Advent is well on the way. We are making our lists, attending Christmas events, maybe even switching on our Christmas lights. Let’s take a moment today to remember the One this is season is all about. Jesus, the Beloved Son.
The following is a an extract from my recently published Advent Devotional, ‘Christ Illuminated: Seeing Jesus for who He is‘, 24 daily devotions based on the names of Jesus.
The Angel Gabriel came to Mary and declared that the child she would conceive by the Holy Spirit would be called the ‘Son of the Highest’ (Luke 1:32). On two further occasions God Himself speaks confirming Jesus as His Son: at His Baptism (Matthew 3:17), and at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5). On both occasions God declares ‘This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’.
Can you picture God the Father, looking down with His heart bursting with love and pride for His Son? Those of us who are parents can perhaps understand that feeling. I know that we can’t wait to tell people how wonderful our children, or our grandchildren are, and how proud we are of them. We see beyond their mistakes and imperfections and love them fiercely and unconditionally. Seeing God as a loving parent dispels the idea of Him being a distant figure. He was completely and utterly besotted with His son, His perfect Son, and was totally invested in what Jesus was doing. Isaiah 42:1 tells us that Jesus, His servant, delights God’s soul.
Loving the World
But not only did God the Father love His Son, He loved the world that He sent His Son to (John 3:16). So much so that He willingly gifted His only son to the world. Jesus, the Son, came, sharing the very nature of His Father. He became the expression of the Father’s love for us: love incarnate, willing to lay down His very life for us.
As parents we love to give our children what they wish for, especially at Christmas. If we could afford it, we would give our children the world. Funnily enough that was exactly what God the Father promised His Son,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.’ Psalm 2:7-8
That inheritance includes you and me! Because Jesus came willingly and obediently to earth, and humbled Himself to death on the cross, God exalted His Beloved Son to the highest place. And every knee in heaven and earth will one day bow to His beautiful name (Philippians 2:8-11).
Ask Yourself: Do I find it hard to see God as a loving father? Why is that?
Ask God: Reveal to my heart, Jesus, just how much you love me personally.
Pray: Thank You Father that You loved the world enough to send Your Beloved Son to live among us, and to die for us. Thank You that just as You delighted in Jesus, so You delight in me as Your child. Even when I make mistakes, it doesn’t change how You love me, and You demonstrated that love for me in sending Jesus. Thank You that I am part of Jesus’ inheritance, and that one day I will worship at His feet, knowing that I belong to Him.
Help me to see how much You love and delight in me. Help me to love Jesus as He deserves to be loved, and to walk in His love.
Further Reading: Luke 1:26-38
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Christ Illuminated: Seeing Jesus for who He is, an Advent Devotional
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