Monday: Genesis 49
Tuesday: Luke 5
Wednesday: Psalm 19
Thursday: Galatians 4
Friday: Genesis 49, Luke 5, Psalm 19, Galatians 4
Monday, Genesis 49
God reveals, through Jacob, that from Judah will come a king. King David will come through this line and then ultimately Christ, our eternal King, the Lion of Judah. He will, like Judah, be praised by His people, be triumphant over his enemies, and the nations will submit to Him. What a picture of our coming King!
I was especially struck by verse 18, though. In a long list of predictions and pronouncements about the future of his children, Jacob interjects a small prayer: I wait for your salvation, O Lord.
I imagine a father, knowing his days on earth are coming to an end, looking lovingly at his children and knowing that the road ahead will be packed with both difficulty and triumph, hardship and joy. As he speaks his blessings and prophecies over his beloved sons, he pauses to cry out to the Lord, and then goes right back to prophecy. Jacob knows what we all as parents are learning – without God’s intervention and salvation, even our very best efforts won’t amount to much. We can’t save our kids. We wait for your salvation, Lord. Please let your salvation be upon our children.
Stop to pray for your children today. Pray that God would intervene in their lives and draw them to Himself. If you don’t have children, spend some time in prayer for grandchildren, nieces or nephews, or lock arms with a friend in prayer for their children. I know as a mother I am deeply blessed when friends pray for my children.
All our parenting and predictions and worries and protection will amount to little outside of God’s interventions. We wait for you Lord.
Tuesday, Luke 5
How good is Jesus? I’m reading Luke 5 today and just thinking about the astonishment that must have been on Simon Peter’s face as he pulled in their nets teeming with fish, so full they were breaking, just minutes after he had tried and caught no fish. I imagine the astonishment on the leper’s face as Jesus reaches out to touch him, perhaps the first physical touch he has had in years, and his wounds disappear. I imagine the shock on the faces of the paralyzed man and his friends as he takes his first, trembling steps. And I will confess: sometimes Jesus feels so familiar that I forget to be astonished. Sometimes the gifts all around me feel so commonplace and I fail to be amazed. This Scripture made me pause. And then cry.
I want to be astonished by Jesus’s immense, undeserved love for me. I want to daily stand amazed at the incredible gifts that He has given me. I am blown away that He would invite me to the table, clothed in His righteousness.
How are you standing amazed at Jesus this week?
Take some time today to list a few astounding gifts He has given you. Let your heart fill with gratitude at His amazing grace!
Wednesday, Psalm 19
Before time began, long before we existed, God’s creation proclaimed His goodness and glory. How humbling to serve a God of this magnitude, a God praised by even the sun and the sky! How incredible to serve a God whose testimony is sure, whose teachings are right and true. And what a privilege to be able to call out to Him with the prayer of the Psalmist and know that He will answer:
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”
Thursday, Galatians 4
So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. God has redeemed His people, once under the law, and given us His Spirit, adopted us as sons and daughters and enabled us to call Him Abba! Father!
Redemption. Adoption. Salvation.
We are moved with awe and wonder. Our God has gone to great lengths to rescue us from sin, to give us the Spirit and to make us His family. Again, we stand amazed at the work of Jesus and the grace of our loving Father.
Stand in awe today at the reality that God would send His Son to die so that you could be adopted into His family.
Imagine God as the most loving and perfect Father (He is!). Spend some time in prayer today imagining yourself as a little child, crawling up into this strong Daddy’s lap, able to rest in complete confidence and safety. Rest there a while, Beloved.
“So, what are you guys looking forward to right now?” a friend asked the girls and I as we piled on the couch a few months ago. It was an innocent question, but it was met with silence as we all looked uncertainly at each other.
We didn’t even know where we were going to live next. Add to that the fact that the world had been shut down and reopened and then shut down again over the course of the last year and a half, and I wondered if we had forgotten how to look forward to anything with so many expectations going unmet and so much being changed or canceled.
Between a global pandemic, a few medical emergencies, unexpected travel, canceled travel, and then a big move, we had just stopped getting excited. After all, if you don’t hope for anything, you can’t be disappointed. I watched this in my children, and recognized it in my own heart with shock and sadness.
We didn’t know how to make plans anymore without expecting that something would probably change that interfered with them. Looking forward to anything had started to feel like we were just setting ourselves up for disappointment.
Do you feel it, too? Do you feel the individual and collective weariness? Trips have been cancelled. Well laid plans have been thrown out the window. This pandemic has interrupted family gatherings and anticipated reunions and holidays and birthdays – even our ability to hug a loved one or see them smile has been hindered. Some of us have lost loved ones. Some have lost jobs. Many of us feel like we are just trying to keep our heads above water.
Getting excited about something that might happen in the future seems unwise, impossible even.
We need to remember how to anticipate.
And what better time than Advent?
Because no worldwide pandemic, no global crisis, no racial or political divide, no loss of great magnitude, can cancel Jesus. He doesn’t change His mind and He doesn’t change His plans.
He is coming.
He is coming.
He is coming.
His promises are sure – you are no longer a slave but a son! It is certain! His testimony is sure and His ways are right and true. It is certain!
We could go back to that prayer of Jacob in Genesis 49 – I wait for your salvation, O Lord. And we could wait with great expectation and great hope because we know that we are not waiting in vain, we are waiting for something definite. The salvation of the Lord will come, is coming.
With so much uncertainty in the world, He is our one certainty, our one constant – He has come for us and He is coming for us, Light in the darkness, Beauty in a world of ashes.
So if you feel a little weary today? A little worn out? If you can’t really answer the question, “What are you looking forward to?” because you forgot how to look forward to things when the whole world turned upside down…
You can count on Him. You can look to Him. You can look forward to Him.
He is the same Jesus who filled the disciples’ nets, even when there were no fish. He is the same Jesus who looked the leaper in the eyes and said, I am willing. He is Jesus who forgives sins and causes the paralyzed to walk, Jesus who eats with sinners like us, who calls us to Himself.
We all need a little extra hope this year and our hope is found in the victorious Lion of Judah who came as a baby and rose from the grave. God’s plan to come for us never changes. He is our certain hope and we can wait in great expectation on the One who will never let us down.
He is coming.
He is coming.
He is coming.