Category: Human Condition


Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?

Isaiah 43:13 (NIV)

When I first became a Christian I didn’t think about my salvation very much. As I wrote yesterday, I knew that God loved me and His love was never going to go away. I did, however, want to tell others of this amazing love. Of this life that we could all live if we only embraced God and lived for Him. As I walked through some very tough trials, I don’t recall seeing them as tough. Although, I remember being told often by my pastor that “better men” would have stumbled and fallen. I saw what I walked through as merely something that had to be done. I had the faith that whatever it was that I was going through in my life would work out. Or did I?

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“‘I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.'”

2 Kings 20:6 (NIV)

When Hezekiah was sick, the prophet, Isaiah, spoke a word to him from the Lord, “Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover” (2 Kings 20:1 NIV). This was a warning, not a prophetic word from the Lord. If it were then Hezekiah would have died from the illness. God doesn’t change His mind (Numbers 23:19). When we look to Hezekiah, and the fifteen years that the Lord added to his life, what we ought to think isn’t, “what would we do with the extra years?” Instead, we ought to think, “What can I do with the life that I have right now?” When God gave Hezekiah those fifteen years He did so for many reasons. One, of which, is that we might learn something from Hezekiah.

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Scripture

James 2:22 (NIV)

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

Observation

Have you ever filled out an online dating profile or used any other sort of matchmaking device? What about describing the things that you like and don’t like? Hobbies and interests? I’m pretty sure that if I asked you what you like to do and don’t like to do that you’d be able to provide me with some answers. I’ll say that, if you’re reading this, then you probably like to blog. It’s not often that I find people who don’t have a blog reading blogs. I wonder what that says about our audiences and our perceptions of the people we reach? I’ve often thought that we only reach a small number of people throughout the world. That we’re just a huge circle of people all feeding off of the same pie.

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Scripture

Micah 5:2 (NIV)

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

Observation

In this verse we see the birth of Jesus foretold. We see that He will be born in Bethlehem and then throughout the rest of Micah 5 we see what He will do. It’s easy to understand, as I read through these verses, to see why the Jewish people thought that the Messiah would be a great military commander. “He will be our peace when the Assyrians invade…[he will] rule the land…with the sword…He will deliver us…when they invade our land” (Micah 5:5-6 NIV) all could point to a military leader. I wonder, was there anything else that was prophesied that could have pointed out that Jesus would bring peace, not through warfare and conquering, but as He did, through love and self-sacrifice?

Isaiah prophesied “to us a child is born…And he will be called…Prince of Peace…Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV). Peace cannot exist without war. It’s one side to a coin that is war and peace, so I can see where people might have expected that the Messiah would bring about peace by ending the wars with their enemies through physical means. When I read Isaiah 53, however, I can’t help but wonder how it could be read and then applied to a Messiah who would be a conquering hero. What occurs to me isn’t that anything was lacking in scripture that pointed out who the Messiah would be and what He would bring. Instead, those who rejected Him did so for their reasons.

One of those reasons was that Jesus came with a message that they didn’t want to hear. I wonder how often we hear God speaking to us and think, “That’s the devil” when we’re being corrected and how often, when we hear some praise we think, “That’s God!” We know that there’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). However, this doesn’t mean that the voice you heard that told you were mean wasn’t from God. I’d say that it’s easier to discern between outright negative thoughts and accusations than it is between those thoughts that coincide with how we’re feeling and thinking at a given time. What we need to is filter what we think and hear through the word of God.

We don’t live in a world, however, where one can just tell everything to stop while we check on what the Bible says, which is why it’s so important to read and study the Bible. Nowadays, we, in the Western world, don’t have an excuse to not read the Bible. I think I’m repeating myself here, but if you have a smartphone then you have access to a Bible. Your phone is better than a printed book since you can easily carry your phone with you wherever you go. Additionally, you can listen to the Bible on your phone. Are you driving somewhere? Instead of listening to the radio, listen to the Bible. It doesn’t take much time to read the Bible. It’s a message that you will hear if you want to hear it.

That’s what it all comes down to really, our desire to hear what we want to hear or to not. There’s a great message of peace, hope, love, and eternal salvation in the Bible. The inspired word of God. It’s up to us, however, to put in the effort, to hear what it says, and then do it.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. Nothing is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.