Thursday, December 08, 2016

Isaiah 9:1-2

Isaiah 9:1-2
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan- 
The people walking in darkness 
       have seen a great light; 
       on those living in the land of the shadow of death
       a light has dawned.
Matthew 4:12-14
When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali- to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah. 

Your Word is great! This Christmas as I study prophecy, I'm awestruck anew by the wondrous way You work! Your thoughts surely are higher than my thoughts, and Your ways are far too superior for my simple understanding. Your infinite timeline is immeasurable and beyond my limited intellectual capacity.  
700 years before the Word became flesh the holy prophet, Isaiah, predicted precisely where You would go and what You would do. The days were utterly dark and the nation was wasting away from wickedness when he courageously offered these unpopular words of hope that rendered him a fool by public opinion. 
Who would have guessed that hundreds of years later Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah, would start his ministry in this very same dark district plagued by prostitution - people looking for cheap thrills and quick fixes to life's perplexing problems? Blessed assurance, the promised Light had come to the promised land! 
The radiance of Your glory makes my heart throb and swell with joy! Love's Pure Light, in You there is no darkness at all. Locked in the deep dark dungeon on death row, haunted by the demons of our past, we desperately needed our dirty deeds exposed so that we could be restored and released to live differently. And, You, my Everlasting Light, came to do just that! 
Thank You for shining the Light of Your love on me. Setting aside my fears and stepping out into it, my chains fell off and I was set free forever because of Your tender mercy. Because You died, went to Hell and came back for me, I never have to walk in darkness again. Blessed assurance!  
The days may be dark, but I have the Inextinguishable Light. Thank You for the blessed hope I receive and the lessons I learn when I sit down, open my Bible, and study Holy History with You. Hallelujah! Amen.

Doesn't it make your heart throb and swell with joy, when You consider how faithful God is to His promises? 
My prayer is that the fulfilled prophecies that God's showing me will bless you with hope this holiday season. I pray that you will see the Light of Jesus in these dark days. I'm amazed anew, as I carefully study God's Word, that the entire Bible is essentially good vs. evil - light vs. darkness. The times we're living in really aren't that unusual.
In my little sphere of influence within one week: a friend lost her job and is wondering if she'll lose her home; a single-mom lost her benefits including health insurance, life insurance, and retirement - she's not sure what she'll do if she suddenly becomes sick or dies; a classmate of my son could no longer take the pressure to conform and committed suicide; the dreams of five students from a high school varsity basketball team were shattered when they chose to drink alcohol and got caught. The list could go on. Every day, I hear from people who are hurting, hopeless, and just want help. I bet if you'd stop to listen, you'd hear it too. 
We need to be the light in the world that leads lost souls to Jesus - the keeper of the key that will set them forever free. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we will have the courage of Isaiah to stand up and speak out so that others will be enlightened and encouraged in troubling times. Where will you carry your light? 

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