Tuesday, December 20, 2016

From Austin Seminary: "Advent Devotional" for December 20

"A gift from our community of faith to you. We at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary are devoted to preparing outstanding leaders for Christ’s church. One of the ways that we nurture leaders is by building a loving community of faith and extending God’s grace to others. In this season of anticipation, we extend God’s grace to you and invite you to explore this book of Advent devotions. Through this collection, please join us as we prepare to receive God’s greatest gift — the birth of Jesus Christ."

CLICK HERE for a complete schedule of this season's devotionals.
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Advent Devotional for Tuesday, December 20

Isaiah 7:10-16

The period of King Ahaz of Judah was one marred by pagan worship, human sacrifices, humiliation and a total disconnect with the True God, who had chosen the descendants of Abraham as God’s chosen people. The King, instead of trusting and walking with God, decided to worship other gods, including giving in sacrifice his own sons in a ritual to the idol Moloch, adopting the abominable custom of the Phoenicians. The kingdom of Judah is engulfed in chaos and disorder; two enemy armies (Israel and Syria) were advancing in their invasion to Judah. God through the prophet Isaiah, promised the King salvation and protection. In the midst of this hopelessness state, the prophet Isaiah brings words of God to the king. “So the Master is going to give you a sign anyway. Watch for this: A girl who is presently a virgin will get pregnant. She'll bear a son and name him Immanuel (God-With-Us)”.

King Ahaz, instead of trusting the God of his ancestors, he decided to make allegiance with the king of Assyria. The end result was disastrous. He relied on the protection of an idolatrous king, in lieu of the True God.

We are called to trust God and His deliverance. Not to make any allegiance especially if that allegiance involved negating God and turning towards idols. As we expect and celebrate this time of advent, let’s renew our expectation and rekindle our faith in the Messiah who was promised to us to bring salvation and reconciliation with God.

Loving God, during this time of Advent, renew our expectations and rekindle our faith in the Messiah, (Immanuel, God with us) that was promised to humanity to bring salvation and reconciliation of the world with YOU, In Jesus, we pray, Amen.

Ezequiel Herrera
MDIV Student from Bryn Mawr Park, New York

For the glory of God and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is a seminary in the Presbyterian-Reformed tradition whose mission is to educate and equip individuals for the ordained Christian ministry and other forms of Christian service and leadership; to employ its resources in the service of the church; to promote and engage in critical theological thought and research; and to be a winsome and exemplary community of God's people.

This post produced with Bible Gateway reference/link 

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