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Living Grace

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Advent

Advent Thought – The Promise of the Way.

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit (benefit), who leads you in the way that you should go. – Isaiah 48:17

The promise of Christ changes everything. It is the promise to lead you from darkness into light, from illusion into reality, from confusion into clarity, from turmoil into peace.

It is the declaration of heaven that peace has come to mankind, that goodwill has been showered on all, that God who spoke in the past through Israel’s forefathers and prophets now declared the glory of heaven through the words of his son, Jesus.

That the guidance of God, the purposes and plans of heaven were given to us in a living, vibrant demonstration of the power of God.
For in Christ is the radiance of the divine, the perfect implant of God, the offering that accomplished the cleansing of our sins and riddance of guilt.

The promise of a light to our path in our darkness is the shinning revelation of the New Covenant given to us in Christ, no longer do we have to search for guidance, no longer do we have to seek for a path, for now the path to eternal, abundant life is found in Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the promise of the path that leads us into the fullness of heaven and into our Father’s perfect plan and purpose.

Advent  Thought  – The Promise of Completeness.

“Remember [carefully] the former things [which I did] from ages past; For I am God, and there is no one else; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, And from ancient times the things which have not [yet] been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will do all that pleases Me and fulfills My purpose,’ “ –  Isaiah 46: 9-10

Jesus offered the world something unique, extraordinary, and unprecedented, he offered to show all those who would look, the view of God. In all Jesus’ interaction with everyone who came in contact with him, he gave them the opportunity to experience the world through the eyes and feelings of God.

Here in the prophecy of Isaiah God communicates with us his interaction with man, his decisions and his time. It is a momentous statement, which cuts across all worldly wisdom and philosophies.  God tries to communicate with us that he sees us as the completed work, before we acknowledge that work in ourselves.

The promise of the work of Christ is that in Christ before we were born he forgave, perfected, restored and glorified us. And that God sees us as complete in Christ.

Jesus was the demonstration of that completeness, he restored the denier, he raised the dead, healed the diseased, loved the rejected, show compassion to the broken and gave the condemned the power to live free of guilt.

Christ Jesus is the promise of completeness, the promise of the beginning and the end and the promise that his life in you is now your perfect right standing with God’s glory alive inside your heart.

In Christ you are complete and God declares you his beloved.

Advent Thought – The Promise of Water to All Who are Thirsty.

‘For I will pour out water on him who is thirsty, And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants; – Isaiah 44:3

Jesus is the promise of living water, the promise of delight, joy, blessing, an ever refreshing fountain of life.

His living water poured out upon our parched, dry souls fills us, fulfils us, and immerses our hearts into an oasis of grace.

For his flowing river is the water of reconciliation, freedom from condemnation, release from guilt. Living water that cleanses and restores, forgives and forgets, it keeps no record of sin and declares you innocent.

It is the promise of the presence of God alive within you, the promise that you NEVER have to thirst again. For God has made his home in your heart, his deep well of love overflowing in your spirit. God cannot tear himself apart, he cannot go back on his word, his mercy upholds you, his commitment keeps you and love will forever sustain you.

Christ has united himself into you; he is your constant stream of vibrant, sustaining water.

Nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus, nothing can steal your joy and God who is infinite in love can do exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ask or think according to the living water of the spirit that lives within you.

Advent Thought – The Promise that You Are Mine.

“But now, this is what the Lord, your Creator says, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price for you instead of leaving you captive; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “  – Isaiah 43:1

The love of God will never fail you. The love of God will not let you go. The love of God is strong enough, perfect enough, and powerful enough to cover you, fill you and wrap you in the knowledge of his faithfulness towards you.

The promise of Jesus Christ is the promise of God’s love for you; it is the promise that God declares you are MINE!

God’s promise to you is bigger than all your sin, it is deeper that all your rebellion and stronger than all your unbelief. It transcends every lie that would invade your mind and assails every stronghold that would captivate your thoughts.

You cannot get away from the love of God, but you can hide from its beauty.

The promise of Christ Jesus is the promise of redemption, freedom from slavery, deliverance, protection and the presence of the living God.

Jesus calls us out of brokenness, bondage and oppression; he picks us up from the gutter of sin and death and puts us on the father’s lap in heaven. He holds us in his tight embrace and whispers his affirmation of peace and acceptance into our hearts. His life kindles the flame of life within our innermost being.

In Christ Jesus you no longer have to go through life afraid of death, afraid of punishment, afraid of rejection, afraid of sickness, afraid of disaster because his love saves us, holds us, keeps us and declares to us, “That you are mine!”

Advent Thought – The Promise to Open and Not Close.

“I am the Lord, I have called You (the Messiah) in righteousness [for a righteous purpose], I will also take You by the hand and keep watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people [Israel],  As a light to the nations (Gentiles), To open the eyes of the blind, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon. And those who sit in darkness from the prison. – Isaiah 42 : 6-7

The gospel frees us from the captivity of blindness and the prison of separation. For Christ has come and entered into our dungeon and opened the door to the vast, bountiful treasure of heaven.

Our hearts have been opened to the majesty and abundance of the full dimension of God’s wonderful love.

The door that God opens to us in Christ Jesus is never shut. Everything that God is, his love, abundance, health, freedom has been opened to us by his grace. We are no longer looking from the outside looking inward, we have entered the inner sanctuary of heaven and all the riches of heaven are ours in Christ.

Christ is the open door and he has flooded our darkness with his light, he has freed us from the dudgeon of oppression and sickness and he has opened our eyes to his glorious radiance.

