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.
Imagine what it must have been like that first moment Mary laid eyes on Jesus. Seeing her son must have given her great joy, but surely the tears spilling down her cheeks were part of an even deeper joy — seeing her God. Finally, the people of God had been given back the greatest gift they’d ever known. They could behold the face of their Father.
Read Exodus 7:14-10:29
Mark down every time you see ‘hardened.’ What do you notice about the hardening of hearts? Why does that happen?
If God is powerful enough to send all seven of these plagues, why doesn’t He just destroy the Egyptians? If He has power over Pharaoh’s heart, why doesn’t He just soften it? Obviously He wants the people to be free, so why not just make them free?
Why does God do it this way?
God sees all situations with perfect clarity. We often have only a small understanding of our trials.
God was working towards setting his people free from slavery, but even more that, He was working that His people would be set free to be with Him. He was orchestrating this all so that when they were set free they would know the God who is with them. This is eternal life, to know God (John 17:3).
Read Galatians 4:1-7
Praise be to God that we can know Him now through Christ Jesus. We are not slaves to sin any longer. We are sons and daughters of God and co-heirs with Christ. We are free from sin to worship our gracious Father in heaven.
That is, after all, what we celebrate at Christmas. Unlike the Israelites, we don’t have to figure out who God is by watching Him work miracles. Unlike Moses, we don’t have to figure out who God is by watching His glory as it passes by. God has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
This Jumpstart Advent series was written and produced by Park Community Church in Chicago, IL.