December 6, 2016

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in Advent Devotional | No Comments

Tuesday,  December 6, 2016
Psalm 21; Isaiah 41:14-20; Romans 15:14-21
By Kaarina Kotkavuori

I enjoyed each of these 3 scripture passages and each strengthened my faith once again.  All three speak of relationship to the Trinity.

In Isaiah, I particularly pondered verses 14, 17 and 20. Verse 14 begins with “Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob” and ends with “don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you”.  Throughout my life, I have experienced times that I did not think I could approach God with either prayer or praise. The reasons were everything from being in despair, sick with sin (Pastor Matt’s phrase in a sermon), or I had such abundance so who was I to ask for more of God’s attention. When I first read that Jacob was called a lowly worm, I praised God. I read that line again inserting my own name. This made the scripture personal. I may be a worm but God is always willing to help me. Verse 17 gives me the assurance that God will never abandon me. In verse 20, He lets me know it. “I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means, that it is the Lord who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it.”

In Psalm 21, after reading the whole psalm several times, I focused on the first and last verse. “How the King rejoices in your strength, O Lord. He shouts with joy…because you give him victory” and “Rise up O Lord, in all your power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts”. While the passage in Isaiah was God’s in voice, this Psalm is in the voice of a human being and is full praise. God enjoys hearing my praise. When He hears my praise, He knows that I am fully aware who created my life. I need to do more shouting with joy.

In church we sing “Blessed Assurance”. I love that song. Both of the first two readings give the assurance that God wants people to know that He loves them.  The theme of blessed assurance continues in Romans. This letter has a lovely conclusion. Verse 14 begins with Paul saying he knows I understand the message of Jesus Christ but that I sometimes need a reminder. I sometimes call a good friend and say, ‘will you please remind me of something both of us know that I do actually know (usually in response to a lack of faith).’ I get why Paul would have said such a thing. However, he goes on.  In verses 16 and 17, he wrote “For by God’s grace, I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles.” That’s me. “I bring you the Good news so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God. So I have reason to be enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus has done through me in my service to God”.  Wow. I am glad that Paul was called to give the good news to Gentiles and that he reminds me to be enthusiastic in my worship.

I have the assurance that God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit want me to be in a communicative relationship with the whole Trinity – all prayers, praises and times of silence are desired. I am thankful I have the assurance that Jesus was born and died for me.