Advent Devotional – Week 4
December 12 – Worshipers from Rebels
Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. —ROMANS 5:11
Sometimes Christians seem to be fuzzy and uncertain about the nature of God and His purposes in creation and redemption. In such instances, the preachers often are to blame. There are still preachers and teachers who say that Christ died so we would not drink and not smoke and not go to the theater. No wonder people are confused! No wonder they fall into the habit of backsliding when such things are held up as the reason for salvation. Jesus was born of a virgin, suffered under Pontius Pilate, died on the cross, and rose from the grave to make worshipers out of rebels!
Lord, keep the cross in the forefront of our evangelistic preaching, and fill us with Your longing for sinners to become worshipers. Amen.
A. W. Tozer on the Son of God (p. 383). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
December 13 – Longing to See Jesus
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. —REVELATION 3:11
There is no doubt in my mind that millions of Christians in our day yearn within themselves to be ready to see the Lord Jesus when He appears. These are the saints of God who have a real understanding that what our Lord Jesus Christ is to us in our personal lives, moment by moment, is more important than merely dwelling on “what He did for us”! I say this because a great segment of Christian theology emphasizes the “utility” of the cross on which Jesus died, rather than the Person who died on that cross for our sins. Because of that view, many really have no emotional yearning for the return of Jesus. The best hope they know is a kind of intellectual, theological hope. But an intellectual knowledge of what the New Testament teaches about the return of Christ is surely a poor substitute for a love-inflamed desire to look on His face! While we await Him, our Lord expects us to love one another, to worship Him together, and to send this gracious gospel to the ends of the earth.
Lord Jesus, what You did on the cross for us is mind-staggering, but to know that the “story” doesn’t end there is cause for great exulting! I know that You are risen, because You live in me today! Amen.
A. W. Tozer on the Son of God (p. 384). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
December 14 – Savior and Judge
This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. —ROMANS 2:16
What is your concept of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Judge? If the “ten-cent-store Jesus” that is being preached by a lot of men, the plastic, painted Christ who has no spine and no justice and is pictured as a soft and pliable friend to everybody—if He is the only Christ there is, then we might as well close our books and bar our doors, and make a bakery or garage out of the church! But that Christ that is being preached and pictured is not the Christ of God, nor the Christ of the Bible, nor the Christ we must deal with. The Christ we must deal with will be the judge of mankind—and this is one of the neglected Bible doctrines in our day! The Father judges no man. When the Lord, the Son of Man, shall come in the clouds of glory, then shall be gathered unto Him the nations, and He shall separate them. God has given Him judgment, authority to judge mankind, so that He is both the Judge and Savior of men. That makes me both love Him and fear Him! I love Him because He is my Savior and I fear Him because He is my Judge.
Holy Lord, I acknowledge that You are both Savior and Judge! One day, You will return to judge the nations and all will stand before You. May I serve You with my whole heart until then. Amen.
A. W. Tozer on the Son of God (p. 385). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
December 15 – The Rightful Owner Will Take Over
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” —MATTHEW 28:18
The crux of the whole matter is this: our wonderful, created world will be restored to its rightful Owner. I for one look forward to that day. I want to live here when Jesus Christ owns and rules the world. Until that hour, there will be conﬂict, distress and war among the nations. We will hear of suffering and terror and fear and failure. But the God who has promised a better world is the God who cannot lie. He will shake loose Satan’s hold on this world and its society and systems. Our heavenly Father will put this world into the hands that were once nailed to a cross for our race of proud and alienated sinners. It is a fact. Jesus Christ is returning to earth. The Revelation teaches it. Daniel teaches it. Isaiah teaches it. Jeremiah teaches it. Go to the Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They teach it. Read the promises in the Acts. Read them in Romans and the rest of Paul’s epistles. Find the same message in Peter’s important two letters to the churches. Jesus Christ is returning to earth!
Lord Christ, You have authority over all things! You are just and good, and I long for the day when You will return to earth to make all things new and right. Amen.
A. W. Tozer on the Son of God (p. 386). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
December 16 – Giving Christ His Place
Every tongue [will] acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. —PHILIPPIANS 2:11
Christianity at large and the Church, generally speaking, are afflicted with a dread, lingering illness that shows itself daily in the apathy and spiritual paralysis of its members. How can it be otherwise when twentieth-century Christians refuse to acknowledge the sharp moral antithesis that God Himself has set between the Church, as the Body of Christ, and this present world with its own human systems? The differences between the churchly world and the followers of the Lamb are so basic that they can never be reconciled or negotiated. God has never promised His believing people that they would become a popular majority in this earthly scene. I wonder how many believers would join me in a clear-cut manifesto to our times? I want it to be a declaration of our intentions to restore Christ to the place that is rightfully His in our personal lives, in our family situations, and in the fellowship of the churches that bear His name. Are we willing to demonstrate the standards of godliness and biblical holiness as a rebuke to this wicked and perverse generation?
Lord, though the Church and the world often collide, I pray that each member of the Body of Christ will be so full of integrity that many unsaved people in the world will be pointed to Jesus Christ. Amen.
A. W. Tozer on the Son of God (p. 387). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
December 17 – Blue Grass Testimony – Mary Spradlin
Bible – The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures… a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans. (Wikipedia)
Crucifixion – Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang, perhaps for several days, until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. (Wikipedia)
Matthew 27:45-50 – Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
I believe everyone asks this question as Jesus did. This hit me and gave me peace as I studied the Bible this year. Everything is in God’s hands. I just pray for everyone. God in the end keeps his promise!
December 18 – Blue Grass Testimony – Ruthie Peters
Luke 2:17-19 – When they (the shepherds) had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
This Advent I consider the word “pondered” …it means to think about carefully. As a mom and grandma this is so easy to do! It doesn’t mean to worry about or dwell on things we can’t control – but to look at the things our children, grands and greats do in their lives and treasure the moments and memories.
Mary had no idea what her baby, Jesus, would do in his life, but she knew he was special, God’s child, yet hers. I’m sure she pondered many times as Jesus grew and marveled and smiled like we do at the accomplishments of our children. But she also pondered the simple things that touch our hearts like your child handing you a dandelion like it is a bouquet roses, or holding their tiny hand, or kisses from sticky lips. But Mary also saw miracles her son could perform.
Yes, Mary pondered the great and the small. Let us cherish all that Jesus came to do this Christmas – let’s ponder them in our hearts.
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to earth to save us. We ponder the miracles and his very life that he gave so we can be free of sin and stand with him before you, Father God, as your dearly loved children. Thank you, Jesus! In your precious name we pray. Amen