Advent Devotional – December 12

Dec. 12 – Covenant Mercy and Loyal Love

Luke 1:50, 54-55 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation…
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Consider: Who is someone in your life who is always there for you, no matter what?  What one word comes to your mind that affirms what that person means to you?

Learn:

Gen. 12:1-3 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Ex. 34:5-7 The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,  keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

Mary and Elizabeth were living in a time of waiting.  God had made promises to his people, but they seemed to be far from fulfillment.  It had been a long of period of time since the prophets had spoken, which made the Jews wonder when God was going to act.
Into that waiting period came the visit of the angel to Mary.  As Mary meditated on the words of the angel and what was going to happen through her in the birth of her son, she was brought back to texts in the Old Testament that speak of God’s covenant promises and loyalty to his chosen people.
She realized that through this baby those promises would be fulfilled.  God was about to do a new thing to complete and fulfill his Word.  This was all a result of his mercy and love expressed in his commitment to his promises and his people.  How could she help but rejoice!
The wonder of it all is that Christians are included.  If you know and fear God then you are one of Abraham’s offspring.  You can have the same wonder and joy as Mary because the fulfillment of all those promises means salvation and grace for you.

Apply: Meditate on the name of God as it was revealed to Moses in Ex. 34:5-7.  Thank and praise God for his grace to you, if you are one of his children. If not, trust him today.

Next week we will look at the song of Zechariah, which comes after the naming of John at his circumcision.  God gives speech to Zechariah as he states his son’s name, and Zechariah gives speech to his praise of God, giving a beautiful benediction after more than nine months of silence.  Use these devotions this week privately or as a family to keep your focus on God and draw closer to him as we prepare for his coming.

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