November 30, Reading 1 – 2 Chronicles 30

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Hezekiah kept the Passover! This was an example to follow for the returnees, and is an example for us today! In Gospel terms, we should not absent ourselves from the Lord’s Table. This sacrament is most necessary for our spiritual refreshment, growth and well-being.

SJA Notes

“However, some men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.”

The Passover (the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a reminder of what God did in rescuing His people out of Egypt) was being celebrated again!

There is great importance for God’s people to remember what God has done for us. As Israel was to remember God’s rescue of them out of Egypt, so we today are to remember God’s rescue of us out of our sin – In the person of God the Son, Jesus Christ – His death and resurrection.

That’s what we are doing when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. It is not a tradition of man, it is not a nice homily – Instead in the doing, in the practice, we grow closer to our God! Remembering what God has done protects us from the evil one, it draws us closer to one another, it allows us to see the world for what it is.

When we remember what Jesus did for us, we are shown the character of God. His steadfast love and faithfulness without end. His mercy to sinners, those deserving of His justice, the right punishment for our rejection of Him.

And when we remember what Jesus did for us, we are shown the truth of who we are!

Just like the people from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves – So we should too!

Are we letting our own pride inhibit us from the true worship of our God?

This was a question for the returning exiles. And it is a question for us today.

* Father God in Heaven,

Thank You for rescuing us from our sin.

Thank You for Your grace and Your mercy to us. Thank You that You keep Your promises.

Please help us to come before You with humility in our hearts, today and onwards.

Please show us Jesus today!

Amen.

November 30, Reading 2 – Ezekiel 46

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

There are many echoes of Ezekiel in Revelation eg Revelation 10:9-11 = Ezekiel 3:1-6. The prince brings our captivity captive (by offering Himself on the cross as the Lamb) and gives gifts unto men – Ephesians 4:8.

SJA Notes

* Dear God, please help us see Your truth today from Your word. Please open our eyes and unstop our ears.

“The prince shall not take any of the inheritance of the people, thrusting them out of their property. He shall give his sons their inheritance out of his own property, so that none of my people shall be scattered from his property.”

The idea of promised land (property in the above verse, given in promise) is very strong throughout God’s word.

We have the lot of land that Abraham purchased in the (at the time) not-yet promised land.

We have Joshua’s entry into the promised land with God’s people.

We have the exile of God’s people from the promised land due to their sin, their idolatry (turning away from God).

We have the return from exile (Nehemiah and Ezra tell of this).

But what for us – Should we set our hopes on a piece of land here on earth?

In Hebrews 11 we read of Abraham,

“But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

While Abraham had the promise for his biological children that they would enter into the promised land in Canaan (where he purchased a plot of land), this was not his great hope, the greater promise!

Why?

Because he desired a BETTER COUNTRY, the new heavens and earth (Revelation 21).

Do we desire the better country, the greater promise, that God is preparing for us?

* Father God,

Please fix our eyes on You, please help us to trust Your promises to us, please set our hearts on a better country than that which we live in.

Please put within us the steady and unshakeable hope of glory.

Amen.

November 30, Reading 3 – 1 John 1

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

John begins his letter in a manner similar to the beginning of his Gospel. It is easy to pretend to others and yourself that you don’t sin, that you are a good person. Why is it important to confess our sins to God and not pretend to Him or to ourselves?

SJA Notes

“… That God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

Here is a fundamental truth that must resonant through our thoughts, our views, our words and deeds.

God is light!

We are to be people living in God’s light, with God’s light within us (His Spirit at work), shining to those around us.

Do we keep the light under a bushel? A-No!

It is not our light, we do not generate it, it comes from God. But it is shown to those around us in how we walk. That is why our walk is so important, our obedience.

And in God there is no darkness at all.

This is then our example, because the confession of our sin is so important. That we accept and confess that we have sinned.

John says here that is a critical element of living in the light, having fellowship with God. To confess that we are sinners.

Because of Jesus, His blood which cleanses us from our sin.

John’s words here are both encouragement and exhortation, rebuke and confirmation.

Let us walk in God’s light today and onwards!

* God Above,

Thank You that You are light. That in You is no darkness at all.

Thank You that Jesus’ blood cleanses us from our sin.

Thank You that we can walk in Your light.

Please help us to remember who we are, who You are, and to daily come before You and confess our sins.

Please forgive us now Lord God.

Amen.