Day 1 – Advent Devotional

What if you walked into school this morning, and your PE teacher looked at you and said, “Hey! By the end of the day, you’re going to be $20 richer. Count on it.” You would probably laugh uncomfortably, all the while thinking to yourself that the constant whistle blowing has finally rattled something loose in his brain. But then, what if at some point during the day, a friend walks up to you and says, “This is crazy, I know, but I want you to have this,” and presses a $20 bill in your hand. What would you think of your PE teacher then? You’d probably be shocked, amazed, freaked out, and maybe even thankful that you’re $20 richer. In short, you would look at your PE teacher with wonder.

Here’s the cool thing: God did something similar to this, except about a million times more wonderful. Take a second and read Isaiah 9:6-7.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7 was written by Isaiah, one of the most important prophets in the Bible. Isaiah was sharing the words God had given to Isaiah for His people. The problem was that the Israelites, God’s chosen people, had pretty much turned their backs on God. God had given them a lot of advanced warning, but they hadn’t listened. So, Isaiah was warning the people that God’s judgement was coming.

But the most profound thing is that even while promising His people judgment for their rebellion, God promised them hope. Isaiah 9:6-7 is God telling His people of a hopeful future in which God once and for all provided relief from the penalty of our sins. Fast forward a few hundred years,. and you see this message of hope coming to life in the Christmas story. The baby God was forming in Mary’s stomach? He was the same promised savior Isaiah was writing about in Isaiah 9:6-7. You want to talk about something that makes you respond in wonder? Long before God sent Jesus to this earth, He knew the plan. Jesus was always the plan! God has always known that Jesus would be the answer to a perfect relationship between God and His children, which is great news for you and me. But to see this plan come to life, Jesus had to come to earth. And that’s what Christmas is all about.

Think About This:

God has had a plan to redeem you from the consequences of your sins for all eternity. How does that help you trust Him with your worries, concerns, and future? Take a moment to reflect on the wonder of a prophecy made hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth that was perfectly true in Christ. Thank God for His creative, relentless, awe-inspiring love for you and the world.

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