Lent 2017: You Are Mine: Day 22

Who Is Worthy?

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Today's Text: Isaiah 28:1-29, Isaiah 29:1-24, Revelation 5:1-14

Text: Isaiah 28:1-29, Isaiah 29:1-24, Revelation 5:1-14

“We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!”

Yeah, I was a kid in the 90s. Anybody else remember imitating Wayne and Garth to declare your unworthiness over things like Nintendo skills, Lisa Frank sticker collections, or Air Jordans? My assessment of worthiness is different now, but I’m still inclined to assess things by my arbitrary categories of value. I am not immune to questioning my own worthiness in the face of a really lovely turn of phrase or a well-managed garden.

But is my worthiness the relevant question? It surely seems to be the contemporary question, one Paul clearly answered for us in Romans, long before we ever started trying to compete for Instagram likes.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
- Romans 3:23

It’s almost a relief, really; the playing field is leveled and we have all fallen short. And it answers the question of human worthiness: Which of us is worthy? Not a one.

So what are the qualifications for worthiness? God’s people were waiting for someone who was worthy. And their list of qualifications was far more than a wink and a well-executed somersault.

He was to be both the root and the stem of David (Isaiah 9:7, Luke 1:30-32). He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:27-28, 31) and God’s Spirit would rest on Him (Isaiah 11:2, Mark 1:10). He would be both the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5) and the Lamb who would be slain (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24).

All that, and yet the list was still completely simple: He had to be the Son of God (Isaiah 9:6; Psalm 2:6-7). He alone is worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, worthy to bring salvation and bring justice (Revelation 5:1-14).

But His worthiness doesn’t end there. He is to receive all the riches of heaven and earth—all material things, all praise, all everything belongs to Him alone. Suddenly the complicated question becomes simple again.

Dutch journalist, statesman, and theologian Abraham Kuyper said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’” That about says it all. Christ is worthy, and all honor is due to Him.

This simplifies my plaguing difficulties in wondering where I sit in the pecking order. It eliminates the question of “who deserves this more?” And frankly, it resolves my need to be celebrated by the world. When I turn my eyes from myself and point my compass to the True North, Christ Himself, I cease scrambling for a place at the table because I find myself at rest, pointing to the One who is truly worthy.

Because of Christ, we can join with the angels and the archangels and the whole company of heaven and sing a new song:

You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because You were slaughtered,
and You redeemed people
for God by Your blood
from every tribe and language
and people and nation.
You made them a kingdom
and priests to our God,
and they will reign on the earth.
—Revelation 5:9-10

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  • We all stumble. Overtime these laws and rituals of faith have little by little trapped the people to follow a false god. Isaiah did not fall into this trap, he could still hear the Lord talking to him, unlike the others.
    This can be true today. This is my take away: We must make time to stop and call out to God in prayer multiple times a day and not just solely follow our pastor, who like all of us, is not worthy. Our relationship with God is a 2 Way St.

  • Listening is hard for me, I often get stuck on something someone said 5 mins ago, why did they say that? What does it mean ? Are they ok ? And how can I help ?
    All of this plays into this habit of wanting to fix things. Ultimately, I am not God, I am a child of God and what he is asking me to do is listen, listen carefully and then obey, do what he has asked…. not by my own ability or by some preconceived notion that what I do will save me and make me whole but by the fact that because he has saved me, I have the chance, I have the privilege to not only sing but be praise to the one living God! Living under his glorious Grace… dancing between the tension of living on earth but wanting to live as it is in heaven. He is and alway will be worthy.

    Thank you Abba for not allowing me to be complacent or idle in finding my worth in all the wrong things.

  • Oh, I just loved reading this devotional! Definitely the reminder I needed for the start of my week that when I turn my compass to the True North, God, my salvation is found and I need not look for my worthiness any longer. Christ’s death on the cross made me worthy. Such a beautiful devotional, thank you!

  • Isaiah 29:11-12 really stood out to me as I was reading:

    “For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I can’t; it is sealed.” 12 Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I don’t know how to read.”

