Monday of the 24thWeek After Trinity

Today's Reading: Isaiah 51:9-16

Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 8:18-9:12; Matthew 23:13-39

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD! Awake as in the ancient days, In the generations of old. Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart, And wounded the serpent? Are You not the One who dried up the sea, The waters of the great deep; That made the depths of the sea a road For the redeemed to cross over? (Isaiah 51:9-10 NKJV)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Does the Lord save or not? Is the Lord true to His promises? Does He have the power to rescue or not? He most certainly does, but when we're struggling with our own doubts and sins, when we're in a world that hates us for believing in Jesus, when we're surrounded by hardship, struggle, sickness, and death--when all of this happens, we doubt that the Lord has any power to do anything at all!

"So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; Sorrow and sighing shall flee away" (Isaiah 51:11 NKJV).

But He does have power. Yes, He ransomed and redeemed you. He saved you from all your enemies: sin, death, even the devil himself! He died. He rose! There's no ending to Easter. Jesus' tomb is empty. Your grave will be empty someday, and then there will be "no more death or mourning or crying or pain" (Revelation 21:4), only eternal joy in Jesus' presence.

"I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, And say to Zion, 'You are My people'" (Isaiah 51:16 NKJV).

You can be certain, without any shadow of a doubt, that such joy awaits you. It's true that you have a heavenly Father who loves you, who protects you, who holds you in His hand. Where's your hope, your confidence, your joy now? It's not only in Jesus' dying for you, but Jesus delivered to you. In the Word!

He used that Word with water to make you His dearly loved child. He puts that Word into your ears in the Scriptures, your pastor's preaching, and your pastor's forgiveness. He puts that Word into your mouth: Word with bread and wine give you the Body and Blood of Jesus, the Word, for your forgiveness and life.

You're the Lord's. Eternal life is yours. Jesus and His Word are yours. It's a done deal. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

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