Today’s Reading: Isaiah 41-42
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Key Verses: Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
God says “FEAR NOT” three times in Isaiah 41! Why not fear? Firstly, because God says, “I am with you”! (41:10). Secondly, because God says, “I will help you”! (41:13b). And thirdly, He says again, “I will help you”! God tries to get this message through to all people at all times throughout human history. God has a history of inspiring the recording of the fulfillment of the prophecies He has given through His prophets and through the greatest of all Prophets, Jesus Christ. In 41:21-23 God challenges all the gods (so called) of the nations to prove the reality of their power by the test of prophecy and its fulfillment! The reality is stated in 41:24. He says to these gods, “You are nothing and your work is nothing.” Therefore, people of the true God, “Fear not”!!!
In Chapter 42 the “Servant” of the Lord is now clearly identified as a Person rather than a nation. The identity of this Person will become more and more evident as we continue our readings in Isaiah. Read the New Testament quotation of Isaiah 42:1-4 (see Matthew 12:17-21). Let’s read again Isaiah 42 with Jesus clearly in our minds, identifying those statements which Jesus fulfilled.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, as the writer to the Hebrews says in Hebrews 2:9a, “But we see Jesus!” May I “see Jesus” over and over again here in Isaiah’s writings! And may I “see” Him with perception, insight, and with 20/20 clarity of vision. As a result, I pray that I will comprehend more fully than ever Who Jesus really is in all His wonder, love and grace. In His Name I ask this. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
My “daughter-in-love,” Ron’s wife, Ann, checks over my punctuation, etc. before my blog is posted. One of her articles fits in beautifully with my blog from yesterday. I’ve asked her to put here just a portion of her story below. Thanks Ann!
Yours for “seeing” Jesus and “soaring” with Him,
“Called to Soar”
By Ann Mainse
(Excerpt from an aritcle in the January, 2014, Crossroads Compass magazine)
There’s a story of a traveler who came upon an eagle’s egg. He searched for the nest but found nowhere to return the egg. So the man did the next best thing. He put the eagle’s egg into a nest with chicken eggs. Eventually, the egg hatched and the eaglet fit right in with the other baby chicks. He clucked and scratched and pecked around and basically lived as a chicken for years. And then one day he saw a glorious sight. High up in the sky, with wings outstretched, was a magnificent bald eagle. Something stirred within him. Something called him to come up high.
“What’s that?” he asked a nearby chicken. “That is an eagle,” the chicken replied, “the king of the birds. He soars and flies and has unlimited freedom – something we will never have.” Upon hearing this, the chicken-eagle hung his head in sorrow and ignored the urge to join his brother high above the clouds. Sadly, he lived the rest of his life clucking and pecking and scratching. He never knew he could fly.
What a sad story. But what is sadder still is that for many of us, that is our story. We have the ability to fly, but we choose not to.
In the book of John Jesus announced His gift to us when we accept God’s Grace through the Cross…
“…I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” ~ John 10:10 (MSG)
What a gift! But how many of us are actually living the more and better life? Because of what God-the-Son, Jesus, has done through the Cross, we don’t have to be grounded. Life… real life… abundant life… can be ours.
We are called to soar. We are offered the wings of eagles…
“Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.” ~ Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)
God’s amazing Grace – which is available to everyone – is calling us to soar. And once we have experienced it, once we have shed our chicken-eagle perception, we no longer want to ignore the call of freedom, the freedom that is found in more and better life.
There’s an age-old question that has been circulating for years: “Why don’t Christians live just like the rest of the world?” In light of all we have to gain, perhaps the better question would be…
“Why would we want to… when we can soar?”