Words of Life

The Birth Pangs of Staying on Mission

Isaiah 42:

  • Oh the passion and mercy of the LORD! He is bringing justice to all the nations (vs.1). Notice, it says “justice” not “judgment.” To highlight this, consider the gentleness in which He approaches the wounded and oppressed. He will not break the broken or extinguish the dim (vs. 3). This will not be a cold statement to the world, but it will be filled with deep and difficult emotion that is described as a woman in the painful beauty of giving birth (vs. 14)! There is judgment (vs. 22-25)! But this is reserved for the people who have been exposed to the LORD and have not listened! Those who should have known better!
    • LORD, I want to be in the company of the faithful! I want to “not grow faint or be discouraged” (vs. 4). I want to be like You in this. Fill me with Your Spirit (vs. 1) that I might see and hear (vs. 18) and follow You…wherever You may lead.

 

Ezra 1 & 2:

  • In silent times we are not left without a mission. There are numerous virtues we should pursue even without direct leading from God. “Love your neighbor,” “Make disciples,” “Mercifully plead the case of the oppressed” to name a few. From time to time God gives specific calling. Here in 1:5, as Ezra feels the burden of the call to rebuild Jerusalem’s temple, God “stir[s] up the spirit[s]” (1:1&5) of certain people to join in the building. “All” participated in giving to this cause (1:6), even the Persian king Cyrus (1:7). However, these specific 42,360 (2:64) felt a call to go.
    • LORD, I want to hear this call. Show me where to go and what to do. Yet, whether I hear this call or not, I will try to keep the mission that I can hear; to make disciples, to love enemies, etc.

 

1 Timothy 4:

  • In Jesus, we are not destined to wrath (vs. 9). Notice how Paul uses this as a motivation, not to fixate on things to come, but to leave it alone and focus on the Church (vs. 11-22). This disposition is a trusting recognition of God’s promise (vs. 23-24) without being a passive call to doing nothing. Rather, we are urged to participate in this process.
    • Jesus, help me not grow faint in following you, as you sanctify me.

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