Advent 2016

Day 1

Jesus — The Light of the World

In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 AMP)

Reading: Genesis 1:26-31; John 1:1-4

In order to understand who Jesus is and why He came, we have to start in the beginning. I hope you took time to read the passages. (I added links to them for your convenience.)

Midnight moonIn the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them from nothing. He simply spoke and it happened. Not only that, it was good. On the sixth day, He created humans in His own image … not so much in physical appearance, but rather in spirit and moral ethics. In other words, He created them to be eternal beings and gave them minds from which they could create, plan, and make their own decisions. They had a body, soul, and spirit just like their Creator was/is a three-in-one being.

John expounds on the concept that God the Son, Jesus, was with God the Father at the time of creation. Jesus was the word, was with God, and was God. Through Jesus all things were created. He was also the light of the world, not a created being. He was God from the beginning. If you read the entire account of creation, you’ll

discover God created the sun, moon, and stars on the third day. But on the first day, He said, “Let there be light.” Where did that light come from? Jesus, the light of the world. He said so Himself … When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Paul and John made other references to this fact. 2 Corinthians 4:6; 1 John 1:5-7; Revelation 21:23 and 22:5. (Links provided for you convenience.)

May the Light of the world shine upon you today and throughout this Advent season.

 

 

Day 2

Jesus — The Lamb that was Slain

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

Read: Genesis 3:1-21

The Blood of the LambThe above passage records the fall of man. Yesterday, we saw that humans were created in God’s image … and they were good. Yet, they fell into temptation. God had no choice but to punish them. Thus we live in a corrupt world full of sorrow, disease, and death.

Although God had to punish Adam and Eve for their disobedience, He never stopped loving them. Even in their sinful, shameful state, He provided for them by sacrificing an animal to make them garments to cover their nakedness. While the Bible doesn’t state what kind of animal He sacrificed at the time, I believe it was a lamb because He demanded a lamb be sacrificed as a sin offering when He gave the commandments to Moses. We also know He accepted Abel’s offerings from the first

born of his flocks, but not Cain’s offerings of fruits and vegetables.

These sacrifices are the foreshadowing of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our sins. He is the Lamb of God worth to be praised (Revelation 5:12-13).

Today, praise the Lamb who willing laid down His life so you and I may live.

 

 

Day 3

Jesus — The Fulfillment of God’s Plan

 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Read: Genesis 6:11-14, 7:17-8:3, 9:8-13

From the moment Cain killed Abel to the time of Noah, the evilness of the human soul grew worse. God could no longer overlook the fallen state of His glorious creation. He had determined to destroy the earth and everything in it. Everything, that is, except Noah, his wife, his sons, and their wives. God also preserved a pair of every kind of animal.

Although the word destroyed is used, God didn’t intend to obliterate the earth and all living creatures or He wouldn’t have told Noah to build an ark and take a pair of every living creature into the ark to preserve each species. Therefore, it’s obvious God intended to purge the earth … cleanse it and give humans a new start.

Of course, God had a bigger plan — a plan to purge our hearts and to preserve our souls for eternity.

Jesus is the fulfillment of that plan. When we accept His offer of eternal life, His spirit cleanses us from sin and prepares us for eternity in His kingdom.

 

 

Day 4

Jesus — Our Provision

“God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. (Genesis 22:8)

Read: Genesis 22:1-14

God’s Provision

Every time I read the account of Abraham preparing to sacrifice Isaac, I wonder if I’d be as obedient and as trusting as Abraham was. He took the promised son to the altar as an offering to God. But in his heart, Abraham believed even if he’d slay Isaac, the Lord would bring him back to life. He trusted God for the promise. And he trusted God to provide all that was needed to hold that promise in place.

God met Abraham’s expectations and provided the necessary ram for the burnt offering. He has also provided the necessary atonement for our sins through Jesus Christ.

We can trust Him to meet our needs far beyond our expectations.

 

 

Day 5

Jesus — The Unexpected Answer

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15)

Read: Genesis 28:10-22

Angel 1 4 webWhile Jacob slept, he dreamed of angels ascending and descending on a ladder that reached to heaven. God spoke to him, giving him a promise of prosperity and many descendants.

This promise God gave to a man who deceived his father and robbed his twin brother of his inheritance. Jacob had to flee for his life. He had the dream while on his way to Paddan Aram.

There, Jacob took up residence with his mother’s brother Laban. Jacob immediately fell in love with Laban’s daughter Rachel and agreed to work seven years for her to become his wife. However, Laban was a ruthless man, besides it was a disgrace to marry a younger daughter off before the elder according to their customs. So Laban “pulled the wool” over Jacob’s eyes. Poor Jacob got a taste of his own medicine

when his bride removed her veil, revealing her identity as Leah, Rachel’s older sister. Although perplexed, Jacob agreed to work seven more years to earn the love of his life. Laban had more schemes up his sleeve to keep Jacob employed for several more years. You see, Laban realized his herds increased because of God’s blessing on Jacob.

