2021 Advent Devotionals
Week 1 | Wednesday, December 1
A devotion by Pastor Brooks
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
John 17:1–3 (ESV)
Do you know God? I don't mean knowing about God. I mean KNOWing God the way a child knows his mother. Do you know God that way, or is your knowledge of God mere book knowledge? Jesus says the definition of eternal life is knowing God and the Son whom He has sent. Knowing Jesus this way goes beyond knowing the historical facts of Jesus–who lived, died, and rose again to conquer sin and death. It means knowing His voice and knowing His wants, desires, dislikes, joys, and pains. Knowing Him this way means that your joy is wrapped up in His joy. Knowing Him this way is relational and experiential, not merely academic. Do you know Jesus this way? Do you want to?
Think hard before you answer that last question because if you want this kind of knowledge it will change you. You cannot know Jesus and stay the same. If you want to remain where you are, then you don't want to know Jesus. If you want to be changed, then you will need to know Jesus.
Assuming we want to experience this kind of “knowing,” how do we experience it? Well there is the Bible of course. We come to know God through His word. Romans 10:17, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. You cannot know God apart from His revelation in Scripture. So is that it? Do we just need to read the Bible? Yes, we need to read the Bible, but we need more than just the Bible. We need the Holy Spirit.
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
- Do you want to know Jesus relationally? Then you need the Holy Spirit.
- Do you want to know the joy Jesus promised His followers? Then you need the Holy Spirit.
- Do you want to see the greater works Jesus promised? Then you need the Holy Spirit.
- Do you want to be able to love God and your neighbor the way Jesus did? Then you need the Holy Spirit.
- Do you want to be able to forgive your enemies the way Jesus did? Then you need the Holy Spirit.
- Do you want to be able to endure suffering the way Jesus did? Then you need the Holy Spirit.
but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Jesus is God. He is the radiance of His glory and the exact imprint of His nature. Are you ready for a mind trip? Jesus wants you to personally know this God through Himself as you know your own spouse, mother, father, child, or sibling. No, correction. He wants you to know God BETTER than you know those closest to you. Do you want to know God this way? Then you need the Holy Spirit. Is this what you want? Then there is good news. The Father gives to those who ask.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
He gives the Spirit for without the Spirit we cannot know Jesus. He gives the Spirit because without Him there is no forgiveness, no adoption as sons and daughters, no imputed righteousness, no power to love, forgive, or serve, and ultimately without the Spirit of Christ there is no resurrection from the dead. There is no Christianity apart from the Spirit.
If you are in Christ the Spirit indwells you and seals you (Ephesians 1:12-14). If you are in Christ, the Spirit of Christ wants more for you than a ticket to heaven. He wants you to KNOW this Christ who bled for you. Do you want this? Then ask and you shall receive.
Suggestion: Every morning this week pray aloud the very same prayer Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus.
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Write down what the Spirit shows you about the person of Jesus thanking the Father for giving you the Son and the Spirit who makes Him known!