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Advent 2020: Freedom

The destruction of sin and death.

So far this Advent season, we’ve gone deep into the heart of Christmas, perhaps seeing things previously unseen.

Today, as you go about your day, think about what you’ve learned. Look for signs of the deeper meaning of Christmas in the world around you. See past the temporary and into the eternal.


Read December 19: Christmas is for Freedom

Photo by Paul Green on Unsplash

Did today’s reading give you a different perspective on Christmas? How?


Christmas is for freedom — freedom from the fear of death.

John Piper, Joy to the World

Christmas frees us from fear. A good thing to remember when fear of death is rampant in a world gone viral with a pandemic.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being high), what is your current level of fear? anxiety?

What does your fear-rating tell you about your faith?

Take time today to consider: Christmas ushers in freedom from the fear of death. Does this concept ring true in your heart? or is there resistance? Do you hear a “Yeah, but…” in your spirit?

After considering your heart’s response to this good news, ask God to reveal the sin keeping you bound to fear of death. Ask Him to speak the truth of the power of His love and grace into your life.

Ask Him to set you free!

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
1John 4:18 ESV

Store window decal: Joy, Peace, Love ornament. Merry Christmas.
Photo by Frédéric Dupont on Unsplash

[Feature Image Photo by Max Beck on Unsplash]

December 17

[Read December 17 in John Piper’s The Dawning of Indestructible Joy before reading below.]

Whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.

Mark 10:44

Christmas. He came to serve, not to be served. He came to help us do everything he calls us to do.

–John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, page 56*

Oh my. That’s beautiful! and freeing! and true!

As one who has dreaded His call on my life, allowed it to burden and stress, I can say He has always been faithful to fulfill what He’s asked of me. When I let Him…

What a glorious truth to ponder! What a great new perspective on obedience.

What has He called you to do? has it felt like a burden? did you walk away?

Have you ever considered He’s asking to serve you when He calls you to do what He created you for? to help you do what He’s asking?

How does this truth change your attitude toward obedience?

Listen to His words in light of this revelation:

“… Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your glorious gift of service in my life. Taking on the burden of my sins, so I can be unburdened in serving You. Fill me with desire to embrace You as the One who serves me in all You call me to do. Amen.

[Feature Image Photo seen on blog by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash]

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

Songs of Praise: Psalm 119:73-96

We continue today with Psalm 119:73-96. (Click on the link to read His Word.)

I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

Psalm 119:96

Perfection in this verse is not attributed to God. You might substitute the word complete in the sentence. In other words… I have seen a limit to all earthly completion.

In contrast God’s Word is described as exceedingly broad, limitless, without end.

We don’t tend to view rules, law, or commandments this way. Instead we often see them as a boundary, something to be pushed back or jumped over. Consider your attitude towards speed limit signs. Do you consider it a suggestion? Something you don’t follow and hope to not get caught?

Believing God’s law is broad seems upside down. How can boundaries bring us more and more freedom? It’s a mystery, but no less true. Walking in His way, following His commands ushers us into boundless freedom.

Father God, show me where I resist Your Way because it seems constricting. Bless me with the faith to trust You. To obey. And experience the freedom You promise through Your law.

[Featured Image Photo seen on website by George Huffman on Unsplash]