Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18-19 NIV
When did this precise moment in salvation history occur? When did God forgive the sins of the remnant of his inheritance? When was that one definitive moment when he forgave their sins, showed mercy, and his anger regarding them was removed? When did he show us compassion and, in victory, hurled our sins into the depths, never to be remembered again? It happened at a specific time and place, 2000 years ago on the cross. That is why the Messiah was born into the world to bring peace. And it happened specifically in the lives of each of us on the day of our salvation so that we would be at peace with God.
Prayer: Lord, today I declare there is no one like you. Thank you for the day of salvation when you showed me mercy and grace. I pray for the day of salvation to come for my friends and family that don’t know you. May they too experience your mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing to the song “We Praise You” by Matt Redman (click here).
He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be our peace when the Assyrians invade our land and march through our fortresses. Micah 5:4-5 NIV
“But there is another, deeper peace—a peace that must happen before there can be peace on earth. There must be peace between us and God. Our unbelief and his wrath must be removed. That is our deepest peace—and our deepest need at Christmas… This was the great work of the Messiah yet to be done. Yes, there are enemies on earth that must be defeated if we are to have peace. But, oh, the great enemy called sin and judgment—that is the greatest and worst enemy. The gospel at Christmas is: Christ has trampled this enemy underfoot at the cross. So for everyone who trusts in him, their sins are cast into the depths of the sea.” (John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, p. 70, 72)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that you sent Jesus Christ to be our peace by removing our unbelief and your righteous wrath. I declare aloud today, that I have victory over sin and the enemy thanks to the good shepherd who gave his life for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing to the song “Mention of Your Name” by Brian & Jenn Johnson (click here).
Let’s read aloud the following passage, confession, and prayer:
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. Luke 1:30-35 NLT
Q. What does it mean that he “was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary”?
A. That the eternal Son of God, who is and remains true and eternal God, took to himself, through the working of the Holy Spirit, from the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary, a truly human nature so that he might also become David’s true descendant, like his brothers and sisters in every way except for sin.
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for becoming like us in every way except for sin so that you could redeem us from the bondage of sin. We praise you, for we are born again into your family through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing to the song “King of Kings” by Hillsong (click here).
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. Isaiah 9:6 NIV
“Peace is a condition of freedom from strife, whether internal or external. Security from outward enemies (Isa. 26:12), plus calm of heart for those trusting God (Job 22:21; Isa. 26:3), is included. Peace is so pleasing to God that the godly are enjoined to seek it diligently (Ps. 34:14; Zech. 8:16, 19). It is to be characteristic of the NT believer also (Mark 9:50; 2 Cor. 13:11). Peace is a comprehensive and valued gift from God, and a promised and climactic blessing in messianic times (Isa. 2:4; 9:6–7; 11:6; Mic. 4:1–4; 5:5)… Biblical shalom is a harmony of right relationships, with God, others (on a global scale), and the created order.” (Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, p. 27, 647)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for our world today. Where there is war, conflict, hunger, suffering, and brokenness, may people experience the Prince of Peace invading their circumstances to bring biblical peace, reconciliation, healing, and salvation. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing to the song “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” by Kim Walker-Smith (click here).
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2 NIV
“Just as God instructed Samuel to go to lowly Bethlehem to look for the man born to be king, and then passed over all of Jesse’s sons until he eventually had David brought before the prophet, so the coming Messiah will emerge from the little town of Bethlehem – a place so small that it was scarcely worth a mention among the clans of Judah… And yet Micah’s description of this ruler’s origin as being from of old, from ancient days (5:2), brings a double nuance. It stresses the historic link with King David many centuries before, but it also strongly suggests even older lineage. The word for old is used of God himself… It is possible, therefore, that ‘Micah expected a supernatural figure.’” (David Prior, The Message of Joel, Micah & Habakkuk, The Bible Speaks Today Commentary. p. 158)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son, the King of kings born in the most humble circumstances. Today, we place our trust in the one from of old. With eager anticipation, we pray that the King of glory will come and fill us, his church, today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing to the song “Adore” by Graham Kendrick (click here).