    Such a sad portion of scripture. But it makes me realize how easily we can make excuses in our walk with the Lord. I made excuses for years and was pretty much a perfect example of verse 13. So thankful for God’s love and patience during those years as He opened my eyes to the truth – that He desires my devotion to HIM and not to rules, routines, and religious rituals.

    But even now that I have a relationship with my Savior, I have to remember that I am still capable of making excuses. Praying that God will help me to become more aware of this sin so that I can continue to walk in obedience.

    • April Heather

      Thank you for posting this–it really helped me understand it so much more

  • Melody Suarez

    This is really relevant today. Today is my birthday and I’ve been looking to friends and families for justification, praises and love and I have found myself instead, sad angry and with expectations unmet. I think this really stems from my selfishness and self centered attitude. Looking at His glory is going to be hard for me today, when this is the one day that people tend to justify being celebrated. But maybe it’s good that I get no celebration at all, and instead celebrate the one who made me, who knit me together in my mothers womb and all that He’s done for me since then. I feel like that’ll put my mind at peace. Thanks for this post

    • She Reads Truth

      Happy birthday, Melody! We’re thankful for you today and grateful to have you in our community.

      – Stormye

    • Churchmouse

      Happy birthday! Hugs and appreciation for your post. Praying you realize how much God loves you and that you are forever and always His beloved!

    • J

      Happy Birthday, Melody!! May you focus on the fact that, like your name winks at, our Lord rejoices over you with SINGING! (Zephaniah 3:17)

      Many Blessings to you today and great peace, knowing and feeling how loved you truly are!

    • RondaGale

      Happy birthday Melody! I can relate to those feelings… and the quote in today’s devotion hit me in that area so strongly … “there is nothing in the human domain that God does not cry “MINE”! ” what a beautiful reality! He cries “MINE” over YOU (and me et al) today and every day!!! Hope your day was beautiful!

  • Diane Huntsman

    We are born sinners.. and so much of our sins root is the sin of self centeredness.. but what about ME?! Am I worthy? Am I great?? The two disciples fought over who was going to be the greatest.. self centeredness even spills over into sacred Christianity.. I truly wish I focused so much more on the magnificence of God.. the unwavering love He showed us on Calvary.. there is too much of me in my focus.. who do You think I am, who do people think I am.. instead of standing in awe of the great I AM I’m busy contemplating the I as in me.. I do believe many of our woes would be undone if we gazed much longer in the face of God and far less in the mirrors.. loved today’s reading.. loved being reminded of HIM and His GREATNESS.. be blessed in His love girls! Xo

  • He is so worthy and I am not. So glad for Christ’s death on the cross for me, to make me worthy. Hallelujah!
    I have loved the last two days of devotion. I was behind a bit so read both today. What a blessing!

  • This was a favorite so far in this study. Rebecca did such a beautiful job of pointing us to our True North, to a place of rest where we need not strive, but receive and worship. Loved this so much!

  • Traci Fredricks

    if at EVERY moment of my day and life, I can keep this truth center. And then, be at peace pointing to the only one who is worthy of attention, adoration, praise and my very life- may God keep in PERFECT PEACE the one whose mind is stayed on Thee! thank you SRT for doing the pointing in such beautiful fashion. I am forever grateful for your ministry of the word of God.

  • Jen Downs

    I loved, loved, LOVED the quote from Abraham Kuyper. I love the visual that there is nothing in my human domain that God does not cry MINE over.

    Even my sin! He didn’t want me to sin, and He is faithful to insure consequences because He is a good Father, but if I allow it He will bring beauty from ashes and even use my sin for His glory.

    Thank you Jesus!!

