Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday, February 16: Isaiah 65-66; Mark 14:54-72 ~ Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 65-66; Mark 14:54-72

I teach at an independent Christian school and last week we gathered at an inservice retreat for all the affiliated schools in the country. The blessing of teaching at a Christian school is that I do not have to filter what I believe in a way that is "politically correct" to my students. Parents choose our school knowing that we will be teaching their children in a way that is biblical and that glorifies our Saviour. As I sat in the workshops, it reminded me that I have this incredible privilege to plant seeds of faith in the students who attend our school. 

As the book of Isaiah concludes in today's reading, it shares the judgement that is coming:

verse 2:
I spread out my hands all the day
    to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
    following their own devices;

You do not have to look far in our society to find people who are walking in a rebellious way, who are following a path of destruction, and believing that whatever "feels good" to them is fine. Isaiah was instructed by God to tell people that this is not the way they should live and that judgement on their life choices was coming.

verse 12:
I will destine you to the sword,
    and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter,
because, when I called, you did not answer;
    when I spoke, you did not listen,
but you did what was evil in my eyes
    and chose what I did not delight in.”

We are destined to the sword. We are sinful. With society's acceptance of so many sins, many people aren't even aware of their need for a Saviour. How can they know of this need for redemption if we don't tell them. We must plant the seed.

At our inservice, one of the messages was about investment. As teachers we do plant many seeds that we may never see to full maturation. We plant and we nurture and we do as much as we can for future growth. We sow seeds of academics but also seeds of faith. It is ultimately those seeds of faith that will have the deepest impact on a child's life during their time on earth and also for eternity. 

The speaker shared about how churches were built long ago and that it was often common for oak trees to be planted as the construction began with the anticipation that these trees would be the scaffolding for the roof construction many many years later. The people that planted these trees would never see the final result of their work. Investment does not always mean an instant reward. Investment means that a long-term result is going to be worth the effort even if we don't see it...we may never see the result. 

When we invest in our relationship with Christ, we are nurturing the seed. When we plant seeds of faith in others we are investing in their relationship with Christ. This is so important because:

Verse 15 &16:
“For behold, the Lord will come in fire,
    and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to render his anger in fury,
    and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For by fire will the Lord enter into judgment,
    and by his sword, with all flesh;
    and those slain by the Lord shall be many.

However, we are human. Even when we have the seeds of faith growing in us we stumble and we fall. We will rebel against what we know is true, we will stray from the path of righteousness, and we will think that we can do things on our own just fine. Just like Peter, we will deny that we know Jesus. We will say, either with our words or in our actions:

verse 71:
“I do not know this man of whom you speak.”

Thankfully, we serve a God that is invested in us. He knows us. He already knows we will fail even before we do. 

verse 72: And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him,“Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

Our loving Saviour knows that we will fail and yet loves us anyway. He is invested in us even when He knows that we will fail on our own. I'm so thankful for redemption from sin. Let me invest in the lives of the people around me. May I be the one to plant seeds of faith even when I am not sure that I will ever see the results. 


Conrad said...

Great post!

"For I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me." (Isaiah 65:12b)

As I read this I was reminded of our cat (not so much with the evil part) and how he will do as he pleases. We can call him and receive no response from him. He will do everything at his will with no regard for punishment.

I know I have done worse things than scratching on furniture, and one day I will be judged. We all will be judged as sin results in the inescapable judgement of God.

We were at our son's hockey game the other night and when the other team would body check one of our players to the ice, the parents would cheer with excitement. When their sons felt the retaliation and wrath of the Warriors (the team our son plays for) the parents were silenced. That is how I picture judgement day for the unfortunate people left behind.

Their eyes will be opened when God makes Himself known to those who did not ask for him. As Pamela said, we need to be planting those seeds!

Tammy said...

Great post Pamela.

I love the picture of eternity that is painted for us in Isaiah 65 - what a beautiful promise for the redeemed remnant.

The fact that God will always preserve a faithful remnant is another beautiful promise from this passage. No matter how bad the world is, there will always be some that are loyal to Him.

What I love about the story of Peter and his denial of Jesus is that is shows the guarantee of restoration if we run to Jesus in repentance to seek His forgiveness instead of away from Him, as Judas did, in worldly sorrow that leads only to death.