O God, thank you for Jesus, who walked with us this day. As I surrender my body to sleep and my soul to your care, I rest assured that in life and in death, you hold us all in your love for all eternity. As the daylight ends and night begins, be with us in the darkness until the morning comes and the light breaks forth in a new day. In the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Archives: December 10, 2021
Psalm 1 (ESV)
The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Isaiah 48:17-19 (ESV)
17 Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you in the way you should go.
18 Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;
19 your offspring would have been like the sand,
and your descendants like its grains;
their name would never be cut off
or destroyed from before me.”
“I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good” (Isaiah 48:17).
Imagine getting instruction from Serena Williams on tennis or Gordon Ramsay on cooking. It would be spectacular, wouldn’t it? Well, you have something even better: almighty God, the One who is greater than all of the experts, has promised to teach you, not only about your hobbies, but about the best way to live. You have the One who is all-knowing and the source of all truth as your very own tutor!
If God is your teacher, then Scripture is the first and best textbook he uses. This book is a compendium of his wisdom, knowledge, and laws. It is a literary expression of faith lived out. And it is a testament of a restored relationship with him through the cross. In every aspect of faith and morals, it is never wrong. What’s more, because it’s inspired by the Holy Spirit, Scripture is a living word that God uses to speak directly and personally to our hearts.
So read it. Stop when you feel your heart stirring with hope or longing. Stop when a question forms in your mind, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you find the answer. Let the teachings of the Church, like the Creeds, guide you when you are confused. Pay attention to thoughts that form as you read; they may be coming from the Lord. When something seems too good to be true, reread it – hundreds of times, if necessary, until you are convinced of God’s goodness. Believe that God can spark understanding and direction for your life through a single verse.
Advent is the perfect time for going deeper, further, and maybe even further afield, with the Lord. It can be a time to learn, to experience the fruit that develops when you spend time meditating on the words of your Teacher. It can be a time to experience a little more of the life Jesus was born to give you.
God is ready and waiting to teach you. He is ready to clear away the guilt and fear that hinder you. So come to him, and receive his expert instruction!
Father, help me to know your ways, and teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me today. Amen.