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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 14: Advent According to the Psalms

Today's devotional is different. Instead of a normally formatted devotional, we will read several Gospel promises from the Psalms and then consider the wonder of the salvation Christ brought at His coming in a short poem called "Love's Victory."

Psalm 2

Ever since the fall of Adam and the rebellion of Cain, the nations of the world have taken their stand against God and His people. They have fought against God's rule over their lives. God sent His Son to be the King of kings and Lord of lords forever. True refuge is only found in worshiping Him!

Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers take counsel together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
    and cast away their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
    the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
    and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
    on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
    today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
    and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
    and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
    be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
    and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
    lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 25:15-22

We must see and feel the depth of our need before we will truly understand our need for the redemption Christ alone brings. We are surrounded by spiritual enemies who hate us and we are trapped by their lies and our sin. Christ alone can guard, deliver and redeem! 

My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
    for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
    bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
    and forgive all my sins.
Consider how many are my foes,
    and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
    Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
    for I wait for you.

Redeem Israel, O God,
    out of all his troubles.

Psalm 130

It is from the depths of our sin that we most need rescue and deliverance. Jesus came to bring this deliverance once-and-for-all for all of His people who have waited, longing for His redemption. 

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
     O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.

Love's Victory
by Jason Van Bemmel

Tattered, torn
Battered, born
Into chaos
Suffering loss
From the moment of our birth

Hearts deceit
Lie and cheat
World of lies
No alibis
Cheap to the world our worth

Into this
Bleak abyss
Love descends
Makes amends
To redeem us from the strife

Speaking light
Making right
Can’t be bought
Won’t be caught
He brings His own reign to life

Leaders amiss
Betraying kiss
Dies alone
Tomb of stone
That salvation comes in such a way!

Empty tomb
Upper room
Thomas sees
Doubt believes
Victorious life ushers in eternal day!

In my heart
Kingdom’s start
Taking hold
Making bold
Giving life eternal meaning

Though I stray
He will stay
Never leave
I believe
Glory’s peace inside is beaming

Who am I?
He would die
Such a one
He has won
And life cannot be the same.

Devils tempt
Towards sin bent
Yet His rule
Makes this fool
A child of heaven forever! 

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