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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advent Devotions

My church had members write a daily devotion for a booklet that was given to all members to use during Advent. Here is one that I wrote for Dec. 21.

December 21, 2012

Malachi 3:1-2

1 "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the Messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.

 2But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap.  


These verses caught my attention when I saw them on the list for this devotional because I recently looked at them in connection to the Covenant study we are doing. As with all Scripture, each time we look at them we see something different, depending on what we may be dealing with in other areas of our lives.

 “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.”  This is a prophesy of John the Baptist who will prepare the people to receive Christ the Lord. Then the people will be anxiously waiting for this Christ to arrive, and suddenly He will show up. Here Christ is called ‘the messenger of the covenant’ because He brings with Him the message of the New Covenant – the covenant of grace. Because we believe in Jesus we are part of that covenant. Jesus is our covenant partner. If you have not studied about the covenants of the Bible you may not understand the importance of being a covenant partner with Christ and all that is included in that. Just know that it is important. One commentary says that all the covenants of the Old Testament find their fulfillment in the New Covenant of Christ.

There are a couple of ways to look at verse 2. It sounds a bit harsh, and makes Christ’s coming as something to fear, but since we are His covenant partner, we do not need to be afraid. To say He will be ‘like’ a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap can mean that He will be very bright like fire and very white and clean.  That sounds more like Christ’s second coming.  It can also mean that He will do the work of a refiner’s fire, separating the dross from the gold. And the launderer’s soap is the kind that bleaches the clothes to make them as white as possible. This brings to mind that we are told His blood washes us white as snow.

Since Christmas is only a few days away, we should be preparing ourselves to welcome again the anniversary of Christ’s birth, a holy day (holiday) of great importance. For, if He had not been born, salvation would be beyond our grasp. But because He came, He brought salvation to both Jew and Gentile – to all who believe in Him.

From now until Christmas prepare yourself for the rebirth of Jesus within your heart, and to allow His presence to grow there.

Dear Lord, prepare my heart, allow it to soften and open up to Jesus’ presence so that He may abide in me and I in Him forever. Amen




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