All rulers bow before you, and gold and incense bring. All nations shall adore you; your praise all people sing!

from “All Hail to God’s Anointed,” James Montgomery, 1821

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Let the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute; let the kings of Sheba and Seba present gifts. Let all the kings bow down before him; let all the nations serve him. Let it be so, because he delivers the needy who cry out, the poor, and those who have no helper. He has compassion on the weak and the needy; he saves the lives of those who are in need. He redeems their lives from oppression and violence; their blood is precious in his eyes.

Psalm 72:10-14

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Did you start any new year’s resolutions yesterday? Resolutions shape how we spend our time. We want to start dating so we put time into getting to know more people. We want better grades so we buckle down on our classes. We want to get into better shape so we prioritize how much we exercise.

The kings in Psalm 72:10 decided how they were going to spend their time, too. They traveled a long way to bring presents to the king of Israel. And they did it because this king helped the needy. This king lived the way God wanted him to live, so he was worth investing time in.

Jesus was even better at living the way God wanted him to live. He did it perfectly! That makes him a better way to invest our time. What would it mean for us to spend a little more time serving Jesus, even while we find someone to date, or earn better grades, or get into shape?

Chip Hardwick

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Come, Holy Spirit, and show me the best ways to spend my time in 2017. Give me the wisdom and strength to focus on just the right things, and help me to put Jesus first. I pray in his name, amen.

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We’ll walk in the light, beautiful light. Come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright. Oh, shine all around us by day and by night. Jesus, the light of the world!

from “Jesus, the Light of the World,” George D. Elderkin, 1890

Chip Hardwick

Chip Hardwick is a pastor serving as the Director of Theology, Formation, and Evangelism for the Presbyterian Church (USA). He follows the star in Louisville, Kentucky, with his cat Ahoy.

Advent Waiting: Away in a Manger - O Come All Ye Faithful

David Burroughs

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