Then I saw another great and awe-inspiring sign in heaven. There were seven angels with seven plagues—and these are the last, for with them God’s anger is brought to an end. Then I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mixed with fire. Those who gained victory over the beast, its image, and the number of its name were standing by the glass sea, holding harps from God. They sing the song of Moses, God’s servant, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and awe-inspiring are your works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, king of the nations. Who won’t fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? You alone are holy. All nations will come and fall down in worship before you, for your acts of justice have been revealed.” After this I looked, and the temple in heaven—that is, the tent of witness—was opened. The seven angels, who have the seven plagues, came out of the temple. They were clothed in pure bright linen and had gold sashes around their waists. Then one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven gold bowls full of the anger of the God who lives forever and always. The temple was filled with smoke from God’s glory and power, and no one could go into the temple until the seven plagues of the seven last angels were brought to an end. (Revelation 15:1-8, CEB)

Justice is a difficult question for Christians. What is just about justice sent down in seven plagues? What is awe inspiring? 

Maybe the plagues are not what God has done, so much as they are what we have left undone, and we are reaping the whirlwind. As we wait patiently for the most precious gift, what can we do to leave less in the world undone, and prepare it again for God’s Kingdom? 


24 “In those days, after the suffering of that time, the sun will become dark, and the moon won’t give its light. 25 The stars will fall from the sky, and the planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken.26 Then they will see the Human One[a] coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. 27 Then he will send the angels and gather together his chosen people from the four corners of the earth, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven. 28 “Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that he’s near, at the door. 30 I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until all these things happen. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.  32 “But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the angels in heaven and not the Son. Only the Father knows.  33 Watch out! Stay alert! You don’t know when the time is coming.  34 It is as if someone took a trip, left the household behind, and put the servants in charge, giving each one a job to do, and told the doorkeeper to stay alert.  35 Therefore, stay alert! You don’t know when the head of the household will come, whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the early morning or at daybreak. 36 Don’t let him show up when you weren’t expecting and find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert!” (Mark 13:24-37, CEB)

The world is a scary place, and before it gets better it will get worse.

And there is already a lot of fear in the world and if things are going to get worse the fear will increase. But we do not have to live in fear even when we don’t know what will happen. We can know and have the promise that hope is greater than fear and the hope we have is in God, and will cover any fear and any thing that comes our way.

So live in hope over fear, and know that the coming baby in the manger is the hope we have and need and will always be with us.


15 “When you see the disgusting and destructive thing that Daniel talked about standing in the holy place (the reader should understand this), 16 then those in Judea must escape to the mountains.17 Those on the roof shouldn’t come down to grab things from their houses. 18 Those in the field shouldn’t come back to grab their clothes. 19 How terrible it will be at that time for women who are pregnant and for women who are nursing their children. 20 Pray that it doesn’t happen in winter or on the Sabbath day. 21 There will be great suffering such as the world has never before seen and will never again see. 22 If that time weren’t shortened, nobody would be rescued. But for the sake of the ones whom God chose, that time will be cut short. 23 “Then if somebody says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Christ,’ or ‘He’s over here,’ don’t believe it. 24 False christs and false prophets will appear, and they will offer great signs and wonders in order to deceive, if possible, even those whom God has chosen. 25 Look, I’ve told you ahead of time. 26 So if they say to you, ‘Look, he’s in the desert,’ don’t go out. And if they say, ‘Look, he’s in the rooms deep inside the house,’ don’t believe it. 27 Just as the lightning flashes from the east to the west, so it will be with the coming of the Human One. 28 The vultures gather wherever there’s a dead body. 29 “Now immediately after the suffering of that time the sun will become dark, and the moon won’t give its light. The stars will fall from the sky and the planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Human One will appear in the sky. At that time all the tribes of the earth will be full of sadness, and they will see the Human One coming in the heavenly clouds with power and great splendor. 31 He will send his angels with the sound of a great trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from the four corners of the earth, from one end of the sky to the other. (Matthew 24:15-31, CEB)

When the Human One comes again it will not be good. But do not fear and follow after every person who says the Human One is coming.

We will know when the Human One is coming. Don’t believe the hype or buy into the fear people are projecting in this. It will be clear as the sign to the shepherds and the wise men. 

Do not spread the fear, be calm and steadfast in the Lord, and know the baby we wait for is the one we await the return of and we will know.

Live in Jesus’ love and stop the spread of fear.


