A Fuller Picture
Read Isaiah 61:1-4
The Spirit of the Lord Godis upon me, because the Lordhas anointed meto bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion--to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.
- What are you thankful for?
- How has God shown you His righteousness and love?
- How can His "saving power and justice" be "the very clothes" that we wear? (What does this mean?)
In my years of studying how people interact with God's Word, I've learned many things. For example, 40 percent of Christ-followers have never read the entire Bible. They believe the Bible is inspired and the source of truth, yet are satisfied with skimming the surface of familiar books and passages.
When we only open the Bible on Sundays, we tend to rely more on our perceptions and what we have heard from others about who God is and what he says to use through scripture. We start to buy into simplifications such as "the God of the Old Testament was full of wrath but the God of the New Testament is love."
Isaiah 61 illustrates beautifully how God shows us His righteousness and love throughout both Old and New Testaments. We read that He loves justice. He promises to rescue His people. He says he will not be silent until His people are safe and secure. When we consider this fuller, more complete picture of our Lord, we naturally respond with worship and praise. We experience the power of meeting Him through these pages in a real and present way. Like the prophet, we desire to have His "saving power and justice" be "the very clothes" that we wear.
Holy Lord, you are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Thank you for revealing yourself through scripture. May I seek you daily through these pages. Amen.