December 2020 — pg. 17
“I want Christ in me. I yearn for my
very being to reflect Him. I submit to His
authority. I am ready to die, that Christ
might live in and through me.” It’s one thing
to be saved, but another to be sanctified.
The Corinthians heard about the cross,
but they were not a living message. Paul
reminded them that He came as that living
message for them to follow.
What messages “live” in us? What are
we inviting other people to mirror?
This Advent, seek to have the cross
embedded in your life. Be sanctified
through and through, submitting yourself
to the Infant King who comes with the
cross embedded in His own being.
Engage the message of the
While we tend to honor individual
confidence and capability in our culture,
Jesus honors humble weakness, humble
fear, and humble trembling. He honors
what He modeled for us in the Garden of
Gethsemane as He prayed. He honors us
when we get ourselves out of the way so
He can fully manifest in our living.
Jesus engaged the cross. Whether it
was the roughness of hay in the manger
or the roughness of stone and wood He
touched as a carpenter, or the rough wood
of the cross and the weight of it and all
it represented, Jesus’ life was marked by
rough and tough interactions. We shrink
at inconvenience while Jesus embraced
touching everything rough and unclean.
For us, our “death” is to self. The cross
must have all of us for us to have all of it.
Advent will be transformed into an
entirely different kind of celebration for us
as we rightfully place the cross at its center.
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than
human wisdom, and the weakness of God
is stronger than human strength. Brothers
and sisters, think of what you were when
you were called. Not many of you were
wise by human standards; not many
were influential; not many were of noble
birth. But God chose the foolish things of
the world to shame the wise; God chose
the weak things of the world to shame
the strong. God chose the lowly things
of this world and the despised things —
and the things that are not — to nullify
the things that are, so that no one may
boast before him. It is because of him that
you are in Christ Jesus, who has become
for us wisdom from God — that is, our
righteousness, holiness and redemption.
Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who
boasts boast in the Lord’” (1 Corinthians
Advent people are people of the cross.
Lord Jesus, You who were slain before
the foundation of the world, receive our
prayers today. We come asking to die to
ourselves. We confess our refusal to walk
in Your ways, carrying Your cross. We seek
Your mercy to forgive and cleanse us.
But even more, Lord Jesus, come and
stamp the image of the cross on our very
being, that we may be a living message, just
like Your servant Paul. Let us be people of
weakness, fear and great trembling, and
know what it is to have Your power emerge
in our weakness.
This Advent transform us through the
In the powerful and strong name of the
One who was slain before the foundation
of the world — Jesus — Amen.+
must have all
of us for us to
have all of it.”