July 16 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 49-51 and Psalms 16
Here then, is the ultimate difference between the religions of the world and the disciples of Jesus:
Isaiah 46 reads, “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. ‘To whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared? Some pour out gold from their bags and weigh out silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god, and they bow down and worship it. They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Though one cries out to it, it does not answer; it cannot save him from his troubles.” Here are some very important points to consider as you meditate on this Scripture;
– It is God who carries us – not we who carry God!
– It is God who has made us – not we who have made God!
– It is God who sets us in our place of rest – not us who set God in His place of rest!
– When we cry out – He answers!
– When we are weak – He sustains!
– Since before we were conceived, He has had a plan for us – we did not “conceive a god”!
– You can walk to Mecca with peas in your shoes and still not earn redemption!
– You can spend your life in meditation and introspection and still not belong to Jesus!
– You can worship all the silver and gold you want – it still will never replace a Living God!
Thank God – He sought us out – He redeemed us when we were completely separated from Him. He chose us when we were living “lost” lives and He wanted nothing from us but faith in Him and fellowship with him.
Religion means that I work for my salvation. A relationship with Jesus means that I receive and give out His love. Praise God – what a wonderful rest we have entered into!
I happened upon a National Geographic program the other day where an author was trying to “find himself” through various man-made religions he had discovered. Though the program was humorous because it exposed the foolishness of these religious shenanigans, it was also profoundly sad for me because it showed, all too well, the spiritual shallowness of mankind and the desperate need for man to be spiritual. Let it never be said of us that we are following one of these dead religions. The life of God and the power of God in us makes us “new creations”, full of the living and true God.
Now – that’s where you really “find yourself”.
1. Tell of a time when you felt God was “carrying” you.
2. Tell of another Biblical event where people were worshipping some kind of false God.