DAY 8: December 9, 2019 8th Day of Advent 8th and Final Night of Hanukkah
“I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other Savior.”
Isaiah 43:11 (NLT)
Moshia is a name of God that is used a number of times in the Old Testament, but one that is not as familiar as it should be. Our God delights in bringing salvation to His people. Salvation is not just what God does—it is who He is. He is our Savior.
The word Savior means a person who rescues others from evil, danger, or destruction. The clear teaching of the Bible indicates that all people have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death. God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Messiah died for us. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Rom. 3:23, 6:23a, 5:8, 6:23b, 10:9, 10:13).
Messiah Is Mighty to Save,
Who is this in royal robes, marching in his great strength?
“It is I, the Lord, announcing your salvation! It is I, the Lord, who has the power to save!”
Isaiah 63:1b (NLT)
The angel announced to the shepherds,
“The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”
Luke 2:11 (NLT)
I remember the day clearly when I learned that Jesus was my Savior. I had grown up going to church and believing in God, but I only knew of God. I didn’t know God. I didn’t even understand I was supposed to know Him. As I was having breakfast one morning with another businessman named, Pete John, he told me how I was separated from God because of my sin. He explained that Jesus had died on the cross and risen from the dead to provide payment for my sin, but I needed to respond to His offer of salvation by placing my faith in Jesus Christ. That morning, in a moment of surrender, I experienced the saving power of God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. What a Savior!
How would you describe your experience with the saving power of Jesus?
DAY 9: December 10, 2019 9th Day of Advent
“God Who Sees”
Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her.
She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”
Genesis 16:13 (NLT)
Hagar was the mother of Ishmael. She had been the handmaiden of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Since Sarah was past menopause she thought the only way that God could fulfill His promise of a son to Abraham was for a younger woman to conceive. Sarah suggested that Abraham sleep with Hagar and she got pregnant. Hagar began to treat Sarah disrespectfully so Sarah became so harsh with her that Hagar ran away. The Angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her to return home and submit to Sarah. Hagar was so encouraged by what the Lord promised that she named Him, The God who sees me.
God is always watching over us. He sees everything we do. He is there to guard us and guide us.
The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
Psalm 121:7–8 (NLT)
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.
Psalm 34:15 (NLT)
Jesus displayed this name of God in His interaction with Nathaniel. Not only did Jesus prove that He was the God who sees, but He also showed that He knew what was in a person’s heart.
As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”
“How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”
John 1:47–49 (NLT)
One day each of us will stand before our Judge to give an account. It is especially challenging to think that nothing escapes His notice. Listen to how the writer of Hebrews explains,
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God.
Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes,
and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
Hebrews 4:13 (NLT)
It is comforting to me to think of my Lord as “God who sees.” The Lord not only sees, but cares about me. He is engaged in the smallest details of my life. Nothing escapes His notice. And nothing can touch my life that doesn’t first pass through His loving hand.
What does it mean to you that Jesus always sees you?
DAY 10: December 11, 2019 10th Day of Advent
“Most High God”
I will thank the Lord because he is just;
I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
Psalm 7:17 (NLT)
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)
And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Genesis 14:18–20 (ESV)
Of all the gods that people have worshipped through the centuries, our God is the God Most High. He is the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. There is none like Him. He alone is God.
In this story above, Abraham had just returned from rescuing his nephew, Lot, who had been captured by a group of city kings. As Abraham walked through the Kidron Valley in what is today called Jerusalem (then was simply called Salem) Melchizadek came out to meet Abraham. This is an incredible meeting between two great patriarchs.
Melchizadek is called the King of Salem (shalom or peace), and a priest of the most High God (El Elyon). Melchizadek is a shadow of Messiah who would be both King and Priest. Notice that he brings Abraham bread and wine…a foreshadowing of the Lord’s Supper. The writer of Hebrews explains this imagery,
This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him. Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means “king of justice,” and king of Salem means “king of peace.” There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God.
Hebrews 7:1–3 (NLT)
Jesus is my King-Priest. He is my ruler with the absolute right to the throne of my life. He is also my priest—High Priest—who is my intermediary with the Father. That is because my Lord is God Most High! This is what the throng of angels proclaimed to the rabbinical shepherds that first Christmas night as they sang,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Luke 2:14 (ESV)
What does Jesus as the Most High God mean for your life personally?
DAY 11: December 12, 2019 11th Day of Advent
“The Everlasting God”
Have you never heard? Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
Isaiah 40:28 (NLT)
Chris Tomlin has a song called Everlasting God. It is based on this Scripture passage,
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our strong deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won’t grow weary
You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles
Jesus is the Everlasting God. When the beginning began He was there. He was with the Father. He is the eternal Son of God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
John 1:1–2 (NIV84)
In Isaiah 9:6 the Messiah is called the Everlasting Father. This does not mean Jesus and the Father are the same person, but that they are two persons of the One True God. He is everlasting in His nature, in His Son-ship, in His being. He never changes. The writer of Hebrews explains the eternal nature of the Son,
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 (NLT)
Because Jesus is the Everlasting God, I can trust Him. He never changes. He does not grow tired. He is forever the same—from eternity past to eternity future—He is always my Lord and my God. This understanding that Jesus, the One in Whom I have placed my hope for eternal life, is the Everlasting God gives me great comfort and strength.
