Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2017: Anticipating and Experiencing God…
Are you ready?
Over the past weekend I discovered something new about the Advent Season I’d never considered before. And while I am writing about it I still haven’t completely settled it in my mind, but I am 99.9% there. So, I am presenting it to you not to get your input on it but, rather as a challenge to delve into your own Advent beliefs and see where that leads you.
As you probably know Advent in a 40-day period to prepare ourselves for the birth/coming of Jesus to the earth. The question arose why prepare for something that has already happened. Jesus was born, lived, died, and was resurrected long before we came along. The thought occurred to me how can we prepare and anticipate something that has already happened? Then that thought led to a what-if question. What if instead of preparing for Jesus birth what if we celebrate His birth at the same time anticipate and prepare ourselves for His coming again as He prophesied in Matthew chapter 24.
“And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.” (Matthew 24:30–31, NLT)
I suspect there are those who have a real difficult time swallowing Jesus’ eventual return, thank goodness, I am not one of them. As revelatory and compelling as the above two verses are Jesus near the end of chapter 24 reveals something that everyone should stand up and take notice. And for me it strikes at the very Heart of the why of Advent.
“So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” (Matthew 24:42–44, NLT)
When I think about the Christmas Story and the part the shepherds played in it the thing that stands out the most for me is the awesome fact that they experienced Jesus! There is only one way to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ surprise return is to experience Him and allow ourselves to be experienced by Him. While we don’t have the same advantage the shepherds did they don’t have the same 66 Jesus’ Biography as we do. If you are one who just reads the Bible then here’s a piece of advice for you, don’t just read it instead experience it! Invite the Holy Spirit to read along with you and you’ll find yourself up to the top of your head in the bible, not just reading it.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”**
Grace and PEACE,
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Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
** Romans 15:13, NLT