Re: Verse reading–Acts 3:1-20 (day six)
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. Acts 3:1
I imagine going to the Temple to pray was a matter of meaningful routine. They found themselves there often, along with many new believers. They continued in their Jewish temple traditions in a renewed and refreshing way, in the power of the Spirit. They did not go to the temple to be accosted by a man lame from birth, and yet they were.
“Look at us.” Peter said. Amazing. He did not look the other way to avoid an awkward moment or inconvenience, or hope that the lame man would move on to someone else. No, he said, “Look at us.” Peter and John entered into interruption, and a man was healed, and no less significant, others heard the good news of Jesus.
They went to the temple for meaningful prayer and ended up with a meaningful interruption. Your interruptions can be just as meaningful. Don’t miss them.
Re:Verse reading–2 Corinthians 5:11-21 (day six)
“…that we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
This is startling. This is the work of Jesus; he became “as if” he were our sin, so that we could become His righteousness. We have never known righteousness of our own, in the same way that Jesus never knew unrighteousness of His own. This is precisely what captivated Paul; he called it treasure. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels,” Jesus, the righteousness of God.
Does that good news startle you? Is it your treasure? What a worthwhile daily prayer:
Father, may I be totally and completely captivated by your Son, my righteousness.
Now pray it with me!
Nineteenth Day of Advent
Isaiah 40:1-5 (NASB)
“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.
“Speak kindly to Jerusalem;
And call out to her, that her warfare has ended,
That her iniquity has been removed,
That she has received of the LORD’s hand
Double for all her sins.”
A voice is calling,
“Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
“Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
What glorious words with which to announce the coming of the LORD!
What is more comforting than to know with surety that one’s sins, transgressions, and iniquities have been removed. Ironside tells us, “Double for all her sins” is a commercial expression. If a property was mortgaged for a debt, a notice spelling out all the conditions, including information of the lien-holder, would be posted on the doorpost. When the lien was fulfilled, the notice would be folded up, doubled, and tacked in place to indicate that all the conditions of the mortgage had been met.
What a rich picture of my life! I am a sinner; the Lord has given His life to meet the requirements of God to erase my sin. Now He has declared me cleansed!
But that is not all. This good news is available to all; it must be shared! The hills and valleys – what a vivid picture of Jerusalem where one must climb to go both to and fro; what an apt description of each person’s life with all its stumbling blocks – will be leveled to make possible the entrance of this GOOD NEWS, in the Person of Jesus Christ – His incarnation, His substitutionary death, His resurrection and ascension, His coming again.
That is my role, your privilege – to remove the hindrances that impede the advance of the Good News, the KING, from coming near to each one within earshot.
The KING is coming. He came as a child and a suffering Servant; He will come as KING and Judge. How can I best share this good news? How can I help to make the way level for His coming?
Re: Verse reading – John 6:25-51
Re: Verse reading–2 Timothy 1:6-14; 2:1-15 (day two)
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. vs. 12
Imprisoned and alone, Paul’s words to Timothy show the fervor of his commitment to Christ. How often when discussing faith have your heard the words ‘it’s a private matter’? Yes, each person has to account for themselves and is responsible to the Lord, but we are not to be ashamed to give account of our faith in Christ Jesus. Paul’s imprisonment only emboldened his resolve to share the Good News and to encourage others to do the same. We are not in prison or in bondage, let us therefore share boldly with others.