December 4 Advent Devotional
December 4, 2019
Scripture: Ephesians 4:22
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires”
The Encyclopedia Britannica says that advent is “the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ at Christmas and also of preparation for the Second Coming of Christ.” I would add a third aspect to this definition . . . preparation of our hearts to receive Christ more completely in the present so that we can more fully serve God and God’s Kingdom.
For many Christians, this “preparation” primarily involves such activities as decorating the house (and increasingly the yard!), buying and wrapping presents, cooking food (an assortment of sweets as well as a big holiday feast), and a whole host of social commitments that often leave us stressed to the max and worn out!
Some of this is fine, but Ephesians 4:22 reminds us that we also need to do some “preparation” of our lives. Both the immediate context (4:20-24) and the larger context (4:17-5:20) speak about a new life in Christ that is vastly different from our old ego-driven way of living. This begins with a change in the way we think and in our attitude toward life and it is, of course, ultimately the work of God’s Spirit. But we are reminded that the process is not simply a passive “waiting for God” to come and do this work in us. We are charged to “PUT OFF our old self” and to “PUT ON the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Prayer: God, May the focus of this advent season be preparing my heart to receive Christ. Grant me in your grace the willingness, strength and courage to give priority to “putting off my old self and putting on the new self, created to be like you.”
Submitted by: Paul Rogers