Advent Devotion – Thursday, December 19, 2019

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures,

3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh

4 and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name,

Romans 1:1-5 [NRSV]

The good news, or gospel as Paul refers to it in Romans 1:1-5 is that God refuses to leave us to our own designs and desires. Instead, God goes to great lengths to draw near via his son Jesus in order to show us the fullness of God’s character and the potential of God’s power to change our lives.

It is all wrapped up in this word “grace” which simply means gift. God gives – we receive – everything changes. Notice the hinge point to this equation…we receive.

In order to receive we must be free of the baggage which takes up the space designed for the gospel. That baggage is sometimes called sin while other times distraction or busyness to name just a few. The good news is also that God will not only give but also free us from the baggage so we may receive the good gifts from above.

In a season of busyness and distraction please don’t lose the ability to receive the only gift that matters for eternity. That is much easier said than done but aren’t all things worthwhile?

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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