Advent Devotional – December 18

The Purpose

Consider: Why are we saved?

Learn:

Luke 1:73-75 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

Rom. 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Heb. 12:28-29 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

As Zechariah concludes the first half of his song of praise, he states the purpose for why we are saved.   This is obviously one summary, but it is a helpful summary that describes why we are saved.  First, he states that we are saved in order that “we might serve him without fear.”  The deliverance from their enemies was a deliverance from cruel and harsh taskmasters that were served in fear, especially the spiritual bondage we all serve without Christ.  God’s service is different.  We worship, follow, and serve a loving God with reverence and awe.  The punishment has been paid and we are completely free.  Not free, though, to do whatever we want.  Our freedom brings with it a new desire to follow a new master.

This service has a moral character to it.  “Holiness and righteousness” state both what God has made us to be in Christ and how we are to live in Christ.  Our lives should reflect God’s purity, since we are set apart for his service.  Our lives should be lived through right actions, in the obedience of faith.  Our service of worship is to be continuously before the face of God.  God is always watching, and all we do either brings glory or shame to him.

All of this, according to verse 73, has been granted or given to us.  We didn’t earn or deserve this new freedom and new service.  God gave it to us through the coming of his Son, Jesus.  The gift of serving God is part of the gift of salvation, granted to us by our wise and loving King.

Apply: How are you giving of yourself to your King this Christmas?

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