I'm on a journey to read through the Bible in chronological order. Taking it one day at a time, I will read based on a list I found on the internet and blog about what happened, thoughts provoked, emotions conjured, etc. Enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Isaiah 54-58

We begin with a promise of Zion. There is a poignant story of a barren woman who will be redeemed and her house will fill larger than she can manage. Of promises fulfilled, of cities rebuilt, of tyranny and terror wiped from the earth. I take great comfort in knowing that the daily burdens and fears will all be nothing compared to what's coming. It's so hard to stay focused sometimes though...as a control freak I hate leaving my future in someone else's hands, but whenever I let go of the reigns and just let Him work, it always works out better. Who knows better than the guy who made everything?

55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.

God also briefly touches on the issue of fasting and His intentions for it. He is outraged at the people who just bow their heads and wallow around in sackcloth and ashes and think He will be pleased. He's not stupid--He knows when you're just going through the motions with no heart behind it.

58:9 “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

What an amazing promise!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Psalm 46; Psalm 80; Psalm 135

It's hard to reflect on Psalms anymore. Sometimes it seems like the same thing and feels redundant, but they are a great reminder of how we should be thinking. God is a refuge, unfailing and one to be respected and revered. I know this is short, but its a simple message we can all understand!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Isaiah 44-48

44:22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.”

I get great happiness and strength knowing that God is the only God and that He alone has the power to save us. Chapter 44 talks a lot about the people who carve idols from wood or forge them from metal. How in the world can you worship a block of wood?? I know some people might think it's crazier to worship something you can't see, but that's what faith is all about. How easy would it be to pray to and worship a god that was sitting in front of you. How much scarier is it to let your prayers float into space and trust they go to the right place? God never designed our walk to be easy. He wants us to struggle to refine and strengthen us on the other end. He has redeemed us and therefore wants the very best for us and from us.

46:8 “Remember this, keep it in mind,
take it to heart, you rebels.
9 Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Isaiah 40-43

What an encouraging group of verses! This entire reading had to do with God's power and sovreign mercy/love for us.

God knows the world and all that is in it because He made it! Who can hold all the sand of the world in his hands, or know how wide the skies are...? We are meant to take comfort in knowing that He knows all and has taken care off everything, so why should we worry? No one compares to God and all other things and people fall short, but God is always on and always there.

We have been redeemed. Called by name. We are HIS.

How then do we respond? Do we quietly say thank you, and move on with our day. Isaiah says no! We should not stay quiet, we should proclaim (as a woman in childbirth according to the reading, haha). So go proclaim, and rest assured in His infinite love and wisdom!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Isaiah 37-39; Psalm 76

Hezekiah is afraid for what will become of his people. He fears attack and goes into mourning mode. His official remind him that God is on their side and that he should pray about it. After hearing official word that the Assyrians are planning an attack, he goes to the Temple and lays it all out for God. God promises that there will be no attack, and send an angel to kill most of the army. They are so scared at what happened, they disperse and forget their plans.

Hezekiah becomes ill and learns he is near death. He prays for reprieve and God grants him 15 more years... I sure wish it was that easy for everyone now-a-days but God knows who should go when they go...Babylonians come bearing gifts for the sick king and Hezekiah gives them a grand tour. After learning this, Isaiah tells him that this was not a good idea... now his enemies know what amazing things he owns and that one day it will all be carried off by bandits. So much for showing your guests hospitality! Can you imagine having guests over, letting them tour your house and the entire time they were casing the joint for goods?? Crazy, but I guess thats what a king gets!

A closing note from Psalm:

11 Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them;
let all the neighboring lands
bring gifts to the One to be feared.
12 He breaks the spirit of rulers;
he is feared by the kings of the earth.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Isaiah 35-36

Isaiah 35 is an uplifting passage! It's all about the restoration of the redeemed and their joyful response. How amazing will it be where there is no more sorrow, no more shady places, no more pain, no more drought...

They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

I don't know about you, but this is so encouraging!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day who knows: Isaiah 31-34

As you may have noticed I have completely lost track of days, but I have been reading. I recently went to Mexico to live and play with orphans for a week and was able to play a little catch-up. While I'm sorry I can't share my wisdom on here, I want it to be known that I have been reading!!

This was a very gory and intense reading. It started out charging the nation to not rely on their own strength and ended with a foreshadowing of the end times. The opening is such a good reminder to not rely on men or ourselves for victory. Our "heroes" are only men and will ultimately fail us. Only God will stand the test of time and never leave or fail. The rest is a promise of God's unfaltering love for His people as well as an assurance that He will take care of us in hard times. I know sometimes that it can feel like we are left all alone, but it reminds me of that footprints in the sand story that even when we felt alone, God was really carrying us through.

Over all, I am feeling greatly encouraged today. I started a new Bible study, and having read today's passage I am feeling more and more rejuvenated in my faith. It takes times like this to remind me of why I am here and what I am toiling for!