Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day 52 & 53: 1 Samuel 6-15, Isa 55-66, 2 Cor 1-6

Key Points:
  • I've been struck by three verses in 1 Samuel that are great memory verses to live by:
    • 1 Samuel 12:23-24: "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you." Wow - this could easily be a life-verse for ministers of the gospel - pray for your people, teach them what is right, lead them to fear God and follow Him and remember what God has done.
    • 1 Samuel 15:22: "To obey is better than sacrifice." - God desires our obedience more than He desires our offerings to Him.
    • 1 Samuel 16:7: "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." - really from tomorrow's reading, but I was getting a little ahead - awesome reminder that God looks deeper than people can see, and a challenge to look beyond appearances.
  • I love that in the context of the Messianic promises of Isaiah which are so powerful, God promises that "all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God." - Isaiah 52:10 - this is what we are seeing today - the gospel of Jesus Christ is going to every corner of the globe as God is raising up Kingdom missionaries to carry His Word. What a powerful reminder of what Isaiah promises back in 40:8 0 the word of our God stands forever.
  • From these wonderful Messianic prophecies, Isaiah begins to describe what this Kingdom future will look like: no more wrath from the hand of God, peace and blessing, justice and prosperity for all, guidance from God, healing and righteousness in all places for all people, joy in Christ, freedom for all. I'm actually preaching a sermon series later this year from Isaiah 60-66 where I will be spending time developing Isaiah's prophetic images of the coming kingdom - very powerful.
  • Another awesome Isaiah passage: Isaiah 64:8-9 - He is the Potter & we are the clay.
  • 2 Corinthians 1 reminds me that God does not waste any experience that we go through because he then uses our experience to comfort others as they go through hard times.
  • I love the movement from 2 Cor 4 to 2 Cor 5 when we go from learning that we are weak, broken vessels that God is using to spread the amazing message of His reconciliation with humanity through Christ.

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