Immanuel Voices
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December 20, 2018, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Advent 2018 Isaiah 40:3-4 Prepare the Way 2


Isaiah 40:3-4

A voice cries:

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.

 

Thought for Today

Isaiah’s Advent call is to examine the terrain of our lives. Are there soaring heights of pride? Valleys of depression or self-loathing? Crooked deeds along our path? Are there rough places where our words and life are out of alignment? The Advent call is to make our lives consistent. We are to cut our pride down to size; fill in depression with the joy of the Lord; stop doing crooked things. Our faith-filled response to the coming of our King is to strive for a life that consistently honors Him. Take some time this weekend to consider what you can do to make your faith walk more consistent.

 

Prayer

Holy Spirit, help me to see where my life is unprepared to meet my King and then give me the power to change to His glory. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

Quote of the Day

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. — Alexander the Great

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December 19, 2018, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Advent 2018 Isaiah 40:3 Prepare the Way


Isaiah 40:3

A voice cries:

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

 

Thought for Today

In the first two verses of Isaiah 40 God declared that He is no longer at war with us and is offering us terms of peace. This peace begins with His offering us mercy and grace for all of our offences. These are more than generous terms of peace, because they are one-sided. God will do everything necessary for our peace! Verse three is the cry of response, notice that it is not God’s voice crying. Maybe it is an angel crying out or Isaiah calling on behalf of mankind. The crier is answering the question that fills the awestruck silence at God’s pronouncement of mercy and grace, “What shall we do?” The voice cries, “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord!” Now that we have peace, God is coming. Immanuel is on His way. Get ready! Where is this wilderness? We don’t have to search too far. The wilderness is inside us. The Lord comes, but not to a physical place, a nation or land. God comes to wildest place of all, the human heart. In response to His mercy and grace, we respond by striving to tame the wilderness of our hearts so that He may enter in. There is no better Advent cry than this.

 

Prayer

Holy Lord, I confess that my heart is not the tame place I like to pretend. My heart is a wild place, overgrown with selfish works, treacherous valleys dip low, and thoughts run wild. Help me to prepare this wilderness for Your coming at Christmas. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

These special holidays give rise to various liturgical calendars that suggest we should mark our days not only with the cycles of the moon and seasons, but also with occasions to tell our children the stories of our faith community's past so that this past will have a future, and so that our ancient way and its practices will be rediscovered and renewed every year.― Brian D. McLaren

 

Quote of the Day

From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow. — Aeschylus

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December 18, 2018, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Advent 2018 Isaiah 40 #2


Tuesday

A New Voice

Isaiah 40:2

Cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.

 

Thought for Today

One of the oldest voices we hear is the one inside each of us that points out our shortcomings. This voice seems to have unlimited access to us. It reminds us day and night of the words we should not have said, the things we should not have done, and all of those we should haves. Childhood failures, teenage rebellions, and mid-life crises are all fodder for this voice. These sins are shouted at us to remind us of how unworthy we are of love in general and God’s love in particular. So God’s voice breaks through telling us that our war with Him is over. It is over because He sent His Son to end it. Through the Child of Christmas, the perfect Lamb of God, our iniquities have been pardoned. God offers us mercy and grace, a double blessing for all our sins. This great truth prepares us to celebrate Christmas by silencing the voice declaring our sins and offering us words of peace, not only on earth, but in each believing heart.

 

Prayer

O holy Child of Bethlehem Descend to us, we pray.
Cast out our sin and enter in. Be born to us today. Amen

 

Devotional Quote

Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ comes uninvited. ― Thomas Merton

 

Quote of the Day

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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