Tag Archives: the book of Isaiah

““All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. . .  The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”  (Isaiah 40:6b, 8, NIV)

In the spring of each year, we are reminded of the splendor of nature as lawns and fields green-up; and flowers add color to every scene.  It is wonderful to behold, but we know it lasts only for a season — even if it is repeated next spring.

Isaiah reminds us that we, too, are like the grass and the flowers: Magnificent in many ways, but also fleeting.  In the context of more than 6,000 years of recorded history, our singular 70 or 80 years of life is less than a dim flash.

Isaiah also reminds us that though we are less than a vapor, God’s word endures for all of time and eternity.  If we desire any permanence in what we do or say, it must be enveloped in and consistent with God’s word.  Such consistency comes only through the reading and the heeding of scripture.  – Luther

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“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?  Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”  (Isaiah 38:6-7, NIV) 

We often think of fasting as something from which we refrain or abstain — and that is a true definition.  However, according to our reading from Isaiah, God’s chosen fast can be as much a time of engagement as it is a time of denial or retreat.

During this Lenten season, disciples will often give-up something.  This is a good thing if only as a reminder that “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4:4)

Yet, we also need to remember that God is as interested in what we have chosen to take-up as He is in what we’ve chosen to give-up.  There is as much for us in the “taking up our cross” as in the “denying one’s self.” (Please see Matthew 16:24.)

Let us strive to maintain balance in our discipleship!  – Luther

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“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”  (Isaiah 55:6, NIV)

God is omnipresent, yet, there are times when we feel closer to Him, and He seems more accessible than at other times.

When we are not pressed by circumstances, or stressed by the sense that things are out of control; it is in such mundane moments that we need to draw near to God.

Use the “boring” level stretches of time to cement your relationship to your heavenly Father.  Hunting for divine companionship while descending into the dark valley of trial, or while climbing the mountains of adversity are not the best conditions.  – Luther

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