Hostility and Tenderness

Wednesday of Christmas Week
Psalm 52

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

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This brief psalm creates a sharp distinction between the feverish, hostile plots of the wicked, and the quiet restfulness of the green olive tree planted in the house of God. Evil consumes itself, spent by Godless, self-propelled energy.

The green olive tree does nothing but enjoy its presence in the Temple of the Lord. There it is content to stay and play, trusting in the greenness of its life from being in God’s presence.

Feel the contrast between this psalm and the scheming world sated and spent by the shopping season just past. Inventory and hoarding profit are its post-Christmas agenda. However, you … Go to the stable. Adore with the shepherds, Mary and Joseph. Rejoice in the tender infant Jesus, the “green olive tree.” Will you allow Jesus to be engrafted onto your heart?

Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms.

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The Evil of Self As Center

Tuesday of Christmas Week
Judges 9—10

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

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Abimelech was a son of Gideon by a concubine. He had seventy half brothers. Today you will read what Abimelech did to them. Yes, there are persons and situations in the Old Testament who perform evils so great, that it would be challengeto the movie industry to portray them. Abimilech is one of these persons; he had an atrocious lust for power.

While you may read his story in amazement, just know that there is a potential Abimelech inside of each one of us. The same temptation to power, control, self-centeredness, unconcern for the things of the Lord, can be at work in our own hearts. But for the grace of the Lord Jesus, there go you and I!

The Lord sends persons to liberate God’s people who, in turn, lapse immediately into idolatry. God feels. Pray with a desire to experience God’s hurt.

Is there anything you are doing to avoid placing the Lamb of God as the center of your life?

Tuesdays are dedicated to Old Testament history and “The Writings.”
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year we read the Book of Judges followed by a few chapters of Proverbs.

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The Fullness of Life and Joy

Monday of Christmas Week
Isaiah 44

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

The theme of blessing continues strongly in this chapter filled with God’s loving move upon God’s people. The blessing is the stronger as we celebrate Christmas. Look at the extent to which the Lord goes to redeem us and to have divine life present in us.

The cry of the Lord rises in verses 21 ff. after God has described the emptiness of idolatry in detail. Your Creator is also your most loving parent who wants to share everything with you, the beloved. God will forget all your sins; just return to the Lord with all your heart. Nothing less than the whole heart of God is focused upon you; God wants nothing less in return.

We have anything but a boring, distant God! Let the fresh loving joy of the Lord in this chapter quicken the fullness of life and joy in your own heart.

Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year, we read Isaiah chapters 40 to 55.

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