2013-12-13 - It's Coming!
Author's Note: This devotional is based on a message preached to youth on December 4, 2013. I pray that it will be applicable to you as well.
Christmas is coming. Its just days away. Are you excited? I love Christmas for so many reasons. What about you? Why do you love Christmas? What are looking forward to this Christmas season?
The normal answers to these questions include how great I will feel to do this or do that and how happy I will be to get this or that. It's funny how most of what we all thought about to answer this question was me-centered and not Christ-centered. Think about it. Imagine that youre going to a friend's birthday party and instead of being excited to see him and give him a great gift he will love, youre excited about the party favors, the cake, and ice cream rather than seeing your friend. How would your friend feel if he knew that's what you really cared most about on his birthday? Well, Jesus knows.
Jesus' birthday, or at least the day we celebrate it, is almost upon us. It's time we prepare the way for him much like John the Baptist. He said, I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD, as Isaiah the prophet said. (John 1:23 NASB) John's purpose was to point out that someone greater was on his way. Something tells me he wouldn't care much for the celebration of Jesus' arrival these days.
Here's something rather cool though. Jesus says we are greater than John the Baptist in Matthew 11:11. Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Why are we greater that John the Baptist? It's because we prepare the way for Christ every year. John prepared for his coming for our redemption. As followers of Christ we prepare for his coming to reign and annually we get to look back on his first coming as we expectantly hope for his second coming.
My family celebrates this time of year by celebrating Advent a season beginning four weeks before Christmas that many Catholic, Orthodox, and other high church, Christian faiths recognize. It is about looking back at his coming but also looking forward to his eventual return and we are the ones who prepare the way for his return.
With that in mind let me restate my introduction as closing questions now. Christ is coming. Are you excited? What do you love about his return? Are you ready? What do you want as we celebrate his coming? What do you want when he returns? As for me, I want to give him my life and I'm just thrilled to be invited to the party!
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted