"God's Word is Living & Active!" ~ Hebrews 4:12
Isaiah 41:17-43:13 ~ Ephesians 2:1-22 ~ Psalm 67:1-7 ~ Proverbs 23:29-35
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Old Testament – Today in Isaiah chapter 42 we read some amazing prophecies about Jesus! Verses 1 through 4 in Isaiah 42 are known as the “Servant Song,” in which the servant is the coming Messiah, Jesus. There are 3 other servant songs in Isaiah we’ll read in the coming days. The nation of Israel, as well as the Messiah, are both often called “servant”. The nation of Israel was to be a kingdom of priests and the Messiah is the high priest who atones for the sins of the world. In Isaiah chapter 42 verse 1 today we read: “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.” Verses 1 through 4 are quoted in part in Matthew 12:18-21.
Bible.org’s commentary on today’s readings in Isaiah titled “The Lord is the Gracious Redeemer” is at this link. Below is a great image for Isaiah 43:2-3 from today’s readings:
New Testament – Today in Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 through 10 we read: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)
Bible.org’s commentary on today’s readings in Ephesians titled “The Guilt of Men and the Grace of God” is at this link. Below is a great image from Ephesians 2:10 from today’s readings:
Psalms – Psalm 67 verse 2 today sounds very Great Commission-ish: “May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere.” we need to make our efforts to make God’s Kingdom known – God’s love, grace, mercy, salvation, call to repentance – to be noticed by others! But hopefully more than just being noticed by others, let us pray that our Kingdom work actually introduces others to God’s only son Jesus, who transforms hearts and lives for eternity!
Proverbs – Proverbs chapter 23 verses 29 through 35 is one of the largest portions of Proverbs that we will read on one day this year in the One Year Bible. I’m sure you’ve noticed that usually our Proverbs readings each day are one or two verses. Well, these 7 verses today are well worth presenting together all at once! I pray these verses speak to each of us powerfully about the dangers of overdoing alcohol and being out late partying: “Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks. Don’t let the sparkle and smooth taste of wine deceive you. For in the end it bites like a poisonous serpent; it stings like a viper. You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things. You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast. And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can have another drink?” This is so very true! I have to share with you here that I have really been convicted lately of how dangerous alcohol can be for so many people in our society. Recently I’ve had a couple of good friends share with me their struggles with alcohol – and they are heartbreaking stories. Alcohol abuse can literally destroy lives and relationships, as we all know. I’m not a prohibitionist. But, I do see so much truth in this Proverb and I think we all need to recognize the danger of alcohol abuse – not to mention the dangers of drugs. Please please please, don’t ever let the sparkle and smooth taste of wine deceive you! For in excess it can indeed bite like a poisonous serpent…
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV
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