Advent: The Whole Story

It just doesn’t work to start in the middle of a story. You can’t walk into a movie theater halfway through the featured film and make sense of what you’re watching. There will be conversations and decisions and reactions that make no sense to you because you missed the beginning of the movie. In the same way, you can’t start the Christmas story with the baby in the manger in Bethlehem. If you do, you will miss key elements of the narrative that make all the difference in your understanding.

It just doesn’t work to start in the middle of a story. You can’t walk into a movie theater halfway through the featured film and make sense of what you’re watching. There will be conversations and decisions and reactions that make no sense to you because you missed the beginning of the movie. In the same way, you can’t start the Christmas story with the baby in the manger in Bethlehem. If you do, you will miss key elements of the narrative that make all the difference in your understanding. 

This resource includes four short Advent devotionals, accompanied by Reflection Questions that can be used personally, for your family devotion time, or with a small group or Bible Study. A fifth bonus devotional is included – entitled 10,000 Little Moments – to help you think biblically about the New Year and the resolutions that come with it.

There is no wrong way to use this resource. We recommend reading the devotionals in order, but they are flexible enough to meet the needs of you and your family or small group. Below is a description of each devotional to help you decide in advance how you will plan out your Advent material:

1. ADVENT: THE NEED

This devotional, from Genesis 6, focuses on the sin of humanity and how it grieved the heart of the Lord to the point where he was sorry that he made man on the earth. The birth of Christ is ultimately rooted in grief in the heart of God. We recommend reading this devotional first.

2. ADVENT: THE PROMISE

This devotional, from Isaiah 59, focuses on the promise of a Redeemer. Isaiah 59 exposes our sin and leaves us hopeless on our own, but then points us to the source of hope, Jesus Christ. We recommend reading this devotional second.

3. ADVENT: THE ANNOUNCEMENT

This devotional, from Luke 2, focuses on the announcement of the birth of Christ. This announcement is a joyful hymn of celebration but also a definition of our biggest need and Christ’s mission on earth. We recommend reading this devotional on Christmas Eve.

4. ADVENT: THE PLAN

This devotional, from Isaiah 53, focuses on the crucifixion of Jesus. Isaiah 53 prophesies the Cross and reveals the love that God has for his children by the crushing of his Son. We recommend reading this devotional after Christmas Day.

BONUS. 10,000 LITTLE MOMENTS

This bonus devotional focuses on the New Year and our desire to make big changes to our lifestyle habits. We suggest reading this devotional on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. 


© 2013 Paul Tripp Ministries, Inc.
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You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format, provided that you do not charge for the material or alter the content in any way without written permission from Paul Tripp Ministries.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. 
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Pathway Includes

  • 5 Lessons
  • 5 Reflections