Devotional on Isaiah

2007 – Lake Irene, Colorado

Only One Savior
Isaiah 43: I’m the only Savior there is.
I know that pluralism and tolerance are in, and, truthfully, I agree that these are a positive step away from bigotry and narrowness. I also know that we Americans have a lot to learn from other nations and cultures. Just my limited relationships with friends of Mexican heritage has both broadened my perspective and deepened my life. This passage, however, underscores the other side this issue. If there’s a place for open-mindedness, there’s also a time and place for narrowness and exclusivity. In this passage I hear the Lord speaking words of hope and comfort through his man Isaiah. I see that God offers us the gift of salvation. I also am told he’s the only one qualified to make that offer. I can walk down the aisle of Wal-Mart and decide which brand of peanut butter I prefer. I can listen to presidential candidates and pick which one I want to support. I can realize that the Oriental culture has something to offer that’s just as good as or maybe even better than what my own culture offers. However, when it comes to salvation, there’s only one place to go, and that’s to the God Isaiah’s talking about. The salvation he offers is abundant and sufficient for me and for every other person. Still, I need to know that it’s also the only salvation that actually saves. He’s the only Savior there is.
Take Away: When it comes to salvation, there’s only one place to go.

Devotional on 1 Corinthians

2014 – Cape Meares, OR – in the fog

I’m glad I’m part of the family of God

1Corinthians 16: And I love you all in the Messiah, Jesus.

Paul has been pretty hard on the church at Corinth and with good reason. On one hand, they appear to be a template for what a Christian church isn’t supposed to be. There are failures upon failures there and in this letter the Apostle is like a fireman trying to extinguish several blazes. On the other hand, he has a warm, fatherly, relationship with them. He’s not angrily ready to toss them aside. Instead, he sees them as worth redeeming. Beyond all that, I have the distinct feeling that my impression of this congregation is rather one sided. There’s plenty wrong there, but a lot of it is likely associated with their being enthusiastic about living for the Lord and, at the same time, are coming out of a clueless, immoral culture. The result is enthusiastic ignorance. Maybe that’s better than being knowledgably bored! Paul concludes his letter by restating his love for them. They may be an ignorant and frustrating crowd, but Paul claims them as his own. It’s a pretty good reminder of how things are supposed to be in the family of God. We may have a few who are sometimes a bit off the grid, (of course that doesn’t include you and me!) but we love them just the same. After all, we’re together in this family of God.

Take Away: As the old saying goes, “Sometimes I wonder about everyone but me and thee…and sometimes I wonder about thee.”

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