Advent Devotional: December 9

Dec. 9 – Soul and Spirit

Luke 1:46-47 And Mary said,  “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
Consider:  If you had a moment with nothing pressing on your mind, what would you think about?  What consumes most of your thoughts and energy?

Learn:  Read

2 Sam. 6:12-16 And it was told King David, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn.

As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart.

Ps. 108:1 My heart is steadfast, O God!
I will sing and make melody with all my being!

John 4:23-24 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

1 Pt. 1:8  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,

Yesterday’s thoughts are closely connected with today’s, because Mary’s soul magnified the Lord, and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior.  She did this act of magnifying and rejoicing with her entire person.  The poetic language of this song is meant to communicate much more than mere words alone.  In this parallelism Mary is communicating that her praise encompassed the passion of her whole being, totally and completely magnifying and rejoicing in God.
Jonathan Edwards writes about this in the aftermath of the Great Awakening that he experienced during his life in New England.  Although he saw the excesses, he also believed what he stated in his thesis: true religion consists mainly in religious affections. What I think he was trying to say, based on 1 Peter 1:8 and other passages, is that the Christian’s will and inclinations should be driven by an intense love and desire for God. This is not some emotional high that we have every day, but desire for God should affect our hearts.
Edwards can say it best himself; “The things of religion are so great, that there can be no suitableness in the exercises of our hearts to their nature and importance, unless they be lively and powerful. In nothing is vigour in the actings of our inclinations so requisite as in religion; and in nothing is lukewarmness so odious.”

Apply: As you primed the pump yesterday, was your soul and spirit affected?  Give yourself time today to be still, to think about God and his grace, and worship him with your spirit as well as in truth.

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