Advent Devotional 2: Relinquishing Riches to Make Us Rich

We all have difficulty relinquishing things that we cherish. I still remember my first ten-speed bicycle. It was a fully-equipped, Schwinn beauty that I received as a Christmas present. Not long after I received it, I allowed a friend to borrow it for a quick ride. She then proceeded to get hit by a car, and destroy my bike. Thankfully, she was just a bit banged up, but my precious, beautiful bike wasn’t so fortunate. I wish I could say that I was more concerned for her than my bike in that moment, but…

A bike is a small thing to relinquish. How difficult it is for us to give over to the Lord our dreams, our longings, our careers, our kids, and other precious things. Have you ever thought about what Jesus Christ relinquished to become the God-man and our Savior?

From eternity past, Jesus Christ was the eternally rich God. He not only was, but is, materially rich. He owns everything because He made everything and He is the end for which everything exists. Colossians 1:16 tells us: “All things were created through him and for him.” Abraham Kuyper states powerfully the implication: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’” This means that every resource you have — your kids, your home, your car, your church, your 401K, your bank account — does not belong to you, but to the Lord.

Jesus is not only materially rich, but spiritually rich. He enjoys infinite glory in the immediate presence of God, which He set aside to be born to a poor, teenage mother in a cave and to die a criminal’s death, in order that we might become rich in the very things that He gave up.

Remember how Jesus prayed during His passion: “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:5). Before He entered that glory, He suffered in the indignity, cruelty, and brutality of the cross. O the magnitude of the generosity and grace of Jesus!

Jesus enjoys perfect love in the immediate presence of God. What makes Jesus rich is that His father uniquely loves His only begotten son. “Because you loved me before the foundation of the world…I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them,” (John 17:24, 26). But Jesus cried out on Golgotha’s cross: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Why have you turned your smiling face away? O the magnitude of the generosity and grace of Jesus!

Jesus enjoys ultimate joy and bliss in the immediate presence of God. He has existed as the glorious, perfect, and happy second person of the Trinity from all eternity. Why? Psalm 16:11 tells us, “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” God the Father says: “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased.” But in the Garden Jesus says, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Matthew 26:38). O the magnitude of the generosity and grace of Jesus!

What did Jesus do with all of these riches? He relinquished them. From this infinite height, Jesus performed the unimaginable condescension. Though He was rich, He became poor so that we might have the riches of which He let go — so that we might experience the immediate presence of God in heaven ourselves and live coram Deo (before the face of God) forever.

Those who repent and trust in Christ will become unimaginably rich in eternity. The Bible says that “we will inherit the earth” over which Jesus has all authority (Matthew 5:5). We will live in the immediate presence of God and He will dwell with us and we will be His people (Revelation 22:3). We will experience and share His love and joy in His immediate presence forever and ever.

The next time you are called by God to relinquish to Him something you cherish, remember all that Jesus relinquished to rescue you and make you eternally rich in Him.

Thank You, Father, that the Lord of glory
was crucified in weakness for our sakes!
He, the Lord of all, became the Lord of nothing
so that we might become immeasurably rich,
enjoying a face-to-face relationship with You for all eternity. O the magnitude of the generosity and grace of our Lord Jesus! We make our prayer in His name, AMEN.

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