A Devotional From Seacoast Church
As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Savior and look forward to his coming again, we must first surrender our lives to create space to receive his hope, peace, joy, and love. This is what Advent is about: Remembering the gift we were given and anticipating what he wants to do next. Our four-week Advent study was crafted by Seacoast Church pastors, staff, and contributors as a reminder that Jesus came to bring light to a dark world and he is still working today.
Christmas at Seacoast
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Week 4


Take time this week to reflect on the magnitude of God’s love for us, that he would send his son as a sacrifice for our sins.
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. – Numbers 24:17
For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.Isaiah 55:12 (ESV)
Day 26

Another Christmas

Christmas Eve. The main lights go off in the worship center and the last few people leave for home. At this time of night, the huge panels of windows in the church breezeway are like mirrors, and the shining concrete floors form a magical ice rink that reflect the white…

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So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.John 13:34-35 (NLT)
Day 25

Love Flowing Outward

Years ago, I had the opportunity to swim in…well, really…float in the Dead Sea. Its high salt content not only makes you buoyant, but makes for an environment where nothing can live. Why is it so salty and deadly? The Dead Sea has no outflow. Water flows in from higher…

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The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.John 1:14 (NIV)
Day 24

God With Us

Five years ago, I found myself sitting in a wheelchair, being wheeled down a cold, sterile, fluorescent-lit hospital hallway on the way to receive testing for undiagnosed pain in my body. I was scared and as we turned the corner into another maze-like corridor, I sensed the Lord speaking to…

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I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.Numbers 24:17 (ESV)
Day 23

The One Hoped For

One of my favorite aspects of Advent is that it is about more than Jesus’s birth. Advent is about anticipation. It recalls the ancient Israelites longing to see their Messiah come, the One who would free them from their oppressors. We reenact that anticipation as we count down the days…

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But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
Day 22

Choosing To Forgive

As a teen, traveling the 100-mile stretch of road to my dad’s house to spend Christmas was not how I pictured a joyful holiday. I remember feeling angry and sad, wanting life to return to how it was before my parents’ divorce shattered so many things, including Christmas traditions.  My…

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)
Day 21

Is It Enough?

It’s almost Christmas and I’m waking up with the question that haunts me every year: Did I do enough? Did I send enough Christmas cards this year? Did I bake enough cookies? Did I pick the right gifts, because it’s too late to change my mind now. And then I…

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Week 3


Christmas is a joyful celebration of the birth of Jesus. As you spend time reading the Bible this week, look for themes of joy and allow it to reside in your heart.
My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. – Psalm 71:23
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:25-26 (NIV)
Day 20

Explain It To Me

Though we didn't attend church growing up, I knew the Bible was special. After my parents’ divorce, I would place my Bible under my pillow for protection from nightmares. I'd read Jesus' words in red, though rarely in context. I quoted his words in my high school yearbook: "You will…

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They followed the daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God.Acts 2:46 (The Message)
Day 19

Year-Round Celebration

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year! I love the excitement on the faces of my grandkids, the family gatherings, the gift giving, the decorations, the food, and most of all, the reason for the season, celebrating the birth of the Christ child. There is so much…

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After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)
Day 18

Great Joy For All People

I caught the scent of incense…and dust…as I stepped through the fortress-like entryway into the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem—built over the cave said to be where Jesus was born. In the dimly lit interior, scaffolding stretched up to mosaics being restored on the stone walls and a trapdoor…

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Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.Psalm 34:5 (NLT)
Day 17

Not Just A Small Measure

The Christmas season is here. Our homes, workplaces and cities are decorated. We’re going to parties and plays, and listening to Christmas songs while we shop. We are surrounded by messages that tell us how we should feel and “be” in this season. Take a stroll down a Christmas décor…

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Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.Romans 12:12 NIV
Day 16

While Waiting

I grew up in a small town where Christmas lights went up along the streets, the day after Halloween. All the angels and snowmen smiling down, put you in the mood for Christmas. Plus, seeing the garland around the light posts meant it was time to get the Christmas tree…

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My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. Psalm 71:23 (ESV)
Day 15

Raising My Hands

I think about last year often. Though I try to remember the bright spots first, if I can be honest, I remember the ugly parts the most. The constant uncertainties were overwhelming. People were in pain. I was in pain. I had many conversations with friends where I shared how…

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Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)
Day 14

