Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent Family Devotions December 18, 2012

Never Again Fear Evil

Opening Prayer:  Dear God, we give thanks for Your word that gives us good news in a world so full of bad news.

Scripture:  Zephaniah 3.14-15

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!

The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil.


A Lutheran professor once warned pastors not to waste so much time reading what he called "The Daily Disappointment."  Most of the news that we read or hear about every day is "bad news." These are the reports that come from our world that has turned from God and has turned against itself in selfishness, greed, hatred, laziness, irresponsibility, lust and depravity.  I once talked to a journalist who was beginning to dislike her work.  She complained about one of the most important rules of journalism:  "If it bleeds, it leads."  She was just getting sick of bad news.  

About seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus there was a prophet named Zephaniah. Zephaniah saw a lot of terrible things happening in Israel. Bad news and evil were everywhere. People were probably wondering if there was any hope at all.  Zephaniah said there was. He said that God would punish those who do evil, and that He would protect those who believe in Him.  

That is still our hope today. We know that God is our King. He came among us as the newborn "King of the Jews." He died as the King on the cross in order to destroy the power of evil. He rose again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  No matter how bad things might be in this world, we have God's promises in Jesus that "you shall never again fear evil."  

For Discussion:
1. Do you think that listening to a lot of bad news could affect you?  How?

2. How might it help us to spend more time listening to God's word?  

Closing Prayer:  Dear Jesus, King of Israel, clear away our enemies and take away our fear of evil. Amen.

Hymn:  "Listen, God is Calling"
Traditional Christian hymn from Kenya

Click here for the melody.

Listen, listen, God is calling
Through the Word inviting,
Offering forgiveness,
Comfort and joy.

Jesus gave His mandate:
Share the good news
That He came to save us
And set us free.

Let none be forgotten
Throughout the world.
In the triune name of God
Go and baptize.

Help us to be faithful,
Standing steadfast,
Walking in Your precepts,
Led by Your Word.

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