category: Advent

2023Advent Devotion: Day 12

Thursday, December 14

Psalm 126; Habakkuk 2:1-5; Philippians 3:7-11

What does Advent mean to you? Is it a time we focus only on the birth of Jesus? Or can it be a time of celebrating the entire life of Jesus and all that he sacrificed for you and me? Jesus was obedient to the Father; he left his home in heaven and came to earth in the form of a baby boy. While this truth still amazes me, what amazes me even more is the fact that he knew why he was coming to earth, and he still came.

According to scripture, the Advent season should be a time of celebration. “But the angel said to them,
‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people’” (Luke 2:10). The second fruit of the Spirit after love is joy, a virtue far deeper than happiness could imagine being. True joy comes from living for and in Christ. God sent his only Son so we could experience joy every day, no matter what we have, or who we have lost in our lives. Jesus brings us joy!

Let me challenge you to consider making this Advent season personal. Consider the benefits you have reaped because of the sacrifice Jesus made. His actions centuries ago continue to have an impact on Christians today. Simply look back over your life and take an inventory of the victories you have had, the times of healing, reconciliation, and even deliverance. All of this is possible because of the love of God the Father and his Son, Jesus. We can be confident in our hope for the future. It is because of Jesus that we can dry our tears and continue to run the race of life. Psalm 126 demonstrates how God restored the Israelites after their time of exile in Babylon. Not only were their possessions and wealth restored, but more importantly their joy was restored. When joy is restored, a person of faith can have the mental fortitude and strength to move forward with hope for the future.

The prophet Habakkuk laments that sometimes it appears that the proud and arrogant people are prospering over the righteous. God responds to him in 2:1-5, where he provides hope and instructs the Israelites to write the vision down. As we cast our God-given vision, others can grab hold of it, lock arms with us, and we can collectively run with the vision and allow God to help us manifest that vision. This is who God is. He does not give us hopes, dreams, and visions to tuck away in a journal and collect dust.

God loves to manifest His will in our lives. In fact, it brings Him glory. Isn’t that why we were created? So, don’t be afraid to dream or receive visions from God. Write them down, then “put your hands to the plow” and carry them out. God will provide everything you need in His time.

Juanita Lewis
School of Divinity Student

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2023 Advent Devotion: Day 11

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2023 Advent Devotion: Day 13

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