A Montrose Church Advent Devotional by Pastor Rick
Advent Day 16: God Has a Plan
Today's reading: Isaiah 11:1-9
At the center of the ways and means of God in His creation there is One who, coming from the line and lineage of Jesse will bear the very fruit of God in the world. On this one, "The Spirit of the Lord will rest...the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord"(v. 1-2). This One "will delight in the fear of the LORD"(v. 3). In other words, this One will understand the glory of the Lord and be filled with the life of the Lord. He will bring into the world the amazing grace of God who loves His creation with all His heart. In Jeremiah 31:3 God says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness."
In the past Israel looked forward to the reign of this One. We Christians believe this One is with us in the life of Jesus, whose heritage takes Him back to the father of King David, of whom Jesus is a part of the family tree. Jesus came to set the world right. He came to turn the world right-side-up. He came to do what needed to be done in order to restore God's creation and deliver it from the consequences of sin. He came to die and to be raised again to life (see Matthew 16:21).
Jesus comes to us in a spirit of righteousness and fairness. In His wisdom He will not be trapped by what the eye might see or the ear might hear (see v. 3 and John 2:23-25). His wisdom is of God and He will bring grace, mercy, forgiveness, and healing of mind and spirit to those who will only accept them. He hasn't come to keep people out but to bring them in. "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden," He said (Matthew 11:28).
When Jesus is received as Lord there is peace. In a world where peace seems so very far away, Jesus is present to bring the kingdom of God into the human situation. He didn't come to tear down; He came to build up. He came that we might have abundant life (see John 10:10).
Because of what we know of Jesus, maybe in Advent this year we ought to sing the old song,
All to Jesus I surrender;
all to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him,
in His presence daily live.
- Judson W. Van DeVenter, 1896