Monday, January 5, 2015

Getting the dosage right for America

My daily reading plan will take me through (among other goals) the Old Testament in one year, but rather non-traditionally. I am beginning with Isaiah.
 Yesterday and today’s readings (Jan. 4-5) covered chapters 11-17, which includes the beginning of a series of woes and judgments upon the nations and rulers of the region (chs. 13-24).
 When reading these chapters, it is quickly evident why Wayne Jackson called Isaiah, “God’s Prophet of Doom.” Below are some of my thoughts on the last few days' readings:

Nations are still judged by God
Nations are constantly judged by God, and in time, they fall – all of them. Every nation is eventually cast down. 

In some instances of judgment, God is seen as a General, issuing the command for one nation to devour another: “The Lord has given a command concerning Canaan to demolish its [Tyre’s] strongholds” (Isa. 23:11b, NASB). “The Lord of hosts is mustering the army for battle…the Lord and His instruments of indignation, to destroy the whole land” (Isa. 13:4b-5).

In other instances, God is seen as executing judgment himself, “Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt” (Isa. 19:1).

God is seen as stirring up and turning the Medes loose on Babylon, as if he were holding back a bridled horse, only to release it in due time (Isa. 13:17).

The imagery throughout is graphic and powerful. 

But the principles, are even more so.

The principles never change 
God’s role as judge of nations has not ceased, and the principles by which He does so hasn't changed. He still allows one nation to rise, giving help and protection to her and her rulers. He still restrains nations from rising. He also releases them against one another when their time is fulfilled, when their iniquity is full.

This makes the prophets as relevant today as ever.

Many voices in our nation today are seeking the Word of God in smaller doses, or not at all. But it is obvious to me that America needs a much heavier dose, especially of the Old Testament prophets.

Friday, November 28, 2014

In this season


Praise and honor and glory are due Your holy Name. Your servant has no right to approach Your throne without Jesus Christ. So I am thankful for Him, that my voice may be heard.

Father, thank you for making provision for my family. I know that I cannot take credit for these provisions. Never once have we been without a necessity. In all my years as a husband, as a father, You have always provided for my family. You have given me ability to work and earn a living for me and my family. You have blessed me with a loving, dedicated, godly, hard working wife and mother. And You have made sure our children have had all they need. Thank You.

There are times I have squandered Your blessings. There are times I have taken them for granted, and even let myself believe that they are mine to claim. I know this is wrong, and ask Your forgiveness.

I ask You for nothing more than what I need. And when I have more - when You place more than I need in my hand - let me use it for good, and for Your glory. I pray You will intersect my life with opportunities to bless others, and that I'll be tender-hearted enough to respond as You would.

Father, in this season of Thanksgiving and gift-giving, I am more thankful for the gift of Jesus Christ than all else. May my spirit this holiday season reflect the beauty of the Christ, rather than the worldliness often attached to it.

I am grateful Jesus was born, and that many hearts will be touched by that fact this time of year. And I am more grateful that He suffered and died for all men, including me. What a gift!

Through Christ I pray,

More #NaPraWriMo efforts can be found here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

You have always answered

Holy Father,

Glorious is Your holy Name! Your precious promises sustain and upholds me, and Your grace humbles me.

Father, I thank You for answering prayers in Your own way and time.

I have asked You for many things in my life. Sometimes, I have asked out of selfishness. Sometimes, I have asked out of despair. Sometimes, I have asked without knowing what to ask. At all times, in Your wisdom and perfection, You have always answered. I know You always hear. I may not like the answer, but Your grace is sufficient.

Forgive me when I've doubted or lost patience. I know all things are in Your hand, and that You mean good for me. I am not always ready for Your answer. I have been disappointed while waiting for You. I am pitifully childish sometimes.

Today, I only ask to be more patient and trusting. And I know that what I ask, I may not be ready to receive. I know that I ask for that which I will struggle with at Your hand. But I know it is what I need.

May Your will be done in my life. Perhaps when men see me, they will be brought just a step closer to You.

Through Christ,

More #NaPraWriMo efforts can be found here.