Christ is the promise to open the door and never to close it, therefore today don’t let anything or anyone hold you captive to fear, sickness, distress and despair. For in Christ all the abundance and provision has been given to you.

Walk through the open door of grace and enjoy God’s riches at Christ’s expense.

Advent Thought – The Promise of God’s Delight.

“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My Chosen One in whom My soul delights.I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. – Isaiah 42:1
 
God designed and created you for beauty. He redeemed you for beauty. You were the delight of his heart, the raging fire of his desire and the eternal joy that ravished his plans. He designed the universe for your benefit, so you could marvel at his vastness, desire his goodness, be captivated by his kindness and bask in his beauty.
 
Jesus Christ was the glory of God revealed to mankind. He was the delight of God’s desire. Everything that was in God was found in Christ and Christ is the first born of every believer. We have been united into the fullness of Christ; his life is now the life that is alive in our veins.
 
And just as Jesus was the delight of God, we are now the delight of the Father. You now are covered in beauty eternal, cemented in love, clothed in the glory of God, intertwined with him in union down in the innermost depths of your heart; you exist in love, for love has made its kingdom in your heart.
 
For the servant came to free us from the lies of the enemy that enslaved, confused and trapped mankind. The lies that took away our value, degraded our beauty and trapped us into a prison of shame. He came to demonstrate the goodness of God, to act in the mercy of God and to touch us with the compassion of God.
 
The promise of God’s delight is the overflowing grace of God demonstrated to us, that while we were lost he entered our world and revealed the love of God to us in Jesus.

Advent Thought  – The Promise of the Good Shepherd .

 

Listen carefully, the Lord God will come with might, And His arm will rule for Him. Most certainly His reward is with Him, And His restitution accompanies Him. He will protect His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom; He will gently and carefully lead those nursing their young. – Isaiah 40 : 10-11.

The heart of what the gospel is can be summed up with the revelation that he is our shepherd.  God’s unconditional love showered upon us is manifested to us in his protection.  For his embrace of us is his commitment to us and peace is the fruit of his embrace.

Isaiah beautifully paints this wonderful picture, each word is a brush stroke of God communicating his intention to shower us with his goodness. Here the measurelessness of God’s grace, given to us in Christ, is communicated with the beautiful image of a shepherd caring and nurturing his lambs.

The shepherd looks for his sheep; he provides for them, cares, protects, holds and keeps them safe. He understands his sheep, he knows each one of them, he knows what to expect and he is prepared to risk everything for them.

And his total value and acceptance of us, gives us the freedom to be ourselves, to be the unique person we were created to be. Free to be human, free to be weak, free to be wrong, free to not understand everything, free even to have erroneous beliefs or doctrines. For no matter what we do, where our thoughts and acts take us, what lies or traps we fall into, what confusion we have, Jesus is determined to save us, Jesus is able and willing to keep us, because he was willing to lay everything down to find us, bring us home and keep us safe forevermore.

This shepherd embraces us with the fullness of heaven. This shepherd has planted his glory inside our hearts. This shepherd has united his life into our lives and now we to have the heart of the shepherd alive inside us.

In Christ Jesus we lack nothing, for the Good Shepherd is the embrace, delight and life of our hearts.

Advent Thought – The Promise of the Revealing of God’s Glory.

“And the glory and majesty and splendour of the Lord will be revealed, and all humanity shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.” – Isaiah 40:5

The magnitude of the Glory of God is something we desperately need to understand and experience.

We need it because it was the desire of God for every one of us to be filled with the majesty and splendour of God. We were created by the Glory of God, in the Glory of God, for the Glory of God to be a shinning reflection of all the wonder, brilliance and colour of who God is.

The promise of the New Covenant is that God will restore each one of his creation to be who they were created to be, sons of the living God. And the promise of God that everything we lost in the Garden of Eden will be restored by Jesus Christ.

The Old Covenant was a fleeting shadow of the glory of God. Moses was not permitted to look upon the face of God, he had to hide his face as God’s glory passed next to him. But here in Isaiah is the promise of the New Covenant we have in Christ, that to us the glory and majesty and splendour of the Lord will be revealed.

And it was revealed to us in Christ, it was revealed in us by the Holy Spirit and it will be revealed through us as we delight ourselves in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

It was never God’s desire for you to live a single moment without enjoying the presence and glory of God. Christ’s promise to you is his abundant life overflowing in your life and for you to experience the glory, majesty and splendour of God radiating through your life.

Advent Thought – The Promise of His Comfort.

“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.” – Isaiah 40:1

The coming of Christ into a lost world is good news. It is the news all creation has waited to hear. It is the news that healing is here, captivity is broken, oppression will cease, peace will be restored and the glory of God will be revealed to all mankind.

It is good news because God full of goodness, mercy and compassion demonstrates to us, the ungodly and the helpless his love. His love is greater, more self-sacrificing, more amazing and abundant than any other love.

It is given to us, the way it was proclaimed to God’s people through the prophet Isaiah. It is poured out to us when we were rebellious, when we had resistant thoughts and when we had a disobedient attitude towards God. For just like Israel and Judah we were not running towards God trying to find him, we like them were running away from God, hiding from Him, not wanting to be embraced and found.

Jesus Christ died for us when we were lost. He died and at that moment every past, present and future sin was eternally forgiven. It was a once and eternal sacrifice reconciling a loving, good God to a lost, shameful, rebellious creation.

The light of the Good News of Christ is that he has transferred our darkness into his abundant, radiant brightness.  In our rebellion there is comfort, there is hope because God has given us a confident expectation of His goodness, and that is in Christ we now have abundant life.

We have passed from the shadows of despair into his glorious, bright light.

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