“The Scripture declares that perfect love casts out fear. But love is still imperfect, and fear hangs around.” – RC Sproul
Today’s reading is about death. It isn’t a topic we typically consider during Advent, but it could not be more relevant. When the angels announced great tidings of joy for all mankind, they were announcing much more than a Messiah who would give us moral teachings and a positive example to follow. They announced the birth of a Savior who would reverse the curse of sin on all of creation. When He was born in the manger, Jesus took the first earthly step in a plan that had been conceived before the world created, to rescue you and me from sin and death forever.
- Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 2:8-11
- Watch for the Light, 150-155
- At what times in your life have felt most aware of “the gulf between our present state and eternal unity with God”? (152) How did you react in those moments to the sense that this life is truly a short time before our eternal destination?
- Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection conquered death and removed our reasons to fear death. So why does the fear of death continue to exercise such power of us, even when our faith in Christ assures us that death is not our end? Are there specific ways that you see the fear of death influencing your thoughts and behaviors? How is this fear manifested in our culture?
- How do you allow the truth of Christ’s victory over death to become more than just a fact in your mind? How would your life look different if the fear of death were fully extinguished?
Praise the Lord for his victory over the grave and for his immeasurable grace towards us! Pray that God would press the truth that Christ is infinitely greater than the grave deep into your heart until you love him completely and fear no more. Finally, thank the Lord for doing for you what could never do for yourself, and pray that his perfect peace would sustain you now, and at the hour death.