  • I love how Rebecca points out the worthiness of Christ, especially in a world where we’re constantly trying to prove our own worthiness. We try to prove it to friends, family, strangers and even God. And yet, the only worthiness that matters is that of Jesus. Because without Him, we would be stuck with Romans 3:23 without the hope of the next 2 verses: “…and [we] are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Rom. 3:24-25). This reminds me that the only worthiness that I should be declaring to others and to myself is Christ’s, not my own! My own worthiness (or attempt at it) has no good news attached to it. It will always be selfish and empty and full of that struggle between pride and insecurity. But when we focus on Jesus’ worthiness, it seems to put everything back in the right perspective.

    • J

      The struggle between pride and insecurity – how well said, Casey. Thankful we have a Savior who is the very definition of Worthy to take the place of our futile and bumbling attempts at it. And for who? How silly it all seems brought to light, and how cyclically true for us all. Freeing to consider that even our best attempts will fail in comparison to Christ – not freedom to abuse grace and abound in sin, but freedom to accept that when we do fail, it is as He knew and already atoned for out of His unfailing love for us. He is holy, He is kind, and He is so, so good.

    • RondaGale

      “My own worthiness … has no good new attached to it” !!! (love that!)
      But Jesus….The Good News!!! (love that even more!)

  • Alanna Davis

    Praising God for His mission and for inviting me to join Him in it this morning:
    You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
    because You were slaughtered,
    and You redeemed people
    for God by Your blood
    from every tribe and language
    and people and nation.
    You made them a kingdom
    and priests to our God,
    and they will reign on the earth.
    —Revelation 5:9-10

  • I spend so much time trying to prove my worth to others. However, I never really stopped to realize that He alone is worthy. We aren’t worthy. However, He created us in His image and sent His son to die for us. We may never be worthy, but we were WORTH IT to the only One who matters. Who cares what the world says? I want what my Father God says!

  • Hey everyone, could you please pray for me? Been battling with Satan’s temptations that are coming at me. Please pray that I do not fall into temptations again and that my faith in Jesus overpowers every doubt and fear. Pray that I do not just read His Word and walk away, never applying and acting on what is said. Pray that I embrace His grace and that I push all distractions aside. That I remember that I am forgiven, even despite my mistakes. That I realize that Jesus still died and rose for me, even though He knew I still would turn from Him. That I read, apply, and act and become more like Jesus, as I learn more about Him. Thank you all <3

    • Jade

      Of COURS I’ll pray for you, you are my sister in heaven! And anyone who does not pray for their sister…I do not know what to say!

    • Stacie

      Praying dear one, your words are a reminder and challenge for me as well.

    • Jen Downs

      Oh Sarah, how I can relate. I was so broken in 2006 because of my own sinful actions. Fellow Christians who called themselves friends brought condemnation and I almost fell for the devils lies that this one was TOO BIG for God to forgive.

      Oh but He does! I will pray for victory over the stronghold of sin. I will pray for victory over the devils lies.

      God alone is worthy and He created you because you are deeply loved and desired by Him. Place your feet on the Cornerstone my sister and walk in that freedom.

    • She Reads Truth

      Sarah, praying for you sweet friend. Asking the Lord to give you strength and resolve. Grateful for you and a God that is far greater than our sin!

      – Stormye

    • Emily B.

      Oh, Sarah, you are not alone in the battle of the mind. What’s helped me recently is to hold onto the truth that I am a victor through Christ. It’s not something I have to wait for; I have victory NOW. I’m praying that you can cling to Him and the victory that He bought for you on the cross.

  • Carrie Rogers

    Jesus alone is worthy. ❤

  • Thank you Jesus that you are worthy and our worthiness is found in you! Thank you that YOU make us worthy!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Last night I had a dream that I ate the most delicious breakfast buffet (my favorite food!!) with my mom at a local restaurant, but when I awoke my stomach was grumbling and I was still hungry. Then I open SRT to see what God has in store for today, and it includes: Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel, that attack her and her fortress and besiege her, will be as it is with a dream, with a vision in the night–as when a hungry man dreams that he is eating, but he awakens, and his hunger remains…(Isaiah 29:7-8). Wow! Exactly what I experienced. I hope I will be able understand fully what God is speaking to me, but I do know that nothing will ever satisfy my hunger except Jesus Christ who is completely able and absolutely worthy.

