December 20

[Five days until Christmas. Is your joy increasing? Today, John Piper’s devotional connects with me on a personal level. Hope it does with you too. Read December 20 and then the post.]

More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Romans 5:11

Jesus purchased our reconciliation. Jesus enabled us to receive the reconciliation and open the gift. And Jesus himself shines forth from the wrapping – the indescribable gift – as God in the flesh, and stirs up all our rejoicing in God.

– John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, page 64*

Is Jesus’s gift of reconciliation sitting unopened in your life?

One way to tell if the gift lies dormant, is the level of joy you have in knowing Him. Do you consider Him the best gift you’ve ever received?

For years after receiving His gift of grace, surrendered, walking with Him to the utmost of the faith I’d been given… I wondered: Where’s the joy? It’s promised, but it wasn’t something I felt.

Opening the gift of Jesus can be a long journey and requires a willingness to accept the depth of your own sin and your need for Him. It takes a continued life of obedience to what you know of Him. I can tell you today, after persistent pursuit, the gift is worth the opening.

Whatever spiritual work He calls you to do, whatever may seem dangerous and makes you vulnerable to others through confession and stepping out of your comfort zone, whatever He calls you to let go of, it is all part of the process of opening the gift of reconciliation. Tearing away the lies the world has bound around your heart, laying down self for what He says is best…

This my friends, is the way to open the gift. And, Oh my! the joy I have today is indescribable. I often call it ridiculous. Because it just makes no sense. But OH! what a gift.

Father God, today I pray for all those who have not yet opened the gift of reconciliation through Jesus. Prepare their hearts to hear Your Spirit reveal truth about who You are and who they are before You. Bless them with the faith to surrender and obey. Bless them with the humility to fully receive and open the gift of Jesus. Amen.

 [Feature Image Photo seen on blog by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash]

*© 2014. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

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