Isaiah 66: 1-24
As we finish the book of Isaiah the Lord drives home the point that future restoration is coming, it is not here yet and when he moves it will be so fast that it will be like having a baby the moment after the labor pain starts. And all God’s women said, “Amen.” Despite the fact that Lord comes with fire there will still be those of his creation that do not acknowledge him as Lord. God will purify His creation. Doesn’t it make you in awe of God when He can in the same moment be as comforting as a mother with her newborn child and also the Judge of the world. That is our God.
Philippians 3: 5-21
At the end of yesterday’s reading Paul was warning them about the “those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved.” He said that those people put their hope in human effort. Today he goes on to say if anyone can put hope in human effort it’s him. He has all the training and was part of all the best “God clubs.” And as he sits in jail, while writing this letter, he confidently says that he counts it all worthless compared with the “infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” He goes on to say he counts it as garbage and that he wants no part of the righteousness that comes from following the Law. Do you see why? It’s because the righteousness that comes from following the Law is SELF righteousness. What enables Paul to write about joy from jail is not self-righteousness. The righteousness that Paul receives from Jesus is what gives him the freedom to let go of Law and the fancy “God clubs,” and live a life faithfulness characterized by Joy. And Paul invites us to pattern our lives after his example. I’m in! I want the life he talks about that includes the power of God, the comfort in suffering and the resurrected life! How about you?