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Advent Devotional December 23rd

A Promise in the Shadow of Knowing Us.

Luke 2:1-7 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

For 4000 years, you were on God's mind, and it all started in Genesis and has worked through the promise of the Old Testament. All of the promises are an introduction to the coming of the Christ for the purpose of the redemption of humankind.

Have you ever wondered? Why did God wait so long to do what He had promised He would do?

If I were God, I would have sent Jesus the day after the great flood. Why? There would have been only one dysfunctional group of people to deal with, the family Noah. Maybe I would have sent Jesus while the Hebrews were on their exodus from Egypt to stop their constant complaining. Do not make the mistake that it was just time taking its course under its own power. God rules history; He is never ruled by history or time. Daniel, chapter 2, "it is God who changes the times and epochs; He removes Kings and establishes kings."

Kings and nations do not rise and fall on their own; God was and is guiding history. Before there was history to record, God had a plan to redeem humankind by sending Jesus with grace and mercy.

In 2 Timothy 1:9, Paul tells us it was God who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.

Planning and executing all of this was with the clear, unrestricted, infinite knowledge of who we are, what we’re capable of, and how our response would be messy and inconsistent at its best. All of this grace, mercy, forgiveness, and restoration of our hearts, all planned before creation. All with God knowing everything about us. God, who is not limited by time, space, or even creation. He even bends the laws of creation for those He created. He knows us!

Have you ever had that moment in gift exchange where you choose to go conservative with your purchase and the person you’re exchanging gifts with has gone extravagant? Here’s the kicker, you've opened their gift first, and now you have this feeling of being so inadequate. Have you been there?

God already knew what we had to offer, broken lives and broken promises. He still goes extravagant!

With 4000 years of knowing us, God still responds with love. Why? He knows us in the shadow of His grace and mercy!

Dive in:

1. How does this feeling of inadequacy with God play into your relationship with Him? When viewed through the lens of grace, does it cause you to lean into Him with greater intensity? He knows us in the shadow of grace and mercy!

2. What a powerful moment to confess your struggles to a gracious and merciful God


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