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.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 9:6

“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

There has been a bit of a rash of babies being born where I live lately. Babies are born all the time, but I can quickly think of four that have arrived in the last couple of weeks in our little community. (In case you’re curious, girls are winning three-to-one.) The birth of a child is always a moment primed with hope and expectation. The possibilities before that little one are literally endless. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of a child whose expectations were even higher than usual.

Read the rest…

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.

Read the rest…

A Good Story

The season of Advent is finally here! For the next month followers of Jesus around the world will be setting aside some time to give special attention to preparing for the arrival of Jesus. Our celebration is not simply for His birth, though, but for His return when He will make all things new. With that in mind, I want to help you get ready for the arrival of Jesus into your lives. Each Monday will bring a new sermon exploring the story of His arrival through a different lens. Each other week day will bring a new reflection on the Advent season that I hope will set your season in the right terms. Blessings to you as you preparing for the coming King!

A Good Story

That was a moment right there, wasn’t it?  I don’t know about you, but that song is one of my favorites.  There is power in this proclamation, “it is well!”  There is strength in being able to declare that though sin or storm or suffering may loom dauntingly large in front of us, nonetheless, “it is well with my soul.”  Maybe you are in a season when that declaration is little more than a faint whisper, but nonetheless, to stand…perhaps to sit…maybe even to simply fall to your knees and with even a mustard seed-sized faith in the God who alone has the power to push back the darkness and, with defiance in your spirit, breath out, “it is well with my soul,” can have the effect of throwing on a floodlight in a dark room. 

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 8:11-13

“For this is what the Lord said to me with great power, to keep me from going the way of this people: Do not call everything a conspiracy these people say is a conspiracy. Do not fear what they fear; do not be terrified. You are to regard only the Lord of Armies as holy. Only he should be feared; only he should be held in awe.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been reading along in the Scriptures and suddenly something grabbed your attention and wouldn’t let go? This passage did that for me this week. I have been starting to get ready for the Christmas series I’ll preach in a few weeks and read these verses as I was reading the context of two of Isaiah’s major prophecies about the coming Messiah. As I did, the Spirit whispered that these verses are really important. Here’s why I think He did.

Read the rest…