Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Isaiah 61 (Part 5)
A Church Rebuilt
And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Isaiah 61:4 (NKJV)
In the Old Testament, the Jews were God's chosen people. They still are. During the centuries between Abraham and Jesus, they faltered--alternating between glory years and gory years, between thriving and surviving. Because idol-worship kept rearing its ugly head.
And for a moment, they thought it was beautiful. Time and again, God allowed His beloved nation to suffer the consequences of its misplaced affections. Israel was conquered and ruined--only to be rebuilt by a repentant remnant under a merciful God.
But the Bible is more than a history book. It's about today.
When Jesus came, He changed everything. His life, death and resurrection blew the roof off of worship that had grown man-centered. His new church did not depend on buildings or traditions. It depended on Him--and God's chosen people grew.
Like godly families who open their homes to orphans, God opened His Home to the Gentiles--because we were orphans. Miraculously, all of us who would follow His Son became His legal heirs--with equal status to the Jews. Praise God!
Unfortunately, Isaiah's 'old ruins' now describe much of modern Christendom. Like our Jewish ancestors, we fell into idolatry. It is pointless to deny that our church is immune, because prosperity preachers point to the idols they worship--while giving God the lip service He hates.
'Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name, cast out demons in Your Name, and done many wonders in Your Name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' ' (Matthew 7:21-23).
Actors, models and talent for Christ, consider yourselves builders; you rebuild God's 21st century church. The old one is in ruins. The new one is different--even modern. It has no roof. It has no limits. Denominations are like clothes: they give us diversity, but underneath them, we look alike. Like what? Like Jesus! It's not what, It's Who.
'But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth' (John 4:23-24).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Isaiah 61 series.