~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Isaiah 62:6-65:25 ~ Philippians 2:19-3:3
Psalm 73:1-28 ~ Proverbs 24:13-14
Old Testament - Today in Isaiah chapter 63 we read about God's judgment against his enemies. It is interesting dialogue in verses 1 through 3 - ""It is I, the LORD, announcing your salvation! It is I, the LORD, who is mighty to save!" Why are your clothes so red, as if you have been treading out grapes? "I have trodden the winepress alone; no one was there to help me. In my anger I have trampled my enemies as if they were grapes. In my fury I have trampled my foes. It is their blood that has stained my clothes."
Isaiah chapter 64 verses 5 through 7 stood out to me as a stark reminder of why Jesus came into our world as our Savior eight centuries after this was written by Isaiah - and why we still need Jesus today as our Savior... - "But we are not godly. We are constant sinners, so your anger is heavy on us. How can people like us be saved? We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away. Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins." Do these verses remind you of your need for Jesus? Has Jesus saved you from your constant sinning? Have you been saved from the "infection" of sin? This is great wording in these verses by Isaiah - we are all "infected" with sin... praise God that Jesus saves us from this infection! I realize that this photo below of infected skin is pretty gross... but I think it serves as a reminder of how gross the infection of sin in our lives is as well... and why we desperately need Jesus...
On a more positive "infection" note :), C.S. Lewis says this about Christianity being a "good infection" -
New Testament - Philippians chapter 3 verse 3 is a great teaching from Paul - "For we who worship God in the Spirit are the only ones who are truly circumcised. We put no confidence in human effort. Instead, we boast about what Christ Jesus has done for us." How do you worship God? Do you worship in the Spirit? Do you put no confidence in your own human efforts? Do you today boast to others about what Jesus Christ has done for you?
Psalms - Wow... Psalm 73 today is amazing! I love it. I actually had lunch with a good friend this past year who said to me verse 13 almost verbatim - "Was it for nothing that I kept my heart pure and kept myself from doing wrong?" It was so sad for me to hear him say this... but he obviously is not alone. The Psalmist thought this too, and I imagine each of us might feel like this is at times. Praise God that the Psalmist rallies, as hopefully do we, in verse 23 - "Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand." And then I absolutely love where he goes with verse 26 - "My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever." I can quickly think of people in our world today where this verse 26 is so applicable... let us pray that those in time of failing health and spirit have God remain the strength of their heart.
Proverbs - I like Proverbs 24 verse 14 a lot to day - "Wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short." I will be honest - I was never a big fan of school. Of education. I guess for some reason I didn't see the purpose in it... this is very odd to say I know. But, as I get older here, I'm obviously thankful for all of my schooling. I can do some very basic / important things thanks to my schooling - like read and write and do math, etc. I'm thinking what I was missing perhaps in my schooling was wisdom. Maybe I was looking for wisdom to be taught to me and not just logic. I'm not sure if this makes sense... I guess at this stage in my life I really don't feel like I need to go back to school to learn more "stuff" or more "logic". I want wisdom. I want a bright future with God. I don't want my hopes to be cut short. I want to be with God forever. I believe the Bible is the place I will find the wisdom I so crave. I do not think there is anything else that will provide this wisdom here on this material earth... What about you? Do you crave wisdom? Do you believe that wisdom is sweet to your soul? What out there will give you more wisdom than the Bible? Do you look forward to finding wisdom in the Bible today, tomorrow, and every day into your golden years?
What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!