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Advent Devotional #10

Today's devotion from Goshen College:

DEC. 5 - PREPARATION, PURPOSE AND PEACE


By Bryce Bow, a senior physical education major from Muncie,
Ind.

SCRIPTURE: Mark 1:1-8 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

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DEVOTIONAL:
Do you ever wonder, "What is God preparing me for?" I
don't suppose any of our lives will carry the significance
of preparing the way for the earthly ministry of God's Son,
the Redeemer of the world and then baptizing Him in what had
to be one of the coolest moments in all of history, like
John's ministry did. We’ll admire John and leave it at that.


But back to preparation. Sometimes I wonder, "Am I
allowing my circumstances to determine my availability to
serve God?" For example, I often say to God: "Well, God, I’m
just a college student [or insert your own applicable word],
what great things can I possibly do here, at this place, at
this time? I’ll just wait, then I'll do something great for
You." In Zechariah 4, there seems to be the idea of: "God is
not so much concerned with my capabilities to serve Him as
He is with my availability." It makes me wonder, am I
available, now? Not later, but right here, right now? What
is holding me back?

I think sometimes it's more comfortable and easier to just
live inside my own will, and not God's will. Can you relate?
I think there is an element of fear, that uncomforting
mystery of the unknown, of what God might have in store for
us. But think about those people that you do know who seem
to walk close to God and His purpose for their life, that
really embody what it means to serve and love God, and to
serve and love others. Can you think of a few? Now, the
people I know who are like that -- those who have made
themselves available, and are concerned with what God wants
and His perfect plan for their life -- those people NEVER
say, "Man, I regret that decision," or "Being in tune with
God’s purpose and plan was a mistake." Yeah, there are
hardships and struggles, but there's growth too, and joy and
contentedness and peace. As Paul writes in Philippians 4:7,
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”

This holiday season, pray that you and those that you love
will find this peace, seek out your purpose and accept the
preparation from your loving Father in Heaven. Amen.

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SCRIPTURE: Mark 1:1-8 (NRSV)
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of
God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will
prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: "Prepare
the way of the Lord, make his paths straight" ',
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming
a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And
people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people
of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him
in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was
clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his
waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed,
'The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I
am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his
sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize
you with the Holy Spirit.'




View all of this season's devotions at
http://www.goshen.edu/devotions

Goshen College
http://www.goshen.edu

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