category: Advent

Advent Devotion: Day 9

Monday, December 5

Psalm 21; Isaiah 24:1-6a; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

In 1997, I started a new job in a new state—Florida. I was to visit schools to deliver educational materials and visit faculty members. The 26 assigned schools were all within one county, but I had no concept or familiarity with the area, which made getting to the schools challenging. This all happened before Global Positioning Systems (GPS) was the common technology. The only thing I had was a paper map of my assigned county. I should admit that even on a good day I am directionally challenged! I struggled to familiarize myself with the area by using the map.

Advent promises direction for those of us who are directionally challenged when it comes to our salvation. When we look for direction in the scriptures, it is there. We must be fully open to finding and accepting what is written. Truth and guidance are there for our understanding. The directions that are given in I Thessalonians 4 are to be morally upright and to abstain from immoral behavior. Unlike the points on a paper map that eventually will lead to a destination, however, the points in these verses lead straight to the destination—being one with Christ. Paul writes, “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you on how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus” (1 Thess 4:1-2, NIV).

The sense of being lost is not what God wants us to have. God wants us to have salvation, and Jesus is the way to that salvation. During this Advent season, being lost should not be an option or even a consideration. Advent is a time of great expectation for the coming of Jesus Christ. It is a time to understand the Gift delivered over 2,000 years ago for our salvation.

Allow this Advent season to be one during which paths are made more visible and the path to salvation is the only one in sight. Let this Advent season be one that leads you closer to The One who had the most accurate map, Jesus Christ. Therefore, as we anticipate Jesus’ coming, we can rejoice in being found and not living in a state of being lost. Finding the way to Christ is of God and what this Advent season is about.

Many years have passed since my move away from Florida. GPS systems, whether on smart phones or the car’s console, have become a standard. The GPS both tells me where I am and where my destination is. This system reminds and reassures me when I am on the right track and recalculates and reroutes me. What is certain is that whenever and however I travel, God’s Plan for my Salvation will never lose me. Amen!

Cara Elmore
School of Divinity Student

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