“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.”Malachi 3:1, NIV
Christmas is coming! This is my favorite time of year! I love the decorations and the joy that seems to float in the air. The lights that different organizations display are beautiful. The trees that are decorated are magical. And yet…it can be one of the most painful times of the year for some.
Have you ever noticed how grief and joy seem to go hand in hand?
Malachi 3 starts with the promise of the coming Messiah. The Israelite’s were living for the day when their King would come and save them from their enemies. The problem, however, is that they were their own worst enemy. I’ve been there. Much of the time I’m not led astray by Satan or others but by “my own evil desires” (James 1:14). The joy of the coming Messiah came with the grief of sin.
What do we do with the grief of sin?
Throughout scripture, God does not leave the reader without hope. There is always a way out…a way back to the joy.
- “In repentance and rest is your salvation” Isaiah 30:15
- “If you repent, I will restore you…” Jeremiah 15:19
- “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 3:2
Repentance is turning back. It is not just seeking forgiveness but moving forward differently than before. At the beginning of this Christmas season…how can you turn your heart back to Christ? As we prepare for the second coming, what can we do individually and corporately to turn our hearts in the direction of God?
Dear God, forgive us our sins. May the ways we turn away from you grieve our hearts and compel us to turn back to you. May the grief of our sin bring about repentance and healing and restoration. Thank you for being a God of hope and peace. Amen