Last weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at a church in the Daytona Beach area. At the front of the meeting room they had the four candles of advent. Advent means “coming” and each week reflects on and builds anticipation for the one those who follow Jesus are waiting for.
Together we lit the candle for the second week – the week that focuses on preparation.
Christmas is the perfect season for evaluating our lives in Christ. As the world bustles along putting their hope in external things such as gifts and family and parties, we can gauge if we are hoping in anything different or not.
So in this week of preparation, here are some questions to consider…
For whom are you preparing?
Isaiah 9:6 gives all of us a picture of the One we are preparing for…
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Our tendency is to focus on the child being born. Baby Jesus in the manger. This is important, of course, and is the physical sign of God’s love for us and the vulnerability and humility He demonstrated in the great lengths gone to in order to come to us.
But that is not where Jesus remained. This child is also a son – a term tapping into his royalty. This baby is meant to be king. The clear picture of this son is given by his throne names:
- Wonderful Counselor – this king is going to be a planner or leader who causes wonder in those being led. His people are going to awed by the works of the King.
- Mighty God – this king is going to bear the very image of God to his people.
- Everlasting Father – the king is going to be the source of life in charge of time and destiny. No beginning and no ending.
- Prince of Peace – not simply the absence of conflict, while that is a facet of peace, but overseeing the completeness or wholeness of all things – our individual lives and the kingdom he will lead.
Where do you have Jesus this Christmas?
Is the Jesus you are following the baby in the manger?
A baby is safe. A baby needs you. It can be controlled and ignored. With a baby Jesus, nothing is expected of you.
Or are you actively following and preparing for the King?
A king does not need you; you need the king. The king sets the boundaries and expects total loyalty. Following the king means living a life of surrender. Giving up your kingdom (what you try to control) and being aligned with his kingdom.
You give up your own interests, excuses, and definitions of right and wrong and conform yourself to the image of the king. This is scary and dangerous. It means giving everything up.
What would it look like for Jesus to be king of your life?
Does your bank account reflect the king? Your time? Your marriage? Your sexuality? Your leadership? The church you are attending or pastoring?
This is a season of reflection and evaluation. Our King has asked all of us to hate this life and follow Him.
I am an author, discipleship coach, and speaker who helps followers of Jesus gain perspective on their identities so they can experience transformation in their decisions, behaviors and relationships and live in freedom. My book Tree of Lies: Transforming Decisions, Behaviors, and Relationships By Gaining Perspective On Your Identity in Christ available on Amazon (http://amzn.to/2bjMRyx) or Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/2c0q62I). Visit TreeofLies.com for free resources.
Services I offer are one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking at organizations/churches, workshops on marriage/discipleship/leadership, and church retreats. For more info, click here to contact me.