Advent is a time when we remember Jesus first coming to earth, and eagerly await his return. This week in Battle Drill devotionals, we reflect on whether we are ready for Christ’s coming or if anything is keeping us from being at peace with God.
Read Isaiah 40:1-11. Many Christians today emphasise God as a loving and all-forgiving God rather than as a God of wrath and anger. In an unloving, dark world that emphasis seems particularly needed.
But the Bible holds God’s love, mercy and grace and his judgment in tension. Isaiah prophesies that Jesus will be both the Sovereign Lord who comes in power and a Shepherd who will feed his flock.
This can leave us very confused, especially if the message we hear about God emphasises his love and grace and fails to hold in tension his sovereign power and judgment.
But God’s judgment is not about punishment or vindictiveness. The Psalmist makes it clear:
Psalm 19:9–10 NLT
Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.
The message is that if we choose to trust in God, then all will be well. The promise of God’s judgment is also the promise of his grace and peace. God’s fierce anger is coupled with his infinite forgiveness.
We must be ready for Jesus to return. We can trust God to help rid our lives of all that would affect our relationship with him. Then we know his judgment will be given in love, mercy and grace.
THINK IT OVER
Think about the following:
- In what ways do you seek God’s approval, even though you already have it?