Isaiah 45: 11—48: 11
Never have I realized that part of the point of this book is to challenge them and us to think critically. Thinking critically means we ask the hard questions of the circumstances going on around us. God says to them, “Have your idols ever told you what will happen or really saved you from any suffering?” God, knowing the answer is “no,” lets this question linger. And what is shocking to me is this momentary pause to think critically is how He finally caused me to soften to Him. My idols were not carved images of false gods, but they were false gods all the same. And God brought me to a place where that question lingered in the air, “Have these things ever really made you feel better?” Of course, the answer is no. This section of reading today really makes you think about how God really is the Real Deal and has always been there, and how as humans we have to know that we have the tendency to deny Him and make our own gods up out of thin air.
Ephesians 4: 1-16
Humility and gentleness lead us to a place in our soul where we can be patient and where love abounds making space for other peoples’ faults. Making this effort leads to being united with other believers because of the Spirit. And that peace that is manifested by all those things is something we want to cling to. It is real peace with each other not just tolerance. This is not “world peace” this is peace in our churches. And to help us with this lofty goal, the one who came to earth and then ascended up to heaven gives us gifts. He knows the gifts we need because He experienced life on earth, and He is powerful enough to give the gifts because He ascended to heaven proving He is God. When exercised through the Spirit these gifts will build the body of believers up. Pastors and teachers will teach us to not be swayed by false teaching. We will read about the lives of the Apostles and prophets to become mature. And the evangelists will keep bringing in new members to the body. Sounds perfect right? Well that is because Jesus is behind it all making sure it all fits together perfectly. But you have to remember, “perfect” meaning “sin free” does not come until Jesus comes back and rules on Earth. Making the body work perfectly is referring to this beautiful thing Jesus created in the church who are made-up of sinners just doing the best they can. Jesus uses it all the good and the bad to for the whole body.