Ten left until Christmas. For your procrastinators in the world, that means there are only nine shopping days left, with one of those being a half day on Sunday Dec. 24. If you need suggestions I’ve got a wish list if you’d like to see it.

This morning as I was reading my morning devotion focused on the Advent, Calvin Miller had an interesting take on Immanuel, meaning “God with us”. The incarnation, without question, is the most pivotal, crucial, irreplacable event in human history. As Miller said, in the incarnation, God refused to “watch human despair from the safety of heaven.” The incarnation is the living portrait of those two glorious words in Ephesians 2:4 where the Apostle Paul, after vividly depicting the helpless, defiant condition of the human soul says, “But God”, then expounds upon the mercy and kindness of God to save and redeem sinners by His enabling grace through faith.

The incarnation is not only an objective, defining, revelatory moment in salvation history, but must also become, for the believer in Jesus, a living reality in our lives. Jesus must also become incarnate in our lives. The presence and power of Christ must be revealed in the ways that we rejoice in this life. Jesus must be revealed as we treasure Him above our earthly treasures. He must be clearly seen as we suffer and face bitter disappointments. For most people, they will not believe in Jesus until they clearly see Jesus’ presence in you. Yes, it is true that they will not believe without the Gospel being proclaimed; but people must also see it in practice in our lives.

This thought reminded me of a prayer by John Piper of which I have become quite fond. “Father, let me be a place of eternal refreshment for a hopeless, joy-seeking world of people who do not know they are starved for the glory of God in Jesus Christ.” What a wonderful thought as we think about how we might encourage others to seek and savor and worship the Son of God this Christmas.

May this prayer become the theme of your Christmas season as well as mine.
Father, may the way I speak, act, wait and love reveal Your incarnation, the reality that You have made Yourself at home within me. May that be clear to others, so clear that they might whisper the word “Immanuel” as I lose myself in you, as You increase and I decrease. May my joy be found in You in a way that is compelling to others and draws their gaze to the glory of God.”

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