Tag Archives: Redeemer

Isaiah 34-35; Ephesians 2

At some point, the crickets’ song took over summer, reminding that a new season approaches. During a morning walk, honking geese overhead shake me from a summer dream almost like an alarm–a new season approaches. I remember thinking, “It’s only July–you’re going the wrong way!”

My calendar said there was still plenty of time. But suddenly it’s two weeks later and two more to go will go in a blink. When I was young, the days seemed long. Now I find myself wishing for more hours in the day.

Lord, help me to keep a Kingdom focus. When I find myself small, discouraged, I want to remember, you are mighty.

16 Search the book of the Lord,
    and see what he will do.
Not one of these birds and animals will be missing,
    and none will lack a mate,
for the Lord has promised this.
    His Spirit will make it all come true (Isaiah 34:16, NLT).

A friend reminded me, the Lord is a redeemer.

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
    The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
    and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
    as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
There the Lord will display his glory,
    the splendor of our God.
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
    and encourage those who have weak knees.
Say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
    He is coming to save you.” (Isaiah 35:1-4, NLT, emphasis added)

A changing of seasons seems almost imperceptible when I operate in the daily–laundry, schedules, appointments. One day the trees are budding. Another day, I am aware of the rich aroma of full flowers saturating the air. Now the mornings have a pleasant chill that make me want to run faster and farther. A kingdom here, a kingdom near, and I am reminded I am his.

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:1-8, NLT).

An accuser wants me weak and fearful–unwanted, worthless, abandoned. Faith tells me I belong. I am his.

19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family (Ephesians 2:19, NLT).

Courtney (66books365)

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Isaiah 41-42; Colossians 1

Reading Isaiah is like sitting back and watching his spirit move and hover across the land. This mighty one who stirs kings, permits victories or defeats, reduces, scatters, chases. He summons generations from the beginning of time. This mighty one. He is powerful and he is gentle.

It’s a whispered reminder: chosen.

It comforts and empowers: don’t be afraid; don’t be discouraged.

With you. Your God. Strengthen and help. Hold you up.

Words spoken to a nation and a people from a different place and time.

Idols, still, sit silent. Still as empty as the wind.

Who will hear these lessons from the past
    and see the ruin that awaits you in the future? Isaiah 42:23, NLT

Reading Colossians 1 is like sitting back and watching his spirit move and hover across the land. This mighty one who goes out all over the world in a word, fruit bearing and life changing. This mighty one.

New Testament whispers: chosen.

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf. He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. 13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Colossians 1:6-14, NLT.

It empowers and encourages. Christ who lives in you.

24 I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. 25 God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. 26 This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. 27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

28 So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. 29 That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me. Colossians 1:24-29, NLT.

Thank you, Lord, that you are with us and won’t abandon us. Praying for brothers and sisters around the world who cling to you and hold up your word in the darkest places.

Courtney (66books365)

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Job 17-19; Matthew 10:21-42

Oh, that my words were recorded…or engraved in rock forever!  I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;  I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another.  How my heart yearns within me!  Job 20:24-27

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.   Matthew 10:28

There is so much I don’t understand about life…  why good men die and bad men prosper. Why God creates life and beauty in all its exquisite detail and then allows tsunamis, earthquakes, cancer and human depravity (just to mention a few bad things) to destroy.  And then there are the questions about the motivations of my own heart that I haven’t a clue about. Sometimes I feel the peace and presence of God with such clarity and other times I feel like my prayers hit the ceiling and come thudding down next to me. So just what is life about anyway? Why are our lives so fleeting?

I love the mystery of God and learning what it means to “follow Christ,” and yet the more I am at it, the more I realize there is so much I don’t understand.  That being said, my heart yearns for God and with Job I can say,  “I know that my Redeemer lives.” In my heart of hearts,  I know this to be true. There was a time when  physical experience told me otherwise, and yet his truth would not let me turn away. He is who He says He is. My prayer is that this truth grasps hold of my entire being and that I would let go of those lesser gods that I want to keep for myself.  Be at work within me Holy Spirit.  Amen

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