Hard to believe that the second week of Advent has started! The flurry is definitely well underway! Here’s the second article in my advent series:
We worship the King. That is what Christmas is all about. Advent is being prepared to adore our King.
Psalm 72 describes our king in detail:
- A trustworthy and righteous judge
- Brings justice to the poor and needy
- He brings peace
- Breaks the oppressors
- He will be feared
- His reign is everlasting
- He brings abundance, nourishment, and growth
- He will reign over the whole earth
- All will bow before Him
- Kings will bring presents and gifts
- All nations will serve Him
- He will deliver the poor and needy
- He will save the souls of the needy
- He will redeem their lives from oppression and violence
- He will hold the poor and needy as precious
- He lives
- His Kingdom will have riches
- Prayer and praise continually part of His Kingship
- All will be blessed in Him
- Does wondrous things
- The whole earth is filled with His glory!
Okay, that’s a pretty wonderful list! Something worth waiting for, right? And worth getting excited over!
Isaiah 11:1–10This is another incredible description of the Coming King and what ultimately awaits us!
He will judge RIGHTEOUSLY, not based on appearance but on the truth. He shall judge with equity. He will defeat his enemies. He will strike with His rod.
Note that Jesus is not some mamby pamby sugar daddy in the skies. He is strong, a warrior, to be feared…
But He is also righteous, faithful, and will set everything to rights, especially for the poor and oppressed. The meek who will inherit the earth as Jesus describes in the Sermon on the Mount.
Reminds me of Aslan in Chronicles of Narnia. I love how C.S. Lewis depicts Jesus through this metaphor:
“Aslan is a lion–the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he–quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you.”
And then the last part of this passage in Isaiah is definitely something to look forward to: The wolf will live with the lamb and the leopard and young goat will lie down together. It goes on to describe how animals and humans will not be afraid of each other anymore and there will be no hurt.
Very reminiscent of Jesus as a baby in a stable or cave with animals all around. He is the “Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people, For the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious!”
This theme is continued by Paul in this chapter. The Gentiles will find hope in Jesus. All that was written before (The Old Testament) was for our “patience and comfort” so that me “might have hope.”
Because He is the God of patience and comfort. Now is the time to gather with like-minded believers and “glorify the God and Father our Lord Jesus Christ.”
That’s why we can receive one another. We might have a lot of differences with fellow believers but what we have in common is Christ. He became a servant of the law for the truth of God, so that God’s promises would be confirmed.
The result? This blessing: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
As I write this, I’m listening to a livestream choir presentation that our Content Director Tammie Polk invited me to. The Crossroads Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn. Pastor Clinton Patterson spoke while I was writing and it inspired me. This is what I heard and I agree with him:
He loves you and He wants you to come to Him as you are. He died for you and He was raised from the dead. Welcome Jesus into your heart tonight. He will forgive your sin. Turn from that sin and ask Him to come into your heart, save you, forgive you, and ask Him to be your Savior and Lord.
THAT is the reason for the season and the reason we wait for His Glorious Appearing!
Repent. That was the message that John the Baptist preached. And they came. John was a voice crying in the wilderness. He prepared the way for the Lord. He said that One would come after him more mightier than John. He wasn’t worthy to even until Jesus’ sandals!
And he had some choice words for the religious leaders of his day…
Of course John was Jesus’ cousin, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth.
That wonderful story about John leaping in Elizabeth’s womb because He recognized Jesus in Mary’s womb. And how John’s father couldn’t speak until that moment he wrote that his son’s name would be John, completely breaking with tradition.
But back to repent. It’s a word that is not popular these days. What does that even mean?
It’s turning from the ways you miss God’s mark. We all have missed that mark. We all have gone astray. Jesus also preached the message, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is near.”
How have you (and I—I’m speaking to myself here, too) not loved God with all your heart, soul, and mind and not loved others as yourself?
So this advent season, what do you need to turn away from and what do you need to embrace instead?
How can that help you be ready for Christmas and beyond?
It’s a tough question for all of us, including me!