Heavenly Father, I long to see You more clearly, love You more dearly and follow You more nearly day by day.
Read Isaiah 55:1-13
 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.  Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.  Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.  See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples.  Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.”  Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,  so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat invitation and challenge are given by God here?
Do some of these words sound familiar? If so, perhaps it’s because all four Gospels quote from this chapter. That’s no coincidence. This chapter is a summary and guarantee of God’s promises to his people. He provides for every need (1,2). God doesn’t invite hungry people to a soup kitchen. He invites them to a banquet, with rich food and flowing wine. God’s provision for us is not just sufficient, but extravagant. He makes strangers into citizens (3-5)–no more asylum-seekers. A brand new covenant means that people of every nation can receive their all-important citizenship papers for the new kingdom God is building. God fulfills our need for a new, secure identity. He gives us a new purpose (6-11). Scientists and philosophers strive to understand the world–and rightly so. They are, as the astronomer Johannes Kepler said, “thinking God’s thoughts after him.” We can all live in confidence knowing that the universe is not random. There is a plan and a purpose that are known to God. He gives us hope (12,13). God promises to complete what he has begun and, once it is completed, his kingdom will last forever.
Have you been trying to satisfy yourself with something “that does not satisfy” (3)? Ask God about that.
Thank God for the many things God has given you already and for the things that he has promised to give you still.
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