Advent Thoughts: Singing

Advent

He would suffer every single day of his life so that he could, with his life, give grace to rebels, extend love to those who would deny his existence, impart wisdom to those who think they know better, and extend forgiveness to everyone who seeks him.
            ~ Come, Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional by Paul David Tripp

One of my favorite memories of my visits to Israel was walking across the temple mount with my mother in 2009. We heard another group singing Amazing Grace in their own language.  Our group joined in English as we passed them and the recognition and smiles between us abounded.  My mother squeaked and whispered loudly, I believe that will be what heaven is about… don’t you think? Every tribe and tongue praising HIM together?  I agreed not knowing that she would see and hear for herself in 2014. I look forward to joining the chorus and Advent reminds me that it is only possible through the birth, death, and resurrection of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

My understanding of this truth is grace, undeserved, unmerited and often taken for granted.  May I see the whole world through such eyes of grace.

Along these lines is Luke 2:14 which was one of those verses which rocked my world when I began studying the ASV and ESV but makes so much more sense in context.  The common translation from the KJV is “peace on earth, goodwill to men” but closer examination reveals the Greek word εὐδοκίας (G-2107) which indicates “goodwill” or “pleasure” changing the understanding of “God’s goodwill to all mankind” to “peace among those He shows favor toward or finds pleasure.” 

I have found favor through no righteousness of my own and I am humbled and awed by His grace and hope to never cease sing His praises! 

Let us seek HIM together this Advent Season!

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Luke 2:13-14 (ESV) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

             “Glory to God in the highest,
                       and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Revelation 5:8-13 (ESV)

8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

A Great Multitude from Every Nation  Revelations 7:9-17 (ESV)
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”