Notice how our passage for worship today has three short injunctions: Rejoice. Pray. Give Thanks.
Let’s carry our worship with us wherever God leads us throughout our day. How often can you find something to rejoice about? Where are you led to pray, continually, today? What does the Holy Spirit bring to mind that you are thankful for? How might you build into your day frequent places to stop for just one minute to rejoice, pray, and give thanks?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Common English Bible (CEB)
16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray continually. 18 Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
- When you consider your deepest longing you identified these last two weeks, if this longing is fulfilled, how will it bring God’s Kingdom?
- What are the things you do that block or deny this longing from being fulfilled?
We’ll keep these two questions in mind as we journey through this third week. Return to them often and listen for God’s voice.
Isaiah 61:8-11 Common English Bible (CEB)
8 I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and dishonesty.[a]
I will faithfully give them their wage,
and make with them an enduring covenant.
9 Their offspring will be known among the nations,
and their descendants among the peoples.
All who see them will recognize
that they are a people blessed by the?Lord.
10 I surely rejoice in the Lord;
my heart is joyful because of my God,
because he has clothed me with clothes of victory,
wrapped me in a robe of righteousness
like a bridegroom in a priestly crown,
and like a bride adorned in jewelry.
11 As the earth puts out its growth,
and as a garden grows its seeds,
so the Lord God will grow righteousness and praise before all the nations.
Today’s meditation is a shorter one. There is so much life-changing truth for us in this passage of scripture, let’s just allow it to shape and challenge us this Advent season.
Isaiah begins by letting us know the Lord loves justice. Similar to our theme of peace from last Thursday, this points to what God will be hoping to find in us when He comes.
God loves justice
In addition to finding us at peace with Him, others and ourselves, will God find us as lovers of justice? Isaiah makes it clear, with very strong language, that God hates robbery and dishonesty. And Isaiah follows that proclamation by reciting all the gifts God has given us!
Spend some time reading this beautiful passage a few times and allow God to speak to you personally.
- Why do you suppose God loves justice and hates robbery and dishonesty?
- The passage immediately moves to how God will provide through an enduring covenant. What catches your attention?
- Isaiah is helping us to see how God expects His children to demonstrate to an unjust and deceitful world how He has blessed His people. How might you do that?
- This passage ends where we started in worship today, with rejoicing, joy, and praise. Why does Isaiah rejoice?
- Are you drawn to the connection Isaiah is making between God’s abundance and His love for justice?
- Is your heart joyful because of God? Why or why not?
- If you were given everything in this world, would you have any reason to steal or lie? What would it look like for you to life a life of justice?
Is there someone you know crying out for justice? How might you pray or help?
A Closing Prayer
It’s so easy for me to forget that I am a joint-heir with Jesus. That you have given all things unto His hand and He has given all things to me. Lord, help me to bring justice through sacrificing my life and loving those who hate me.
- This evening, continue again to worship through Psalm 80:3 as a personal prayer. Return to this often over this Advent season.
- Tomorrow morning, consider continuing the rhythm of building frequent stops into your day to rejoice, pray, and give thanks.
Scriptures from Our Advent Series
Texts for First Advent Week: Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37; Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18
Texts for Second Advent Week: Isaiah 40:1-11; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; Mark 1:1-8
Texts for Third Advent Week: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Psalm 126; Luke 1:46b-55; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28