It was on one of these mornings, that my mind was already in the car speeding off to school, when she rose from her knees to her feet and handed me Philippians 4:6-7. I’m sure she meant to address some concern I had, something senior-ish, which I’ve long forgotten. I read it in the driver’s seat of my car, then stared at it, and then treasured it. Be anxious for nothing.
Get ready, y’all. I’m about to blow your mind.
Only His presence, only His voice, only His truth. That’s where the healing is.
Perfect. That one word. It doesn’t seem like much. We use it all the time. We make the perfect plans. Find the perfect outfit. Take the perfect vacation. Run after…
Jesus’ reign, having been initiated by grace and forgiveness at the cross, will be one of unimaginable peace.
Barrenness had been Sarah’s identity for all her married life. When God repeated his promise to Abraham over the years, she surely felt persecuted. His plan for Abraham—and the rather lengthy timeline–highlighted her shame and failure. Then she made a mess of things by bringing Hagar into the picture.
Where I see the most obvious parallel between Isaiah’s prophecies and the modern church is what we’re willing to call worship. Too often, church membership and attendance is flashed around like some kind of Jesus talisman. I attend. I sing a few songs—but only if they are the songs I prefer performed only by certain instruments. I hear a little lightweight preaching and call it good for the week. What is neglected is devotion—a devotion that can only come about in a heart that knows it has been rescued.
God’s chosen people avoided spiritual obedience by practicing the ritual of worship. The people rebelled–even to the point of prostituting themselves with idol worship–and spent years of anguish in exile. Still, God remembered His promises to Abraham and the covenant with His people which He would not break. A new covenant is required—one that fulfills all that God promised to Abraham and makes the people blameless.