Morning Musing: Isaiah 53:4-5

“Yet he himself bore our sicknesses, and he carried our pains; but we in turn regarded him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever set out down a path you knew wasn’t going to end well? Or, let me change that just a bit. Have you ever set out down a path that you knew was going to eventually have a good ending, but the journey to get there was going to be exceedingly difficult? When God the Son left His throne in heaven and came to earth as a baby, He knew just what He was getting into. How do we know? Because He told us long before He got here. Isaiah tells us about it in this passage.

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Morning Musing: 2 Corinthians 5:21

“He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

When you get into the meat of the theology behind the Gospel, you eventually find yourself having to slog through some big words whose definitions are not at all clear to most people. The reason is simply that we don’t use words like that very often anymore; at least, not in the way they were understood in previous generations or by the various New Testament authors. At the same time, they’re really important words whose ideas are central to grasping the nature of the salvation made available in Christ. One of the most important of these is the word “righteousness.” Let’s talk for a minute about what it means and why it makes Christmas so important.

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Morning Musings: Isaiah 7:14

“Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes, the same scene, viewed through two different lenses, can look very different. You’ve perhaps heard or even witnessed something like this before. You see a man push an old woman down in the middle of the street. What should we think? If that’s all we know, then he’s a scoundrel. If, however, he is doing it to get her out of the way of an oncoming car, he’s a hero. What we see here in Isaiah is subject to the same sort of interpretive conundrum.

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Morning Musing: Jonah 1:6

“The captain approached him and said, ‘What are you doing sound asleep? Get up! Call to your god. Maybe this god will consider us, and we won’t perish.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever met someone from a different religion than you practiced who struck you as more committed to their faith than you were to your own? There is something really attractive about that. As followers of God, our level of devotion sends a message to the world around us about how worthy He is of their devotion. As we talked about Friday, Jonah gives us a great example here of how not to do this well.

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Morning Musing: Jonah 1:1-3

“The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because their evil has come up before me.’ Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever not wanted to do something God asked you to do, reluctantly did it, and then got mad when God followed through on what He said? If so, Jonah is the book for you. We are now on to book number five on our journey through the Minor Prophets, and of all the books we have or will yet look at together, Jonah is the one that stands out from all the rest. Strange as it is, though, it wrestles with some really big issues. Stay tuned for the next few days as we work through this one. There will be something for just about everyone along the way.

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