Devotion for the First Sunday in Advent

The Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
Our God comes; he does not keep silence;
before him is a devouring fire,
around him a mighty tempest.
He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge! ~ Psalm 50:1-6

Especially as we think about Jesus coming to earth asa tiny baby at Christmas, we often think of God’s love and gentleness, His longsuffering and mercy. Yet He is the Mighty One, the Lord, our judge. Yes, we should think of His goodness and His grace, but we must not forget His judgment and His righteousness. He comes and does not keep silence! Jesus will again in glory to judge the world. We don’t know when, but we must be prepared for that day.

Lord, thank You for Your love and mercy, Your goodness and grace. Help me to remember that Your judgment and righteousness are just as important. You don’t want any to perish, so You give us chance after chance to repent. But someday Your patience will come to an end, and Your judgment will take over. Thank You that You will give me credit for the righteousness of Jesus. In my sinfulness, I could stand before Your justice, but because I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I will not be cast into eternal punishment. Thank You, Father God; help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to live in Your will. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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