I have said time and time again that I love the Bible. Reading and studying the Bible has grown my faith and love for God, and God continues to bless me through the amazing book He has given us. In light of this, I wanted to do a four-part blog series for Advent 2018 and look at four different stories of the Bible to help prepare our hearts and minds for celebrating the birth of Christ this year.
Bible Reading: Genesis 1-3; Psalm 8
The Bible opens with God creating the earth and all things in it. God does not have to lift a finger, but speaks. By the Word of God, all that we see around us was made, including ourselves. When God made the first man, Adam, God made man unique. Of all the amazing things God created, only humanity was made in the image of God. There have been many explanations for what the image of God means, but many agree that it has to do with the free will God blessed mankind with, as well as the spirit/soul within each person.
We see quickly that the perfect world God had made takes a turn for the worst when Adam and Eve choose to disobey God. As a result of their disobedience, they are cursed with death, and this curse and sin pollute the entirety of humanity. All of us are doomed to die in this world, and without God’s help, there is no chance of escaping death. What can God do, if anything, to save us from being captured by death?
God, having such a great love for us as His image-bearers, sends Jesus, God’s Son, to become a man. Our Christmas celebrations center on the birth of Jesus in this world. Jesus left heaven to become fully human. He got cold, tired, hungry and dirty in this world in order to be like us. Jesus did this in order to save us. Through His perfectly sinless life, His sacrificial death, and His complete resurrection, all who believe in Jesus will be saved from sin and death!
Application: We celebrate Advent to remember the first time Jesus came to earth and rescue and redeem humanity. We also celebrate Advent as we look forward to Christ’s Second Coming when He will take all the sons and daughters of God into His kingdom. We needed Jesus because without Him we would be forever trapped by sin and death. If Jesus is not born in order to save us, then we would die in our guilt and condemnation. Praise be to God for the great love He has for us! He loved us enough to send His Son to die upon the cross so that we can be redeemed and hope in life that will last for all eternity with Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your amazing love. As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the coming of Jesus, teach and guide our hearts into a deeper sense of worship and awe. Without Jesus we would be doomed, but thanks to your love and mercy, we have hope of life. We praise you, O God, and we love you, our Father. Amen.