Isaiah 43:8-13 (NRSV)
God is our savior
Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
who are deaf, yet have ears!
Let all the nations gather together,
and let the peoples assemble.
Who among them declared this,
and foretold to us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to justify them,
and let them hear and say, "It is true."
You are my witnesses, says the Lord,
and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses, says the Lord.
I am God, and also henceforth I am He;
there is no one who can deliver from my hand;
I work and who can hinder it?
Today’s devotion continues the GOOD NEWS theme that God is not a “respecter of persons,” but has made a decision rooted in love to offer salvation to the whole wide world!
I love the verse in today’s reading that says, “Let all the nations gather together, and let the peoples assemble!” I love the vision of Godly unity offered in scripture. It is readily welcomed amidst the war, genocide, conflict, confusion, and turmoil that often seem to define the relationships of nation with nation, tribe with tribe, and family group with family group that exist in the present moment and are often portrayed in the public news media.
Today, our GOOD NEWS declaration is that God has gathered all of us as witnesses, to proclaim that it is God--and God alone--who saves.
As human beings we sometimes erroneously believe that in the time of trouble we will have many options for our salvation. We look to leaders of nations, military commanders, or the economic prowess of geniuses to offer us hope and consolation in an ever-changing world.
But, God has called these illusions of grandeur an exercise in idol worship and proof positive of our being spiritually blind and deaf! These “gods” are not really able to save us, despite the trust that we place in them.
In today’s scripture God makes the source of our salvation plain. God intones, “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.”
God is the only God and Jesus is God’s chosen savior! As we place all of our hope in Jesus, three things happen. 1) God forgives our sin. 2) God establishes a new relationship with us, making us children and friends. 3) Jesus opens the door for us to enter into eternal life with God when we die.
It’s so simple! Yet many fail to believe precisely because it seems “too easy.” Friends, do not forsake God’s invitation to salvation and eternal relationship because you feel it should be harder! That makes no sense. Today, if you hear the voice of God, do not harden your heart…Come to Jesus, in the simplicity of the GOOD NEWS message, and be saved!
Have you been counting on other “gods” to save you in the time of trouble? Will you put all of your hope in Jesus?
Savior God and Friend, thank you that there are no other gods but God! Thank you that you have extended forgiveness of sin and eternal relationship with you in the Heavens through faith in Jesus Christ! Today, we believe that you raised Jesus from the dead just as you promised! Thank you that in Christ we all invited to be saved. You are such a good and generous God and we love you! Please help us to share that love with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you have additional questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come To Jesus" found at http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/2009/03/come-to-jesus.html
We are celebrating with all of the people who have recently put all their hope in Jesus! Happy Re-birthday!
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From Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/