When the month of March arrives, we say it came in like a lamb and will go out like a lion or the reverse. This year, due to the pandemic, we might use that same phrase. How will 2020 leave, and how will 2021 arrive? For me, I am ready for a new month and then a new year! In the meantime, as December arrives, I want to ask, are you and I ready to receive the Christ child? Or are we putting him on a shelf?
Many are facing a bleak Christmas and New Year because of illness or loss of a livelihood. Paul is a good example for us because he continued to boast of his relationship with God, even in hard circumstances. Not even a thorn in the flesh, which he asked the Lord to remove, could dampen his spirit. He said I am content with weakness, insults, trouble, and persecution. Also, Paul told the Corinthians, “I boast about you even in my suffering.” Can we say the same?
Advent is a perfect time to stop and reflect on God’s goodness in the midst of a hard time and give God praise. I have put together some Advent devotionals and will share them here each day to help you. It is hoped that with each day, you will join me in giving God praise!
Advent Series: 1 & 2 Thessalonians…Looking for the Blessed Hope
Beloved, Christ came many years ago in a stable in Bethlehem but soon and very soon, He shall appear with flashing light and the trumpet of Gabriel. He will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. And wonder of wonders we shall see Him as the disciples saw him at the Transfiguration or as John saw him on the Isle of Patmos. He will come in the same way as a thief in the night and we who are sons of light will join him in the heavens.
In the meantime, may you be kept entirely blameless for his coming. May you be found spotless and worthy of his kingdom so he can present you before the Father’s throne. Strive to be found at peace, without spot or blemish, that you may enter his presence. Why does he desire this? He called you to this salvation through the gospel message so you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Encourage your hearts in every good thing knowing that he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one until that time.
Stay alert, Keep a watch for you know not when he shall appear. Are you ready?
The heavens rang aloud that Advent night so very long ago and hymns have shared that joy which we sing at Christmas time. As we read scripture each day we should be looking for advent clues such as joy and Paul ensures that we do.
Paul says “complete my joy.” Be unified n spirit and in purpose. As you seek to complete the gift of joy do it humbly with the purpose of being unified. Look at the Savior as your role model who proclaimed joy wherever he went and in whatever he did. The result? God exalted him and honored him with a name above every name. The prophet Isaiah gave us that name along with other names given to him:
Isa 9:6 For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called:
Amazing Adviser, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
This day as you read, keep looking for advent clues to help you celebrate this season with joy!