Advent Devotional Guide: Week Three
The Second Coming & Holiness
In our third week of Advent, we are focusing on how the second coming of Christ frames and motivates our pursuit of holiness. In His first advent, Christ graciously freed us from penalty of sin. When He comes again, we can be confident that He will complete the work that He began in us. Between these two advents, we are called to progressively become the kind of people that He has designed us to be, delivered us to be, and destined us to be.
“The emotionally mature person is not the one with a starved, deprived existence, but rather one that reaches out and embraces and furthers all that is good – everything that is good. And that’s a long list. You can start just with simple beauty. It’s very hard to be grumpy when you’re looking at a beautiful rose–try it. It’s turning to what is good that fills out the life of the emotionally and spiritually mature person. As you step into spiritual maturity, you step into the wonderful world of God so rich with good things that we won’t have enough time to concentrate on them.
This is, in the classic language of the church, holiness, sanctification. I have to acknowledge that the way many people present holiness and sanctification is a very pinched view of life. It’s very starved, because they have not been encouraged to turn themselves loose into the fullness of God’s presence and all that is good for them to invest their lives in.””
(Dallas Willard, Heart and Soul Conference, 2012)
Questions for Discussion
Discuss with others, with your Gospel Community, or by reflecting in your journal.
- Re-read Titus 2:1-14. Which of these characteristics of holiness stand out to you the most? Are any of them uncomfortable, new, or challenging? How do these standards of holiness compare to the world’s standards of what a good person does?
- What is our role in helping others grow towards holiness? What is one practical way you can model to your neighbors God’s holiness?
- What hope does Jesus give in His second coming in regards to holiness?
- Individually, with your co-workers, or with your household, pray the the Lord’s Prayer 1–3 times a day (morning, noon, and night):
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
(From Matthew 6:9–13)
Additional questions as you meditate on the Lord’s Prayer this week:
- Let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done: Where do I need to see the values of God’s Kingdom and His will for my life transform my current heart, attitudes, and behaviors? Pray that God would transform you to be who He designed you to be, who He delivered you to be, and who He has destined you to be.
- Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: Where are you tempted (whether by the evil one, your own flesh, or the influence of the world) to turn from God’s design for your life? Where are you pursuing a vision for life that leads you away from the holiness of God? Pray that God would help you turn from these temptations and deliver you from evil so that you could more fully pursue His presence and purposes in your life.