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Advent Devotional Week 4, Reading 1

Week Four: December 19-24

It’s not uncommon to hear “I’m first, I’m first,” while being around children at play time or snack time. The concept of us wanting to be first is written on our sinful hearts. We want to push ourselves forward whether we deserve to be first or not. We understand that being first is a prominent position. 

God declares through Isaiah he is “The First.” However, he also stated he is “The Last.” In the context of the passage, he differentiates himself from man-made gods. Isaiah records, “This is what the LORD says--Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God” (Isa 44:6).

 

God declares he is the most prominent and indeed there is no God but Him. Even in the beginning of Genesis, we see it was only God in the beginning. God is the prominent one or even the pre-eminent one. God is also the Last. He is the one who determines the end and will be there in our end as our judge. The Psalmist reflects on this all-encompassing God in Psalm 139 writing in verse 5, “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” He is comforted by this knowledge.

 

The New Testament reveals Jesus is God in Flesh. In John 1:1 we read, “In the beginning was the Word.” Jesus is the Word of God in flesh and He was not only present in creation but he participated in the act of creation. The Father wanted Jesus to be given prominence or pre-eminence in all things. 

Read Colossians 1:15-18: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”

 

The apostle John witnessed Jesus in His Glory as recorded in Revelation 1 and 22 in which Jesus declares he is “the First and the Last.” Our God is the One who precedes us (First) and he is the one who succeeds us (Last). He is the Supreme One, and we can best understand him by looking to Jesus, the “Author” and “Finisher” of our faith. May we rest in the truth that because of who our God is, he is all we need in this holiday season and every season.

 

Think about it

God is all that you need in every circumstance and relationship in this life. Who do you place in priority to God in your life? What do you replace God with in your life?

How do you need to rearrange your priorities in your personal, family, professional life to make Jesus your “First” priority? 

 

Pray

God, you are the First and the Last. You are all that we truly need in this life, may you convict us in areas where we have taken you from that position. May we prepare ourselves to face you as the Judge, who will evaluate us in the Last Days. Thank you Jesus for reminding us that you deserve the pre-eminent place our lives.