Advent Devotion - Day 18


December 14, 2022

Join us through this special time of Advent as we dive deeper into the Word of God. Each day, we will pray and reflect on a different passage from Scripture. Daily Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, and reflections are written by our church staff.

Opening Prayer:

Our Dear Gracious Father, we thank you for the promises you have made to watch over and bless us. We ask that you keep our hearts pure as we try to please you today. We pray for your guidance, and help us to love you and to love each other, that our words will be kind and fruitful. Fill our hearts with the desire to share your words and promises with others. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Scripture Reading:

Zechariah 8:1-17

God’s Promises to Zion

The word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying: 2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am zealous for Zion with great zeal, and I am zealous for her with great wrath. 3 Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts shall be called the holy mountain. 4 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. 5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. 6 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the Lord of hosts? 7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, 8 and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.”

9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Let your hands be strong—you who have recently been hearing these words from the mouths of the prophets who were present when the foundation was laid for the rebuilding of the temple, the house of the Lord of hosts. 10 For before those days there were no wages for people or for animals, nor was there any safety from the foe for those who went out or came in, and I set them all against one another. 11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, says the Lord of hosts. 12 For there shall be a sowing of peace; the vine shall yield its fruit, the ground shall give its produce, and the skies shall give their dew, and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. 13 Just as you have been a cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.”

14 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: Just as I purposed to bring disaster upon you when your ancestors provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent, says the Lord of hosts, 15 so again I have purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; do not be afraid. 16 These are the things that you shall do: speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace, 17 do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these are things that I hate, says the Lord.”


Sometimes we all need to hear encouraging words. I know I do. Words that are spoken so clearly and precisely that our outlook changes without hesitation.

When I read Zechariah 8:1-17, I feel full of so much hope, based upon God’s promises to love and take care of his people. These promises help me counteract all the negative actions and words I see and hear from so many different media sources. These promises are weighted in my heart, and help me to remember how the messages of Zechariah can motivate us to overcome our feelings of helplessness.

I have had times when I get in a rut about something, and need to “snap out of it.” If only it were that easy! But eventually, I will remember about God’s promises to one day return and establish His kingdom over us. There is so much hope and encouragement in those promises, that it can change my perspective in such a drastic way that It makes me feel cleansed.

There are a lot of things in our lives today that can cause us anxiety and lead to despair. Hopefully, we can all remember the promises God made in Zechariah. We should strive to let these promises comfort us, and help us to know how much God desires to have fellowship with each one of us. How fortunate we are to have such a loving God.

Daily Challenge:

Do you let God’s promises uplift you when things are not going according to your plan? Do you think of ways to encourage others as God’s promises encourage us?
Today's reflection is written by:
Steve Johns

Church of the Servant
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