Today marks the first day, and the first Sunday, of Advent – the four week season leading up to Christmas Day. This is also the first of my posts focusing on this time of preparation for celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are a Christian, you have much to celebrate. You have been rescued from the eternal consequence of your sin. You have hope and peace about your eternal future. This is all thanks to our God who loved us so much that he sent his only Son to die for us. (John 3:16)

If you are not a Christian, may this Advent Season be a time for you to consider the message of the gospel. There is not one person in the world who is able to enter the Kingdom of God on their own merit. For many people around the world, this Christmas will be the time they receive the gift of eternal life as they are told the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. I pray you will also be one of those people!

During the next four weeks, I encourage you to build up God-centered excitement in your home. If you have children, engage them in the story of our Lord as we prepare to celebrate his birth. If the advent calendar is a tradition, use it to share a short devotional with your children as they enjoy their advent treat. Or, use the calendar as a reminder to memorize Scripture, and to pray that your heart will be turned to Christ. I suggest memorizing John 3:36 this week as a reminder of our salvation.

The tradition of Christmas decorations is said to come from an old European practice of fighting the evil forces of winter with bright decorations and lights. This season, let us light up our lives and fight the darkness of evil with the everlasting light of Jesus Christ.

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