You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
This picture is two fold: those whom we disciple are letters from Christ to the world, the result of our ministry. 3 John:4 says it best, ” I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth”. To watch those you have invested in become great letters for Christ is pure joy. In the same way, we are letters, written through Christ by someone who invested in us. The beauty of it is this: in any case, it is God who does the writing.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
Don’t miss this: it is a triumphal procession in Christ. As we go, there is present a fragrance – a fragrance of the knowledge of Christ. When someone says to you, “What is it about you that is different?” It is the fragrance of Christ. If someone comments about your integrity or kindness or wisdom in a situation of life. That is the fragrance of Christ.
vs. 3 and 4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
Notice here that the Scripture doesn’t say God will remove our troubles, or rescue us from them. It says He will comfort us in them. He is the Father of compassion, the Author and Beginner of compassion, and the God of all comfort. He will comfort us in all our troubles. This is a promise, a promise that comes with a responsibility. We must share the comfort we have received with others, giving testimony to His compassion.
vs 4 The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue , to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
This is a beautiful verse. I think of getting up each morning and spending time in the Word of God. To me, that is the way God gives us an instructed tongue. By studying His love letter to us, and getting to know Him, He gives us the words that sustain the weary. It is He Who wakens our ears and quickens our spirit that we may hear and learn. We are like students in a classroom with God as our teacher. Sometimes, we study basic Christianity. Other times we study advanced archeology, genealogy or the Greek language. The reason for it all is to equip us as His ambassadors to have an instructed tongue to share the words that sustain the weary.
So many promises to Israel, to Jerusalem and , by adoption, to us. vs. 7 The Lord is the Redeemer, the Holy One Who is faithful, Who has chosen you. vs. 8 I will answer you and in the day of salvation, I will help you. I will keep you. vs 10 He Who has compassion will guide and lead them beside springs of water. vs 12 The Lord comforts His people and has compassion on His afflicted ones. vs 15 I will never forget you. vs 25 I will contend with those who contend with you. vs 26 I, The Lord, am your Saviour, I am your Redeemer.
They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for then from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out.
This verse leaped off the page at me. How many times in a season of struggle or trauma has a friend stood by you like a lighthouse helping you find your way? How many times has the Lord provided a special verse, or a biblical truth that is an anchor in your storm? That is the Lord, leading you through the desert AND providing Living Water for your thirst.
vs. 10 You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, “No one sees me.” Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, “I am, and there is none besides me.“
This is the “new” mindset for a great portion of our society. “I don’t need rules. There is no right or wrong. I don’t answer to God; I don’t answer to anyone.” Confidence, arrogance and rebellion will not sustain you when your life is mowed down by tragedy, whether, physical, financial or emotional. The one who trusts only in himself, casting God aside, will perish in hopelessness when confronted with the severe trials of life. For the Christian, hope is found in the One Who never changes, and Who never takes His eyes off of us.
Many Thanks for being patient. Now have new internet provider, and looking forward to much better service.
Isaiah 46: 1 and 2 , 9
Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden. The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary. They stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden they themselves go off into captivity. vs. 9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.
The description of these idols: carried about, stooping low, unable to lift a burden, being captured. Who has ever taken the One, True God captive? The ark of the covenant has ben stolen, the temple has been demolished, and Jerusalem has been conquered, but GOD is not held captive, nor has His work been stilled.
I am struggling to resolve unreliable internet issues and thank you for your patience throughout this process, as well as your prayer for quick repair.
This is what the LORD says – the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.
This is just a taste of Isaiah 45. If there ever was any doubt in our minds that God is in everything, created everything and is the One True, Only God, that doubt must be dispelled by this chapter. If we find ourselves in the midst of trauma, financial loss, or deep in a dark depression, the promises of vs. 5 prevail over ANYTHING in the human condition in this fallen world. vs. 5 and 6 “I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.
If you have time today, read all of Chapter 45. Many blessings lie within.