LHM Advent Devotion – December 20, 2014 “Children’s Games”

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Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“Children’s Games”

December 20, 2014

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Read Matthew 11:7-15.
From the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of heavenhas suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12

Kids can be cruel-so can reindeer. It always bothered me as a kid when we got to that part about “all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.”

Children love to play games, especially when they can make up the rules. That’s the kind of world Jesus Christ lived in and the kind of world we live in. The Jewish leaders were like children. They didn’t like the way John the Baptist was so strong and fiery. When he ate locusts and wild honey and abstained from drinking wine it made them look bad. But they didn’t like what Jesus was doing either. That was because He was preaching the Good News. He was also feasting, drinking, and celebrating with sinners who came to repentance-sinners they had pushed away.

But Jesus wasn’t going to play their game. He played by God’s rules the same way John did. John’s deeds were from God. They showed us that we must turn from our sins and put our trust in Jesus Christ alone. And Jesus’ deeds were from God too. They showed us God’s mercy and love for all those devastated by sin and death.

The things Jesus did, especially in His suffering, death, and glorious resurrection, proved He was the mighty Son of God. When we live according to God’s design-repenting of our sins, trusting in His forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and sharing His love with the world-we will be misjudged, mocked, and ridiculed by the children around us. But God knows, and in the end He will prove us right through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God has helped us see this world as adults, so just like the prophets and John and Jesus we can remain calm and strong even when we are falsely accused and viciously attacked. We know in His good time God will vindicate us from all false accusations.

THE PRAYER: Lord God, comfort and uphold us when those around us play their children’s games. Help us be strong and mature in Jesus Christ our Savior so that we may keep showing the world Your love and grace. In Jesus’ Name.

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