Advent Devotion for Thursday, December 5

By Ron McCarty

Read Romans 13:11-14

Followers of the gospel of Jesus Christ must respond to our justification to God by living a sanctified life. We need to be Christlike. The scripture lesson implies that Jesus is coming again sooner than we think. Christ has come and Christ will come again. While we wait for that second coming (or advent), we are to fulfill the law. That sounds like a difficult task–and without the grace of Jesus we cannot accomplish it!

Preceding the reading for today Paul writes in verses 9 and 10: “Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.” Even though our salvation has already been won on the cross by Jesus and our justification has been secured by Jesus, we need to live and love as Jesus did.

His example is clear. We must put aside all the things that lead us away from Jesus and do the things that point us back to Him. In other words we must avoid doing things that harm our neighbor and ourselves.

What things lead us away from Jesus? There are many. The text for today mentions orgies and drunkenness, sexual immorality and debauchery, dissension and jealousy. Some of these may seem rather extreme, but we don’t have to look far to see actions of the sinful nature in our own lives or those around us.

Each of us may be exposed to these sins daily even if we are not directly involved. If whatever we do doesn’t point us to Jesus, we need to look at whether or not it leads us away from Jesus. We need to be in relationship with Jesus to truly love our neighbor. Through the love of Jesus we fulfill the law. Without a loving relationship with Jesus, we can never hope to do so.

We pray: Lord Jesus, forgive me when I look away from You. Thank You that You came and saved me from my sin. Help me to look to You now and to the time when You will come again. Amen.