WATCHING THE SIGNS

by Beth Kenyon | Dec. 2, 2018

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

ISAIAH 7:14 NIV

When I was nine years old, I talked my parents into letting me travel alone on a bus from my Grandma’s house in Vincennes, IN to Greenville, IL. The trip would travel across a time zone, a state line, 124 miles and take 3 ½ hours. This is an inconceivable thought for today, yet I was excited to be venturing alone. Perched by the window seat with my new goldfish, I started watching every sign and marker pointing to home. As a nine-year-old, I needed assurance that indeed Greenville was getting closer.

Signs are all around us, telling us what is coming and pointing to what lies ahead. Every song, commercial, and store is full of signs announcing that Christmas is coming. God knew the people of Judah needed a sign, too. Isaiah 7:14 told them He had a plan and it would include His divine power and purity by way of a young lady named Mary. This sign gave both encouragement and assurance of Immanuel, the One who would live among them. This Advent season declares the same promises to us:

“God has a plan, He has not forgotten us, and His presence and power are with us today.” 

I don’t know about you, but I often need a reminder of who Jesus really is, a sign that His power is still at work. As we begin this Advent season rereading the story of God and the signs of His promises, let the Good News wash over you. God sent Immanuel, the powerful and pure Son of God to dwell with us! Does your soul need encouragement? Do you feel alone in your struggles? Are you afraid? Confused? Close to giving up? Immanuel assures us of the incarnate presence of Christ with us. As you let those words pour over you, I believe Immanuel is exactly what our souls need this December. 

What if today we allowed God’s presence to sweep over our circumstances? What if we opened our eyes to His presence? What if we began looking for the signs of God at work in our family, our teammates, and our friends? I wonder, how would this season be different if we not only read the signs that point to Jesus, but let them change how we think, feel, and live? 

In August of 1967, I was alert, watching, anticipating going back home. I invite you today, December 2, 2018, to begin watching for God’s presence around you. If you are anything like me, you will need to slow down and take a deep breath to begin noticing the signs. Just like in Isaiah, the signs are pointing to His Son and His Story. The signs will point you home. And the signs will be even better than the sign that read Greenville! 

30 Comments

  1. Tonya HUGGINS

    I just love this time of year and CHRISTmas and I love the devotionals you all send out. Have a blessed Advent

    Reply
    • John Mertz

      Thanks Beth for this reminder. John Mertz

      Reply
  2. Erin

    Thank you, Beth

    Reply
  3. Darla Beller

    Thank you, Beth! I think we often look around us at the signs that Christmas is coming and sigh and groan. Our focus is off! Those of us who understand the JOY of Christmas need to share it with those who are are weary of yet another commercial Christmas. Only Jesus satisfies fully.

    Reply
  4. Shannon Hughes

    Exactly what I needed today!

    Reply
  5. Pat Smith

    Excellent devotional!
    Love the Lord and this special season!

    Reply
  6. Carl Kimbro

    I love the thought “what if we let His presence wash over us?” Allowing Gods strength and presence to guide my day will make it less stressful and more meaningful. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  7. Bev Morgan

    This is great, Beth, Thank You.
    Reading this on drive to start
    Off Advent season . What an
    Inspiration!!

    Reply
  8. Gina Jones

    Thank you Beth

    Reply
  9. Kathy Hardy

    This is GREAT! Slow down, and watch for signs! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  10. Mary Lehman

    Wonderful thoughts, Beth. In general, I invite and allow God’s presence to wash over my circumstances and He takes the stress right out of them. But, because we are human, there are some things that fall through the cracks and we stew over them. Your words are a great reminder to cast all our burdens onto Him and bask in His presence, not only at Christmastime, but every day of our lives. The greatest way to achieve peace is to abide in Him and He in us. Remaining in Him provides a constant ebb and flow of the washing of His Spirit.

    Reply
  11. Shannon Finer

    Thanks for these reminders Mrs. Beth. Preach!

    Reply
  12. Stephanie A. Johnson

    Thank you for this mini sermon. I love you and your heart for ministry, especially our Fellowship children.

    Reply
  13. Robin

    Great devotional! It reminds me that just as Jesus came to us as a baby, we need to remember that God comes to us in the small, humble, common things of life, if we only look for Him.

    Reply
  14. Carrie Browning

    Signs and reminders in this very day! Love this…great reminder for us to be present in the moment and ever aware of the gifts in front of us.

