Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30 – Isaiah 54-58

Below are my thoughts from the daily Bible reading of the West Side Church of Christ. Today’s reading comes from Isaiah 54-58. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word. Also above in the tabs is a link to the Bible reading plan.

I am back. Camp was a blast. Unfortunately I did not get to get near my computer long enough to write blog post or even upload the readings to the blog. When was on my computer I spent it writing things specifically for camp. I apologize for that. I now plan to be back to my normal schedule. Thank you for your patience.

I have also found a renewed freshness to my reading. The break has done me some good. When I came to read the word today I found so many different topics to write about. When we dive into the word of God each day, especially reading it in this chronological order we find very similar topics day after day. We have heard from many prophets over the past month or so about the coming destruction of Israel and Judah. You might find comfort to know that I am ready for it to happen so we can move onto something a little more uplifting.

Today I found three independent areas I want to draw thoughts from. To cover all three means I am only going to be able to do a smattering of justice to each of them. Let’s begin.

God often compares His relationship to us by reminding us of our own family relations. In our reading today we found these words … “For the LORD has called you back from your grief-as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband.” (Isaiah 54:6 NLT) Why would God use such an analogy? Because he knows we understand the emotions tied to this idea of abandonment. Some of you reading this may know from a painful past what abandonment feels like, so when you read this, deep emotion pulses through your veins. For others, while not experiencing this can relate, you understand the emotions. God uses what we know and experience to relate to us, and for all of us family relations are our first community experiences.

God relates to us this way because God is not us, but He wants to do life with us, so He has to relate how He created us to relate. God is bigger and more diverse than we are. The second thing I noticed today is a reminder that we are not God, and we do not think like God thinks. Read these words again … ““My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”” (Isaiah 55:8 NLT) Because God is so much more than we are, He must communicate with us in a way we can connect with. God is too vast to interact with.

Last week during camp I taught a class on baptism. On Thursday I had a roundtable discussion with all the kids wanting to be baptized. They asked about how Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit could all be one. I cannot really explain it, especially to fourth and fifth graders. It is a concept that is incredibly hard to wrap our brains around. It is something that requires faith. And you know what? That is absolutely ok. God is so much more than we can understand. That is ok!

The final thing I found while reading is some comfort from Isaiah. Often we see bad things happen to good people and wander why. Sometimes it is even the loss of a family member, a friend, or even a faithful church member. But when they are in Christ, is it really that much of a loss? Maybe for us it is. But is it for them? Absolutely not! Isaiah gives us some insight into God’s plans and offers a little comfort … “Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” (Isaiah 57:1 NLT) When I look at our world, I am reminded that to be home with the father is much better than to be present on this earth. We should long to be homesick. While someone’s death from this world leaves a hole in our heart, if they are in Christ, then they are home; somewhere we should long to be.

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