Peace

Today begins the second week of Advent reminders. One tradition holds that the theme of this week is peace. What better prophetic text for peace that this familiar and great promise of God?

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

The eternal Son of God would come to bring peace between God and his people. The Apostle Paul gives a clear explanation of this in Romans 5:1-11.

https://bible.com/bible/59/rom.5.1-11.ESV

Thanks be to God for his work on our behalf to bring us peace! May we lift up the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace!

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Advent Hope

This week we’ve noted that remembering the faithfulness of God is a key to hope. Advent is a beginning, not just just of the new Christian year, but for us to renew our hope in our faithful God. To soak in the word of God is not just a meaningful habit, it is a way to be reminded of the greatness of our awesome God who keeps promises.

Hope is built by discipline.

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Advent sets a tone

Since the Christian year begins with Advent, it is yet another opportunity to set a fresh (or renew an old) practice of remembering the faithfulness of God. Psalm 111 has a particularly helpful verse.

“Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.”
‭‭(Psalm‬ ‭111:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

Another version replaces “studied” with “pondered”. Yes, during Advent let us study, ponder the greatness of the Lord. This gives us hope for the future in this already, not yet time.

So remember! Hold on pilgrim! Hold on to Jesus!

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Advent – Remember the promises

God promised…

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭23:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Jesus came. God delivered. Freedom is. Condemnation is GONE for we who are IN Christ!

Advent is about God’s promises, those he fulfilled in Jesus and those to come!

Remember the promises, HE is faithful!

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Advent is for thanks for help

Another look at a verse and a word.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

“That.”

We all need mercy. Daily mercy. Ultimate mercy.

“…that we may receive…” connects the provision, mercy and grace, with the way to find it – “draw near”. It is when we draw near to the throne that we receive. This is what Jesus meant by abiding in him, to freely draw near. Just the way I am. Not dressed up, hiding behind some nice looking facade. The real broken me. I can draw near.

Because Jesus took on the human to make it possible for me to boldly run to the throne! Accepted! Because of his work for me, you, us. Bringing mercy and grace. Help.

Advent is for thanks for help.

Draw near.

Marinate.

Abide.

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Advent – confident hope

Yesterday we glanced at a great text in the letter to the Hebrews. Here is another look at one of those verses.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, ESV)

When Jesus came, he came as completely man and also completely God. No mixture. 100% 100%. The text above has a couple of key words. The first key word is “sympathize”. As a fully human person, Jesus was tempted just as you and I are. When we struggle, he gets it. He has felt it. And that brings us to the second key word.

The word “yet” is our second word today. Jesus struggled and was tempted. Yet he never succumbed to the temptation so that it led to sin. This is where Jesus, as 100% God, saves the day. He could complete his work because he is man and because he is God.

Our confidence is completely in Jesus, who came humbly and took on the flesh of a person just like you and me. Our confidence is in Jesus who is going to come back. This is the already, not yet. It is the base of our confident hope in Jesus.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

Confident advent hope.

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