Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Living Out Advent - Today and Everyday!

By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy Of: Laura Nyhuis

"For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this." ~Isaiah 9:6-7

As I sit here realizing that this will be my last devotional for you all until the new year arrives, I find myself processing a few things. The new year is fast approaching and yet we are also still eleven days out from Christmas. So many thoughts are swirling in my mind right now; maybe they are in yours, too? 

What I really want you to know today is this:

This Christmas Day will come and go. 

What will not come and go is your need to daily bring before your mind the life-changing truths and implications of the gospel.

As we approach Christmas Day, there is no better time than the present to remember why that baby was in the manger 2000 years ago and why that age-old story means so much for us today.

Women like Ruth looked forward to the first Advent—the first coming of Christ—placing their hope in the promise of a future Messiah Who would come and save His people from their sins. Christian women of today look forward to the second Advent—the second coming of Christ—when He will rescue His people out of this dark world and usher them into eternity. 

On whichever side of the timeline women have found themselves down through history, the truth has remained the same: we must always keep the truths of God and our salvation in Him before our eyes every moment of every day. 

As we soon step into a new year, many of us will be attempting to craft and keep a long list of resolutions. But we likely will be tempted to do so by seeking our own guidance, wisdom, and strength. What we need to be doing, however, is keeping the gospel at the forefront of our minds, asking the Lord to help us sift every plan and every priority through the lens of His truth and His Kingdom ways. 

This Christmas and on into the New Year while you may be feeling as if you have to be “enough” on your own, the gospel says you never could be, and that’s okay—Christ is enough in and through you on your behalf!

While you may be feeling as if you have to strive to be perfect, the gospel says you already are perfect because you possess the righteousness of Christ as your very own!

This Christmas and in the New Year ahead, I want you to know and remember that the baby in the manger is not merely a nice story intended to provide us with a sweet holiday season to enjoy. It’s so much more than that. It's something you take with you every day, as you meditate on why God came to earth in the flesh as a baby—why He chose to die—and what that means for you now and for eternity. 

Merry Christmas, my friends, and may you have a blessed last couple weeks in this year! 

Until we meet again in 2022,

Rebekah Hargraves

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