Pastor Mark BerlinDecember 10th 2017
1Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. 3A voice of one calling: 'In the desert prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.' 6A voice says, 'Cry out.' And I said, 'What shall I cry?' 'All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. 7The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. 8The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.' 9You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, 'Here is your God!' 10See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. 11He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
1For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. You showed favor to your land, O LORD; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. 2You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins. Selah 3You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger. 4Restore us again, O God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. 5Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? 6Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? 7Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation. 8I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints-- but let them not return to folly. 9Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. 10Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. 11Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. 12The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. 13Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.
8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
1The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2It is written in Isaiah the prophet: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way'-- 3'a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'' 4And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7And this was his message: 'After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'