Our Bible verse for today: “This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them.”
1 Timothy 1:15 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Prepare yourself to celebrate Christmas.”
In 1 Timothy 1:15 the Apostle Paul calls us to remember a very important truth: Jesus Christ came into the world for the purpose of saving sinners from an eternity in hell. Paul also says that in his opinion he himself was the worst of all sinners and that he needed to be saved from his sins more than anyone else. He was right to feel that way about himself, and it’s also right for you and me to feel the same way about ourselves. Each of us desperately needs the salvation Jesus made possible.
Jesus also accomplished some other important things too, such as preaching and teaching profound principles for living the Christian life. He also modeled with His own life how we are supposed to live ours. And, by living a perfect and sinless life for thirty-three years, He lived the sinless life that you and I were not capable of living. Consequently, according to the doctrine of substitution (as taught in 2 Corinthians 5:21), on the cross God treated Jesus as if He had lived your sinful life and mine, so that in eternity God could treat us as if we have lived the perfect life of Jesus. That’s the doctrine of substitution, both sides of it. On the one side Jesus gets your sin-filled life. On the other side you get His perfect life. That’s why He had to live here on earth for thirty-three years, so He could live the life that you and I are not capable of living. Thanks to Christmas, all of that happened.
For centuries Christians around the world have celebrated “advent” leading up to Christmas. The word “advent” means “arrival, appearing, coming” and it refers to the first coming of Christ.
The “season” of advent consists of the weeks leading up to the anniversary of the birth of the Christ child. It includes devotions and activities designed to help us to truly appreciate the significance of what the birth of Jesus means. Celebrating advent helps us to tone down some of the noise and distractions associated with the secular celebration of Christmas, and to better focus on the true reason for the season.
I look forward to observing the advent season with you in the days and weeks to come.