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.
The Shepherd King
When we look around there is havoc on earth, including in our own hearts.
This is why the theme of the Christmas season, “peace on earth,” is so valuable. The world is in need of peace and in need of a righteous King to bring it. At Christmas we celebrate that unto us a King has been given, and by His rule there will be peace.
Yet while Jesus is always the King we need, if we’re honest with ourselves, He is often not the King we want. With our faulty vision we become nearsighted and willing to trade our perfect Savior for instant gratification, for a lesser king in our own image.
Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13
How many of Jesse’s sons did Samuel pass over when he was trying to anoint the king? Compare what qualities Samuel thought a king ought to have with what God was looking for.
As Samuel began his quest to anoint the next king, we see that he had the wrong idea about what the king should be like. Not only that, but Jesse didn’t even bring all of his sons to the sacrifice! David, the youngest, a dirty shepherd boy, Samuel’s least likely pick, wasn’t even invited.
Why do you think God chooses people that men would ordinarily reject?
Look back at the significant things you identified that God might be calling you to do at the start of this guide. Now think about all the things you didn’t put on the list. Are there significant things you used to dream about doing for the kingdom of God that you have tabled? Are the significant things you wrote so crazy and radical that they are only possible if God is with you? Or are they things that “make sense” based on your strengths and personality?
When Jesus came, He didn’t come the way His people expected Him. He came as a baby and grew up to be a carpenter. Like David, He was an unlikely King in the eyes of the world. In Isaiah 53 we see that Jesus had “no form or majesty that we should look at him,” and that He was even “despised and rejected by men.”
Christmas is not just a sweet story of a baby in a manager. When God opens our eyes, we see that the baby in that manger is the coming King of kings and Lord of lords. We will kneel before Him because in that manger, God came to be with us!
Spend some time offering yourself again in prayer to our good God who came to be with us. His call is worthy and His cause is worthy because our King is worthy. Write your prayers below.
To Him be all the glory.
This Jumpstart Advent series was written and produced by Park Community Church in Chicago, IL.