    Reply
  15. Eva pearson

    Thank you,Beth
    May God bless us everyone

    Reply
  16. Jeff Rhodes

    Thanks, Beth. It’s a great story to set up the importance of the season

    Reply
  17. Randall Simmermon

    I do need reminders of who Jesus really is! Thanks Beth!!

    ( 3 1/2 bus ride, 9 years old..for kicks?…you were hard core)…

    Reply
  18. Hank Matthews

    As I read your devotional I could almost hear you reading it with all the energy only you can bring Beth. Thanks for inspiring me!

    Reply
  19. Robin Hall Guadagnini

    Thank you for this! Wonderful story and yes, looking for signs and knowing He is here. Thanks Beth!

    Reply
  20. Liz Cox

    Thanks Beth! I can just see 9 year old you holding your goldfish and looking out that bus window!!

    Reply
  21. Karen Graves

    I will keep this thought with me throughout the season – watch for signs of God working! Thank you Beth!

    Reply
  22. Betty Taylor

    Thank you sweet lady for this inspirational story. Much needed today. Love to you!

    Reply
  23. Dick Nervig

    Thanks, Beth! What a good, encouraging word!

    Reply
  24. Pierce McIntyre

    Thanks Beth. Encouraging words.

    Reply
  25. Pearl Lind

    Good job Beth, I appreciated these thoughts.

    Reply
  26. Joy Newberry

    Christmas and New Year Blessings Beth!
    Wonderful reminder to “ Be Still and Know That He Is God!”

    Reply
  27. Willie Jackson

    Thank you for sharing this, a timely reminder that we never travel alone and that life is all about the journey.

    Reply
  28. Laura Wilson

    Beth-thank you for sharing. I felt like I was on that bus watching you look out of the window! You paint such great word pictures. Thanks for challenging us to begin looking for SIGNS of CHRIST in CHRISTmas!!

    Reply
  29. Crystal

    I read this first devotion late, but it was exactly what I needed to hear today. Slowing down and “seeing” that the God of everything is still watching over and providing for this “sparrow.” Thank you Beth. Thank you Jesus.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Watching the Signs

BY: BETH KENYON | Dec. 2, 2018

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

ISAIAH 7:14 NIV

When I was nine years old, I talked my parents into letting me travel alone on a bus from my Grandma’s house in Vincennes, IN to Greenville, IL. The trip would travel across a time zone, a state line, 124 miles and take 3 ½ hours. This is an inconceivable thought for today, yet I was excited to be venturing alone. Perched by the window seat with my new goldfish, I started watching every sign and marker pointing to home. As a nine-year-old, I needed assurance that indeed Greenville was getting closer.

Signs are all around us, telling us what is coming and pointing to what lies ahead. Every song, commercial, and store is full of signs announcing that Christmas is coming. God knew the people of Judah needed a sign, too. Isaiah 7:14 told them He had a plan and it would include His divine power and purity by way of a young lady named Mary. This sign gave both encouragement and assurance of Immanuel, the One who would live among them. This Advent season declares the same promises to us:

“God has a plan, He has not forgotten us,
and His presence and power are
with us today.”

I don’t know about you, but I often need a reminder of who Jesus really is, a sign that His power is still at work. As we begin this Advent season rereading the story of God and the signs of His promises, let the Good News wash over you. God sent Immanuel, the powerful and pure Son of God to dwell with us! Does your soul need encouragement? Do you feel alone in your struggles? Are you afraid? Confused? Close to giving up? Immanuel assures us of the incarnate presence of Christ with us. As you let those words pour over you, I believe Immanuel is exactly what our souls need this December.

What if today we allowed God’s presence to sweep over our circumstances? What if we opened our eyes to His presence? What if we began looking for the signs of God at work in our family, our teammates, and our friends? I wonder, how would this season be different if we not only read the signs that point to Jesus, but let them change how we think, feel, and live?

In August of 1967, I was alert, watching, anticipating going back home. I invite you today, December 2, 2018, to begin watching for God’s presence around you. If you are anything like me, you will need to slow down and take a deep breath to begin noticing the signs. Just like in Isaiah, the signs are pointing to His Son and His Story. The signs will point you home. And the signs will be even better than the sign that read Greenville!

