Advent is a time we can refresh our amazement in the prophecy and arrival of Jesus the Messiah, growing closer to Him as we proclaim our longing for His coming again. We pray this devotional will challenge and remind you of the hope, joy, preparation, and love that we experience as we anticipate Christ’s birth.
Before you open the word today, pray.
Ask for help, even now, in knowing how to talk to your Father in prayer. God is with us. Christmas is God’s guarantee that you don’t have to do anything alone, ever again. God is with us even when we struggle with sin, even when we fail in our flesh. Process together with God whether you are experiencing His presence with us.
Read Genesis 6:9-18
The sin that rushed into the hearts of Adam and Eve back in the Garden—it was now everywhere. But God saw Noah on the earth. He loved Noah and wanted to make him, his family, and all the animals safe so that the flood wouldn’t destroy them along with everything else. So God whispered in Noah’s ear a warning of the rain. He told Noah the one thing that would rescue them from the flood was an ark.
What did God see in the earth that prompted him to send the flood? What was the goal of sending the flood? Was that goal accomplished? Why or why not?
Now, Noah was different from all the other people on the earth. While they ignored God when He spoke, Noah listened carefully because he believed that everything God said was really true. If God said a flood was coming, then it would come. If God said it would be so big that it would wipe out everything and everyone, then it would. And if God said an ark was the only way he and his family would be safe, then it was.
Do you ever feel like obedience to the Lord is hard? Name a specific time in your life when you felt like what God was calling you to do was difficult.
God told Noah the one thing that would rescue them from the flood was to build an ark. What is amazing for us today is that the ark has already been built for us. It is being held out to us this Christmas and it is not made by human hands. We never have to leave the safe embrace of the ark we are offered now. We are called to climb into Christ, hidden safely in Him through the storm of God’s wrath. And we are to stay firmly in Him, never walking in our own strength again. There is nothing to earn, for Christ has already finished the work. There is nothing to repay, for Christ is the gift of God.
Does your sin cause you to cling to Christ or avoid Him? Do your failures spur you to depend more on Jesus or to lean harder on yourself?
Christmas is the gift of Immanuel, God with us. Christ is with us before God the Father. Even repentance we don’t have to do alone. Christ is with us when we fail in that way we swore we never would, bringing us safely into the presence of God. He is with us the very second after we have missed the mark again, carrying us back to the Father in repentance and rest. And we experience His strength when we overcome temptation.
Spend some time coming before the Father today confessing and repenting of your sin, knowing that there is no reason for fear of condemnation because you are safe in Christ. Feel free to write out your prayers.
This Jumpstart Advent series was written and produced by Park Community Church in Chicago, IL.