LIO Advent Edition: Day 10 of 15
Today’s wow-inspiring truth about God: God is merciful—he is compassionate and kind.
“The most important thing about you is what comes into your mind when you think of God.” —A.W. Tozer.
It will affect your whole life.
When I was in third grade, we had a Christmas assembly at school. My part was to read Luke’s recounting of the birth of Jesus, God’s only begotten son, sent to save mankind from the eternal punishment of sin. No pressure.
It should have been terrifying, but I was coached by my parents, who were television performers. More importantly, it was the first time I had ever read the Word of God. I fell in love with God and learned just how much God loves me.
Luke 1: 30-33
30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
Even at the tender age of eight, it was reassuring to know that, even though I was doomed to disobey (daily) and deserved punishment for being disobedient, God still loved me. Why? Because God is merciful!
John 3:16 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
What does mercy mean? It means God forgives us, even though—through our own efforts—we can never earn and don’t deserve that forgiveness. He washed our sin-filled slate clean with the blood of Christ. That is mercy.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
Jesus, who is sinless and divine, and therefore, God, left heaven to take our place, to suffer and pay the price we all owe for our sins. Only a perfect sacrifice was enough to pay that price. And as long as we are here on Earth, our sinful nature prevents us from ever achieving perfection, so God intervened on our behalf.
Because of God’s mercy, he sent Jesus to us on that Christmas night so long ago. Now that’s worthy of celebration, don’t you think?
What comes to mind when you think of God?
Where have you experienced mercy in your life?
When have you experienced God’s mercy?
If you have doubts about the validity of the birth of Christ and his role as Savior, consider reading Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus.”
This year, celebrate Christmas as the arrival of Emmanuel, God with us, and meditate on what he came to do for us.
Thank you, Lord, for saving me from my rightly deserved eternal punishment for sin and unbelief. You chose to exercise your mercy and grace on my behalf by sending your perfect son, Jesus Christ, to pay that terrible price once for all. Please help me to live a life that reflects your love for me and my belief in your sovereignty. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Family Advent Activity:
Throughout this Christmas season, CedarCreek’s Family Ministries will be providing us with some fun ways to connect with the Christmas story through Scripture readings and engaging activities. This will help prepare our hearts for Christmas and create great Christmas memories for you and your family. These Family Advent Activities will be located at the end of each LivingItOut devotional.
Read Luke 2:10 together as a family. Make Christmas cards for anyone in your life who might need a little joy today, from the mailperson to the crosswalk guard. You could even add a gift card or small treat.
This post was written by Martha Smith, a regular contributor and editor of the LivingItOut.
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