Thursday, August 2, 2012

Isaiah 23-27

Daily Reading
Isaiah 23-27

Daily Thought

"Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Jesus teaches us to pray what Isaiah declares in prophecy, "In that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem" (Isaiah 27:13). 

Today, the kingdoms of this world have the illusion of power and pleasure, but they bring destruction and death. We are lost in this world, and Isaiah declares a day to come when we will return to the mountain of God, where the Lord "will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces" (Isaiah 25:8). Isaiah is speaking of Jesus.

At six years old, I was scared to death of bees, and a bee flew in the car. Dad rolled the car windows down, offering escape, but this bee was intent on terrorizing me. Finally, Dad reached over and caught the bee in his hand and held it. I did not see it sting, but I know it stung, because he opened his hand and showed me the bee. Dead. Dad plucked the stinger out of his palm, and I was brave again. "'O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 15:55-57). 

This world offers us power and pleasure today. We can hold it now, which is the power of temptation. It is in our grasp (but it comes with a sting). God offers us peace forever in a day to come. We can be sure of it, which is the power of trust. That is the choice we must make, between today and tomorrow, between temptation and trust.

Daily Prayer

My Savior God, You warned us. You told us that sin leads to death, and yet we like to sin. And so, we deserve death, because we chose a life of sin over a life of obedience. In astonishing love, however, You took the death we deserved, even while we continued to sin. No wonder we learn love only because You first loved us.

It's an amazing grace You offer me.  Through faith, I receive the righteousness of Your Son. I do not need to obey to earn Your love, because You freely give it to m. So, now, I obey, not because I need to, but because I want to. You have changed my desires, God, and now I want nothing more than to follow You.


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