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Advent 2016 Devotional—December 16th

Advent 2016 Devotional—December 16th

“Good News For All The People”—Daily Reflections for Advent 2016

THE TWENTIETH DAY OF ADVENT, December 16th 

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-4

From the time William Tyndale, “Father of the English Bible”, translated the good news into English, he powerfully shaped language and changed our world. Chuck Stetson, founder of The Biblical Literacy Project, said, “Western literature, education, art, music and more of Christianity is losing its currency in the world.” (Phil Cooke, Branding Faith) Sacred words have little meaning in the postmodern, post-Christian culture, even as in many churches God’s good news is ignored as timeworn and tired.

Yet, the truth stands that Father, Son and Holy Spirit made a decision to include us in their shared life of love and joy. The Son of God came down into His creation to join Himself to us, so that what happens to Him as our representative, happens to us. God’s incomprehensible good news is that God has made us to share in the life of the historical Jesus who was crucified, raised and is enthroned at God’s right hand. George Maloney, a theologian from the Eastern Christian tradition, writes about today’s Scripture text:

There are many truths to which we give lip service or head knowledge consent, yet if we were to live by them, such revealed truths would racially change our lives. One such truth is… ‘You have died and the life you have is hidden with Christ in God’ {Colossians 3:3}. (God’s Community of Love)

Notice that today’s text first reveals who we are in Christ and how God sees us:

  • you have been raised with Christ…
  • you have died…
  • your life is hidden with Christ in God…
  • When Christ who is your life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed in glory…

Having revealed our standing in Christ, the text then tells us to focus on that standing: “seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God… Set your mind on things that are above”. We are to center our lives on being raised with Christ to that place of highest favor and authority in heaven and earth. That is who we are in Christ, and that is what we can set our minds on each day.

Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). This means that we are powerless to live the Christian life; only Christ can live His life in us. Only Christ can love our enemies, forgive the unforgivable, and experience the peace that surpasses human understanding. The whole of life for the Christian is not “I”, but Christ (Galatians 2:19-20). We discover this as the very secret to life, the secret to prayer, and the secret to spiritual maturing.

Setting our minds on Christ brings a whole new dimension to our day. Whatever it is we face today, Christ is in it with us. He is a part of any situation. That is because in the far reaches of eternity past God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit made a decision to share life with us. They purposed to bring us into their circle of love. That is what we set our minds on today! It is good news of great joy, yes, limitless joy!

PONDERINGS

  • How would living your life in Christ be different for you from living for Christ?
  • How would the reality of your life in Christ affect how you see the day or the night before you?

THE DAILY GOD HUNT: Reflect on where you found God today.

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