Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Where Is Our Focus This Advent Season?

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”
 (Titus 2:11-13).

The word “advent” means the coming or arrival of something important.  During December, advent refers to the time of preparing and waiting for Christ’s birth.

It may be easy for us as Christians to look at the world and see how this waiting time has become secularized.  We see signs of ungodliness and worldliness everywhere, tempting people to emphasize materialism, overindulge in food and drink, and stay focused on pleasure and entertainment rather than on the birth of Jesus. 

Because health problems can limit our involvement in even the good activities, we may have more time than most to stay centered on the holiday’s true meaning.  We may even feel we are doing fairly well in the “abstaining from ungodliness and worldliness” category.

But our limitations can tempt us to different ungodly passions, such as negativity, self-pity, discontent, and lack of faith and trust in God.  These attitudes are just as harmful as the world’s secularism.  We can become distracted from the true meaning of Christmas by being consumed with our problems.

As we go through the remaining advent season, let’s remember that Christ’s birth encompasses more than the salvation of our souls.  It also saves us from the daily despair, fear, and countless other harmful attitudes and emotions that chronic health problems bring.  As we say “No” to these temptations, we can wait with hope not only for this Christmas Day, but also for that blessed day when Christ returns again and all waiting and pain will be over.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, during this season of preparing and waiting for Christmas, help me to say no to any thoughts or attitudes that are not based on Scripture and Your power in my life.  Fill me with godly hope and joy that rise about my earthly problems, as I celebrate Your first coming and anticipate Your second one.  Amen.


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