I. Prayer to enter the Lord’s presence:
Be still for a moment. “Lord, I give the day that is now past to you. It is yours. I give the day that is to come to you; help me to see where you are working and to join you there. Speak to me during these moments. I commit them and myself to you.”
II. Prayer of Confession:
“Lord, you are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin when I confess it to you. I confess my sin(s) of ______________. Thank you for forgiveness.” (1 John 1:9)
III. Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Choose to be thankful, speak out loud of what God has done.
“Thank you, Father, for _________________. Fill my heart and my mouth with gratitude throughout this day.”
IV. Scripture Reflection
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)
John has told us that God is love, but we also know that God is just (Deut. 32:4, Job 34:2, Psa. 33:5, Matt. 16:27). The reality of sin is that we have committed a terrible crime against the God who is love. We have invoked His justice. We often shake our fists at judges who refuse to take just action against immoral people. So what about God? Should He simply turn His eyes from our sin and “let us off the hook”? If He did, He would have to deny His very nature. He would have to be unjust. And not even love would permit Him to do that because love is a moral action. God can’t just “let us off the hook.” His justice demands that our sin and consequences be dealt with completely.
Jesus dealt with them for us. That’s what it means to be a propitiation. To propitiate is to appease someone’s anger or justice by offering them a gift or sacrifice. Jesus appeased the just anger of God toward our sin by offering Himself in our place. And it was only Jesus who could rightfully be a propitiation for us. In the cross we see the fullness of God’s love and the fullness of God’s justice. God dealt with our sin completely, but He dealt with it by sacrificing Himself in our place. Some have called this “The Great Exchange.” Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was a moral action; He was making wrong things right again. This is love.
Praise God for His infinite wisdom, which He displayed by His love and His justice at the cross. Thank Jesus for His willingness to be a propitiation for your sin. Ask Jesus to re-center your heart and mind around the Gospel this Christmas season. Ask Him to help you see His love in the lights, the trees, the gifts, and the carols. Consider the moral and sacrificial nature of God’s love and how you might show that to the people you encounter today.
V. Prayer for others:
Pray specifically for the concerns of your life and the lives of others.
VI. Prayer of commitment:
“Lord God, I commit to love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind and to love my neighbor as myself. Empower me today to love you and others with everything that I am.” (Luke 10:27)
This Week’s Scripture Memory:
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.