Day 9

From Our Fears and Sins Release Us Day 9

from the reading plan

Psalm 27:1-3, Psalm 27:7-14, Psalm 135:5-7, Isaiah 43:1-3, Matthew 14:22-33, Romans 8:31-39, 2 Timothy 1:7

Like a lot of guys, I’m a sports fan. And, like many guys, I am not above recording a game I want to watch if I’m busy when it’s being played live. Back in the day, that meant setting the timer correctly on your VCR and loading a VHS that didn’t have your wedding or your child’s first steps on it. These days, it’s as simple as pushing a button for your DVR.

While the technology and accessibility for watching games has radically improved, you still have to decide what to do about the final score. You only have two options when watching a recorded game: you either know the final score, or you don’t. 

I’ve watched games both ways. Not knowing feels like the real thing because the suspense and tension remain intact. But I’ve got to admit, there’s something satisfying and secure about knowing how things end up—especially if the result is positive for your team. No matter what happens while I watch, I don’t have to worry or wring my hands. When you know the final score, you just watch the game differently.

That’s what I think about when I read Psalm 27, Romans 8, and the other passages for today. They all put a lot of emphasis on refusing fear because we’re following the One who loves us and is in control through every possible situation we face. He’s already sealed the deal, so we don’t have to agonize over the outcome. He’s setting us free from worry, doubt, guilt, and shame.

That’s what Advent is all about. It’s about the eternal Creator stepping into space and time for the benefit of His creation.  It’s about releasing and redeeming people who couldn’t lift a finger to help themselves—people like you and me.

Many of us know this message. We’ve heard the Christmas story so many times that it makes sense on paper. The narrative that runs from heaven to Bethlehem to Calvary to our lives today clicks on an intellectual level. 

But Advent dares us to take it to another level—a heart level. Because Christ became one of us, we have been freed from the prison of sin and fear. God is for us; we know how the game ends; and we can look at life from a whole new perspective.

The call of Advent is to live in that freedom, during this season and every other season of the year. The watching world needs to know what Jesus did for them and see it reflected in our lives. Our freedom can convince them that the game has already been won and they can share in the victory. After all, God is for them, as well. 

Post Comments (3)

3 thoughts on "From Our Fears and Sins Release Us Day 9"

  1. Chris says:

    “After all, God is for them as well.” Great reminder that others are not the enemy, they are just pawns of the one who is trying to rob us all from our heavenly inheritance.

  2. JRay says:

    While we know how the story ends I am constantly surprised by how God fills the pages of my life in between salvation and eternity. Watching how God works is like seeing a creative mast artist work, it never ceases to amaze me how creative God is and sometimes I wonder if He looks on smiling saying “he didn’t see that coming.” The Israelites had much prophecy about the first advent and the way God fulfilled it shocked them all. I believe the second advent will probably not be like our Left Behind preconceptions either.

  3. Steve says:

    Isaiah 43 was the main text I used for my first sermon back in the pulpit after my son died. Having never experienced that kind of grief and pain, I preached it with hope that “the rivers would not overwhelm” me nor “the fires consume” me. As ever, the faithful, unchanging God was with me and true to His word.

    It’s an appropriate text (as all that were used In this devotion) for this time of year for our family. Our family always approaches Christmas with some apprehension (maybe a little fear) but year after year, God is faithful to His promise … He is ever with us and He walks with us keeping us above water and safe from the hottest flames. Maybe the biggest help for us who have lost, is that our son and brother was His by faith … and while we are separated from him for a while, not even death could separate my sin from his Savior.

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