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Posts tagged with: Isaiah

A minimalist meal for someone showing care and shelter for others.

What Kind of “Fasting” Does God Desire from Us?

I admit it’s a bit ironic to talk about fasting the day before Thanksgiving Day in the United States. But our slow devotional walk through Isaiah brings us to chapter 58, a chapter that has much to say about fasting… and much to say that is as surprising to us as it is challenging.

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A water level photo of a restless sea.

Are You Like the Tossing Sea?

When I back away from God, I lose touch with his peace. Yet God, in his mercy, doesn’t leave me in my restlessness. He finds ways to remind me of his presence. When I turn to him in desperation, he meets me… sometimes in that very moment, sometimes later. I realize that my life is never what it ought to be except when I rely fully on the Lord.

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A dog looking at a person resting in a hammock.

Is the Sabbath for Us Too?

Scripture reveals that God created us with a need for weekly rest. We live most fully when we imitate him by setting aside a day each week for rest and refreshment… Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, invites us into the joy of his rest. Sabbath is not so much a requirement as it is a gift.

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Pouring into a cup, being filled up.

True Satisfaction

Psalm 90 reminds us that this kind of deep, lasting satisfaction does not come from the inconsistent, unreliable circumstances of life. Rather, it comes from the experience of being filled with God’s love on a daily basis. It comes as we allow our hearts to be inundated with the implications of the cross of Christ.

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The word 'Jesus' standing out in a wall of carved words.

God’s Word Will Achieve God’s Purpose in You

For the most part, our daily meditation upon God’s word will have a modest, perhaps even an intangible, impact. We may wonder if it is actually active in our lives. But, over time, the more we reflect on the truth of God, the more we will be changed, becoming more like him.

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A person looking up, thinking and wondering.

God’s Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts

God’s ways are often mysterious. Sometimes they are gloriously mysterious. Sometimes they are frustratingly mysterious… Yet, the greatest mystery of God’s nature leads us not to exasperation but to exaltation. I’m talking about the wonder of God’s grace, his limitless mercy, his unfathomable love.

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Are You Thirsty? Come and Drink!

Our souls are thirsty for the water that God alone provides. Nothing else will satisfy. The good news is that God invites us to come and drink from his well, and it’s completely free. Through Jesus, the deepest yearnings of our souls are satisfied.

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Beautiful mountains, hills, and rocks that have been eroded over time to form a canyon.

God’s Love for You Will Not Be Shaken

God’s love is more stable and lasting than the mountains and the hills. It will remain forever, never to be eroded away. When God commits himself to us, that commitment will never be broken… What marvelous news… something upon which to base our lives! Something more solid than the mountains. Something more lasting than the hills.

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A cardboard face displaying anger but not showing the real person's face.

How Can a Loving God Be Angry?

Over the years, I have become more accepting—but not completely comfortable— with the biblical picture of an angry God. I realize that anger is sometimes an appropriate emotion… I know that God is completely just and completely loving. I can begin to understand how anger is not inconsistent with deep, lasting love.

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A person grappling and pondering with a thought or idea.

The Right and Right-Making Servant of God

Here is what cannot be denied: We can never earn our own righteousness through our good deeds. We can never make ourselves right enough to have a right relationship with God. Without God’s help we are lost and without hope. But the good news is that we don’t have to do what we cannot do because our righteousness comes through Christ.

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Mulitple distorted mirrored images funneling into one clear image.

Live in the Wholeness of Jesus

How might we respond to what Jesus has done for us as the Suffering Servant of God? Gratitude is the beginning. When we realize that Jesus suffered for our sake, our hearts fill with thanksgiving. Truly, the Christian life is one, long expression of thanks to the Lord for his magnificent mercy.

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A person covering their face with their hands in pain, sorrow, or suffering.

A Man of Suffering

When we hurt, we find comfort in the fact that Jesus is a man of sorrows. He knows what it’s like to feel as we do. Thus his empathy isn’t theoretical. God the Son knows and shares in our suffering. He is with us, even when we are overcome by grief and despair.

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A murky reflection in a puddle with debris.

The Unexpected Servant

The example of God’s Servant challenges me to look at many things, not with human eyes, but with divine insight. I can be easily impressed by power, fame, beauty, and wealth. I, along with most human beings, tend to look for leaders—even Christian leaders—who shine with human glory… Isaiah reminds us to look, not for glitz, but for the gospel.

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People walking along a peaceful and majestic mountain ridge.

Great News! God Reigns!

In Jesus, God has come to reign on the earth. Though the fullness of the kingdom is still to come, when we put our faith in Jesus, we begin even now to experience the peace, justice, and power of God’s reign. The good news we embrace as Christians is not only that we get to “go to Heaven” after we die, but also that we can begin to experience Heaven now.

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An empty coffee cup.

Drink the Cup, Not of Judgment, But of Salvation

Because Jesus drank the cup of divine judgment, he is able to offer us a different cup… Jesus drank our cup of judgment so that we might drink his cup of salvation. Thus we live each day, not in fear of God’s condemnation, but in gratitude for God’s grace in Christ.

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