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Prepare Him Room

advent

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

Advent [to come; coming] is a season of expectant waiting and reflection where we celebrate the first coming of Christ and joyfully anticipate His return (Revelation 1:8). 

It is a time of remembering God entered into human history when Jesus — Immanuel, God with us, (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23) was born. "…the Word that was with God and that was God (John 1:1) “…became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14), because we so desperately needed to be rescued. He lived a perfect life, died on the cross taking our sins upon Himself and giving us undeserved righteousness, rose from the grave on the third day conquering death, and He will return!

This anticipated return creates in us a hopeful expectation; a time of faithful waiting upon the Lord and a looking ahead to the return of our King that we might be prepared for the inexorable redemption of the world. 

In this tension of the already/not yet we can examine our hearts; searching and uncovering areas that require tending; immersing ourselves into the very Word of God; desperately aching for our Savior; groaning along with creation and the Holy Spirt as we wait pregnant with expectation for the "completion of His saving work" (Romans 8:23, ESV Study Bible). 

Make way for the truth of God's promise to make the world new; vouchsafed by an empty tomb, no moment of waiting is without meaning or purpose. Every passing instant is filled with awestruck wonder because Immanuel changes everything! 

Prepare Him room; fix your heart on the Lord; remain tuned to grace and resist the deceitful part of the heart that is so prone to wander and lead astray. Focus on God's promises and faithfulness; intensify the longing for Jesus' s return.

The following article by Noël Piper looks at ways to examine our heart and motivation causing strengthening of our ultimate hope in Jesus, "so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming” (1 John 2:28):

Thanksgiving: Gateway to the Holidays | Desiring God

Additional Advent Resources:

The Advent Project | Biola University — a daily online resource with scripture, devotionals, art, video, and music -- as we remember the mystery of the incarnation and the Word made flesh 

The Dawning of Indestructible Joy | Desiring God — 25 brief devotional readings (free downloadable PDF) from John Piper; use these meditations to deepen and sweeten your adoration of Jesus and help you keep him at the center of your Christmas season.

Advent Devotional 2014 | AWANA — Twenty-five ministry friends share their personal stories and insights that anticipate the birth of Christ...download a complete edition or subscribe to email reminders and daily posts designed for the individual, couple, or as a family.