Getting into God's Word

Weekly Devotionals

Written by Pastor Tim Swenson

Weekly Readings

December 4: 2nd Sunday of Advent

The Common Thread

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, a better king than David—a King of kings. And his roots will bear fruit, the true, spiritual fruit of faith. Those who have been made righteous by the King are able to have “all joy and peace in believing” (Rom 15:13). They flourish because God has redeemed their lives. Though all around them seems dark, they have learned to see matters as they truly are by seeing through the eyes of the Lord. Through the refining baptism of the Spirit, they are enabled to bear the fruit of faith. This fruit is not only good deeds and the love of neighbor but the fruit of fearing, loving, and trusting God. Belief is the best fruit in the kingdom’s orchard because it keeps the commandment to believe in the Son, the shoot of Jesse (1 John 3:23). (

Isaiah 11:1-10

Psalm 72:1-7

Romans 15:4-13

Matthew 3:1-12

December 11: 3rd Sunday of Advent

The Common Thread

Oh, what fools sinners are. And being poor sinners, we are such fools. Yet even foolish sinners will never go astray if they walk in the Way of Holiness. Where is this road; how do we find it? Is it a highway built by kings or princes, nations or peoples? Or is it the roadway of he who watches over all sojourners? Is God himself the Way of Holiness? Jesus said he is the way (John 14:6). So, let us look to the Lord himself—not to a way of life, of living pious lives. The Lord is coming. Be patient. Ground your hearts in God’s word; strengthen your faith by trusting in the Lord. He is coming for poor, foolish sinners such as ourselves, who walk in the Way of Holiness who is Jesus Christ the Savior of the World. (

Isaiah 35:1-10

Psalm 146:1-10

James 5:7-11

Matthew 11:2-15

December 18: 4th Sunday in Advent

The Common Thread

The promised sign is from antiquity. A virgin will bear a child and his name is “God with us.” Through God’s Messiah we receive both grace and the obedience of faith so that we may believe the promise. This is the blessing of the Lord: the righteousness of faith in the chosen, anointed one. As the ancient headers and gates of the temple needed to be removed so that the great God of Israel might enter the sanctuary, just so, our small hearts must be lifted up so that God may enter in and be Immanuel, God with us. (

Isaiah 7:10-17

Psalm 24:1-10

Romans 1:1-7

Matthew 1:18-25

December 24: Christmas Eve

The Common Thread

A decree was once made that the entire Roman Empire should be counted, so that taxes could be levied for the support of the empire. However, a greater proclamation went out long before the empire of Rome, that the government of all people would rest upon the shoulders of the child of light. That government will increase, forever adding citizens to his kingdom. So we see that God used the Roman Empire that no longer exists, to advance a better royal edict, that the glorious reign of the Prince of Peace would have no end (Luke 1:33). “He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness,” bringing salvation through his grace to all people. Now we await with blessed hope the final appearing of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself to redeem the world. (

Isaiah 7:10-14

Psalm 110:1-4

1 John 4:7-16

Matthew 1:18-25

December 25: Christmas

The Common Thread

Today we celebrate the radiance of God’s glory, he who made the world, coming into the world so that all the earth may see the salvation of God. The Son, who upholds all creation through the word of his heavenly power, becomes the Word made flesh, dwelling with us on earth. He is the exact glory of the Father, light shining upon our darkness. He is the “one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made.” Today, he is set upon the holy hill called Zion, where God has come to dwell among us. (

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 2:1-12

Hebrews 1:1-6, 7-12

John 1:1-14, 15-18