2016 Advent Devotional

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Prepare to be Deceived
Sunday, 12/18/2016

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This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said.

John 1:19-23


When asked who he is, John denies being the Messiah. This must have been a let down to those inquiring. They were desperate for the Messiah, desperate for the one who would liberate them from their oppression under Rome. How easy it would have been for John to deceive himself, and these inquirers. “Yes, I am the one you’ve been waiting for!” Instead, he remained true to his calling to pave the way, to not be the one, but point others to the one, to “make straight the way of the Lord.”

It’s important for us to be mindful how often we look for things outside of Jesus to save us. We, too, are desperate, desperate to be fulfilled by someone or something. We know who it is that saves us and who it is that completes us, so we must not be deceived by a culture that points us to things that do not have the power to fulfill us. We must also, like John, pave the way and point people towards Jesus.


Oh God, who has uniquely gifted each and every one of us, thank you for the ministry of John the Baptist. May I be inspired by his life, to point people towards Christ who is the true Messiah.


How can we be in prayer with you?
Please let us know!


  1. What deceives you into thinking that it will fulfill you?
  2. How can this last week of Advent prepare you to point others toward Jesus?

Family Corner

Daily Scripture

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God...”

Psalm 95:6-7


Attend worship together as a family.

Discuss afterwards what elements of the service were most meaningful to each family member (i.e. Music, prayer, sermon, communion, etc.)

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Highland Park United Methodist Church
3300 Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, Texas