Today’s scripture is a prophesy from Zechariah who was celebrating all that God was doing and will do as it concerns the Messiah. He was John the Baptist’s father. The Lord’s coming or visitation is to redeem his people and bring salvation from the house of David. Zechariah mentions the long tradition of the Prophets of old and connecting that to the fulfillment.
It also meant making a difference here on earth. Saved from the enemies and haters, show mercy that was promised and fulfilling the covenant. In this salvation might serve him without fear and in holiness and righteousness for all our days.
Jesus is that salvation, and Zechariah’s son John will join that prophetic tradition going before the Lord, preparing the way, and giving knowledge of salvation and forgiveness. John’s birth was also a miraculous and he was in the tradition of the Prophets before him and also the last of his kind. Telling the prophecies of old and pointing the people to the fulfillment of those prophecies in Jesus.
What we can be sure of is that God keeps his promises. He loves us and saves us. We should serve him because of his great mercy. Also, we are connected to all those who have been looking for his coming and experience his salvation.
Yesterday’s devotion, what moves us from gathering to following?
Paul shares his testimony with the church at Philippi. He tells them that he is in prison for Christ. Many might think that it would slow the spread of the gospel. It spread even more because of Paul’s incarceration. He had a captive audience with the guards whose job it was to keep an eye on the prisoners. There was also the other prisoners who could also not leave and would hear the gospel as well.
Most of the brothers had become embolden by Paul’s unswerving faith. It brought many to a place of fearlessness to share the gospel. What about you? What would inspire you all the more to share the good news of Christ?
Many different people will preach or speak out of different motivation, some from envy or competition, and others for goodwill. Those who speak motivated by goodwill do so out of love. Paul and his love and zeal for Christ landed him in prison. The envious do so for selfish ambition, almost thinking they were rubbing it in Paul’s face while he was imprisoned.
Paul has a different view, rejoicing in both, because in both the gospel is saving lives. How far would you follow Christ? Prison? The Cross? How easy would it be to ignore jealousy and trust God can work through any and everyone?
The crowds began to gather as they always do. Perhaps they have heard rumors of what could be…the Messiah. Many heard about his teaching, some his miracles, and others his healings. They are all coming, looking, and wondering. Perhaps looking at his appearance. Was there something about the way Jesus looked that would have been a clue?
Why do you come looking for Jesus? Is it about a need or healing? Are you part of the crowds that gather? Interesting that the activity of the crowds is gather and maybe ask questions. While crowds may gather, followers follow. Are you a gatherer or a follower?
The crowd isn’t concerned about faith, they ask for a sign or proof. Jesus speaks of the sign of Jonah who preached destruction and the people heard it and repented. Jesus then tells them the queen of south will rise and judge with the wisdom of Solomon is here.
Jesus compared his current generation to the Ninevites and when the judgement comes. Nineveh will be better off for they have heard and repented.
This current generation hears, but do they gather to question instead of follow?
Do you gather with the crowd or follow the Savior?
2 Samuel 7:22-24
You are great and wonderful, O Lord God. There is no one like you, and there is no God besides you. That is truly what it means to be God, the supreme being. By that description of God there can only be one, a singular definition entity. One from which all things were created and have their meaning and purpose.
God is great and wonderful and there is no one like God. And who then is like God’s people that he has chosen and redeemed. Before the time of Jesus, God chose Israel as his people. Through Jesus, God offers salvation to all those who will believe in him and live according to his purposes.
God choose us and loves us. We are God’s and that is not just for a time but for all time. We are his and what a wonderful delight to be the Lord’s. If he is your God, we should live as his people in the world today.
We call God Father, and when you have a good Father you should tell people about them and be proud to be their children. When we see our father, we know that part of them is in us. Having a great Father makes us confident in who we are because we know we are his.
The scripture for today tells us about predictions from the Prophets about the coming of the Savior. When we think about Advent we are anticipating and expecting God’s fulfillment of his promises. It was in that time, as now, people are impatient and if they don’t see it, they won’t believe. However, to God who is eternal, one day is a thousand years on earth.
The Lord isn’t slow to fulfill his promise but is showing patience and grace. The perceived delay is also allowing more time for people to come to saving knowledge and have an opportunity to repent. It isn’t that God is lazy or unconcerned.
The birth of Jesus came at an unexpected time, and for many, in an unexpected way. We go through Advent anticipating the second Advent or coming of Christ at the culmination of all things. Scripture says, “like a thief in the night.”
So, then we should live like each day could be the last. Sharing Christ with all, thanking God for his patience and grace. Don’t get carried away by all the talk but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. Today could be the day, are you ready?
On this first day of Advent we read a selection from the Prophet Jeremiah concerning the coming Messiah. The Prophet offers a reminder that the days are coming. In other words, don’t be discouraged, the days are coming. God has not forgotten His promises and He hasn’t forgotten you. The days are coming for God to fulfill His promise. God always fulfills His promises.
God had promised to the houses of Israel and Judah that a righteous branch to spring up for David. David’s “branch” or ancestor in David’s family tree, will arrive to execute justice and righteousness in the land. It is through the line of David that justice and righteousness will be fulfilled.
In those days there will be salvation, peace, and righteousness. We recognize that Jesus is this branch in the family tree of David who has come to bring salvation, peace, justice, and righteousness. Jesus is Savior of the world. God kept His promise in the best way by sending his very own Son.
We celebrate the coming of Christ. We celebrate the salvation he brings. We celebrate justice, peace, and righteousness. We also celebrate that God keeps promises. This year while we celebrate Christ’s coming, we also celebrate God’s promise that Christ will return in all his glory.
Advent is a season of expectation and anticipation of the coming of Christ into the world. During this season many churches including our own celebrate with many symbols such as an Advent Wreath. Inside the wreath is four candles and one in the middle. It is representative of the building of the light and then Christ the true light of Christ coming into the world today.
Each candle represents a different part of the journey, staring in week one with Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. Would you journey with me and the days ahead? Together we can be filled with hope, thankful in peace, content in joy, and blessed in love.
God bless you as we look forward to the birth of Christ our newborn King!