Thursday, December 13, 2007

Advent: Thursday, December 13, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

Amos 9:1-10

We see the Lord's judgment coming stronger and stronger in this passage until it is nearly about to explode. And then He says, but I will not destroy all of the House of Jacob. Even this, in this moment of wrath from God, there is grace extended. Even this, when God is most likely to rain down judgment upon those that have turned away; He says that if they will turn back, they will be saved.

Even in that dark moment, grace is there. So is it in our lives.

New Testament Lesson

Revelation 2:8-17

One of the overriding themes we see in Revelation is that the people will not be spared from suffering. Just because you follow the Lord, it does not mean that it is all a bed of roses. In both of the churches mentioned in this letter, they had been faithful. And yet, they had suffered with persecution and trouble. So, even in the lives of the faithful; trouble will come.

That is why we hold fast to Jesus, so that when the time of trouble comes, we'll be ready. Remember, His grip on us is always there, even in the storm.

Gospel Lesson

Matthew 23:13-26

And we contrast God's grace with the lives of the Pharisees. God extends grace, God extends mercy, God extends hope and salvation and grace. And the Pharisees extend judgment and self righteousness and legalistic pride. May we offer that grace of God, not the judgement of the Pharisees.

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