?

Tuesday – December 14

Read: Daniel 3:1, 6-30

The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego might not seem like it has many connections to Advent. But, at the core of the story we can learn a lot about how we fail to put God first in our lives, especially at a time like Christmas.

In this story, King Nebuchadnezzar builds a gigantic golden image that everyone in Bablyon was required to worship. Yet, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew that only God was worthy of their worship. To these three followers of God, they recognized that they could not exchange their beliefs for what the world thinks.

For Christians, Christmas is more than a time for gifts and family. It is an opportunity to hear how God saves us through His gift of Jesus. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we can choose to worship God, even in a time when others might be more focused on worshipping the things of this world.

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some of the things that our culture celebrates during Christmas?
  • Are there any areas where you choose to worship other things over God?
  • Is there anyone that you can share God with during this week? How can you share God’s good news this Christmas season?

Wednesday – December 15

Read: Psalm 37:23-24; Psalm 119:105

The theme for the third week of Advent is joy and light. But these aren’t themes that only involve us. Though much of Advent is dedicated to preparation, remind your children that the Christmas season is also a time that is full of joy to share with others.

To help you children realize the abundant joy that they can share with others, consider making Christmas cookies together. Consider using a sugar cookie recipe with angel, Christmas tree, and gingerbread man cookie cutters. Once all the cookies are complete, consider writing encouraging notes or cards to pass out to friends at school or neighbors near you.

Discussion Questions:

  • Has someone every given you a gift that you didn’t expect? How did that make you feel?
  • Do you think God has given you any gifts? If so, what are those gifts?
  • Is there a family member or friend that you can encourage this week?

Thursday – December 16

Read: Esther 4:1-17

Have you ever heard of a sacrifice? Throughout the Bible, different people decide to make sacrifices to glorify God and ultimately to trust Him and His plan. Early in the Old Testament, a young girl named Esther had a decision to make. She could either risk her life to save her people or stay silent to save herself.

Eventually, Esther chose to stand firm and trust God’s faithfulness to risk her own life to save others. Centuries before Jesus would be born, Esther trusted God’s plan for her life and generations to follow. Even though Esther couldn’t see the big picture, God could. And that big picture was gifting Jesus to the world to eventually be our hero and rescuer from sin.

Discussion Questions:

  • Describe something that you had to sacrifice or a situation where someone else had to sacrifice something.
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you had to choose between yourself and others? How did you respond? 
  • How did God make a sacrifice by sending Jesus to Earth?

Friday – December 17

Read: Luke 1:5-25

Advent takes place over a month. It’s easy to think that all this time is spent preparing for one day. But Advent is about must more than one day, or even one month. Even though we spend one month preparing for Jesus’ birth and celebrating Christmas, God spent much longer preparing for this time.

Before Jesus was born, one couple showed great faith in God’s plan even when they didn’t understand every single detail. Despite their extremely old age, Zechariah and Elizabeth gave birth to a baby boy named John. Eventually, John would become John the Baptist and spread the news of Jesus’ arrival a few decades later. Little did Zechariah and Elizabeth know that God was preparing the world for Jesus’ arrival. Similarly, in Advent, we prepare for a new season in our hearts and lives.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think Advent exists? In other words, why do we celebrate Christmas for a month?
  • What is one of your favorite things to do at Christmas?
  • Is it ever difficult to fully trust God? Why or why not?

Saturday – December 18

Read: Matthew 3:1-12

Throughout the Bible, God uses prophets to deliver specific messages to His people. From Isaiah to Jonah, these prophets shared God’s messages to emphasize the eventual arrival of the Messiah.

In the New Testament, John the Baptist calls for people to repent from their sin in favor of following Jesus. John announced to others that they should follow Jesus instead of choosing worldly passions. John the Baptist is a part of God’s larger plan to save the world from sin. And we can be a part of that plan too.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think God uses prophets to share His message?
  • Is there a place for you to share God and the Gospel in your own world?
  • Why do we emphasize evangelizing to others during Christmas?

Advent Resources

2021 Advent Devotional

 Check out our Advent Family Devotionals for each week of the Advent season. Learn about the hope of Jesus’ birth and return. 

Welcome to Advent 2021

 For Christians, the Advent season reminds us not only of Jesus’ birth, but of His eternal presence and eventual second coming.

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