Today I'm going to run some of the reader comments:
Jeff McIlroy on Isaiah 53
Where did evil come from? As I read this, I am dumbfounded at how mean and arrogant we humans are. How could we beat and stripe and kill and despise the God who came as Son. They created us and the universe in which we live. We only discover, then utilize that which was created by them, whether it be calculus or corn. Like a 20 month old that makes fierce eye contact with parents and yells "NO!!!", are we in our abject misunderstanding of the smallness of our position. How fortunate are we that we are loved, and that mercy and love are what the Great I Am is.
John Dickmann on Isaiah 53
I sure have been guilty of vain pride in my past and I confess I did things to be acceptable in the world''s eyes. Over time I have learned that what really attracts people to us are the very things Jesus did.
For years I have been praying two scriptures asking the Holy Spirit to help guide and direct me in becoming more like Jesus.
The first scripture is Philippians 2:5-8. "You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross." After the phrase "humbled himself to obedience" to God I change it and say die to my human desires. Humility isn't easy--but I believe that I am called to take the humble position of a slave but the only way I can get there is to ask daily for God's help.
The next verses come from Colossians 3:12-15. I pray this because I believe these are the virtues our Heavenly Father extends to us daily. I believe this--because Jesus modeled these. The virtues I want to grow in are: tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and love. As I struggle to grow in these virtues I hope that I can be an instrument of God's peace.
Cory Legg on Fasting
I really like the fasting section. It's a great plumbline test to run through my mind. I must say it is kind of scary to think about in some ways, yet Jesus already sees and knows all of those things. I want my home to be a place that He is always welcome to dwell in.
My overall goal for lent has been to fast from laziness. I've gotten slack over the last couple of years with a lot of things. This includes not snoozing my alarm, and just getting up earlier, exercising regularly, reading scripture (on my own) daily, doing a devotional (these have been wonderful!), doing house work instead of vegging out on Netflix or something. So far I've done really well, not perfectly, but I'm very proud of myself for this. Compared to a few weeks ago before I started all of this, I think the Legg household is much more prepared for our guest of honor, Jesus.
Funny enough I can really relate to preparing the home for a "guest" in several different way right now. Lord willing Hannah and I will be welcoming home our new baby in Aug/Sep and there are so many things to get done around the house before that. We are also in the process of being certified as foster parents/home. We will have our home study next Friday. So yesterday I spent the entire day doing yard work and making our home more presentable to our case worker. The of course when we do start taking in foster children we have several things that have to be in place for that, many regulations to be met - fire extinguisher in the kitchen, outlet covers, cabinet locks, so on and so forth. Soooo yeah all of that to say we are preparing our home big time in several different ways. Most of all though I want our hearts and souls to be prepared for all of these things. We can spiffy up the outside and look like a "beautiful whitewashed tomb" but be "full of dead men's bones inside." (Jesus in Mt. 23:27).
John Stalcup on Listening well
Hey Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" has really become "great?".
We now generally accept Satisfaction over Substance and Perversion over Principles. We do follow the "Sounds Great", "Social Gospel", "Whatever Feels Good", Politically Correct", "Coexist" prophets as a society. We need to listen to the M.L. Kings not the Sharpstons, Franklin Graham instead of any of the "feel good" TV guys, Dietrich Bonhoeffer instead of the Situational Ethics guys like Hefner or Harvey Cox or 100's of others. Yea, right is not easy. Ask most of the prophets and early church leaders, all of the witnesses of Hebrews 11, Martin Luther, and those being martyred today.
Teresa McIlroy on Isaiah 6
I love this passage from Isaiah 6. Isaiah is blessed with God's presence but humbly confesses he is not worthy. Then miraculously God gives him a way to enter into his presence, to take away his guilt. Then we read how the Lord speaks of our rescue and way into a relationship with Him; the holy seed, the shoot of Jesse! I am thankful for free access to my Father and will remember this with each green bud springing up in my garden, and my prayer is that I will respond to God with the eagerness that Isaiah had to be sent.
Nate Donley on Isaiah 2
This is great! Remembering to learn the historical context it is written in, is very important.