What I read today;

1 Timothy 4; Luke 19; Isaiah 61; Psalm 29; 1 Samuel 12; Exodus 14

How did you feel the first time you realized that God loved you and wanted to save you?  Did you marvel at the love Jesus showed when he walked up the hill to be crucified?  Did your heart thump when he said, “it is finished”?  Were you choked up when you saw him restore Peter to his position of leadership?  Do you, even now, get emotional when you see Paul rush out to stop the jailer from committing suicide and then begging to know how to be saved?

Now imagine that you are a citizen of Judah.  Your country is in ruins.  Your brothers in the northern kingdom of Israel have been deported into captivity.  Now it looks like it won’t be long and you’ll be next.

Then you hear the words of Isaiah 61.  God is promising to save his people and to restore them.  Yes, there will be consequences for the actions fo the nation.  Yes, injustice has run rampant, and the people are paying the price.  But, in the midst of all this, God is making promises.  He says to them, “I have good news.”  I am coming to set you free.  God promises that the nation will be rebuilt.  But more importantly, he promises to send salvation that leads to eternal life.  Isaiah recognizes God’s promises in the words of Isaiah 61 vs. 10-11;

I will greatly rejoice in the Lordmy whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,  so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.” NRSV

God promises to do for the people the very thing that they cannot do for themselves.  He promises to send someone to save them from the sins and end their separation from God.  He promises to send Jesus!

So I’ll ask you again, how does it make you feel when you think about what Jesus has done for you?

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