Today’s Scripture – January 1, 2014

Isaiah 62:11-12 (NIV):  The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.'”  They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.

The followers of the Way were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:26).  The word Christian means follower of Christ, or belonging to Christ, or even Christ-like one.  And those area all valid descriptions of those who truly belong to Jesus.

To Isaiah God gave other names that identify His people who receive new light through trust in Jesus and faith in His redemption:

  • The Holy People.  God’s people are to be holy, both positionally and ethically.  Positionally, Christians are to be set aside for God’s use, to bring glory to His name as our primary occupation, our first focus.  Ethically, we are to be morally pure and legitimately holy, enabled and empowered by God’s indwelling Holy Spirit.  God cannot work to bring his righteous kingdom to fruition through a person who remains a slave to sin.
  • The Redeemed of the Lord.  As God’s people, we realize that we are not our own; we have been purchased at a high price, and now belong to God.  (1 Corinthians 6:20)  Therefore, we submit our lives, our goals, even our bodies to God, to obey him with all of ourselves; to devote ourselves to glorifying God with our every thought, word, and deed.
  • Sought After.  When God’s people truly follow and obey Him with every part of ourselves, His power and His glory is made manifest in our lives.  He is powerfully present in our gatherings, and He brings light to every place we go.  Therefore, those who truly want to know God are drawn to us as a moth to a flame.  We become sought after by those who sense their own emptiness and lostness, because it is clearly evident to them that God is in our midst.
  • The City No Longer Deserted.  As Jerusalem became deserted after God’s glory departed it, leaving it open to attack and defeat, so much of the world is feeling the lack of God’s presence today as chaos seems to be continually on the rise.  But God is present in the midst of His people.  We, as God’s Church, are not a deserted city, but a community full of life, and full of God’s presence in the midst of a barren, harsh, and cruel world.

Only those of us who have surrendered our hearts to Jesus, who have given ourselves completely to God, and who have devoted ourselves to obeying His commands and glorifying His name can live out these realities in our lives and in our churches.  But those of us that do so will continually experience God’s presence and his power in our lives, making us bold and effective ambassadors of His kingdom everywhere we set our foot.

Father, these are great and precious promises.  Help us all to live them out starting today, wherever we live, wherever we work, wherever we play.  Glorify You name through us today.  Amen.

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