Chris Tiegreen

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Chris Tiegreen

Chris Tiegreen

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Advent Devotional

Isaiah 9:1-7

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

The human heart longs for fulfillment. We want to be satisfied, content, and whole. We want that rare and precious sense that all is right in our world—that our mistakes are redeemable, that our broken relationships can become unbroken, and that our longings can and will be met. We want the richness and fullness of God’s kingdom. In other words, we want what the Bible calls shalom.

That’s the Hebrew word we often translate as peace, and it does mean that. But it’s so much more. It’s a state of spiritual, emotional, and physical wellbeing that resembles the abundant life Jesus promised. It has been used as a Hebrew greeting, a blessing of peace for those who know all too well the fallenness of this world and long for more. It’s an echo of our original design and a hint of what’s to come when God makes everything right. Shalom is the climate of his kingdom.

Everyone strives for shalom, but most are looking for it in the wrong places—the right job, the perfect soul-mate, enough money to buy the things money really can’t buy, an impressive reputation, the accomplishments that will confirm our worth to others or ourselves, or even the end of a long to-do list. Most of those desires come from a true need but manifest in distorted ways. They often promise shalom but deliver discontentment. They aren’t enough.

God knows those deep needs, and he wants to meet them. That’s why the promised child healed and delivered and restored lives. He taught truth and offered eternity. He continues to counsel and comfort and guide us into the abundance of his kingdom. Because the climate of the Father’s kingdom is shalom, the Son is the Prince of Shalom. It’s why he came.

The promise of Advent is more than a promise of peace. It’s even more than a promise of eternal life. It’s a gift of the fullness of the kingdom for all who will receive it now. All of our longings are ultimately met in the Prince of Shalom, who wants to fill our hearts with the riches of his presence and restore us with his love. The child in Bethlehem was more than a good teacher and a sacrifice for sin. He is the answer to our gaping needs and the fulfillment of our deepest longings.

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