GPS: Grow, Pray & Study

GPS for the week of December 4th, 2022

“Our Promised Hope”

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In Holy Disruption, Tracy S. Daub wrote, “Being a disciple of Jesus means following him into the center of the world’s pain-to where the ‘crosses’ of hostility, resistance, struggle, and sacrifice are likely to greet us.”  The righteousness and faithfulness of our Lord will bring us peace as we confront conflict and oppression all around us.  We must face the sinfulness and darkness in our own lives, led by the one who John the Baptist promised would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, help us to be honest about our failings as we face conflict and difficulties.  We thank you for your eternal love and promise of peace.  Amen.

Monday 12.5         “The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him”

Isaiah 11:1-10

“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.  The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.  His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.  He shall not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.  Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins…  They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:1-5, 9).”  The spirit of wisdom and understanding rests on our Lord Jesus.  He loves us with an eternal love that will overcome the sorrow and pain of conflict and wickedness in our world.

 

 

 

Tuesday 12.6         “Like showers that water the earth”

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

“Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.  May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.  May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.  May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.  May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.  May he be like the rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.  In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more (Psalm 72:1-7).”  Our Lord will care for the poor and abandoned and nourish us so that we may flourish amid conflict and sadness.  Praise be to God!

Wednesday 12.7  “Live in harmony with one another”

Romans 15:4-13

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.  May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.  For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy (Romans 15:4-9a).”  Living in harmony with others is not easy.  Only as we glorify God for his mercy may we welcome others as Christ has welcomed us.

Thursday 12.8      “So that you may abound in hope”

Romans 15:4-13

“As it is written, ‘Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name’; and again he says, ‘Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people’; and again, ‘Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him’; and again Isaiah says, ‘The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope.’  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:9a-13).”  Our God is a God of hope, able to fill us with joy and peace. The Holy Spirit will give us power to care for those who we imagine to be difficult and very different from ourselves.

Friday 12.9             “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness”

Matthew 3:1-12

“In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’  This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”’  Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.  Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the River Jordan, confessing their sins (Matthew 3:1-6).”  People came from all around to seek John and the hope he promised.  What joy it is to confess our sins and accept the love of our Lord!

Saturday 12.10    “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”

Matthew 3:1-12

“But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruit worthy of repentance.  Do you presume to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.  Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire’ (Matthew 3:7-11).”  Our Lord will baptize us with the Holy Spirit so that we may lay down our burdens, care for others, and rejoice in hope.

“Holy Disruption” Advent Study

NOTE:  Day 1 begins on Thursday, December 1