25 Gifts of Christmas • Day 10
Week 2 • Day 10

A Surprise Visit


By
  • Joe Hardin

A Surprise Visit

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

Revelation 3:20

On the morning of Christmas Day 2008, we got up, excited about the gifts we knew the kids were about to open and the memories we would build as a family. Later, we were going to meet my parents at my sister’s house to spend time with extended family. When we were just about to open presents, there was a knock at the door. As we got closer to the door, we heard voices—it was my mom and dad! This was not normal for them, a step outside of their box. We were so excited to have this extra time, and it became a gift that we have remembered in a special way over the years. You see, we never celebrated another Christmas with them. They both went to be with the Lord during the following year.

In Isaiah 6:1-6, Isaiah records his own surprise encounter, but his was with a triune, holy God “high and lifted up.” In the trauma of that moment, He could only cry, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” A.W. Tozer says he “had never been introduced to the presence of the Uncreated.” He saw the seraphim chanting their praises to the Trinity 800 years before Mary delivered the second person of the Trinity in a Bethlehem manger. After the seraph touched his lips with the burning coal to cleanse his sin, he was gloriously called into a prophetic ministry. One chapter later, he delivered the great prophecy that a “virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Then Mary received a surprise visit from an angel years later!

I can still remember the smile on my parents faces when we answered the door on our last Christmas together. But how much greater it is to behold the face of Immanuel, God with us! All worship is a response to God’s initiative. He came to Isaiah in that powerful moment, and today He knocks at the door of your life. Do you hear His voice? He wants to initiate time together with you at a table for two in the human heart. Invite Him in. His wondrous presence can transform you, and you can be forever changed!


Staff Bio

Joe Hardin

Associate Minister of Instrumental Music

Joe is very passionate about how instrumental ensembles may be used to draw God’s people together in corporate worship, and therefore recognizes the opportunity for instrumentalists to use their gifts to glorify God and edify the church. Joe and his wife, Paige, are parents of three boys.


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