Best Team Ever

There is something about sports that brings people together. I was 7 years old when I went to my first Major League Baseball game. I remember being in awe of the stadium and the baseball players, the smell of hot dogs, popcorn, and pretzels. That day, I fell in love…

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Week 2


Because of Jesus, we can have peace in our daily lives, even when it feels unreachable. Take time this week to sit with Jesus, and seek his peace.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
Day 13

His Perfect Peace

I love lighting my home with candles at Christmastime. There is something about the scent and soft flicker of flame that soothes me. It just makes the mood in the room seem peaceful. The sad part about candles though is that they go out. Like all earthly things, in a…

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He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.Luke 1:32-33 (NASB)
Day 12

Heaven On Earth

In biblical times, most people in Israel would have been familiar with the prophecies of the coming Messiah. But here was Mary, a young teenage girl of Nazareth, hearing from a glowing, angelic being that SHE would be the one to bring this life into the world. Not only that,…

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Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”Luke 2:13-14 (NIV)
Day 11

The Value Of An Undeserved Gift

Have you ever really experienced peace on earth? Sure, we might have fleeting moments, but finding lasting peace is like chasing the wind. Why is it so evasive in our world? In 2009, I was working in the corporate world, in a very competitive and hostile environment. To say my…

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Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.John 14:27 (NIV)
Day 10

The Christmas Calm

I’ve always wondered why peace is a theme for Christmastime. With all the chaos of family and festivities, Christmas can often feel overwhelming, not so peaceful. Even the Christmas story itself isn’t peaceful. There is nothing serene about childbirth. And when I reflect on the events of Mary and Joseph’s…

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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)
Day 9

Trusting The Prince Of Peace

Have you ever wondered who you can trust? I experienced that recently while walking through the passing of my father. First of all we had to choose from different treatment options. Later on, we were faced with difficult decisions in the probate process. Throughout this time, I was seeking trustworthy…

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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."Luke 1:30-31 (NIV)
Day 8

The Presence of Peace

Why was Mary afraid when the angel came to her? We depict angels as beautiful, almost LED-lit creatures, dressed in their freshest all-white robes. What’s so scary about that? I mean, if a messenger of God comes to you, shouldn’t you just be filled with faith, hope, and peace?  …

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In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.Psalm 4:8 (NIV)
Day 7

Breathe In His Presence

Most of us never think twice about breathing. But when my newborn daughter stopped breathing, it was all I could think about.  We searched for answers and had dozens of doctor visits, trips to the ER, trial and error with different breathing monitors, but the problem persisted. For seven months,…

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Week 1


The Light Of The World brings us hope for a brighter future. This week, focus on the hope that we have in Jesus.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. – John 1:9
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.John 1:9 (NIV)
Day 6

True Light

I remember when I was at a crossroads, trying to decide whether to continue to work in the corporate world or to follow the call of God on my life and go to seminary. I knew what I wanted, but I was hesitant and felt unqualified. Thankfully God made it…

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The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)
Day 5

Hope To A Dark World

In the darkest moments, the light shines brighter. During this last year, I imagine we all have experienced some sort of loss. Some have lost peace, a job, a dream, or someone we love. I would argue that some have lost some part of their sanity as well. Recent events…

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If we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.Romans 8:25 (NLT)
Day 4

Promise Of The Coming King

My grandmother loved Christmas – so much so her artificial tree was up and decorated by October. As we entered her home on Christmas Day, the smell of turkey, green beans and yeast rolls wafted throughout the house while the loveliest Christmas songs played on their record player and perfectly…

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.Romans 15:13 (ESV)
Day 3

Waiting For The Miracle

My wife and I have experienced times when life didn’t flourish, and when hope didn’t abound. In 2010, our battle with infertility left us with little faith. Peace and joy felt buried somewhere we couldn’t find.  So, I can relate to Zechariah in Luke 1. He and his wife, Elizabeth,…

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A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”Isaiah 40:3-5 (NIV)
Day 2

A Voice of One Calling

The prophet Isaiah prophesied about John the Baptist preparing people for the ministry of Jesus nearly 700 years before John was born in Israel. It was John the Baptist, later in first-century Palestine, who would call out “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our…

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Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)
Day 1

By Your Side

One of my fondest memories growing up was riding in the car to and from my Little League baseball games. At the time, we were living in Florida, so we played year-round. The rides back and forth with my dad and brother were far better than the games themselves. (I…

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