December 21 🌟 Immanuel (Isaiah 7:10-16)

Read Isaiah 7:10-16

Christ the Redeemer Statue (Brazil)

Immanuel means “God with us.” It’s one of the names we use for Jesus, especially at this time of year. Just let that little nugget resonate with you for a moment. In just a few short days we’ll be celebrating the birth of Jesus, our Immanuel. Because of Jesus, we have God with us. Do you believe that?

This prophecy from God through Isaiah may have a double fulfillment. We are most familiar with Matthew’s quoting the portion that refers to Jesus’ mother. “The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” From our perspective, Jesus fulfills this without question.

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December 3 🌟 Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 33:14-16)

Read Jeremiah 33:14-16

Heart made up of words used over and over "Christ is Your Righteousness"

Righteousness is one of those “churchy” words that might seem off-putting if you’re not familiar with the simple beauty. When I see that word, “righteousness,” I immediately translate it in my head to be–“right with God.” But the meaning is so much deeper and richer than that.

For me, I prefer to be on God’s “good side.” I’d be deceiving myself if I thought I was able to do it all on my own. That’s what makes righteousness, in this context, to be such a gift. God gave us Jesus to make us right with God.

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December 2 🌟 Waiting (Isaiah 64:1-9)

Read Isaiah 64:1-9

dog looking outside the window as if waiting for someone to return

I got goosebumps just reading the first two verses! As we read through these texts during Advent, I’d like you to do so using the “lens” of Jesus is coming. For us, we are waiting for Jesus to come back. Oh, what a joyous day that will be! The nations will most certainly tremble!

These verses just magnify God’s power yet keep him relatable. He’s not an untouchable God. Sometimes I forget how wonderful it is to have God working for me! “For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!”

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1 Kings 11:26-43 – Would You Flee?

Read 1 Kings 11:26-43

people running from a wild fire

“I didn’t see that coming,” Jeroboam must have thought. What else could have been going on in Jeroboam’s head when the prophet Ahijah tore his new cloak into twelve pieces? His fate was sealed that day in the field (as was King Solomon’s). Did you catch the intended parallel of Saul’s cloak, in 1 Samuel 15:27-28.

Don’t you sometimes wish you’d happen upon your own Ahijah with an assignment from the Lord? Especially if you are stuck asking the question, “What am I going to be when I grow up?” At almost 60 years of age, I find myself still asking that. Of course, having retired once, my next adventure is to honor God – but how?

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1 Kings 8:14-21 – Prophecy Fulfilled

Read 1 Kings 8:14-21

2 little girl hands doing a pinky promise

Is it just me, or have you been hearing a lot of prophetic declarations being made these days? I’m not sure if people have more time on their hands to hear from the Lord due to the pandemic or if they are just more in tune. Sadly, what I’m hearing most seems to be doom and gloom being spread as a word from God. Not sure how I feel about that!

Do I believe it? Is it credible? I’m sure even the great prophets from the Bible struggled. The message they were getting wasn’t all sunshine and daisies! They were not popular glimpses into the future. However, the words spoken to David were not only a prophecy but also a promise. Remember a prophecy is not “foretelling” but forthtelling announcements of promise, warnings of punishment and woe.

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