Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room is an advent devotional written with the whole family in mind. There is a devotional reading for every day in December. (It's nice that it doesn't stop with Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, in my opinion.) The devotions are lovely, a perfect balance of story and theology. But I also really appreciated the musical highlights. There are a handful of songs highlighted throughout the book. The theology embedded in each Christmas carol is presented in a really fascinating way. I am sure I'm not alone in taking the carols and their message for granted at times, these interludes slowed me down enough to really appreciate the songs as they were meant to be appreciated.
The book--cover to cover, essentially--is rich and meaty. I would definitely recommend this one whether you have a family to share it with or not.
The essence of being a Christian is placing all our hope in God, knowing we can trust him to fulfill all his promises—even the ones that haven’t been fulfilled yet.
It’s easy to label what we consider “good things” in our lives as gifts from God and to welcome them with gratitude. But when difficult things happen, we don’t look at them as part of God’s good plan for us. Mary’s example shows us we can also welcome those things we would not necessarily label “good,” confident that God’s gifts sometimes come in perplexing and even painful packages. When we belong to God, we know he will use whatever he allows into our lives for good. Somehow, in God’s hands, these things also become gifts of his grace toward us. It takes faith—faith to rest in who God is and his love for us; faith to be confident that he is doing something good in and through our difficult circumstances—to see the hard things in our lives as gifts of God’s grace.
We can never make God bigger or greater than he is. The truth is, we can never fully take in or understand God’s greatness. But we can magnify him. We magnify God not by making him bigger than he truly is, but by making him greater in our thoughts, in our affections, in our memories, and in our expectations. We magnify him by having higher, larger, and truer thoughts of him. We magnify him by praising him and telling others about his greatness so they can have bigger thoughts about him too. Sometimes we wonder why we aren’t happy, why we make sinful choices, why we feel distant from God. Often it’s because we have small thoughts about God and magnified thoughts of ourselves, our wants, our rights, our accomplishments.
To receive Christ is to recognize that he is the most beautiful, most desirable treasure in the universe and open up our lives to him, saying, “I must have him!”
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible