category: Advent

Advent Reflection: Day 8

Sunday,  December 5

Malachi 3:1–4; Philippians 1:3–11; Luke 3:1–6

I often find myself seeking God regarding what He requires of me next, never wanting to allow myself mundanely to go through life and end up somewhere God never intended for me to go. When I say, “what’s next?” I am not just talking about a physical move but rather what in my life does God want me to allow Him to change and make new for me in this season, in every season of my life. Malachi 3:1–4 reminds us that God is like a refiner’s fire and a fuller’s soap, sitting as a refiner and purifier until the offerings we present to Him are righteous. Many of us present our time, gifts, and talents as offerings to God, believing it is the righteous thing to do while holding on to our way of doing and seeing life in our hearts. We allow our routines to be changed for an assignment without allowing our hearts to be made new.

The truth is that the Messenger is not just coming again, but indeed is dwelling in you as you read this devotional. The Holy Spirit is speaking truth, giving rebuke, removing scales, and unclogging deaf ears. The best messenger we will ever hear is not our favorite pastor that we listen to weekly; it is the Paraclete that God gave us after the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. How else but through the endowment of the Holy Spirit can we overflow with love and be presented as pure and blameless before God and produce the harvest of righteousness through the glory of Christ (Philippians 1: 3–11) except by the Holy Spirit? This same Spirit rested upon John the Baptist and charged him to preach a message of repentance in the wilderness as the one who was prophesied about preparing the way of the Lord (Luke 3:1–6).

Imagine that we, as preachers, pastors, teachers, leaders, friends, strangers, brothers, sisters, and most importantly children of the most high God preached the message of repentance and taught about the God who sanctifies the one who repents and lives a life that models what it looks like to live a life of repentance in appreciation of the grace of God instead of using it as a free pass. How much easier would it be for the Lord to enter in because WE have made straight the way for Him in the lives of those around us by living our life according to His word and will for us? This Advent season I challenge us all to teach AND live the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ. Give Him your heart and let Him make it new. Let your walk no longer be rooted in head knowledge but in appreciation for the God you love who has changed all of who you are from the inside out, realizing that you desperately need Him and without His Spirit there is nothing righteous, pure, or decent about you to offer Him.

Diamond McMillian
School of Divinity Graduate

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Advent Reflection: Day 9

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