Light to Live By

"The unfolding of your words gives light ..." (Psalm 119:130a)

The Word Abides — Jeremiah 36

A Sovereign Voice — Jeremiah 35

On That Day

“It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)

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Isaiah repeatedly speaks of “that day” (over forty times!). It is a “day” when things will be different than they are today.

Here Isaiah anticipates that “on that day” what will be different is that God will show up—clearly, undeniably, manifestly, and demonstrably. There will be no arguing to the contrary. The evidence will be indisputable.

The Lord’s appearance will come after long waiting by His people. The lengthy anticipation will serve only to heighten the joy felt “on that day.” All the faithful will be able to say at that time: “Behold, this is our God” and “we have waited for him, and he has saved us.” The hope and faith of the believing will be vindicated. What they’d tried to describe to others along the way through each “today” will be then demonstrably set before their eyes. “On that day” God’s people will simply call them to look and “Behold” that of which, heretofore, they had only heard.

This reminds us that today’s faith-filled risk/obedience will be vindicated. Guaranteed. Hope will be fulfilled. Him whom no eye has seen nor can see will be where we can “Behold” and see Him in His glory. Time is on the side of the believing. Vindication of every step of trusting obedience is inevitable.

So trust the Lord today with great abandon. Step out in obedience with every confidence. On this day follow without fear, for “on that day” we will “be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Accept today’s price for hope, but know that tomorrow’s payout will dwarf any cost you incur through today’s obedience.

How Hope Works — Jeremiah 32

Authority and Respect

“… no one can credit me with something beyond what he sees in me or hears from me …” (2 Corinthians 12:6b)

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Paul had found it necessary to defend his ministry to the Corinthian believers because of some “super apostles” (11:5, 13; 12:11) who had come into their midst. In that uncomfortable position he felt forced into a certain “boasting.” So he boasted in his hardships and humiliations (11:22-33) and only then turned to his revelations and spiritual experiences (12:1-5). He stopped himself at that point insisting that no one “credit [him] with something beyond what he sees in [him] or hears from [him].”

Paul’s general approach and these specific words are instructive to me.

Most boasting is merely an attempt to present yourself to another as something more than you’ve been able to evidence through your actions and words.

Paul insists that the proof of one’s authority and worthiness of respect reside in demonstrable actions and words in a specific relationship, not in victories or triumphs in other realms and relationships. I am only as good as my ministry to you. I am only as worthy of respect as my words and actions with you demand. Titles, reputation, accounts of other triumphs matter little to the person who stands before me at this moment.

If I have not demonstrated the character of Christ in my relationship with you, my stories of other triumphs will matter little. If the Spirit has not found ways to express His sweet graces through me in relationship to you, why should my track-record elsewhere with others shape your view of who I am?

The immediacy of Christ’s presence through His Spirit made manifest in our words and actions is the only calling card any of us in ministry really have … or need. Let us be known for His present presence in us and made manifest through us. If we are to be respected at all, let it be for what Christ has done through us. Let my reputation with you hang upon the present grace of Christ that actively flows between us by His Spirit.

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