Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Renewing the World

Since Tim and I were dating, we started the habit of doing devotions together as a couple.  Since marriage, we've made that a daily commitment in addition to our personal devotions and now, our family devotions.  We've been reading through the entire Bible over and over again by reading together a chapter a day then read the daily reading from Tabletalk (If you have never heard of this devotional magazine, we HIGHLY recommend it. The daily and weekend readings are so full of the richness of God's Word and challenge us regularly.).

Last night during our devotional time together, we read Isaiah 61 which talks about the Messianic preacher who obviously was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  The richness of the first 3 verses (read them below) really stood out to me as I meditated on them and realized that just as Jesus Christ fulfilled this prophecy and through these actions, renewed the world, we too are called to follow Jesus and do the same.  It excited me to think about the fact that not only do I need to carry out this responsibility on a daily basis with the people God brings across my path as I go about my daily routine, but God is calling me to carry out this mandate in a country where God is not known or His Word regularly proclaimed.  What a responsibility!  At times, it seems overwhelming to think about, but then other times, I feel so inadequate of such a responsibility.  I praise the Lord for choosing to use this weak and broken vessel called "Christine" for His purposes and ultimately, for His glory!  I accept this calling with joy and am willing to take the mountain top experiences as well as the valleys that will come along with it.    

God has been using moments like this to reaffirm His calling for my life.  Sometimes it comes in passages of Scriptures like this one.  Other times, it's a song that I hear.  A few times, it has been something someone has said to me or something I heard.  At times, it was something one of my children said or did.  No matter how God chooses to work, He is at work changing my heart of stone into flesh and confirming His will in my life.  What a comfort!

Isaiah 61:1-3: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor; 
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

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