The Word Became Flesh
1In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood [or “overcome”] it.
5 Then I said:
“O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
As we welcome the Christmas season, I invite you to prepare to be filled with the light of Jesus – that we might let our light shine before men (Matthew 5:16) and point them to Jesus, the true Light (John 8:12). While we might not like to think of ourselves as the wicked Israelites or the blind Pharisees mentioned in the verses at the start of this post, we are far too often a combination of the worst qualities of both – wicked while being self-righteous. In preparation for the powerful ways God can use us during this season, we need to repent of any sins that may hinder our prayers and our witness during this time (1 Peter 3:7; also see Hebrews 12:1).
Although it can be a painful process, verbally confessing and repenting of sins has a two-fold blessing: God graciously offers His forgiveness (1 John 1:9), and when we actually confess them out loud, we’re often less likely to commit them in the future. Hearing our pride or self-centeredness or jealousy or idol worship called what it is before the God of the universe often opens our eyes to our sinfulness in a more immediate way.
Perhaps you might spend part of your prayer time today focusing on what God may want do through you over the next month. Ask Him also what is most likely to keep you from being involved in His work this Christmas season: What is most likely to draw your heart away from Him? What are the weeds that threaten to choke out your fruit? Busyness, forgetfulness, greed, laziness, anxiety, anger, sadness, loving the trappings of Christmas more than we love the Christ Whom we should be celebrating? God wants to help with these barriers. We can’t overcome them on our own. Once we acknowledge this fact and hand them over to God, we’ll be amazed at the way God can remove barriers – or lift us over them. Pray that God would deal with your barriers and continually fill you with His Holy Spirit, so that you can be a blessing to others – and a herald of the real joy of the season.
Previous Christmas Post: (becoming) peaceful
Up next (on Friday): (becoming) excited for the season
To read the fully submitted series, click here: (becoming) fully submitted
To read the wife series, click here:(becoming) a godly wife