An Invitation to Intimacy with Our Savior

by James McLeod

Day 9 of Advent

Upon hearing the lyrics of "O Come All Ye Faithful," we experience peaceful joy and soothing gaiety. We recognize that angels would indeed sing in exultation, and that the hosts of heaven would rightly give glory while mankind should openly and joyously greet the Godchild. Great wonder and anticipation are found in John Francis Wade's libretti, for this Child is God-in-flesh appearing.

We must not, however, lose consciousness of the fact that intimacy with the Lord is not an experience common to all. Five key words are particularly important and serve as both a promise and a warning, as an open invitation yet an implicit rejection - strengthening the heart yet sobering to the mind. The invitation to come is conditioned by the heart of the listener. Does the listener hear well or has sentimentality taken over the mental capacity to think clearly and spiritually?

Men are often plagued by vain sentimentality rather than the deep spirituality. They have given over their God-given senses to the temporarily sensational rather than to the eternally supernatural designs and workings of God evidenced all around and through their busy, hurried, and self-consumed lives.

All ye faithful is laden with both eager anticipation for some and unnerving fear for others. Those who heed the call look with eager anticipation to behold the King, while the self-limited listener faces the King with unnerving fear, unable to come into the presence of the glad King, regardless of dance and timbrel, incense and offering, song and prayer.

The privilege to adore the King, Christ the Lord, is a privilege offered to all yet only received by a few. God's portentous warning through the farmer-rancher prophet is unmistakable: "I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; and I will not look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps" (Amos 5:21-23, NASB).

What peace we forfeit through feigning ceremony, seeking the applause of self and others! What painful treachery to think that for a moment God is fooled by sanctimonious activity "in His name." Heart-wrenching disappointment awaits those who have deceived themselves into thinking because they know of Him, they know Him. The question to be answered is not how much of God you have, but how much of you does God have? What horrendous terror the ears would suffer if, upon proclamation of "Lord, Lord," they were only to hear the words of the King, "Depart from me, I never acknowledged you."

My friend, seek the Lord while He may be found, and live! He invites, all ye faithful to enter into His presence with great anticipation. Yes, all ye genuine, humble servants of Christ the King, come let us adore Him!

James McLeod, Pastor at Chisum Trails Cowboy Church, is a current Ph.D. in Leadership Studies student with a concentration in Ministry Leadership at Dallas Baptist University.

Today’s devotional is accompanied by an interview with Josh Maple is a current Music Business student at Dallas Baptist University. Josh recorded a rendition of "O Come all Ye Faithful" with Emma McIntosh, a current Music Business student, as part of the Advent series. Watch Josh's interview explaining how the Christmas hymn helps us glorify the Lord together as a body of believers. The full recording of the song is also available below.

Click the play button above to hear "O Come All Ye Faithful" performed by Josh Maple and Emma McIntosh

Recording Engineer: Blake Hoffman and Josh Maple | Written by: John Francis Wade | Arranged by: George Hornok

Josh Maple and Emma McIntosh are both seniors majoring in Music Business at Dallas Baptist University.