30 Comments

  1. Tonya HUGGINS

    I just love this time of year and CHRISTmas and I love the devotionals you all send out. Have a blessed Advent

    Reply
    • John Mertz

      Thanks Beth for this reminder. John Mertz

      Reply
  2. Erin

    Thank you, Beth

    Reply
  3. Darla Beller

    Thank you, Beth! I think we often look around us at the signs that Christmas is coming and sigh and groan. Our focus is off! Those of us who understand the JOY of Christmas need to share it with those who are are weary of yet another commercial Christmas. Only Jesus satisfies fully.

    Reply
  4. Shannon Hughes

    Exactly what I needed today!

    Reply
  5. Pat Smith

    Excellent devotional!
    Love the Lord and this special season!

    Reply
  6. Carl Kimbro

    I love the thought “what if we let His presence wash over us?” Allowing Gods strength and presence to guide my day will make it less stressful and more meaningful. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  7. Bev Morgan

    This is great, Beth, Thank You.
    Reading this on drive to start
    Off Advent season . What an
    Inspiration!!

    Reply
  8. Gina Jones

    Thank you Beth

    Reply
  9. Kathy Hardy

    This is GREAT! Slow down, and watch for signs! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  10. Mary Lehman

    Wonderful thoughts, Beth. In general, I invite and allow God’s presence to wash over my circumstances and He takes the stress right out of them. But, because we are human, there are some things that fall through the cracks and we stew over them. Your words are a great reminder to cast all our burdens onto Him and bask in His presence, not only at Christmastime, but every day of our lives. The greatest way to achieve peace is to abide in Him and He in us. Remaining in Him provides a constant ebb and flow of the washing of His Spirit.

    Reply
  11. Shannon Finer

    Thanks for these reminders Mrs. Beth. Preach!

    Reply
  12. Stephanie A. Johnson

    Thank you for this mini sermon. I love you and your heart for ministry, especially our Fellowship children.

    Reply
  13. Robin

    Great devotional! It reminds me that just as Jesus came to us as a baby, we need to remember that God comes to us in the small, humble, common things of life, if we only look for Him.

    Reply
  14. Carrie Browning

    Signs and reminders in this very day! Love this…great reminder for us to be present in the moment and ever aware of the gifts in front of us.

    Reply
  15. Eva pearson

    Thank you,Beth
    May God bless us everyone

    Reply
  16. Jeff Rhodes

    Thanks, Beth. It’s a great story to set up the importance of the season

    Reply
  17. Randall Simmermon

    I do need reminders of who Jesus really is! Thanks Beth!!

    ( 3 1/2 bus ride, 9 years old..for kicks?…you were hard core)…

    Reply
  18. Hank Matthews

    As I read your devotional I could almost hear you reading it with all the energy only you can bring Beth. Thanks for inspiring me!

    Reply
  19. Robin Hall Guadagnini

    Thank you for this! Wonderful story and yes, looking for signs and knowing He is here. Thanks Beth!

    Reply
  20. Liz Cox

    Thanks Beth! I can just see 9 year old you holding your goldfish and looking out that bus window!!

    Reply
  21. Karen Graves

    I will keep this thought with me throughout the season – watch for signs of God working! Thank you Beth!

    Reply
  22. Betty Taylor

    Thank you sweet lady for this inspirational story. Much needed today. Love to you!

    Reply
  23. Dick Nervig

    Thanks, Beth! What a good, encouraging word!

    Reply
  24. Pierce McIntyre

    Thanks Beth. Encouraging words.

    Reply
  25. Pearl Lind

    Good job Beth, I appreciated these thoughts.

    Reply
  26. Joy Newberry

    Christmas and New Year Blessings Beth!
    Wonderful reminder to “ Be Still and Know That He Is God!”

    Reply
  27. Willie Jackson

    Thank you for sharing this, a timely reminder that we never travel alone and that life is all about the journey.

    Reply
  28. Laura Wilson

    Beth-thank you for sharing. I felt like I was on that bus watching you look out of the window! You paint such great word pictures. Thanks for challenging us to begin looking for SIGNS of CHRIST in CHRISTmas!!

    Reply
  29. Crystal

    I read this first devotion late, but it was exactly what I needed to hear today. Slowing down and “seeing” that the God of everything is still watching over and providing for this “sparrow.” Thank you Beth. Thank you Jesus.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NWA Christmas