Two lessons pop out with Jacob’s life story:

  1. We reap what we sow. Jacob dealt dishonestly and ruthlessly with his brother and father. God taught Jacob a life lesson through Laban’s ruthless behavior. We often get back 10 fold what we hand out to others. God chastises those He loves for the same reasons we punish our children — to build character, compassion, and a sense of fairness.
  2. God keeps His promises in unexpected ways. While Jacob worked for Laban, God prospered both men, but He prospered Jacob more. During this time, the Lord not only taught Jacob valuable lessons in compassion and fairness, but He prepared Jacob to return to the promised land with great wealth.

God always keeps His promises, and very often, He does so in unexpected ways. The Jews believed God would send a deliverer at the time of their persecution during the Roman empire. They just didn’t expect Him to come in manner in which He did.

Today, look for and expect to find surprising answers to your prayers.

 

 

Day 6

Jesus — The Sovereign King

 And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. (Romans 8:28 AMP)

Read: Genesis 37:1-36

Almighty God is He

Almighty God is He

It’s not hard to recognize Joseph as a type of Christ. Joseph was ridiculed, beaten, and betrayed by his brothers just like Jesus had been. Joseph was thrown into prison, which depicts the time Jesus spent in the tomb. When released from prison, Joseph rose in power and became the ruler of Egypt and all his brothers, second only to Pharaoh.

Similarly, when Jesus rose from the grave, He took His place beside God the Father and will someday rule all the nations, including Israel–His brothers.

Today, let’s worship Him for who He is … the sovereign King of the universe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7

Jesus–The Deliverer

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

Read: Deuteronomy 5:1-22

x-defaultMoses, another “type” of Christ, delivered the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery. Those who believed Moses obeyed his command to slaughter a lamb, wipe it’s blood on their doorposts, and prepare to flee. The blood of the lamb saved their households from the death angel. Moses, through the guidance of the Lord, lead the Hebrews to the Promised Land but not without mishaps. The Hebrews were a rebellious people despite all the miracles they had experienced along the way.

During their exile, the Lord gave Moses the ten commandments. He instructed the people to “write God’s laws on their hearts and live by them so they would not sin against God.” However, it’s impossible for anyone to obey all ten commandments consistently.

That’s why Jesus came. Similar to Moses, Jesus delivers us from the bondage of sin. Applying His blood to our hearts saves our spirits from what the Bible terms the second death. The physical death we must all pass through. But the second death separates unbelievers from the presence of God for eternity.

When we accept Jesus’ sacrifice, He sends His spirit to dwell within us, enabling us to keep God’s laws more consistently. Yes, we still slip at times. But the Holy Spirit is right there beside us, convicting us and helping us to seek forgiveness.

Today, let’s rejoice in knowing Jesus paid the price for our sins and has given us His spirit to help us live a life pleasing to God.

 

 

Day 8

Jesus–The Guardian-Redeemer

“Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer.” (Ruth 4:14)

Read: Ruth 3:1-11; 4:9-10

Jesus Loves Even Me

Jesus Loves Even Me

After the death of her husband, Ruth decided to leave her home and family to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, also widowed, back to Bethlehem. With no men to take care of them, Naomi sent Ruth to glean what she could from a relative’s field as was the custom of the culture. Ruth did as she was told and soon gained the attention of the field’s owner , Boaz. He made daily provisions for the widows, indicating his interest in Ruth.

Again, Naomi instructed Ruth in the Israelite customs, telling her to go to Boaz at night and sleep at his feet. Boaz knew Ruth was asking him to be her guardian-redeemer and agreed to settle the matter in the morning. Becoming Ruth’s guardian-redeemer meant Boaz agreed to buy Naomi’s deceased husband’s property and marry Ruth. Thus, Boaz committed to taking care of and providing for both Naomi and Ruth for life.

In comparison, Jesus is our guardian-redeemer. He has redeemed us and calls us His own. In Him, we have all we need for this life and for eternity.

Today, let’s find ways to honor our guardian-redeemer.

 

 

 

Day 9

Jesus — The King

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (Isaiah 11:1)

Read: Isaiah 11:1-10

No Greater Love

Jesse was the grandson of Ruth and the father of King David to whom God promised one of his heirs would reign over Israel forever. But David’s immediate heirs proved rebellious and corrupt. Isaiah prophesied about a “Branch” coming forth out of Jesse’s roots who would rule, not only Israel, but the entire world.

Jesus’ genealogy can be traced back to Jesse from Mary as well as Joseph. Usually, women were not mentioned in bloodlines, but God preserved the bloodline of Mary to eliminate any doubt that Jesus was the one of whom the prophets spoke.

Today: Hail King Jesus!

 

Advertisements