Revised Common Lectionary – Year B: Second Sunday of Advent
Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
‘The Lord is the everlasting God... He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak... those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength...’ (Isaiah 40:28-31). Far too often, we say, ‘I can’t’when we really mean ‘I won’t’. ‘I can’t’- This is an insult to the power of God. The Lord calls us to do something special for Him. We say, ‘I can’t’. What are we really saying? This is what we are saying - ‘Lord, I don’t believe Your promise - “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”’. Don’t say, ‘I can’t’. Don’t get so busy with other things that you fail to wait upon the Lord and renew your strength. When the Lord calls you to serve Him, say, ‘Yes, Lord, I will wait upon You. I will renew my strength. I will do Your will’.
O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee. Send a revival. Start the work in me.
We are to pray for revival - ‘Restore us again, O God our Saviour... Will You not revive us again that Your people may rejoice in You?’ (Psalm 85:4, 6). We are to pray that God will ‘grant us His salvation’. We are to pray that ‘His saving presence will remain in our land’. We must pray that ‘His glory may dwell in our land’ (Psalm 85:7, 9). We are to pray for real listening - ‘I will listen to what God the Lord will say’- , a real turning to the Lord - ‘turning to Him in our hearts’- , and a real sense of His blessing - ‘He will speak peace to His people’ (Psalm 85:8). Prayer for revival does not begin as a prayer for others. It begins with ourselves: ‘O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee; send a revival - start the work in me’. It begins with this prayer: “Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine; fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine’ (Mission Praise, 587).
Centred on Christ, our life is filled with grace and glory,
‘Grow’ in Christ and give ‘glory’ to Him. Centred on ‘our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’, our life is filled with ‘grace’and ‘glory’. From Him, we receive ‘grace’ - ‘From the fulness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another’. From Him, we receive ‘glory’ - ‘I have given them the glory that You gave Me’ (2 Peter 3:18; John 1:16; 17:22). Where does this life of grace and glory begin? It begins with God. In ourselves, there is sin. In Him, there is salvation. ‘He is patient with us.’ He waits for us to ‘come to repentance.’ He shows us our sin so that we might learn to look to our Saviour - ‘Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation’ (2 Peter 3:9; 2 Corinthians 7:10). Turn to the Lord. Let it be real. Let Him lead you in His pathway - the pathway of grace and glory.
In Christ, we become a new creation.
This is a new ‘beginning’. The prophets had spoken. Now, the Saviour has come. This is Good News. John has prepared the way. Now, he stands aside to make way for Jesus Christ, the Son of God’ (Mark 1:1, 11). Following Jesus’baptism, there was temptation. This was Kingdom against kingdom. Satan’s kingdom was under threat. The Kingdom of God had come. Christ triumphed over Satan. In Him, we triumph when, hearing the Gospel declaration - ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand’- , we obey the Gospel command - ‘repent and believe the gospel’ (Mark 1:15). With the command, ‘Follow Me’, there is the promise, ‘I will make you...’ (Mark 1:17). Christ’s call is ‘full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14). It is truth - a call to discipleship. It is grace - a call from Jesus. In Christ, we become ‘a new creation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). We become ‘fishers of men’ (Mark 1:17).