Jingle: An Advent Devotional – Thursday, December 1, 2022

Writer’s Name: Mike Herzberg

Ministry: Lay Leader

Scripture: Genesis 3:22-24   

After a lifelong criminal career, he was convicted and sentenced to death. He had never attended a single church service, donated to charity, been baptized, or even read the bible. But, following his execution, he is spending eternity in heaven. I found this troubling until I learned the rest of the story! Upon the criminal’s arrival in heaven, the angels must have wanted to know, with his history, how he could have ended up in heaven for eternity; what had he done to deserve this privilege? The criminal, who was a thief, could only answer, “I didn’t do anything. The man on the middle cross said I could come.” The thief relied upon Jesus’ words when He said, “Today you will join me in paradise.”

I often reflect on the fact that God gifted us with “free will,” the ability to choose for ourselves. Had Eve not picked the forbidden fruit and had Adam not eaten it, Jesus may not have been born fully human and fully divine to save us from our sins.

It’s important to remember that Jesus didn’t give the thief assurance in eternity until the thief first expressed his belief in the “man on the middle cross” as Jesus. Have you affirmed or reaffirmed your belief in Jesus Christ recently? Won’t you do so now?

Daily Prayer:

Lord God, please open my eyes so I may know the truth that sets me free. I am loved by You. I am accepted by You. I am a new creation. I am a child of God and an heir of Your kingdom. I am Your masterpiece. I am a citizen of heaven. I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved. I am a child of light and not darkness. I am part of a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a special family that belongs to God. I share the divine nature. I have the mind of Christ. I am complete in Christ. I am called to be free. I possess the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I am Yours, and You are mine, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

1. Have you ever pondered the impact the gift of free will has on you or society?

2. Had Eve not picked the forbidden fruit, would there have been a reason for Jesus to appear on Earth?

3. Do you regularly pray a prayer of thanks or affirmation?

2 responses to “Jingle: An Advent Devotional – Thursday, December 1, 2022”

  1. Thank you for the reminders, Mike, that He is ours and we are His!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sandra Lando-Madsen Avatar
    Sandra Lando-Madsen

    Mike and Denise, I miss you both and look forward to your return. Have a wonderful Christmas–healthy, safe and filled with hope for the new year. Blessings and love, Sandra Madsen

    Liked by 1 person

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