First Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44

Awaiting Christ’s Return , let us worship God and walk in His ways.

God calls us to worship Him – ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord… ’ – and walk in His ways – ‘Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord’ (Isaiah 2:3, 5).

We are moving towards the Day when ‘the pride of men shall be humbled and brought low’, the Day when ‘the Lord alone will be exalted’ (Isaiah 2:11, 12, 17).

How are we to get ready for the Return of our Lord Jesus Christ? God calls us to keep on worshipping Him. We are to encourage one another to keep on walking with God. ‘Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching’(Hebrews 10:25).

Let our pride be humbled and let the Lord be exalted as we await Christ’s Return in ‘faith’, looking to Him alone for our ‘salvation’(1 Peter 1:7-9).

 Worshipping the Lord with joy
‘I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the House of the Lord”’ (Psalm 122:2).

Why do we go to the House of the Lord? We go ‘to give thanks to the Name of the Lord’ (Psalm 122:4).

We seek His mercy for our past sins: ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us!’(Psalm 123:3).

We seek His help for our future temptations: ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord…’ (Psalm 124:8).

As we receive mercy and help from the Lord, we worship Him: ‘Blessed be the Lord’ (Psalm 124:6).

In our worship, we ‘look to the Lord our God’, drawing encouragement from His Word: ‘The Lord is on our side’- In Him we have the victory (Psalms 123:2; 124:1-5).

Rejoicing in God’s blessing, we pray for others: ‘May they prosper who love You’ (Psalm 122:6).

Walking with the Lord in love
Awaiting the Return of Christ – our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed – , let us clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:11, 14).

Clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ, let us ‘walk in love’- We must not fall out over matters in which difference of opinion is allowed (Romans 14:5, 15).

There can be a lot of bitterness over ‘the Sabbath’. There can be so much pride. For some, this is the ‘be-all and end-all’ of Christian faith. They say, ‘We are the Sabbath keepers. They are not!’. Others react, ‘We rejoice in our Christian liberty. They are legalists.’ ‘Pharisees’ are preoccupied with ‘the Sabbath’. We must remember that Jesus is ‘the Lord of the Sabbath’.

We must let His love flow (Matthew 12:2, 10, 8, 11-12).

Let faith be real – not just keeping on the right side of narrow-minded people (Romans 14:23; Colossians 2:16; 1 Corinthians 2:15).

Let there be ‘peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’.

Don’t think too highly of yourself. ‘Count others better than yourself’(Romans 14:17; 12:3; Philippians 2:3).

Worshipping with joy and walking in love, we await Christ’s Return.
‘The times they are-a-changing’. There is, however, one thing that remains constant. Jesus says, ‘My words will not pass away’(Matthew 24:35).

In an age of unbelief, our faith is often under threat. We must stand upon this solid Rock: ‘The Word of the Lord stands forever’(1 Peter 1:25).

The scoffers will say, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’(2 Peter 3:3-4). We are to believe that ‘He is near’(Matthew 24:33).

Christ has risen. He will return (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

When He returns need not concern us: ‘the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect’(Matthew 24:44).

We are to be ready at all times (Matthew 25:13) – doing the Lord’s will (Matthew 24:46).

We are to be ‘faithful and wise’(Matthew 24:45).

As ‘the bride of Christ’(Revelation 19:7; 21:2), we await the Return of Christ our Bridegroom: ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet Him’(Matthew 25:6).

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