As Advent people, let’s look forward to and hasten the Lord’s return as we pray and declare the following out loud:
The Lord’s Prayer Our Father in heaven, help us to honor your holy name. May your kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us for doing wrong, as we forgive others. Keep us from being tempted and protect us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. Now and forever. Amen.
Isaiah 65:17-18 (NIV) See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.
James 5:7-9 (NIV) Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
Prayer: Come, O Lord! We eagerly await your return. Until that day, empower us by your Spirit to patiently love one another and to reverently trust in you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?” by Martin Smith (click here).
2 Peter 3:13-15a (NT Wright’s translation) But we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which justice will be at home. That is what he has promised. So, my dear family, as you wait for these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, in peace. And when our Lord waits patiently to act, see that for what it is – salvation!
“There are a host of important things to be done while we wait. In fact, on three separate occasions we are given the word waiting in this text (3:12, 13, 14), and each time the word is pregnant with deliberate, purposive intention for our lives… We are not here just to fill time; we are no longer here to kill our time. Our life is filled with end-time significance!” (David Helm, 1-2 Peter and Jude, 265-266)
Since God has promised such a glorious future and has called our lives to such eternal significance, it matters that we put off sin and put on the purity and peace that Christ gives us. It matters that more people may know the Lord through us. Today, let’s hold onto God’s promise of the new heavens and new earth, and get on with living out his intentions for us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that you have filled our present lives with end-time significance. Help us today to wait productively by living the pure and peace-filled lives you have called us to. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “His Name Shall Be” by Matt Redman (click here).
2 Peter 3:10-12a (NIV) But the Lord’s day will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a great rushing sound, the elements will be dissolved in fire, and the earth and all the works on it will be disclosed. Since everything is going to dissolve in this way, what sort of people should you be? You should live lives that are holy and godly, as you look for God’s day to appear, and indeed hurry it on its way…
“Such prayer and evangelism by Christ’s followers, backed by their godly lives, will be the means by which they give expression to the way they look forward to the day of God, and so help to speed its coming…The more profound point behind Peter’s words is that the material world is transient and can be no sure foundation for life. By contrast, a life based on the truths of holy living and trust in a loving God concerned for his people’s welfare here and hereafter is the one eternal reality.” (Norman Hillyer, 1 and 2 Peter, Jude, 219-220)
Today, let’s renew our commitment to live in God’s one eternal reality – being transformed by God’s Word, reflecting Christ’s likeness with ever-increasing glory, and growing in maturity in every way, trusting that we are to bear fruit that will last for eternity.
Prayer: Father, empower us with the Holy Spirit to live holy and godly lives as we eagerly await your return. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “Spirit of God (Flame of God)” by New Life Worship (click here).
2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Romans 2:4 (NLT) Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
As Advent people, our calling to live in patience is rooted in God’s own patience toward us and all of creation. Scripture amazingly affirms that God’s patient withholding of Christ’s return is motivated by deep love and kindness, and a passionate desire for everyone to turn to him in repentance. May we be spurred on by God’s patience and passion to pray for more lives in each of our churches to respond to the riches of God’s grace. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit for new perseverance in intercession, that each life we are praying for will not reject or resist the gift of God’s mercy, but receive it fully, resulting in genuine repentance and salvation.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that today is the day of salvation and now is the time of your favor and mercy. May each heart we lift to you in prayer, including our own, be so soft to receive and respond to your loving kindness by turning fully to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship the Lord with “How Great is Your Love” by Passion (click here).
2 Peter 3:8 (NIV) But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
Psalm 90:1-4 (NIV) Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
“Peter draws upon this ancient understanding of time. He submits his own sense of Christ’s delay to God’s trustworthy Word. For there we are reminded that God is so unlike us. What we hold to be a long time—two millennia in this case—is for God a mere ‘watch in the night.’” (Helm, David. 1 2 Peter and Jude. Kindle loc 4263-4266)
As Advent people who patiently await the Lord’s return, let’s acknowledge afresh God’s sovereignty and perfect timing by confessing the words of Psalm 90 today. Like Apostle Peter, let’s reverently submit our own ways and thoughts to our God who is from everlasting to everlasting.
Prayer: Lord, we humbly confess that you’re so unlike us. Your ways and thoughts are far higher than ours. We trust your perfect will, sovereign love, and patient timing for our lives and for this whole world. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship the Lord with “The Lion and the Lamb” by Leeland (click here).