Isaiah 43

I love this chapter of Isaiah. I’ve read it again and again for three days, not wanting to move on, hearing God speak so clearly through it. Please, please go and read it: Isaiah 43.

Verse 1:

But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.

I stick at this bit everytime, those last two lines in particular hold so much power. I don’t have to be afraid – of anything – because I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus. God calls my name, claims me as his own. I’ll never know/understand why but I know that it’s true and that’s incredible.

Verse 2:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.

Love this: we’re not garunteed an easy ride, we still have to walk through the waters and fire but God promises he will be with us when we do and will enable us to conquer them.

Verse 3-4:

For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.

Did you read that? Do you see where it says you are precious in God’s eyes? That you are honoured and He loves you?That he gives men – one man in particular – for you?

Verse 5-7:

Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.
I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”

Holiday Club. That’s what these verses bring to mind. God bringing people together from all over our community. And he created each of them, each of us, for his own glory; that he would be honoured and praised.

Verse 18-21:

“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honor me,
the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise.

Holiday Club again (I have it on the brain). We get very used to holiday club, doing roughly the same thing every year. We can get into the mindset of just trying to repeat what we’ve done before because it seemed to work then. But I think it’s important to let previous years go, as great as they were, and focus on here and now, 2009, and everything God is going to do. There’s a lot of new stuff happening (Senior Citizens’ Strawberry Tea, Chritstianity Explored course) and lots of changes been made (leaders, their roles, programme and activities). I think God’s going to do something new and amazing too. He’s going to make a way in the wilderness and pour his life giving Spirit out upon his people.

Verse 25:

“I, I am he
who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.

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