Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – December 1, 2014

by Noey Barrera-Disler

World AIDS Day

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:1-11

Today, around the world and throughout the United States, communities will come together to observe the 26th Annual World AIDS Day.   The summer of 1987 was a turning point in my life.    That summer I lost my best friend, Todd, to AIDS.  We had made so many plans together and in less than 6 months, he was gone.  For a few days I just moved around in a daze and then I realized that our time together was a blessing no matter how short it was.  I realized then the importance of educating others about AIDS so that they would embrace our brothers and sisters with AIDS with love.

As Christians, we must educate and grow in our spiritual path.  Peter tells us in this Scripture the importance of growing our Christian character development.   Peter says it should be a priority for us because when we make Christian character development our daily pursuit….it will “insure that our lives are not wasted” (v. 8); it will “present a positive witness to others” (v. 10a); and it will “guarantee a rich welcome upon entering heaven” (v. 11). What path must we take to know the benefits associated with developing Christ-like character?  Becoming Christ-like begins with a personal and growing knowledge of Christ.  We will never ever come to know Christ as fully as is possible in this life, but we can grow our knowledge of Christ by studying and learning the Scriptures as we wait for eternal life.  Be more Christ-like today!

This reminds me of a story told about a man who was born with an awful facial deformity. He grew up alone and lonely. When reaching adulthood, he decided to move from his town to begin a new life. On his way he discovered a beautiful mask that fit his face, making him look handsome. At first the mask was uncomfortable and he was afraid that people would find out who he really was, but he continued to wear the mask every day. In his new hometown, he made many friends and fell in love. But one day a wicked woman from his old home came to his town and discovered this man’s true identity. In front of his friends and fiancé, she forced him to remove his mask. When he removed the mask, it revealed a handsome face. His face had conformed to the mask!

Becoming Christ-like is analogous to this. Go ahead and put on Christ. At first it may feel unnatural or uncomfortable, and maybe you may think, “Who am I trying to fool?” But every day just keep putting on Christ and every day you will grow to look more like him.

Prayer:  Father, we give you thanks for your goodness and your guidance. We pray, Father, that you would give us eyes to read your Scriptures anew, that we would be more like you.  Amen.

Saint Mark United Methodist Church

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