~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Isaiah 60:1-62:5 ~ Philippians 1:27-2:18
Psalm 72:1-20 ~ Proverbs 24:11-12
Old Testament - Today in Isaiah chapter 60 we read about Jerusalem's future glory! Verses 4 through 6 tell us - "Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. Your eyes will shine, and your hearts will thrill with joy, for merchants from around the world will come to you. They will bring you the wealth of many lands. Vast caravans of camels will converge on you, the camels of Midian and Ephah. From Sheba they will bring gold and incense for the worship of the LORD."
Beautiful imagery in verses 8 & 9 - "And what do I see flying like clouds to Israel, like doves to their nests? They are the ships of Tarshish, reserved to bring the people of Israel home. They will bring their wealth with them, and it will bring great honor to the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he will fill you with splendor."
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Isaiah titled "The Spirit-filled Servant and the Kingdom of God" is at this link.
New Testament - Our readings in Philippians chapter 2 today have some powerful verses on imitating Jesus’ humility. In verses 3 & 4 we read: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Are you doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vanity in your life today? Are you humble? Do you consider others better than yourself? Do you look to the interests of others? I realize these can be hard teachings to put into practice – in fact, it seems almost impossible in our modern world. But, let us remember that indeed all things are possible with Jesus Christ in our lives and hearts. Let us not give up on imitating Jesus’ humility in our lives today. I pray each of us is becoming more like Jesus in some small or significant way each and every day. Don’t stop the transformation process. Don’t quench the Spirit. Let God change you.
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Philippians titled "The Ultimate in Humility - Leaving the Comfort Zone" is at this link.
Psalms - I'll admit. I pay attention every single time the Bible talks about serving the poor. And it is a lot. And I think it is for a reason. Here it is again in Psalm 72 verses 12 & 13, speaking about Israel's king - "He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them." What about us today? Does this Psalm speak to us? Should we perhaps be "kingly" in this regard? Do we rescue the poor when they cry to us? (do we even listen for their cry?) Do we help the oppressed and those who have no one to defend them? Do we feel pity for the weak and needy? Do we rescue them? Do I? Do you?
Verse 20 tells us - "This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse." And below is a painting of an older King David... perhaps playing a Psalm he wrote...?
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs chapter 24 verse 12 we read – “If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?” This reminds me of the old adage that we are “either part of the problem or we are part of the solution”. If we say “we knew nothing about this” related to some issue in our world today, do you think that God will know if this is truth or a lie? What is going on in our world today where you feel like you perhaps should be taking some action on being part of the solution? What is an atrocity that you are being called to help solve? Do you think you should now move forward and be part of the solution? If you do nothing – if you say you “knew nothing about this” – will you then instead be part of the problem? Will you move forward on being part of the solution to issues in our world that God is calling you to?
Comments from you - What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!