Think about where you live. When it’s dirty – you know, clothes strung out, crusty dishes in the sink, mud caked on the floors, that weird smell coming from the bathroom – you can’t snap your fingers and it all magically goes back in place. The same with our own spiritual houses. From God’s perspective, we are neat and tidy, but sin still has residency. There are emotions strung out, dirty thoughts wandering the corridors, mud on our lips, and the pungent stench of pride. The penalty of sin is removed, but sin itself doesn’t evaporate when we say, “I will follow.” It’s a process, just like it is in our own physical homes. Room by room, closet by closet, the Lord transforms us. He helps pick up the messes, learn healthy practices, teaches where things belong, shows us what to throw out, and is a wonderful gentleman about it all.
No matter how you choose to celebrate Christ this season, let the Messiah–not the mayhem–reign in your heart. May you be richly blessed in Him!
Read: 1 Timothy 1:15—17
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Reflect: What beautiful verses to lead us into Christmas Day. Christ Jesus came into the world to save you. He has shown mercy to you, and He displayed His immense patience that you may receive eternal life. May your soul be quiet before Him tonight–and each night–in honor of the love He unceasingly pours upon you.
Respond: Father, words are insufficient to express the gratitude I have for my Savior. You pursued me and have captured me eternally. Thank You for that sweet baby, who was born in humility and lowliness. You are “King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God.” To You “be honor and glory for ever and ever.”
Tot Time: Talk through the events that will happen on Christmas Day, and plan now how you intend to honor Christ despite the hustle and activities that December 25th can bear. Ask the kiddos what special time they can create to honor Jesus on His birthday.
Many blessings to you and yours this holiday season. I pray this Advent/Christmas verse-by-verse devotional was a savored time and you grew in His truth.
Beginning in January, we’ll start a weekly study on Philippians, which carries the theme of “rejoice.” What a wonderful way to start out 2018!