Our classic advent devotional

What child of God, saved by grace, does not turn with an ever new interest and spiritual delight to Bethlehem in “the fullness of time,” to contemplate in humble adoration the mystery of salvation, revealed, yet hid, in the child in the manger? ... Millions of sermons have been delivered on this theme…but the theme was never exhausted and always kindles anew the interest of the believer.—Herman Hoeksema
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Christ’s poverty, our riches

Spiritually, we are very poor, by nature. We are poverty-stricken, spiritually bankrupt in ourselves. This poverty is the terrible poverty of sin, of death, of the curse, of hell! It is a poverty far more awful than the worst of material poverty. Do you recognize that poverty as yours? The whole church for which Christ died is poor, spiritually destitute. Think of the corrupt host for which Christ died, of the wretched sinners we all are, even now. If you think of your own terrible poverty, the poverty of a nature completely depraved, then you can see something of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He, being rich, was made poor on our behalf.

There is no other explanation for it but grace—undeserved favor. Christ was under no obligation to come into our poverty. He did not have to come to Bethlehem! He certainly did not have to save you and me! It was grace! It was our poverty that created the necessity for that horrible, foul-smelling stable in Bethlehem in which Christ was born. Do not attempt, like so many do, to make that stable a cozy, lovely place. It speaks of our sins and the depths of our poverty. It is our shame!

—Read the meditation ‘Christ’s poverty, our riches’ in the upcoming December 1 issue of the Standard Bearer by Rev. Michael DeVries.

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