February 13: Isaiah 53:4-6
Key Verse: Isaiah 53:4
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
How many times have you taken the blame for someone else's misgivings or things they have done against others? If you are like me, then the answer is ‘not too many times!’ and yet this is the example Christ gave us when He came to live amongst us. Does this mean we need to go out of our way and take on the punishment for others so they can go free? No, because we cannot and must not judge others – we have a sinful nature and will get our priorities wrong when we try to step in for others.
We need to uphold people and encourage them to leave their sinful ways behind, not blame them and allow the law to break them down so they come crying to God. Allow God to work in their hearts by showing them hope and something to look forward to; allow God to bring their sins to the surface in His perfect timing and not our blundering ways.
Have you noticed how we sometimes get things so very wrong when we try to do things right? We have problems in our lives, each of us our own problems, each of us our own sins – we should not impose our ways or sins upon others. Christ alone is able and willing to take on our debt for the things we have done wrong – He has done this already and does not have to go back and do it over and over again as we sin over and over again. But never forget that it was because of our sins He had to be nailed to the cross – it was because of our issues we (mankind) nailed Him to the cross!
But still Christ was willing to step forward and take on this mantle so we could be free from our sin debt. Christ has paid it all, once and for all; we need to accept this truth and own it! God did not cause Jesus to be crucified – it was the call of the crowd and the giving in of the governor which made it so.
Points to Ponder:
How much have you done wrong in your life?
Do you realise Christ has paid enough to cover it all?
February 12: Romans 11:11-16
Key Verse: Romans 11:14
in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.
The apostle continued on spreading the gospel to the Gentiles making sure they understood how God’s grace covered them as well as the people of Israel. No matter if we are descendants of other people or races, we still have God’s grace covering each one of us. The Apostle was loud about this because he wanted the Israelites to hear how other people were being included in the kingdom of God – hoping they would become jealous and turn back to God in their jealousy!
Sometimes it is not what we can show people they may be able to achieve but rather allow others to see what they are missing by not listening to the gospel that matters. God has chosen all of us and waits patiently for each one of us to make the choice to follow Him – we are not turned away because we do not belong and we are not turned away because we have done things wrong in the past! God’s grace covers us all and all our circumstances!
How great will it be to see every people, from every race, from every country and from every walk of life being together and enjoying eternity in Heaven! I know I have been guilty at excluding some because of they way they have acted in the past, but I have learned from God to show mercy and grace to all people. It is the people who ask who will be given the attention first of all because they have come forward in hope. It is not that I am excluding some because of their actions – it is their actions which push other people forward in their stead.
The same can be said for our lot in front of God. If we continue to fight against Him, we are pushing other people forward because we are withdrawing from the gift God is offering. But when we step forward and accept this free gift of His grace, then we are included in the few who will be accepted by Him. Christ has paid a price which is great enough to cover every thing we could possibly do wrong in our lives – we just have to accept that and invite God back into our lives!
Points to Ponder:
Do you get jealous when others are chosen instead of you?
Why not admit your jealousy to God and ask Him to include you too?