The reading from Isaiah was another weird one and the first two chapters a little hard to get through. I did enjoy the last chapter more though, hearing about how the Israelites were challenged by the Assyrian king on their trust in God. They stood firm and did not respond to the Assyrians, even when they were promised food and their own land (while they were starving, waiting for God to deliver them). One thing the notes in my ESV Bible pointed out was how the Assyrian king continually put God on the same level as the gods of the other nations, saying their gods didn't deliver them, why would your God deliver you? You have to go on to read chapter 37 to know that God does in fact deliver the Israelites by killing almost two hundred Assyrians, and later on the Assyrian king is killed by his own sons!
The reading in Colossians reminded me to always be on guard, even if you are doing well spiritual (probably more so!). The Colossians were being told by some of their leaders that certain rituals, traditions, etc. from before Jesus came were still to be upheld and that they must need to be done to be complete in their spiritual well-being. Paul warns against this that Jesus's death and resurrection was enough for us - we do not need anything else! I also identified with verses 12-13 on baptism - that the rite of baptism is identification w/ Christ's death and resurrection. We had a few people get baptized in church on Sunday who spoke about how they were excited to show everyone they believe in Christ as their Savior and that this baptism was THEIR choice.
I also wanted to share a song that we did on Sunday as a special. We just finished up a series called "Can Smart People Believe in God?" The song is by Sara Groves and is called Maybe There's a Loving God. It resonated with me so hard during the first service that I broke into tears and couldn't finish the last few lines of the song! I held it together more during the second service, but I just love the words the song ends with. Please check out the video.
These were the words that got me - nearly every time I listened to and practiced the song:
Maybe this was made for me...
For lying on my back in the middle of a field.
Maybe that's a selfish thought...
Maybe there's a loving God.
Maybe I was made this way -
To think and to reason and to question and to pray
And I have never prayed a lot
But maybe there's a loving God.
And that may be a foolish thought -
But maybe there is a God.
Let me know if you read this week as well!
Reading for October 25, 2011
Isaiah 50-52, 1 Thessalonians 5