  • God is worthy and He has given me my worth. I no longer struggle with knowing my value because I am loved and protected and spoiled by Him. All Glory to the Father and the Son with nothing but gratitude for all He has blessed me with. He is, was and always will be worthy. Amen!

  • Two verses in Isaiah caught my eye while I read this morning:
    28:15 “…for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves”
    29:13 “…this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me…”

    Even though Christ had not yet come, the character of the God of Israel was the same as it is today. He loved His people, cared for them, and provided for their spiritual needs, yet they refused to acknowledge Him. They kept turning for refuge to any and everything but Him. As I read, I realized that these verses describe me far more often than I’d like. I invent ways to make myself feel safe instead of turning to God. I get so caught up in the outward things I’m doing for Him that I neglect to truly seek Him with all my heart. In light of Revelation 5, this condition seems all the more nonsensical. Why would I take refuge in lies, in the false security of my own understanding, when the Lamb who was slain for MY sin is worthy? Why would I not want to draw near to Him with all my heart when I know who He is and what He has done for me? Why would I not come before Him in worship every single day of my life, humbled and in awe at His indescribable worthiness? Today, may I stop focusing on lies, rituals, and things that don’t matter. May I worship Him in spirit and in truth, because He alone is worthy.

    • Elle

      Thank you for sharing! I feel like this another week where I wish the commentary engaged more with Isaiah and this is a nice addition.

    • Kendra

      Thanks for sharing, Amy! I love your thoughts and questions!

    • donna cox

      Thank you for sharing your insights with us! You should do more commentaries. After reading your thoughts, I was able to make more connections with the scripture and my daily walk.

  • Keri McCue

    This is such a convicting read today. If everything is His already, literally everything then we should live with Gospel-centered intentionality in every area of our lives. I can’t say that I do that 100%. But to think of that area I refuse to give to Him already being His, well it makes it a little easier to not be so selfish with my life.

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Churchmouse

    I am touched by how God reveals what He is doing and why. We do not always understand His methods but He is always fulfilling His purpose and His promises. I love how He tells us to rest. My world seems to rock and nearly upend, yet He tells me I can rest. He is the place of rest. I go to Him and find comfort, encouragement and strength. He pulls me close and whispers “Mine!” He will not let go. When I feel invisible, small, inadequate and insignificant, He still whispers “Mine!” That is all that really matters and that is more than enough. For that, for Himself, I worship the One who alone is worthy. His overwhelming worthiness does not make me feel all the more unworthy. He pulls me up and places me beside Him. I am His friend. I am a beloved daughter of the King. He esteems me. And that is far better than any self esteem.

    • Kristin Erickson

      Beautifully said! Amen!

    • She Reads Truth

      This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing, Churchmouse.

      – Stormye

    • Kristina

      “For that, for Himself, I worship the One who alone is worthy. His overwhelming worthiness does not make me all the more unworthy. HE PULLS ME UP AND PLACES ME BESIDE HIM.”

      Thank you for this reminder! As one that constantly measures my worthiness, that compares my successes and failures to my peers, one that has never ever felt enough – He pulls me up and places me beside Him! I am the daughter of the King. I will worship the worthy one alone! Amen.

    • Veronica

      Thank you for sharing this- he pulls me close and whispers ‘mine’! So beautiful.

  • I struggle with worth on a daily basis. Why would God want me with all my flaws and imperfections? There are so many more worthy than I. So I love today’s message. It’s not about my worth. It’s about His! The quote from the theologian about Christ crying “Mine!” Blows me away! Thank you Jesus that my salvation and redemption does not depend upon my worth but rest solely on your Worth as my Savior and King!

  • I love how Isaiah 28 closes…”This also comes from the Lord of Hosts. He gives wonderful advice; He gives great wisdom.”

    What a reminder! I seek wisdom from so many people that I love and often forget to seek the wisdom of my Lord. Lord, you give wonderful advice! May I remember to come before you with my needs and questions because you want to hear from us and share your great wisdom!

