Order A Complimentary copy of our new Devotional—Anchors for the Soul

The Nineteenth Day of Advent – December 21

His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 9:7

“You can’t spell adventure…unless you begin with Advent.” I saw those words posted on social media and am reminded of the importance of these Advent days in preparing for both Christmas and Jesus’ coming again. We live “between the times” celebrating the kingdom Jesus began and the completion of that kingdom when Jesus returns. Jesus changed the course of history in His first coming, and will bring it to perfection when He comes again. God isn’t finished!

Theologian Lewis Smedes suggested that our biggest challenge “between the times” is “living the sort of life that makes people say, ‘Ah, so that’s how people are going to live when righteousness takes over the world.” (Lewis Smedes, Standing on the Promises) Are we today living lives that actually point to the day when righteousness takes over the world?

Isaiah does say in today’s scripture than Jesus establishes His kingdom “with justice and righteousness.” Thus, Jesus in His first coming linked His “kingdom” with “righteousness”, commanding His followers to “strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Are we living that sort of life? Do our lives “conform to the norm” of God’s character or of His coming kingdom?

Remarkably, in later visions Isaiah foretells Jesus making “many righteous” through His death and resurrection:

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all…The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous and he shall bear their iniquities” Isaiah 53:5-6, 11, (emphasis added).

The Gospel is the marvelous ‘good news’ about Jesus, “the righteous one”, making many righteous. The apostles fanned out across the world with the astonishing news that “God made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). It was the amazing message of “righteousness for anyone who believes” (Romans 10:4), a righteousness “that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith” (Philippians 3:9). It is the righteousness that God imputed to Abraham on the basis of faith: “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3).

Eighteenth century pastor and social reformer Nicolaus Zinzendorf wrote the hymn “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness” in which he reveled in the believer’s righteousness through Jesus Christ:

“Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
my beauty are, my glorious dress;
‘midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
with joy shall I lift up my head.”

Because Jesus is our righteousness, we shall lift high our heads when we see Him coming to put right the world. What that day will be like, we cannot imagine! Its eternity and infinity are beyond mortal comprehension. But, “What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him – and in seeing him, become like him” (1 John 3:2 The Message). And we shall ever be becoming more like Him! For ‘between the times’, we seek and pray to live “how people are going to live when righteousness takes over the world!” The light of Jesus will shine in us!


Righteous God, You hate sin and want to be rid of it. Our sin was loathsome to You and You dealt with it. You proved Your love in giving up Your Son to save us while we were still sinners. We have been saved by Your grace through faith, knowing that our faith was a gift from You. We can never out- sin Your grace! Thank You for loving us just as we are, but loving us too much to leave us just as we are. So, stretch us, grow us, and make us shine as Your light in a dark world. By your grace we pray. Amen.

recent posts

join our list

Sign up and receive our weekly devotionals, Selah podcast episodes, info on seasonal devotionals, and announcements.