It’s unbelievable to me that it is the first week in December! And while my table is decorated for Christmas, my heart hasn’t quite caught up. And I for certain haven’t “caught up” with the average Christmas shopper, I’ve barely started. And so yesterday morning I sat down on the first Advent Sunday to prepare my heart for the month of December and more importantly the Christmas season Perhaps you could uses some assistance in this matter as well.
The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1), his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (John 1:29), and his first miracle at Cana (John 2:1). During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in repentance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for the celebration. Originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas. But by the 6th century Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the middle ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas. 1
So, for my first Sunday of this wonderful season, I wanted to steer my mind in the direction of the anticipation of Christ’s return the second time by thinking about the anticipation that would have been felt by God’s children when waiting for the Messiah the first time.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thy shalt bruise his heel.
The curse was on Satan, and it reminds us that he is still hurtful to man; but like the serpent he can’t get above the heel unless we allow it because we are victorious through the Christ Jesus.
I often give Satan too much credit and allow him to come upon me higher than I should. I allow him to bind my feet and prevent me from going in the direction that God would desire me to go. I allow him to put a knot in my stomach from fear of things that may or may not happen, and even if they do, they’re most always less than Satan would have me believe. I allow Satan to tie my hands and fail to use them for the Glory of God by feelings of inadequacy, time restraints, or just a flat out failure to follow through on something God has laid on my heart.
Romans 16:20 is the counter verse to Satan’s curse:
And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
How awesome to have that promise when I am tempted to throw my hands up in the air and let Satan have his Victory. From the days of Adam and Eve they were waiting for their Savior. He came in the form of the Christ child, but because of the Man called Jesus we can live in Victory!
But for a moment imagine the sickening feeling in the pit of Adam and Eve’s stomach when they realized the magnitude of their mistake. It’s the same feeling I get in mine when I fail God now knowing the sacrifice He was willing to make.
The Christmas Cure
But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
What Adam and Eve couldn’t fix, and what the blood of animals couldn’t cover, Jesus did. But it was a long time coming.
What must those years have been like all the days that Adam and Eve lived, knowing that every time an innocent animal, one which God created, died in sacrifice, it was because of their mistake. Adam had named those animals and spent time with them in an entirely different setting. He wasn’t a shepherd over them, he roamed the earth with them without there being any fear on either the side of the animal or him. But sin changed that forever.
How much greater should it be for us to realize that every time we sin, we’re taking for granted the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, and when we allow Satan to bruise us above the heel that he bites, we’re giving him dominion that he’s not entitled to. Christ died so that he wouldn’t have it. We need to stop giving it back.
So for my first week of Christmas I’m going to think on the curse and the cure, and with a grateful heart I’m going to thank God for His sacrifice and hopefully, with all I can muster I’m going to stomp down the lies Satan fuels my doubts with. Amen! What are you allowing Satan to have dominion over you with? Take back that dominion through prayer and the Word of God.
The Christmas Cause
David said to the men cowering down to Goliath, “Is there not a cause?” I have to ask myself that same thing when it comes to the battle with Satan, “Is there not a cause? Is this not a worthy fight to take back the dominion that I’ve allowed Satan to take from me?” Peace. That’s what Goliath had taken from the army of the Israelites. They had no peace that God could win the battle, they trusted in themselves; and that is what I’ve allowed Satan to steal from me, often I just hand it to him without a fight. The peace of God.
In verse 50 of First Samuel 17 it says that David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. David had said in verse 47 that the Battle was the Lord’s. He didn’t bring a sword, just a rock. I have to go to the Rock… ironically a new song that I wrote last week titled “I’ll tell you where I stand”… coincidence? I think not.
Let’s make this a Merry Christmas by remembering Satan is cursed, not us. Christ was the cure that lifted it from us. Today… there is a Cause!
Christmas 2015… I’ve already been so blessed by friends and family if today were December 26th, I’d be a happy camper. Today I’m thankful. But not always. I can get so frustrated with the piddley things in life that I miss out on what really matters. It’s the little things that are actually the huge things (or so they would be in many other people’s lives who have them not.)
This morning I wanted to take a few minutes to remind myself that little is much and I am blessed and if you’re reading this blog, you likely are too.
Today I have food and the necessities of life: While almost half the world — over three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
Today I have a home: On a single night in January 2014, 578,424 people in America were experiencing homelessness, meaning they were sleeping outside or in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.
Today I am loved: But Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.
I am a blessed Mom and Noni: In 2010, about 920,000 children were being raised by grandparents with no parent living in the home
My Christmas tree burns brightly today while worldwide 1.3 billion people live without access to electricity.
I have clean water: but 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. Six to eight million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.
Today, I’m in pretty good shape for the shape I’m in, yet every day I personally know of someone facing illness and disease.
Before I speak a harsh word… I should thank God for that person in my life that causes me to care. Perhaps then I wouldn’t speak harshly.
Before I snarl my nose at the thought of venison or broccoli, I should remember the hungry soul who’d love to have even the juice from the roast or to devour that little tree.
Before I take for granted my gift of music or be in frustration for my lack of ability, or even complain because I don’t like the song playing, I should remember there are those who have never heard anything.
Before I complain about the weariness in my bones, I should remember that there are those who grow weary not being able to feel.
Today I am saved, and have the promise of Heaven and seeing friends and family that I miss so bad again.
Today I am saved and have peace…
O my… I am so blessed.
Thank you Lord Jesus for that reminder today….
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
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