Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday, September 15 ~ Miriam

Today's reading from the Chronological OT/NT Reading Plan is Isaiah 11-13; Ephesians 2.

Isaiah 12 is called Songs of Praise in my Bible.  Verse 2 - "Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.  The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."

Isaiah is speaking here about the Israelite people - the chosen people of God.  "He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth."  (11:12)

More about that in a minute.

Ephesians yesterday said "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory." (Eph 1:13-14)  In other words, the inheritance is no longer only for the Jews, but for everyone who believes.  We Gentiles now have hope where there was none before.  We can come to God.  We are "no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household," (Eph. 2:19)  Chapter 2 talks about the bondage to sin being broken because of God's mercy and grace.  We are saved by grace, by believing as it said in yesterday's verse,  and by the gift of God.  We have no way of getting there on our own.  We can't be good enough.  We can't "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps," as they say, and walk right up to the gates of Heaven.  It is a gift, given through sacrifice.

Here we come back to Isaiah.  God is now not only the salvation of the Jews, but of everyone who believes.  Now, through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus' blood, we are included in the inheritance.  We are part of His people, whom He will assemble from the four quarters of the earth.  We can sing together "Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.  The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."

I wonder, for those who have heard the Word of God but chosen not to believe, or for those who have never heard, what do they think they exist for?  Many of them probably don't see any meaning to life, which is why they pursue pleasure and wealth every minute of the day.  You can't store up treasures in Heaven if you don't believe Heaven exists.  It makes me sad.  Unfortunately, that doesn't often translate into me making efforts to tell them about Jesus.  I suppose I often assume they've already heard, so what more could I contribute if they've chosen not to believe?  Definitely an attitude I need to work on.

Anyway, have a fantastic Thursday and a wonderful weekend.  Trust, and don't be afraid!

 Tomorrow's passage:  Isaiah 14-16; Ephesians 3.

1 comment:

LaughingLady said...

I heard someone say once something to the effect of, "How much do you have to HATE someone to not tell them they're heading for an eternity in hell??!" Whenever I think of it that way, it bothers me a lot that I don't talk more about faith with my non-Christian friends. But like you, I sort of assume they've all heard it before and just chosen not to do anything about it. But I guess that's where the importance of spending quality time with our friends comes in, because it's in the course of everyday life and especially when things go wrong, that we have more opportunity to demonstrate what it really means to have faith in God.