Posts Tagged ‘ Advent ’

Advent 2022 – Day 4: Isaiah 9:13

The people did not turn to him who struck them, nor inquire of the Lord of hosts.

Isaiah 9:13, ESV

At Advent, we look back at why Jesus had to come, that He came, and then that He will come again.

We do horrible things to each other and against God.

We don’t like to believe that God punishes people, either. However, the Old Testament shows how often Israel disobeyed God, and God allowed and even sent disasters and armies to correct them and draw them back to Himself.

But we like to think we know better, so we refuse to go to Him or even blame Him for everything wrong in this life.

How could He allow such bad things to happen? How could a good God let evil happen to good people?

But He has told us that none of us are truly good, that we don’t seek our Maker.

He sends and allows because He has given us the choice to ignore, hate, and refuse Him.

Yet God came to us, willingly taking our hatred and accusations and refusals to the cross, giving us in return grace and forgiveness and acceptance.

Yes, God sends things that hurt but it to draw us in, and He also sends Himself to hold us.

May we seek the Lord who draws us in.

Advent 2022 – Day 3: Isaiah 9:4

For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.

Isaiah 9:4, ESV

At Advent, we look back at why Jesus had to come, that He came, and then that He will come again.

There are many times in this world that we burden and oppress each other.

We either attempt to force our own will on others, add our will (rules) to God’s will, or have the will of others forced on us.

We dare to put ourselves in God’s place or blame Him for the sin of others.

We willingly choose our own path, carrying the burden of our sin, thinking we are good in our own right.

The ways of this world drag us down, and we complain and try to fix things ourselves … or accept that we are nothing and hold onto this view.

And many times we lash out at each other, seeking comfort, even if through burdening others.

And if we blame God, we also say His ways must be more burdensome, not wanting to acknowledge that we have burdened ourselves.

Yet God came to us, willingly taking our burden upon His shoulders, removing the oppression of sin by dying on the cross we deserved!

We may still struggle with the problems of this world, but Jesus has promised that we will have troubles. He has given us His yoke of loving others.

May we seek to lead our world to theOne who ends sin’s oppression.

Advent 2022 – Day 2: Isaiah 9:2

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.

Isaiah 9:2, ESV

At Advent, we look back at why Jesus had to come, that He came, and then that He will come again.

We live in a dark world.

Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve broke the one command of God that should have been the easiest: “Don’t eat this fruit.”

Yes, sin means missing the mark, falling short, turning away from God.

Sin is ultimately separation. We are born separated from God because of our super-great grandparents, yet we also choose to remain separated by our own choices.

We live behind a veil that blocks His light, and that veil is too heavy to remove ourselves.

It is as if we blocked out the sun to stop it’s heat, and then we climbed into a steep cave, falling to the bottom, unable to climb back out let alone remove the barrier between us and God.

Yet God came to us, the sun itself removing the barrier and lifting us up. God Himself lifted the veil to be with us.

Yes, we still live in a darkened world full of sin and separation, but God has lifted the veil over us. As we go into this world, the people will see the light streaming through us from above.

May we seek to be that light as we take Him into this dark world.

Advent 2022 – Day 1: Isaiah 9:1

But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

Isaiah 9:1, ESV

At Advent, we look back at why Jesus had to come, that He came, and then that He will come again.

As humans, we have a tendency to let those around us influence us more than God.

Look at Eve with the serpent.

Look at the brothers of Joseph, even though Reuben had tried to save him, still going along with his brothers.

Look at Israel as a nation, constantly turning to the gods of their neighbors.

Zebulun and Naphtali were the same, living way in the north of Israel, what came to be known as Galilee, often overrun with Gentile pagans, and they frequently gave in to their practices rather than worship the one true God.

Yet, God tells them that in the last days they would be blessed.

There is a reminder that we all fall short of God, that we need His help to be good, righteous, holy. We may wander far from Him, yet God comes to us. He makes a way for us. God comes and shares His glory.

If we are willing to see His light in our dark world.

VerseD: Isaiah 9:7

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 9:7, ESV

God has come to us and saved us, and when He returns His Kingdom shall be the only kingdom full of His saved saints.

VerseD: Matthew 2:10-11

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2:10‭-‬11, ESV

Whether we have riches or nothing, feel like experts or novices or somebody’s or nobodies, God gave us the ultimate sign of hope through the gift of His Son.
Let us worship Him with everything we have, are, and do. For this baby grew to become our ransom from sin and death, and He is coming again!

VerseD: Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14, ESV

God came to us in a most unexpected way: as a human baby. But the man He grew into brought us hope and salvation from God’s wrath through His death and resurrection!

VerseD: Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Philippians 4:4, ESV

For all our Lord has done and is doing, for all His gifts and care, we have every reason to rejoice and praise Him. Let us celebrate His first and second coming every day!

VerseD: Luke 12:40

“You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Luke 12:40, ESV

Jesus can return at any moment. This should give us a sense of urgency to proclaim the Gospel and of hope in the end of suffering and evil.

VerseD: John 1:4-5

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:4‭-‬5, ESV

Our world is indeed a dark place. Yet, our Lord – the light of the world – is not overcome.

Indeed, the world tried to kill Him, but He rose back to life and will return in victory!