Advent Devotional Dec. 9, by Kori Beall

Luke 7:18-30

I was thinking the other day about the presidential elections. We have had some great presidents in the past, but lately, it feels like our God-centered nation is lacking an important figure: God. Having lived in a relatively sheltered environment my entire life as a homeschooler, I have always believed that Christianity was extremely popular. Consequently, it would not be long before Christ retook priority in our government. However, after doing a little research on the number of Christians in the world today, I was surprised to discover that the percentages have barely changed over the last century.

In 1910, the worldwide population of Christians was 32%. Today, that total has only increased to 35%. What happened to The Great Commission? Well, I cannot say for sure, but my hypothesis is that somewhere along the way, our attitude as Christians changed. As the world got messier and messier, the question of “What Would Jesus Do” became harder to answer. Being Methodists, we no longer have the chief priests, scribes, and elders to tell us right from wrong. Instead, it is up to us to interpret God’s Word in the process of everyday decision making.

When two disciples asked Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” it seemed to me like the answer should have been very obvious. After all, Jesus had just finished curing people of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits. If I witnessed something like that happen, would not my immediate reaction be one of belief? Or would I be skeptical and unconvinced? These are hard questions to answer because we have grown up in a society that teaches us to question everything. There is no such thing anymore as “seeing is believing.” For instance, we can no longer trust magic tricks or cool photos we see on the internet because of Photoshop and other modern technologies.

In order to make a change in our world and have a proper representation as Christians, we need to make it clear to those around. For example, I recently attended a square dance open house. After writing my first name on a nametag and sticking it to my chest, I was almost immediately welcomed by everyone around. Throughout the duration of the evening, nearly every single person came up to me to welcome me or just to chat. Rarely do I feel God’s overwhelming presence, but that night, I felt joyful. I think that those people gave a perfect example of a Christian attitude. Not one of judgment or discrimination, but instead, a friendly manner that welcomes those around. I want to act in a way that there would be no question of whether or not I am a Christian. I want to be a witness to everyone around that I am a follower of Christ.

Reflection: What can you do in today’s society to be more like Jesus? What will it take for you to drop your skepticism and believe?

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to my surroundings. Let me be a witness to others of how a follower of your Word should act. Thank you for your miracles and for your everyday appearances in my life. Amen.

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