APRIL 2 – THERE EXISTS IN ME
DEVOTIONAL: This passage — although it was written well before his time on Earth — reminds me of the suffering and shame Jesus endured for me, so I wouldn’t need to. I am reminded of how Jesus never faltered in his faith and how, when the time was right, he faced Jerusalem and his certain fate. The instruction in this passage is the same instruction Jesus followed.
I, however, am not a perfect child of God. There exists in me doubt, free will and a selfishness that overpowers my good intentions. There also exists the will to be faithful, the desire to be led and the belief that I am not alone. Though there is the promise of persecution and ridicule in this passage, there is a more profound promise in verse 9: “It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?” It is the promise that I am not alone, that God will return for me and that the Holy Spirit has been left to guide, lead and guard me. It is that promise that keeps me pushing through the doubt, to hand over my will and draw me to a life that is faithful, obedient and abundant. The Spirit never leaves me or forsakes me. What an awesome promise! How could I not share this promise with others?
If we are to be faithful in waiting for our king to return, we need to seek God’s will and hearken God’s voice. His gift to us is that we receive wisdom and understanding of his will, as well as the words needed to pass on his message to those who do not know. We also must be willing to hear God and be obedient. Can we let our old selfish selves die, even just a little, for the sake of God or for the sake of others who are lost?
Finally, we need to assess our faith. Jesus was so faithful in giving his life to death. Can we be faithful even with the little things? If I believe God gave his son so I can be saved, can’t I believe that God will provide my next meal, my next car payment, my next house payment, my next tithe, my next … you fill in the blank.
If God is with me, who can be against me? The answer is no one! Praise God for his victory!
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 50:4-9a (NRSV)
The Lord God has given me
the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain
the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens —
wakens my ear
to listen as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backwards.
I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
from insult and spitting.
The Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
All of them will wear out like a garment;
the moth will eat them up.