Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Read: [Meditate on the scripture of the week.]
Reflect: [Use this devotional thought for a moment of reflection. Today’s devotional is written by Beth Nelson.]
“Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem.” Isaiah 40:2, KJV
What is affecting your peace? I mean right now. What, if it were fully removed from your consciousness, would allow you to relax a little? When you start to pray, what distraction creeps in? If you were looking Jesus in the face, what is the thing you’d ask Him to fix for you?
You may not do the bulk of your study in the King James Version (nor do I), but this is some of my favorite wording in the Bible: “Speak ye comfortably.” You ache for reassurance. You crave someone telling you, “I WILL take care of this for you.” Speak comfortably to me, Lord.
“I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people.” Psalm 85:8, NLT
If God is speaking comfort and peace to you, it’s on you to listen.
What is the Lord saying to you? What have you read in the Bible that you can’t get out of your mind? What has a friend said that changed your perspective? What idea or thought keeps coming to you at different times throughout the day or week? What song lyric makes your heart leap? What sermon point made you search for a pen and a scrap of paper to write it on?
God’s voice, through His Holy Spirit, comes to us in a variety of ways. When that voice of comfort comes, pay attention. Careful, rapt attention, because His voice of peace is calming your soul. His voice is truth, and only He has the words of life, real comfort, and lasting peace. All other comfort is temporary. All other peace is a cheap fix on a serious problem–scotch tape to fix a leaking pipe, or a twist-tie on a hemorrhaging artery.
“Prepare the way for the Lord.” Isaiah 40:3, Mark 1:3