Daily Devotion - December 1, 2020 - Spiritual Timeline

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – December 1, 2020
Readings: Matthew 4:1-6; 28:18-20
Weekly Theme: Prepare the Way
Today
: Spiritual Timeline

Today I would like for you to begin your devotion time by asking you to do an exercise. Get up, go find a piece of paper and pen and draw a timeline of your life as a Christian. Yes...I really want you to do this!! Okay... are you back with that piece of paper yet?? Draw something that looks like the picture that is provided in the right-hand corner... but with your own information. Identify important life changing events you have experienced. This timeline belongs to a man who is indicating different levels of satisfaction he has felt in life . It appears that he is about 31 years old and has had some highs and lows in life. If you were to do a timeline, where would your peaks and valleys be and what was your relationship with Jesus like during those times when you were dissatisfied with life? You might choose to indicate some special times in your life when you were involved in a particular ministry and how it made you feel to be in sync with God’s will for your life. After doing this you might have two book ends ... one book end would be when your life in ministry began and the other would be where you are today.

If Jesus did a timeline of his life, he probably would indicate how Simeon blessed him as a baby and how he read the Scripture in the temple to the elders when he was 12 years old.  He most likey would  include his work as a carpenter until he was baptized by John the Baptist at 30 years old. As he rose from the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus, and God told him how pleased God was with Jesus. Jesus was then led into the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan after 40 days of fasting which is the story recorded in today’s reading from Matthew 4:1-6. Jesus had prepared himself to resist these temptations through prayer and fasting and by quoting Scripture which caused Satan to flee. Jesus’ ministry began right after this temptation. He healed the sick, raised the dead, chose his disciples and taught them through parables. He was arrested, crucified, and died for our sins. He rose from the dead and dwelt among the people for 40 days. In his last recorded interaction in Matthew 28:18-20, the other reading for today, Jesus has completed his ministry on earth and is now charging his disciples to go forth and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them and teaching people all that they have learned by following him. And Jesus reminds them that he will always be with them. Jesus’ timeline of his active ministry on earth was only three years of his life, but everything he did up to his baptism and temptation had prepared him for three years of intense ministry. His last teaching moment was to charge his disciples to carry on his ministry by making disciples. As a result Christianity is still the largest religion in the world.

What are you and I doing to prepare ourselves for the intense ministry of sharing the healing, loving, awesome story of the saving grace of Jesus Christ with others? His grace is still as present and available to us today as it was for those first Christians over 2000 years ago. During this Advent season as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of Christ and as we look forward to his second coming, what measures are we taking to ensure that we can withstand the temptations Satan throws our way and get ready to welcome Christ into our lives every day as his Spirit leads and guides us to make disciples. What are the bookends of our faith journey as of today? Where did our journey begin and how are we doing in being the disciple of Christ that God would have us be?

Dear God, thank you for the loving, saving wonderful grace of your Son, Jesus Christ and for his wonderful timeline of ministry he showed us during out time on earth. In his name, we pray. Amen.

 
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