Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Compendium of Last Week’s Church Blog Posts

I’ve been writing a short devotional thought on the church blog over at every day. I thought I’d skip out on real content here, today, and repost all of that. I doubt I need permission, since I’m the content creator Smile


The First Monday of Advent 2014

It’s so easy to celebrate Jesus on Sundays. There’s not much else going on, and we can block out the world.

Monday is different. Monday puts us back to school, back to work, back to the responsibilities. What do we do?

Look with me at Isaiah 40:1-11 and consider this:

1. God’s presence brings comfort, but not all comfort is what we expect. His comfort is His presence and His Word.

2. God shepherds His people, carrying the weak and guiding us along. It’s not a sit and soak life. It’s a walk of obedience.

But it’s a walk in community, with the presence of the Good Shepherd. Which is so much better than the wandering alone we often try to do. Even when we have a destination. Hearken to the words of the Shepherd, and walk in His paths.

It’s the only way to make it through the Mondays of life.

The First Tuesday of Advent 2014

Look with me at Psalm 85:1-2 and let us take a moment on this Tuesday to consider this:

The Psalmist speaks first of the history of Israel and their deliverance from Egypt in the Exodus. Yet he speaks of deeper things as well, for he speaks of the captivity to sin.

Verse 2 speaks of forgiveness of iniquity and covering of sin. Not just some of it, but all of it. Verse 1 speaks of grace and restoration.

As we move on through the lights and mayhem, let us remember that the coming of Christ, what we celebrate at Christmas, is the key point in establishing our relationship with God. It was there in the manger that the path to the cross began.

This is our restoration through the grace of God. This is where our sin is covered, and our iniquity forgiven. Live Christmas as if forgiven!

1st Wednesday of Advent 2014

2 Peter 3:8-15 reminds us of an important truth: God is not bothered by time. Not one bit. All the times we think He is slow, we need to come back to this point.

The Incarnation, the coming of Jesus that we celebrate at Christmas, came at the right time. His second coming will also occur at just the right moment. It is remarkably easy for us to get impatient and think that God should show up on our timetable.

He doesn’t. And it is not because He’s a slacker, nor for lack of love toward you and I.

But keep this in mind: the return of Christ marks the permanence of judgment. From that point forward, there is no Scriptural support that anyone else will be saved. No one.

So if the Lord tarries one more day, it is for the sake of His people. It is to allows us one more day to walk in obedience and shine the light, that one more lost soul can find their way home.

Shine the light this year, and point the way home for those who are lost.

First Thursday of Advent 2014

Mark 1:1-8 (for the record, I’m pulling the passages from the Revised Common Lectionary. Not a very Baptist thing, but it gives a good Scripture place to start) tells that John Baptist came, fulfilling the prophecy of a forerunner, a messenger, that would before Jesus.

He filled a role common in the ancient world. When a king travelled somewhere, he would send an advance team to make sure all was right for his arrival.

You’d hate for the king to find no room in the inn, for example. That would be bad.

But here’s the deal, my fellow believers: Jesus is coming again. And this time, it’s not just John the Baptist who is responsible for announcing his coming. It’s John, and Doug, and Mary Ann, and Olivia, and Rachel, and Gary, and Jennifer, and Ted, and Susan, Carl, Martha Ann, Jonathan, Ryan, Karlyn, and….well, you get the point. (and it’s not that I left your name off!) It’s all those Baptists and the Methodists and Presbyterians and everyone else. We are all here to proclaim that the Lord is coming.

Let’s not miss that this Christmas. But even if we do…don’t miss it in January.

First Friday of Advent 2014

Turning our attention to Psalm 85:8-13, take a look at what God says here:

First, “peace to His people.”

Second, “salvation is near to those who fear Him.”

Third, “Lovingkindness and truth have met.”

Fourth, “Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”

What of it all?

It is remarkably easy to separate peace from fear or love from truth. Righteousness does not always pair well with peace—but the Psalmist says these all go together. How?

In the same way that God and man go together. Not through great theological gymnastics, nor through many words. It is not by some incantations chanted by people.

Instead, it is by the one Word of God, putting on flesh and dwelling among us. All of these seemingly conflicting ideas: love, truth, peace, justice, salvation, fear; all of these come together because of Jesus.

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