Use the words of a hymn, such as “Amazing Grace,” to thank God for his goodness at work in your life.
Read Isaiah 43:1-13
 But now, this is what the LORD says- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.  Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.  Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.  I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-  everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”  Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.  All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”  “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.  I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.  I have revealed and saved and proclaimed- I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.  Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does God express his love for his people here?
You might expect a “therefore” after such a great statement: “Israel, you are blind and deaf, you have failed to live up to your role as my servant; therefore I will wash my hands of you.” Surprisingly, the chapter begins with the word “But.” Despite all expectations, God does not consign his servant Israel to the scrap heap. Instead, he reaffirms his love and purpose for Israel (1), and promises that he will bring Israel back from exile (5-7). Blind and deaf as Israel may be (8), the nation will still be the Lord’s servant and witness (10). This turn of events is not dependent on Israel reforming, but on the Lord’s own faithfulness and determination to be his people’s Savior (11-13). At times you may feel that you have neglected God’s purposes because of sin or failure. You may wonder how you could ever be a witness for the Holy One when your life falls far short. Isaiah shows that our times of failure really do matter, but that we can still be the Lord’s servants. The message he gives us to share–of opened eyes and release from darkness (42:7)–is also for us to receive.
How might you need to be “re-evangelized”? And how might your church be re-evangelized?
Gracious Lord, may my spirit be always open to receive from Your Spirit so I can be Your good servant.
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