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In the middle of the Advent

December 16, 2013

1 You, Lord, showed favor to your land;Image

you restored the fortunes of Jacob.

2 You forgave the iniquity of your people

and covered all their sins.

3 You set aside all your wrath

and turned from your fierce anger.

4 Restore us again, God our Savior,

and put away your displeasure toward us.

5 Will you be angry with us forever?

Will you prolong your anger through all generations?

6 Will you not revive us again,

that your people may rejoice in you?

7 Show us your unfailing love, Lord,

and grant us your salvation.

8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;

he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—

but let them not turn to folly.

9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,

that his glory may dwell in our land.

10 Love and faithfulness meet together;

righteousness and peace kiss each other.

11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,

and righteousness looks down from heaven.

12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,

and our land will yield its harvest.

13 Righteousness goes before him

and prepares the way for his steps. Psalm 85

It is not often that we turn to the psalms to preach or to search for a message from them. While we are often inclined to look to the Gospels, many Psalms contain the Gospel message. Many psalms contain promises, especially about Jesus, our messiah and savior and his coming to the earth.

In this psalm there are several interesting words that are surely present in our minds at many times of our lives.

The Psalm says that God showed favor. God is good. Showing favor is good. God is good, not evil. God is the one who motivates and promotes the good of all that happens to us, but not the bad that happens to us. Many times we blame God for the evil in the world, but we forget that, in the Word of God, the Bible, we are told that he is not exactly Him who promotes evil in the world. We have two options: to believe the Bible, the word of God entirely or to believe what we prefer, which, in any case, will not be the truth. There are many people who talk and think a lot about God, life and the church but do so without a biblical base. Their understanding comes from their own thoughts or popular wisdom. Many people invent a personal version of the Bible. If we know the truth, then we know that the only truth is in the word of God. No one is forced to believe the Bible. It’s an option. We’re not obliged. But if we say that we are Christians it implies that we believe everything the Bible says. If we would fail to do so, we would stop being Christians. I read a statement recently which said: “Truth is truth even if no one believes in it. A lie is a lie even if everyone believes in it.” The word of God is true. Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”

The truth of the word of God tells us today that God is good; He is a forgiving God. He forgives to those who repent. He is a God who wants his children to live in joy, not in sadness. He is a God who gives us salvation, simply because we decide to believe in him and his word.

He is a God who saves, but does not do so for the foolish. That is lot that is left to those who do not have the humility to believe in him. The lack of humility to believe in Him is seen in the Bible as folly, not wisdom. Those who fear God are not those who are frightened of God. Fear in this sense means to love and respect God and, of course, his word. To all who believe in him, He tells us that they will have love and faithfulness, justice and peace that come from God in their lives. Many are asking for peace, justice and love in their lives. He wants to give you this if you really have the humility to believe in Him. Maybe you did not know this, but he is ready to gift you this in your life. Maybe this time of Advent and Christmas is a good time to ask for God’s forgiveness and to trust Him completely. It is a good time to start living a new life, giving Him the reins of your life and believing and trusting in Him so that he will be able to change your life. God can give as well as we read at the end of the psalm, which is quite good. God is willing to give this to you and you can also accept it if you want it. May God continue to bless you this Advent. Amen.

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