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Journey to Bethlehem, Our Christmas Devotional Day 13 1 Corinthians 4:14-22

Friday, December 14

1 Corinthians 4:14-22 

14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

Paul had such a passion for the gospel. He wanted the people of Corinth to imitate him – to have the same passion for the gospel that he had. Paul sends Timothy to the people because they need to be reminded to live their lives for Christ. William Barclay says, “So often it is not that we rebel against Christ; it is simply that we forget him. So often it is not that we turn our backs upon him; it is simply that we forget that he is in the scheme of things at all.”

I cannot think of a season where that rings more true than Advent. The season of Advent is a season to prepare our hearts for the arrival of our Lord and Savior in a manger and to look forward to His great return. But rather than focusing on that, we focus on a different kind of preparation; one that involves Santa, tree decorating, gift buying and wrapping, baking and cooking and throwing parties.

How are you preparing for the birth of your Lord and Savior? Are you focused on celebrating His birth and future return or are you forgetting what this season is about altogether? Are you passionate about the gospel and helping others come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Take some time to evaluate how you are preparing your heart during this season and how you are helping to prepare the hearts of those around you.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the reminder that Paul gave the Corinthians through Timothy and the reminder it is for us. Forgive us, gracious Father, for forgetting that the birth of Your precious Son is what Advent is all about. Help us prepare our hearts and be a catalyst for others to do the same.