Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31 - People Prepared for the Lord

Today's Reading: 
Genesis 1:1-2:25 
Luke 1:1-25 
Psalms 1:1-6
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Focus Verses:

Luke 1:16-17 
16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
The Old Testament prophets spoke of a future hope that Israel had yet to see. This hope was more than the rebuilding of Jerusalem, more than the return of the Jews from exile, and more than the restoration of the temple. They spoke of the coming Messiah who would save his people. He would bring redemption and give new hearts. He would bring freedom and eternal life.

The coming Messiah would be announced by a special messenger who would shout, "Prepare the way of the Lord." An angel appeared to Zechariah and said, "Your son is going to be the messenger who proclaims the coming of Christ." It's exciting to see that the first words of promise in the New Testament are the fulfillment of the last words of promise of the Old Testament (Malachi 4:6).

Response and Action:
I am thankful for God's unfolding story of redemption and salvation. By faith, I embrace the promises of the prophets. By faith, I believe that Jesus is God's promised Messiah. By faith, I believe that God is present in the world today, still working toward redemption and salvation. By faith, I have given and continue to give my life to Jesus. By faith, I have entered the unfolding story of redemption, and pray that God will direct and use me for his redemptive purposes as I serve and follow Jesus.

O God, thank you for your son Jesus, who for us and for our salvation became incarnate from the virgin Mary and was made man. Thank you that for our sake, he suffered death, but rose again on the third day as the victor over death. Help me to love and follow Jesus, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Amen. 

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
2 Peter 1:3-4
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

The Incomparable Christ
by John Stott

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