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Advent 2020: Behold

The greatest salvation.

The spiritual discipline of Advent provides a means to increase our adoration and enjoyment in Jesus. Within it is the potential to open our hearts to a greater understanding of all He did, does, and will do.

Christmas Eve is one week away. Today, test your heart and spirit. Rate your adoration and joy of Jesus on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the high mark). No matter where you find yourself, take steps of faith to increase your capacity for joyful adoration.

Remember the steps on this spiritual journey:
Meditate on your need for Jesus.
Examine your heart and life in Christ.
Build anticipation for His return.
Be in His Word.

Exercise your faith.


Read December 17: The Greatest Salvation Imaginable

Photo by Ira Ostafiichuk on Unsplash

Reflect.

What did you read in today’s devotional to use as fuel for finding joy in Jesus?


Christ bore our sins in his own body when he died. He took our judgment. He canceled our guilt. And that means our sins are gone.

John Piper, Joy to the World

God took on flesh so He could take on our sins and then… forget about them. For those who believe, this is the gift of Christmas: The Greatest Salvation!

If there was ever a reason to anticipate the celebration of Jesus with great joy, this is it.

What does this truth stir in your heart?

Do you have sins (past or present or both) you would love to be gone?

What does your heart’s response reveal about your understanding of who you are? who God is? the great gift He offers?

Ask God to prepare your heart to receive the greatest gift He has to give.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Romans 3:1-2 ESV

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

[Feature Image Photo by Max Beck on Unsplash]

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Advent 2020: No Detour

It all leads to the cross.

Remember our roadmap for approaching Advent as a spiritual discipline.
Meditate. Examine. Build. Be.

We focused a bit on what it means to meditate. Now let’s consider examine.

Examine. Inspect. Test. Inquire. Interrogate.

John Piper asks us to venture into self-examination. Look closely at our own hearts: our mind, will, and emotions. Begin today by examining your heart’s response to what you read in Joy to the World.


Read December 5: No Detour from Calvary

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Reflect.

What did you hear in Joy to the World today?


The “No Vacancy” signs over all the motels in Bethlehem were for your sake. “For your sake he became poor.”

John Piper, Joy to the World

What does it mean to you that Jesus stooped so low? gave up so much? for you?

How does your heart respond to the truth He chose to live “without” so you can live with Him in eternal glory?

Ask Him to fill you with adoration for giving up so much for you. Ask Him to bless you with the faith to do the same for Him.

“… For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
Mark 8:35-36 ESV

Photo by Greg Weaver on Unsplash

[Feature Image Photo by Max Beck on Unsplash]

Songs of Praise: Psalm 116

Praise the Lord today from Psalm 116[If your Bible isn’t near, click the reference to read online.]

I love the Lord, because he has heard
    my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
    therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

Psalm 116:1-2

I read these words and the memory of sitting in an ICU waiting room floods my mind.

My brother returned from praying with our mom from behind those doors. He told me how after they prayed, she said, “I trust. I trust.”

With those words, I fell in love with the Lord. Not because He heard my cry and comforted me, but because He heard my mom’s cry and she trusted Him in the valley of the shadow of death.

I love the Lord because He heard my mom’s voice. He inclined His ear to her, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

That ICU waiting room moment turned my life upside-down. Over the two decades since then, I’ve come to know His love for me. My need for Him. I no longer love Him just because of what He did for my mom. But because of what He has done, is doing, and will do for me.

What shall I render to the Lord
    for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people.

Psalm 116:12-14

Lord, I thank You today for the reminder of the moment You captured my heart. Remind those who read these words of the moment You turned their lives upside-down. And if they haven’t yet been captured by Your love, may they become more open to You.

[Feature Image on website by Daan Stevens on Unsplash]