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ADVENT 2018 | Anticipation

12.16.18 | Advent | by Sherry Gotshall

ADVENT 2018 | Anticipation



Once again we have stepped into the season of Advent: a time to reflect on those precious promises from the Old Testament, as well as rejoice in the proof of Jesus’ coming to earth. His earthly ministry and His ultimate sacrifice of His life for ours leaves us in breathtaking awe of what a wonderful Savior He truly is! Christmas time helps us to remember that He came to us as an innocent babe. Our hearts warm as we watch the wonder in little children’s eyes as they view the Christmas lights and extra measure of love that is generated through this season.

We don’t think as much of His teachings this time of year, but as Easter comes near we begin to sense that Jesus’ instructions are why He came: ”I have come to be about My Father’s business.” Jesus had just 3 years of teaching to lay before us about how we are to represent Him, how we are to draw others to Him through the Gospel, and also how to worship Him.

Once He returned to glory, was that it? Of course not! We’ve all been taught that Jesus will come again! Yet, can you explain what we’re waiting for? Exactly what are we waiting for?

The Scripture for today is Revelation 22:12-21. That, my friends, is the very end of the Book, both the end of the New Testament, and the end of the entire Bible. There is nothing after it. It is the end. Let’s look at what this passage has to say knowing that when a book gets to its end, it usually draws everything that came before it together. From Genesis to Malachi, and from Matthew to Revelation, let us look again at how God chose to draw us into this Finale that completes His precious story for us?

As we enter those last verses we see an invitation to all of us to watch for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. From Genesis to this ending, the anticipation has been growing and building for His return! Our Savior will be coming to remove us from the curse into His glorious freedom. Isaac Watts’s song that we sing during the Christmas season says it best:

                 No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground;

He come to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.

In Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven, he expounds on this “curse:”

“The curse is real, but it is temporary. Jesus is the cure for the curse. He came to set derailed human history back on its tracks. Earth won’t be put out of its misery; it will be infused with a greater life than it has ever known, at last becoming all that God meant for it to be.

We have never seen the earth as God made it. Our planet as we know it is a shadowy, halftone image of the original. But it does whet our appetites for the New Earth, doesn’t it? If the present Earth, so diminished by the Curse, is at times so beautiful and wonderful; if our bodies, so diminished by the Curse, are at times overcome with a sense of the earth’s beauty and wonder; then how magnificent will the New Earth be? And what will it be like to experience the New Earth in something else we’ve never known: perfect bodies?”

Oh, the pure joy in the anticipation of the Coming of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I anxiously watch and wait every day, praying for His return, looking up, going about my Father’s business, worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth. We’ve all been invited, and those of us who are blood-bought followers of Jesus have been invited to enter through the gates into the city, the New Jerusalem. We will be welcomed in to eat from the Tree of Life.

Jesus’s final words are “Yes, I am coming soon.”

John echoes with his own response: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

Join me in shouting, “Maranatha!”

Link to Advent Reading Plan

PDF of Advent Reading Plan