SUNDAY SCRIPTURE~ DEC. 2, 2012

Christmas is coming… it it right around the corner. Are you ready yet… getting there… thinking about it… or haven’t a clue?
We all know that it comes every year… December 25th … like clockwork!  Most of us spend a good deal of time and money getting ready for the BIG DAY!
There is another day that is even more special… and much bigger than Christmas… it is coming… are you getting ready?

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent runs from today until Christmas. It starts four Sunday’s before Christmas. It is a time to “get ready”… a time to prepare!
Sorta like we prepare for Christmas! We decorate… buy gifts… clean… cook … and PREPARE for Christmas Day. 
But Advent is also very very different!  During advent there is very little physical preparation. The preparation is mostly spiritual! It is a matter of our HEART! During Advent we get ourselves ready.. we get our heart (mind, will , emotions, intellect) ready!
Advent means “COMING”. 
So, what is coming  and how do we get ready?
Let me take you back in history… far, far back.. about 700 BC. The Israelites were in a terrible mess! Their kingdom was fractured… they were ruled by a horrid and ungodly king… and they had turned away from their God… the only God! Their very existence was being threatened with total destruction from Assyria!
They needed a great ruler, someone who could lead them out of the mess they had gotten themselves into!  They had been expectantly waiting for his COMING for so long. However, during this time in history much of the nation had forgotten about this promised Messiah… this great anointed KING!
But God had not forgotten His promises.  He again, through a prophet, brought good news to this terribly disobedient people…
“BEHOLD, A VIRGIN WILL BE WITH CHILD AND BEAR A SON, AND SHE WILL CALL HIS NAME EMMANUEL (meaning: God with us).” Isaiah 7:14
This was not the first time…nor the last that God would speak about promises of His coming KING!
God spoke over 300 times about this heavenly KING that was coming… that He would send.
Israel had been waiting for this KING for so so long!!! 
Finally, He came! Born to the young virgin… just like God had said hundreds and hundreds of years before.  He was GOD… “God with us”! THIS is the reason we celebrate Christmas! 
During Advent, we prepare ourselves spiritually by remembering the birth of our KING! But that is just part of it!
There is more preparation… there is another COMING! 
Another prophet told of this second coming…
…” AND THE LORD, WHOM YOU SEEK, WILL SUDDENLY COME TO HIS TEMPLE; AND THE MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT IN WHOM YOU DELIGHT, BEHOLD, HE IS COMING, SAY THE LORD OF HOSTS.” Malachi 3:1b
Again, the bible is full of prophesies of the KING coming back… coming as a conquering KING to rule and reign planet earth!
THIS is what we as Christians are to prepare for. This is the Advent we are to be thinking about!!!!
During this time of year… we are to remember Jesus’ first coming… His birth. And why He came! He came to die and to redeem (buy back with a price) us from the slave market of sin and death.  And through His death and resurrection, we… everyone who believes…become part of His holy and forever kingdom!
We are to remember that we are God’s children. That we belong to Him! And we are to prepare for this  eternal KING’S inevitable coming back to rule… and set all things straight! We are to prepare for an eternity with Emanuel… God WITH us!
How are we to prepare?
First, make sure you belong to HIM!  Repent! Repent for not living your life God’s way. We don’t like that word as a culture. Well, we really don’t understand it! It’s hard to say that we are wrong… but in our hearts we know that we are not perfect.
Repent has such a beautiful meaning!!!! In Hebrew the work is nicham… it’s idea is… “go towards God”.  When we repent… we tell God what He already knows… ways we have moved away from him…ways we have sinned… and by recognizing THAT we spiritually make a U-turn and move towards Him… right into God’s waiting, loving and OPEN arms! The arms of love!
If you have not made the decision to give your life back to it’s original owner… Jesus… do it! Tell Jesus that you want Him to be the LORD (creator, owner) of your life! Some Christian’s describe this as asking Jesus into your heart… what it really means is asking Jesus to take over your “cardia”… a Greek word for heart that means your mind, will, emotions and intellect… YOUR LIFE!
If you belong to Jesus… the Author of Christmas… and the coming KING… prepare your heart and spirit by reading Scripture, praying and even fasting during Advent.
There are many Biblical Advent calendars and devotional books to help you PREPARE for the KING!!!
HE is coming… are you ready?
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Comments

  1. says

    Yvonne, I want to thank you for this beautiful article! Whenever I read somewhere that Emmanuel means God with us, it affects me deeply. Is there anyone more almighty than our God, Yvonne? No, there isn’t, of course. And it touches me so deeply when I realize that this mighty Being once walked the earth as a human being loving us, teaching us, guiding us, healing us. Also, we who believe in Him know that He is the same today as He was yesterday. How blessed was the ground He walked on! It fills my heart with tenderness and gratefulness for what He has done for us. He opened our eyes and gave us hope. Hope that there is not just a big void at the end of our road but that He is there waiting for us. It makes the hardships that we all go through so much easier to bear, doesn’t it!

    Reading your article has helped me. I have had trouble lately keeping up with my prayer schedule. Sometimes, I go through dry periods. I know that this happens to everybody at one time or another. But, you know, something good came out of it. I was reminded through meditation that there are many ways that I can pray and yesterday I started doing that. I think that to practice in a very special way love, patience, and tenderness with our loved ones and all the people we encounter is also a form of prayer. To stop rushing and take the time to stop and give in whatever form, even if it’s just listening to a long story on the telephone when I have a million things to do. To give a smile and things like that. Anyways, Yvonne, I always try to remember that our dear Lord told us to strive for perfection because He knows we are not. Only God is perfect and when I think of that, it helps me to not be too hard on myself and on the people who surround me. We are all where we are in life. We all travel different roads.

    If there is one thing that I have trouble doing, it’s fasting. I have a situation in my life at the moment for which I think fasting is the only thing that could dislodge it. Your article has motivated me to prepare for Christmas and to try and fast. I don’t know if I will be able to do it, though. I will try. Thank you so much for having taken the time to prepare this motivating article.

  2. says

    A beautiful post. It is a timely matter that Advent is a special time to get ready….for our own sake…. and to carry forth in the New Year.

    • says

      I just could not let it go at that, Ann! You asked a very good question!

      You asked about readers who are not Christians… God loves ALL people and ALL people have the opportunity to be His! It is a matter of belief. Belief in Jesus His Son. EVERYONE is welcomed into the King’s kingdom… you do not need to do one thing… just believe!
      If people are not going to be believers, why would they want to be in the King’s kingdom?

      Many will not accept God’s free gift of grace and salvation by their OWN choice. But Jesus died for EVERYONE. It is God’s desire that ALL would be His. God said: For God so LOVE the WHOLE world that he gave his only begotten son, that WHOEVER believes in him will NOT perish but have eternal life! I hope this helps to answer your great question! If you would like to talk more e-mail me.

  3. says

    Thank you for sharing.

    I am a Filipina originally but living in Sweden for almost all of my life. We, Swedes celebrate first Advent. Very simple but so traditionally.

    Hope you come and visit Stockholm (my blog) to see how we Swedes live a simple life. Not too much pampering. Simple is always the best, in whatever way that is.

    Happy week,
    /CC

  4. Anonymous says

    Yvonne,
    Let me just say that I was first attracted to your blog by your beautiful decorating and delicious recipes but what I have come to love and admire most is your boldness to share the gospel through these Sunday scriptures. May the Lord richly bless you and yours this season!
    Kristen

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