    • Audrey

      Oh I loved that too! I am astounded by the attention to detail God gave when He created the world and how things work. It’s amazing how a tree grows from a seed and how certain plants are to be planted so that they grow to their richest potential. The human body is amazing in how we function as well! He put so much care into absolutely everything created…yet, like you, He is often the last one I go to when I need wisdom.

  • “Because this people draw near with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    while their hearts are far from me,
    and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men.”

    I read an article recently that spoke to a current trend in our world … the “coolness of christianity”. It seems that with the current high school/college age generation saying you love God raises one’s level of “cool” (which is greatly different than my experience in the 80s). The article brought to light behaviors that are more a what is said versus what is lived approach, rather a great misunderstanding of what *is* to love God, what *is* to know Jesus. It is distressing and saddens my heart that these confused folks are missing the key component to loving God …. relationship with Christ.

    At no point, in my walk, do I want my faith to be more about saying the right things than doing them, than living them out. I don’t want to be led by man or how much attention I receive on social media or my circles, I want to be led by Christ. In this season of uncertainty for our family, I want to hear from the Lord about what we are to do. His word, His will … without, our uncertainty becomes prevalent and our journey in this life clouded with confusion that has us walking in a cloud of unending fog rather than a cover of unconditional love. Prayerful that my heart AND word align and that my eyes see Christ and everything else fades away.

    • Juliet

      Beautifully said! Praying that along with you! To really know Christ, His heart and have that intimacy with Him.

    • Audrey

      Yes! The second part of that verse also stuck out to me. I look around at our churches and fear that is what so many of us doing each week…we are there following rules and traditions we have been taught and miss the mark truly worshipping our God! Instead our worship is the motions of traditions we don’t understand or our focus is our pride for following rules ‘properly’ and judgment for those who don’t. Oftentimes sitting in the pew on Sunday I feel so distant from God because I’m so selfconcious of what others next to me will think if I raise my hands in worship or cry from the depths of His love. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my church, but this has been a conversation between me and God for a while. Why is it I flip a switch when I walk through those doors and feel like I have to perform church and worship? Following rules and expectations so I will be ‘cool’ and ‘accepted’. And I’m so thankful for verse 14 that says ONCE MORE God will astound…..oh what grace He extends by always extending a once more because we are so prone to wander and forget. For reminding us of who He is when we get distracted worshipping our rules and traditions before Him. Thank you Lord!

  • It is like we are being asked to fade away all the static and rest our gaze on Him alone.

    • Lexi

      Yes, this! It’s all I want, and yet this world makes it so difficult. So much static, so much chaos…not enough Jesus.

      • truthseeker

        “I must decrease, that He may increase” (Jn 3:30). Not I, but Christ !

  • I am stuck on the last sentence in Isaiah 28, MSG translation “He’s learned it from the God of the Angel Armies who knows how and when and where.” In my small group last week I realized I don’t sit back and listen to God enough. I pray & I study His word but I don’t sit back & listen. I feel like God is telling me to sit back & listen to this verse for some reason <3 thank God!

    • Emily Rux

      I am in a similar place, I am so eager to talk to God and read His word, but I have a hard time sitting back and listening to His response and instruction.

    • Missy

      Exact same thing I feel He has been telling me! Take time to listen!!

  • This song came to mind as I was reading the devotion this morning. Hope y’all have a blessed week!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dZMBrGGmeE

    • Elisabeth7291

      Love Revelation Song – thank you for the link!

    • Tricia C

      Funny I was singing that song after reading Revelation 5:13. Singing blessing and honor and glory and power forever to our God.

  • some great scriptures today. Love seeing the old testament prophecy so clearly fulfilled in Christ. I am not worthy but praise God for he has washed me clean.

  • peanut cheese

    I love how the theme of rest in God plays a role in both today’s reading and devotion. Something I’m finding hard to find. But it is there, in God.

  • Caroline C

    Wonderful read!

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