Time Alone With God daily devotional

Saturday, December 17

Time Alone With God daily devotional

Written by Pastor Phil Stout
Read: Isaiah 9:6-7

Isaiah 9:6-7

New International Version (NIV)

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

Start
Consider: We’ve talked this week about peace and we’ve talked about justice. But those are not two separate ideas. As Isaiah spoke about the coming Messiah, both are prominent in his prophecy.

“And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” (9:6-7)

Peace and justice are inextricably intertwined. Without justice there is no peace. If you look at the most oppressed nations of this world you will find that they are filled with strife and violence.

Without peace there is no justice. Where there is war and violence the innocent suffer. They become refugees and are deprived of the basic necessities of life. Children are orphaned and conscripted to fight. Civilians are killed and women are raped.

But, why talk about these things? After all, aren’t they beyond our influence? Nations wage war and there is nothing we can do about it. Or is there?

When you believe that Jesus is the King of Kings, you also believe that he brought his kingdom to earth. The kingdom of God has come even though we still wait for it to come in its fullness. (We call it the “present/coming kingdom,” or the “now/not yet kingdom.”) We are charged—and privileged—to be part of that kingdom. And because the kingdom of heaven spreads slowly and imperceptibly (Matthew 13:31-33), we have to have faith that our work counts. We are making a difference.

Every time we work for justice we are working for peace. Every time we feed the hungry or watch out for the vulnerable and oppressed we are advancing Christ’s kingdom of peace. This Christmas season when you give to the poor, volunteer in the church’s food pantry, visit a lonely person, embrace a hurting child, show grace to a troubled teenager or pray for peace, you are proclaiming with the angels, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” You are proclaiming it with your life!

Pray: Thank God for the coming of the Prince of Peace. Praise him that he chose you to live Messiah’s message and proclaim his good news.

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