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Today's Devotion

» Devotion - December 18, 2014

Hymn of the Week

Arise, O Christian people! Prepare yourselves today.
Prepare to greet the Savior, Who takes your sins away.
To us by grace alone The truth and light was given;
The promised Lord from heaven To all the world is shown.

Prepare the way before him; Prepare for him the best.
Cast out what would offend him, This great, this heav’nly guest.
Make straight, make plain the way: The lowly valleys raising,
The heights of pride abasing, His path all even lay.
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal - 14, verses 1 and 2)

Prepare for Jesus by Putting Away Sinful Pride

The month (or two) before Christmas is full of preparations: decorating, baking, cooking, shopping, wrapping. Usually our preparations involve getting things ready for others or for some event. But how much time do we devote to preparing ourselves for what Christmas is really all about?

The Advent season, the four weeks before Christmas, is about preparing for Jesus’ coming (the word “advent” means “coming”). We review how God prepared his people of old by giving them promises of the Savior to come.  He also prepared the people of Jesus’ day through the preaching of John the Baptist. John’s mission was to get the people into a spiritual mindset for a spiritual Savior because they were distracted by secular concerns or their own ideas of how they were pleasing God.

What gets in our way of hearing Jesus’ message and receiving Jesus’ saving work? On the one hand, we might get obsessed by the concerns and worries of this world. On the other hand, we fall into thinking that we can please God by what we do. The result is thinking that I don’t need Jesus. I’m just fine on my own. I’m a pretty good person. Why should I pay attention to Jesus? These mountains of sinful pride need to be levelled off.

Preparing for Jesus starts with taking a long look at myself and realizing just how much I need Jesus. Am I perfect in every thought, word and action? Do I really love God with my whole heart, soul, and mind all the time? Do I freely forgive? Do I always put the interests of others ahead of my own? I’m not so fine on my own.

That’s why I need Jesus. And so do you. He came to this earth “to take your sins away.” He does this completely by grace alone, a love which we do not and cannot deserve or earn. As soon as we start thinking that we deserve God’s love, we need to level off those feelings of sinful pride, to “cast out what would offend him,” and to look to “the promised Lord from heaven.”

Prayer: 

Lord Jesus, through your Word, help me to pull down the mountains of my sinful pride as I prepare for your coming. Lead me to look to you who takes my sins away. Amen.

From September through December 2014, the Daily Devotions on Thursday and Friday are based on the Word of God expressed in a Christian Hymn selected each week. All devotions in this series are located here.

Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

--Daily Devotion



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