Psalm 34:1-8; Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13; Matthew 21:28-32
"God as a Lover is passionate about his people. God as a Father cares, as a parent cares about the growth and character of a loved child, about their relationship to him." (Lucy Shaw, God with Us)
Have you tried hard to not do something you do? Have you tried hard to do something you know you should do without success? We can discipline ourselves, (which is good) we can work hard (which is good) but relying solely on our own strength, even our own willpower and good intentions is not enough. If the change does not happen at the heart level it is not permanent. Our actions may change our behavior for a time, but it does not change our hearts. Only God can change a heart.
Christ came to make that possible.
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes."
2 Samuel 22:28, The Message
"You did the unthinkable.
You built one bridge to us
Long enough, strong enough
to link the unlinkable."
"Merciful God, in this Advent season we thank you that you can rewrite the script of our lives, moving us from wandering to arrival, from self-hatred to acceptance, from distance to nearness, from loneliness to belonging, from weakness to energy, and all this because of the enfleshment of your dear Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus, who became one of us and showed us the way. (Luci Shaw, God with Us)