How does the unchangeable nature of Jesus as Everlasting God bless your life?
DAY 12: December 13, 2019 12th Day of Advent
EL ELOHE ISRAEL
(EL el-o-hey YIS-rah-AIL)
“God, the God of Israel”
And there he built an altar and named it El-Elohe-Israel.
Genesis 33:20 (NLT)
God chose Abraham and established His covenant with him so that, through the descendents of Abraham, the whole world would be blessed. Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, wrestled with a “Man” (who was God in a bodily form), and the Lord changed his name from Jacob to Israel, which means “wrestles with God.” God confirmed that through Israel, the Messiah would come.
Jesus showed Himself to be “God, the God of Israel” when He came for the lost sheep of Israel as their promised Messiah. Jesus said that He had come to gather His sheep from out of Israel. Those who were His genuine sheep would recognize His voice and follow Him. Then Jesus explained that He had sheep from another sheepfold (in other words from among the Gentiles), and He proclaimed that there would be one sheepfold and one Shepherd.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me…I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.”
John 10:14–16 (NLT)
Jesus came through Israel, and to Israel, as God’s promised Redeemer, Savior, Messiah…as Jesus said, “salvation comes through the Jews” (John 4:22b). When I think of Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, and of God as the God of Israel, I am strengthened in my faith. If God’s promise to Israel was irrevocable, then I can be confident that His promise to me is irrevocable.
In the same way that God chose Israel, Jesus chose you and me,
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit”
John 15:16a (NLT)
Whenever I hear of how Jesus came for the lost sheep of Israel, I am encouraged! God’s unrelenting plan of redemption has been unfolding for thousands of years. He chose a particular family, and a particular people through whom to bring salvation to a whole world.
What does it do for your faith to know that God, is the God of Israel?
DAY 13: December 14, 2019 13th Day of Advent
“The Lord Our Righteousness”
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The Lord Our Righteousness.
Jeremiah 23:5–6 (NIV84)
The children of Israel were in bondage in Babylon. Jeremiah was one of God’s prophets to proclaim God’s judgment on the people, and to promise the future hope of their deliverance. In this passage Jeremiah promises that the Messiah will be called The Branch—a descendent of King David. Messiah will have the name: Yahweh provides our Righteousness.
I talk to people from time to time who tell me they are okay with God because of two things: 1) they believe in God (which simply means they believe God exists); and 2) they try to do good things to help people. There are many who are attempting to establish their own righteousness as Paul describes,
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
Romans 10:3 (NKJV)
But the Apostle Paul explains that our salvation is,
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us
Titus 3:5a (NKJV)
We have no righteousness in ourselves. In fact we are told that our best “righteous acts” are like filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6). Because God is holy we must be holy to be in right relationship with Him. That is why God solved this problem through our Messiah,
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV84)
If it were not for the righteousness of Jesus credited to our account by our faith in His finished work on the cross, we would be forever separated from God. I was like those who think they are right with God because I believed in God and tried to do the right thing. But when I realized how woefully short of God’s standard of righteousness I fell, I surrendered to the Lord my righteousness.
What does it tell you about God that He would provide righteousness for you?
DAY 14: December 15, 2019 14th Day of Advent
“The Lord of Peace”
And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”).
Judges 6:24a (NLT)
The Lord of Peace is one of the most significant names in all of Scripture. Peace is one thing this world most desperately needs. Of course we need peace from war, but even more critical is that we need peace in the depths of our soul. Ever since Adam and Eve first rebelled against God humans have been at war with God and one another.
Peace is that settled attitude of heart and mind when you sense that all is right with you. It is the absence of anxiety, distress, and fear. We are told that God can provide supernatural peace (“peace that transcends all understanding”). The Apostle Paul used these terms to describe God’s peace in Philippians 4:7. Eugene Peterson in his paraphrase says it like this, “Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Philippians 4:7, The Message).
God is the Lord of Peace. He is able to provide peace in the human heart because He is a peacemaker…the Peacemaker. When His Son came into the world it is natural that He would bring God’s peace. Jesus said,
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
John 14:27 (NLT)
There have been many times in my life when I have been surprised by God’s supernatural peace. At approximately 2am the morning of November 9, 1989, Kathy answered a call from my Mom informing us that my Dad had died unexpectedly of a heart attack. We quickly dressed and hurried over to their house. As we walked in it was very obvious that Dad had died. We were all crying and deeply disturbed so we stepped into the kitchen and did the only thing we know to do in those circumstances: we prayed to the Lord. During our prayer we were pouring out our requests to God, but the moment we turned out attention to thanksgiving, we were overwhelmed with God’s peace. Each time we felt anxious or grief we would pray with thanksgiving, and every time God gave us the peace we so desperately needed.
Jesus came to bring us God’s peace. Through His death and resurrection He has given us peace WITH God. And through prayer with thanksgiving He has given us the peace OF God. After all that’s what the angels promised that night to the shepherds,
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
Luke 2:14 (NLT)
What is a time when you have truly experienced God’s peace?