Friday, December 13, 2013

Celebrating Advent- Day 10

He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.  It will be said on that day, "Behold, this is our God!  We have waited for him, that he might save us.  This is the Lord!  We have waited for him.  Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation."

Isaiah 25:8-9

Does this verse speak of the birth of Christ?  The coming of Christ in our hearts?  The second coming?  I sort of think it's a combination of all three.  Read it through three times, each with one of those in mind.  Amazing, huh?

He HAS swallowed up death forever, friends!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Celebrating Advent- Day 9

And God said to me, "They're right.  They've spoken the truth.  I'll raise up for them a prophet like you from their kinsmen.  I'll tell him what to say and he will pass on to them everything I command him."

Deuteronomy 18:18

God had a plan from the very beginning.  Sometimes I wonder how.  And why.  But it's a story- from beginning to end.  Like the story of our lives, we can't take out all the mistakes and missteps and expect it to turn out beautiful and reconciled.  How could he reconcile someone who doesn't need reconciliation?

The law only served to show us our weakness, our shame, our guilt before him.  And in some small, foggy place in my brain, I think I understand the importance of that as a basis to our regeneration in Christ (on a corporate, worldwide level that spans all time).

The law set the stage for a completely awesome transformation....

This is the advent of our Jesus!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Celebrating Advent- Day 8

Look!  I'm sending my messenger on ahead to clear the way for me.  Suddenly, out of the blue, the Leader you've been looking for will enter his Temple- yes, the Messenger of the Covenant, the one you've been waiting for.  Look!  He's on his way!

Malachi 3:1


Saturday, December 07, 2013

Celebrating Advent- Day 7

We looked down on him, thought he was scum.  But the fact is, it was our pains he carried- our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.  We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures.  But it was our sinds that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him- our sins!  He took the punishment and that made us whole.  Through his bruises we get healed.

Isaiah 53:3-5

I think of the countless years that the OT prophets waited and watched for the arrival of their Saviour.  I'm sure they had many expectations and hopes for this man, but how many expected this?  I love how Jesus constantly blows us out of the water with the unexpected, the unconventional, the absolute unthinkable.  From his birth to his life, his death to his resurrection, nothing fit their expectations.  We look back now and just want to shake those folks into reality... "Can't you see the bigger picture?  The insanely awesome big picture?"

Yeah... that's how he's working in our lives right now.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Celebrating Advent- Day 6

Your throne is God's throne, ever and always; the scepter of your royal rule measures right living.  You love the right and hate the wrong.  And that is why God, your very own God, poured fragrant oil on your head, marking you out as king from among your dear companions.

Psalm 45:6-7

Another advent verse from the Old Testament.  This scripure is repeated in the New Testament.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”?
Or again,“I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God's angels worship him.”
Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.”
But of the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

Hebrews 1:1-9

I love how threads of Christ run so clearly through the Old Testament.  When we begin to read it through the lens of Jesus, it becomes one continuous story... rather than a disjointed "before and after".

This plan... to save us before we even knew we needed saving... incredible!