Saturday, August 20, 2011

Beauty for Ashes...Isaiah 61

Doing a wedding in Billings Montana today.  Ashley Packham, daughter of good friends Sam and Barbara Packham.  This sacred occasion has given Patty and I a great opportunity to see some of this great land that God has blessed and called us to practice Christian dominion in.  Part of our trip has allowed us to learn more about the Native American Indian and the American West.  Some parts of that story has not been pretty.  That is the story of humanity as well.  We have sinned and fallen short of the Glory that God has intended.  Even when we set out to do and be good our sin nature gets in the way.  We take great blessing and selfishly defile the beauty, the innocence, the gift that God has offered.  As the Apostle Paul said, "the good that I would do, I do not.  The evil that I would not, I do.  Who can save me from myself?"  The answer, of course, is that God has provided a Savior!

I love the book of Isaiah because God reveals that Savior to us in such marvelous and poetic ways.  Part of that revelation is found in the 61st chapter as God reveals what a portion of that blessing of Jesus will be.  He will, "bestow a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."  How cool is that!  Haven't you felt pretty ugly before, pretty unworthy, pretty defiled?  God says that those who are found in Christ will be beautiful!!!  There will be no sadness, no sorrow, no spirit of defeat.  We will be clothed in a spirit of praise and that praise will be aimed at the source of our joy, Jehovah Jireh and Jesus who is the Christ!

Isaiah prophesies that we (God's people) will "recieve a double portion."  How sweet is that!  We will be treated like the first born of God.  We will recieve a double share of the inheritance.  and what is the inheritance?  It is life eternal.  Blessing and goodness, joy and good health, peace and happiness, purposefulness and contentment and much, much more.  All of God's goodness will rain eternally on us, the children of God.  How good is that?  It is very, very good.  Thank you Jesus!

Have a great Sabbath.  See you soon.

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