Third Sunday in Advent
– Monday –
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven (that is, to bring Christ down from above)? Or, Who shall descend into the deep (that is, to bring Christ up again from the dead)? But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach.
– Romans 10:6-8.
What do these words teach? They teach this: If you would have Christ and, with Him, the righteousness that avails before God, do not be dismayed and do not say, “How shall I ascend into heaven to get Christ down from above?” or “How shall I descend into the deep to bring Christ up again from the dead?” But this is what you must cheerfully and confidently say: “I have the Word, the Word of faith in Christ. I have that Word in my Bible; that Word is preached to me; that Word is in my heart. I believe it. That Word is in my mouth. I confess it. That Word is very near to me and is my own. And just so near, and just so my own, is Christ, and with Him, the righteousness that avails before God.” Indeed, so shall you say. For Christ has put Himself and the righteousness which He procured and with which you can stand before God, into the Word, that you should take it and receive it as your own. So you need not join in the lament of those who tell of their great pain and sorrow and loss of peace at not finding Jesus, and who long for wings, that they might soar over hill and valley to seek Him. On the contrary, you may shout for joy and say – “Lord, Thou art with me, Thou art with me in Thy Word.”
PRAYER. – Indeed, O my Lord Jesus, my righteousness in which I, a poor sinner, may stand before God – my life and my salvation – Thou art with me. Thou hast put Thyself and all Thy salvation into the Word, and thus Thou comest to me, and are very near to me, and do embed Thyself in the inmost recesses of my heart, to make me sure that Thou wilt be mine in all eternity. I give unceasing thanks to Thee for this – Thy great mercy and gracious kindness. Grant me Thy Holy Spirit, that at all times, I may hold Thee and never leave Thee, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Divine Instructor, gracious Lord,
Be Thou forever near;
Teach me to love Thy sacred Word
And view my Savior here.
Hymn 284, 6.
Scripture Reading: Malachi 4:1-6
Theme: The Message of John the Baptist – Repent
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.
4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
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