"God's Word is Living & Active!" ~ Hebrews 4:12
Isaiah 51:1-53:12 ~ Ephesians 5:1-33 ~ Psalm 69:19-36 ~ Proverbs 24:7
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Old Testament – Isaiah chapter 53 is one of the most powerful chapters of the Bible – and one of the saddest to really meditate upon. Isaiah chapter 53 is all about Jesus! This is a powerful chapter to read… I’m sure you likely caught that this chapter was about Jesus when you first read it, but if not, please re-read the chapter again and do you see how Isaiah is prophesying Jesus’ passion and death? It is astounding to realize these words of Isaiah’s were written in 8th century B.C. Verse 5 tells us: “But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!”
Verse 7: “He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.”
Verse 8: “From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins–that he was suffering their punishment?”
Bible.org’s commentary on today’s readings in Isaiah chapter 52 and 53 titled “The Triumph of the Suffering Servant” is at this link.
Below is a great image for Isaiah 53:6 from today’s readings:
New Testament – Ephesians chapter 5 is such an incredible chapter!
Ephesians 5:1-2 touches on a theme I’ve been thinking a lot about lately – living a life of love! – “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (NIV) Have you ever meditated on what it means to live a life of love? I have occasionally. But I’m starting to camp out on this thought a lot more these days. I think it’s in large part due to the impact 1 Corinthians 13 has had on me this past year. And it certainly fits in well with Jesus saying the 2 most important commandments are to love God and love people. But perhaps most significantly, I’ve been trying to live out this thought of “living a life of love” in real life a bit more these days. I definitely don’t have it all figured out by a long shot! But I think living a life of love is something we should all seek. Not strive for. But seek. Or maybe “receive” is the better word. I think we can receive from Jesus the ability to live a life of love. I don’t think we can get there on our own power. So, there’s a lot more I could write about what I’ve been thinking about in regards to living a life of love. But let me at this point just encourage you to think about this concept. Living a life of love.
Ephesians chapter 5 verse 17 really stood out to me today: “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.” I am wondering how often each of acts thoughtlessly? Paul teaches us here to try to understand what the Lord wants us to do.
Bible.org’s commentary on today’s readings in Ephesians titled “The Meaning of Christian Marriage” is at this link.
Below is a nice image for Ephesians 5:21 from today’s readings:
Psalms – I love Psalm 69 verse 33 today – “For the LORD hears the cries of his needy ones; he does not despise his people who are oppressed.” God hears the cries of his needy ones.
Perhaps the question is then, do we hear the cries of God’s needy ones? Do we hear the cries of those starving today? Sick from lack of clean water? Suffering from HIV / AIDS? Spiritually poor? Needing a friend? How is the soil of our hearts if we are not hearing these cries? Should we be hearing these cries? And if we do hear them, what then should we do? Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew chapter 25 verses 34-36: “‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’”
Proverbs – Proverbs 24 verse 7 is actually a bit convicting for me – “Wisdom is too much for a fool.” Being a fool is no way to live this beautiful life God has called us to!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Ephesians 5:3 NIV
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