Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Angels From The Realms Of Glory"1 (Lyrics)
Revelation 21:1-4 – Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (NIV)
As the dogs and I watched the horizon, patiently waiting for the sun to rise sufficiently for us to go for our walk, I silently counted the days until December 21st, the shortest day of the year, signifying that on the morrow the darkness of winter days would once again begin to slowly turn to the dawning light of spring.
The dark days of winter are hard on many people, especially for those who live in cold climates. But the dark days of earth are difficult for everyone. Long, long ago, Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem, and with His birth came light amidst the darkness of this world, for Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12 NIV)
Many people have chosen to follow Jesus, the light of the world, and for those who have done so, the light of hope, faith, love, grace, strength, and so much more, is always available to them through Christ, as they walk through the darkness. The spiritual darkness of this world remains, however, for until Christ returns, we must continue to fight "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12b). And amidst this perpetual spiritual darkness, many have not yet found the light of the world: Jesus.
This Christmas, we know that we are just that much closer to the pivotal day when spiritual darkness will turn to eternal dawning, when Christ will return for His own, and when the promise of a new heaven and earth will begin to activate. So may we who walk in the light of the Christ Child of the first Christmas be careful, as the apostle Paul has exhorted us, in regard to how we live: "not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity" (Ephesians 5:15b-16a NIV). May we indeed make the most of every opportunity that Christ presents to us, so that through His Spirit, as many as possible who still walk in darkness will be drawn into His eternal light before the dawning of that second and final Christmas day of His return.
Prayer: Father God, grant us urgency within our spirits to be careful how we live, "not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity" that You give us to allow the light of the world — Jesus — to shine through us amidst the spiritual darkness of this world. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.