Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands! Bad news has come to me from time to time in my life, but in times when I have been appropriately focused on and serving the Lord, I was not afraid because my heart was firm, trusting in the Lord.
The adding of 15 years to the life of Hezekiah after God considered his prayer and his life of “faithfulness with a whole heart” reminds me of my father’s battle with colon cancer and a heart condition in 1988. Those were some scary times. I remember spending time with him in the hospital and seeing him hallucinate in reaction to medications he was being given. He pulled through those tough times and went on to spend 18 more years preaching and teaching and doing good wherever he went. I am grateful, Lord, for those years that you added to his life
Today’s Readings: Psalm 112; 2 Kings 20; Isaiah 9:8-10:34; John 13
I have always been dismayed by failures in spiritual leadership. Over the years we have seen example after example of men who have fallen from their positions of trust. Men who choose to lead people, whether it be as a minister or an elder or some other capacity, have a powerful influence upon others. God sends the message, through Isaiah, that His judgement will come upon the failed leaders of their day! Help me Lord, to faithfully execute the power of influence that I have on others!
John makes an interesting comment in his biographical account of Jesus’ last days. He says, “he loved them to the end.” As the ESV Study Bible says, “Though Jesus was about to die an agonizing death, He continued to love His disciples…. he will always be present with His disciples, even after His ascension into heaven (see John 14:23; Matthew 18:20; 28:20; Revelation 3:20)…. in His divine nature Jesus is omnipresent and is with believers ‘always’ (Matthew 28:20).
Jesus proved this love by washing His disciples feet. They did not understand the full significance of this until much later, but they definitely were seeing humility and servant-leadership modeled before them! We also see that Jesus is “troubled in His spirit” as He reflects on His impending betrayal by one of His own apostles. As He moves closer to the events that He himself says will glorify Himself, the Son of Man, and will also glorify God, His concern for those He loves is evident! What an agonizing time this had to be for our Saviour but He subjected Himself to it because He loves us! Lord, may my love for you be just as enduring and steadfast as that You demonstrate for me!
I pray that today’s readings encourage you and that you have a blessed day, dear friend! Use part of your day today to prepare your hearts for entering into the Lord’s house of worship tomorrow. May your assembling with other Christians, on the Lord’s Day, be uplifting and motivating for the week that you will face! Praise the Lord!