Wednesday, September 30, 2009
This morning I sent the following note to a friend of mine who is serving Jesus Christ in the far east. I wanted her to know we were thinking about and praying for her, and I wanted to encourage her in the Lord. I hope it blesses you as well (I have removed the personal/info section of the note):
"May the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you! This morning Kim and I read from Isaiah 6 and we were so touched both by the stunning vision of the glory of God in the first few verses and then also the harsh judgment of this holy God upon his people. He commanded that they hear but not understand, see but not perceive, that their hearts be dull (the Hebrew literally reads “fat”), that their ears be heavy and their eyes blind “lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts and turn and be healed” (6:10).
At first I found it odd that such a judgment would flow out of such a clear vision of the holiness of God but then upon reflection I found it perfectly sensible. It had been around 200 years since David ruled over the land and the Lord had been so gracious and patient with his people. He sent them many prophets who called them to repentance but they would not hear. Our holy God is an immensely gracious God but at some point his mercy does come to an end, at some point he does say “enough,” at some point he does choose to punish severely and even eternally.
"This choice is a natural consequence of his righteousness as Isaiah says just a few chapters later, “Destruction has been decreed, overflowing with righteousness” (10:22). So yes, our Father will destroy but only in righteousness—he is not the devil and there is no measure of evil in him whatsoever. Because he is holy he must, at some point, destroy.
"This is a glorious and soul-shaking truth about our Father and yet perhaps even more glorious, in the light of such judgments, is the beaming light of his grace regarding the coming of Jesus Christ that rises off the pages of Isaiah. I won’t quote them here but keep what I’ve said in mind and then read 7:10-17, 9:1-7, and 11:1-16.
"Just the thought of these texts makes my soul sing, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!” Oh how the words of Isaiah 1:18-20 ring like music in my ears and yet grip my soul with the severity of his grace: “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
"I hope this blesses you as it did us this morning, for the glory of Christ. I hope it helps you tremble before his holiness and yet bask in his grace, knowing that because of what he’s done for us in Christ we can boldly approach the “throne of GRACE” where we will find help in our time of need. May the Lord have his way in us."
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
This morning in my daily Bible reading I read a few chapters from the Old Testament book of Isaiah and the thing that struck me most was the words that the day is coming when the Lord will crush all arrogance so that he alone will be exalted (Is 2:11-22). It would be a misunderstanding to read this as, "I, God, will crush your arrogance so that I alone can be arrogant," because the exaltation of God is far from arrogance, even when it's God exalting himself. Rather, it is simply a right assessment of things.
Who of us has spoken so that 1 trillion galaxies and all that's in them have come into being? Who of us upholds it all by the word of our power? Who of us can say that we are purely holy, righteous, good, wise, etc? Who of us could shed his or her blood and make atonement for the sins of all at once so that everyone who believes will not perish but have everlasting life?
The bottom line is that he is God and we are not, and therefore he is worthy to be exalted whereas we are not. But the amazing and somewhat paradoxical news here is that our very best good is found in the exaltation of God. As my Pastor loves to say, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him." In other words, our highest joy is found in the exaltation of God--for this we were created.
Oh how this humbled my heart this morning, and yet how my heart rose up in resistance as well. There's still so much in me that's arrogant toward God and how I want to learn to humble myself and thus know his glory and joy all the more. For he has promised in 1 Peter 5:5-6, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."
Monday, September 28, 2009
Life has been unusually busy ever since I got back from vacation in mid-August. I have been working 60-70 hour weeks and trying to attend to many things at home as well. I don't like being this busy, I'm not a workaholic, but at times one must do what one must do.
I have been eating fairly well but if I'm being honest with God, self, and others I have been slipping to some degree. I haven't gained any weight and the wheels haven't come off but I have been slowly giving myself to more and more of the foods that I used to love but that were killing me.
So I've decided to start from the beginning this morning with SP. I'm not going to reset my trackers and all that, I'm just going to focus on one SP principle per week and do everything they tell me to do all over again--just as I did from the beginning. I am determined to experience real life change this time around, by the grace and power of Jesus Christ. I refuse to "go back up" on the weight loss/gain yo-yo. And so I entrust myself to God and choose to do the right thing, one small decision at a time.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Not much to share today, pretty normal day. Just have to say in light of so much grace that God is good!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I've been at some meetings the last two days where they've fed us incredibly well and I've gone WAY over my daily limits. So I'm going to take it easy the next couple of days and balance things out, not neglecting the stuff my body needs but just limiting the cals. Don't like the scale tipping upward as it has the last two mornings!
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