Daily Devotion for July 19, 2017

'Isaiah 41: 8 - 10 NAS'

“But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen,
Descendant of Abraham My friend,
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts
And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’“
When I came across these verses this morning—what encouragement! These verses were written to “Israel,” but they are also for us Believers today...
But you, Israel, My servantJacob whom I have chosen:
I like to replace “Israel” and “Jacob” with my own name when I read this. I know I can do this because we who have faith in Jesus are called “servants of Christ” (1 Corinthians 4:1). We “servants” were chosen and “created in Christ Jesus for good works (service!) which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
Descendant of Abraham My friend:”
The Israelites found comfort in their lineage—they were related to Abraham. We on the other hand—through faith in Christ—we find overwhelming comfort and love in knowing God calls us His own “Children” (1 John 3:1)! The Lord calls us “Children of God” because He adopted us “as sons through Jesus Christ...according to the kind intention of His will” (Ephesians 1:5)! Moreover, our own Savior calls us His “friends” (John 15:13-15)! Our connections COULD NOT BE ANY BETTER!
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth...And called...I have chosen you and not rejected you:”
Brothers and sisters in Christ, don't forget that Our Lord “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will.” We who “hope in Christ:” are “the praise of His glory. In Him...after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:4-14). Brothers and sisters: no matter what we are going through, no matter what we have done, we are by no means “rejected!”
“Do not fear, for I am with you:”
Remember how (as a kid) you used to cry out for “Mom” or “Dad” when you woke up terrified after a bad dream—and then they would come and stay with you for a while, comforting you with their presence and words? Well, we Believers ALWAYS have our all-powerful Heavenly Father with us! Our Jesus NEVER leaves us (Matthew 28:20)! Moreover, we ALWAYS have His comforting Words to calm our hearts and give us the right perspective (the Bible!).
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God:
When we catch ourselves “anxiously” looking around for someone to rescue us, for some way out of our situation, we need to remind ourselves that we belong to Godand He belongs to US! He is OURS! His promises are TRUE! He IS in control! He is working out everything for His glory and our best good (so we become more like His Son!). In having Christ, Beloved, we have EVERYTHING we need!
“I will strengthen you:”
Brethren: we “can do all things through Him who strengthens” us (Philippians 4:13)! ALL THINGS!
Surely I will help you:”
Folks: our Lord “will supply all (our) needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)! Moreover, we have an always-present Helper and enabler, “the Holy Spirit, whom...will teach (us) all things, and bring to (our) remembrance all that (Jesus) said to” us (John 14:26)!
PRAISE THE LORD, fellow Believers! “Surely” He IS upholding us “with (His) righteous right hand!”

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