Sunday, July 19, 2015

Isaiah 42:1-4 Servanthood and grace

"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching." Isaiah 42: 1-4 (NRSV)

When I think of a servant, I think of someone who carries out orders. For example, a waitress takes orders from customers, delivers the requests to the kitchen, and then serves the prepared food. Servants are very busy people, and they tend to have more responsibilities than one person can carry out efficiently.

I am sure that many of us feel very inadequate in a servant role. We serve in different capacities for our families, for our work, and for our churches, friends, and societies. Our service responsibilities may be more than we have time to accomplish. There seems to be very little waiting (on our part) as we serve. I know that I find myself constantly looking at my watch, hurrying to get things accomplished, and being impatient with those who require more time than I am willing to give.

In Isaiah 42, God describes His servant, Christ, who waits to bring forth justice. Christ is not shouting "Hurry up!" Instead, in this picture, Christ is patiently waiting for the bruised, battered, and weary whom He is serving.

When I pray for my family, my friends, my church, and the world, I sometimes become overwhelmed with the needs for which I am praying. There is so much need that I feel that I will never be able to pray enough. I almost want to hurry through my prayers to be able to include everyone on my list. This is when I must remember that the Holy Spirit will never grow weary of interceding for us, and He prays patiently and intimately for each and every need in this world. Think of it--The Holy Spirit prays for each individual need of each and every person that this world has ever seen! That is a lot of patience.

I may be weary, but God is not. I see so much injustice, and I think that it needs to be corrected right now, but God's plan encompasses everyone and everything. Christ knows when to wait, and when to act, we must learn to wait for His infinite patience and wisdom.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Isaiah 26:3 I will keep you in perfect peace

Andrae Crouch was a prolific composer, arranger, record producer and pastor, who helped to start the contemporary Christian music movement in today's churches.  This song, "Perfect Peace", is a Bible verse song based on Isaiah 26:3.  It was recorded  by Andrae Crouch and the Disciples in 1976.  (The link has Disciples spelled incorrectly.)  It has a gospel sound, and is different than the contemporary Christian music recorded today.  Beware--This song has a way of staying with you.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Groping for God

" From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’;" Acts 17: 26-28

In the passage of scripture above, Paul is speaking with the people in Athens. Paul has approached the subject of God by appealing to the Athenians recognition of an unknown god and their desire to seek knowledge. Paul does not present his personal testimony, but he presents an observable testimony of God through human behavior.

In this passage, Paul points out to the Athenians that it is the nature of men to search for God because God made us that way. We were made to seek and find God--to grope for Him in a way that no other creature on earth can do. Groping is a good word to use because our relationship with God is a constant struggle. Without the struggle, then we would become complacent and ignore God entirely. Praise God that in His wisdom, love and grace, He planned for and encompasses our struggle to know Him.