So then, brothers and sisters, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to keep living the way you already are and even do better in how you live and please God—just as you learned from us.You know the instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. God’s will is that your lives are dedicated to him. This means that you stay away from sexual immorality and learn how to control your own body in a pure and respectable way. Don’t be controlled by your sexual urges like the Gentiles who don’t know God. No one should mistreat or take advantage of their brother or sister in this issue. The Lord punishes people for all these things, as we told you before and sternly warned you. God didn’t call us to be immoral but to be dedicated to him. Therefore, whoever rejects these instructions isn’t rejecting a human authority. They are rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. You don’t need us to write about loving your brothers and sisters because God has already taught you to love each other. 10 In fact, you are doing loving deeds for all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. Now we encourage you, brothers and sisters, to do so even more. 11 Aim to live quietly, mind your own business, and earn your own living, just as I told you. 12 That way you’ll behave appropriately toward outsiders, and you won’t be in need. 13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about people who have died so that you won’t mourn like others who don’t have any hope. 14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose, so we also believe that God will bring with him those who have died in Jesus. 15 What we are saying is a message from the Lord: we who are alive and still around at the Lord’s coming definitely won’t go ahead of those who have died. 16 This is because the Lord himself will come down from heaven with the signal of a shout by the head angel and a blast on God’s trumpet. First, those who are dead in Christ will rise.17 Then, we who are living and still around will be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet with the Lord in the air. That way we will always be with the Lord. 18 So encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-18, CEB)

Here we see Paul’s words reflect Jesus’ message in Matthew 6.  Faith shouldn’t be a boisterous affair where one is outwardly rewarded for proclaiming loudly the label of Christianity.  A common strategy for authors of fiction whether writing books or screenplays is the maxim, “Show, don’t tell.”  

Often the things we are shown, not told, leave a greater impact on us as a reader/viewer than those delivered to us in an exposition dump.  Likewise, nothing leaves a greater impression of your faith on others than the actions you take.  Small services rendered humbly shine much brighter than large actions rendered with overwrought pomp.

As Paul carries on in verse 13 with his reassurance about the place of those who have died we can be reminded that those who are eager to “tell” have received their reward in the telling.  But we are assured that the reward for the reward for those of us (and our loved ones who have passed) that “show” through humble service have nothing to fear and will reap greater rewards.

As a personal extension, I often find that things I do for others that go unseen still make me feel better than those done which are more visible.  I think this goes hand-in-hand with being in a good mental health place of loving one’s self without the need for others to validate those feelings.  When you’re able to be happy with yourself you’ll find personal joy in the small, unseen deeds you do for others.  When you can love yourself it’s much easier to find yourself surrounded with others who love you.  And perhaps more importantly, it can often assuage a tendency to seek the approval from those whose approval holds little value and can often lead us, via peer pressure, to do things that are not a reflection of who we truly want to be.


Then I saw another angel flying high overhead with eternal good news to proclaim to those who live on earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” Another angel, a second one, followed and said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She made all the nations drink the wine of her lustful passion.” Then another angel, a third one, followed them and said in a loud voice, “If any worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or their hands, 10 they themselves will also drink the wine of God’s passionate anger, poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will suffer the pain of fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. 11 The smoke of their painful suffering goes up forever and always. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, and those who receive the mark of its name.” 12 This calls for the endurance of the saints, who keep God’s commandments and keep faith with Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Favored are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so they can rest from their labors, because their deeds follow them.” (Revelation 14:6-13, CEB)

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “so they can rest from their labors, because their deeds follow them.”

When you think of the eternal good news, what do you think of? Is it the same good news that “every nation, tribe, language, and people” would see? What to you is Babylon the great? What is the beast? Are the things we hold dear the same things that others hold in fear? 

As we wait patiently in advent, we wait for different good news, news that is truly new. We wait for the promise of the end of suffering, fear, war, want. But we can’t only wait, as the Spirit says, because “their deeds follow them”. How can our deeds ease the wait of our neighbors and prepare the world for God’s Kingdom?

Advent Devotional

Advent is the season of Waiting that happens before Christmas. And it seems like all we have been doing is waiting but we have a little more waiting to do until Christmas. But we at Treehouse want to help you with that.

If you come back to this page starting Thanksgiving day at 6:00 a.m. there will be a devotion for that day and every day following until Christmas. We wanted to help those who help us through prayers and financial support with a devotional to help us focus on the coming of Christ.

So come on back to this page every day or go here sign up for an email for a reminder and a simple way to connect with God this Advent.

Thank y’all for your support and have a blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas!