Lent 2017: You Are Mine: Day 44

The Glory of the Lord

by

Today's Text: Isaiah 60:1-22, Isaiah 61:1-11, Matthew 25:31-46

Text: Isaiah 60:1-22, Isaiah 61:1-11, Matthew 25:31-46

My grandmother’s Sunday best was almost always paired with a favorite accessory—her geese pin. Given to her by my grandfather decades prior, it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I learned the meaning behind it: geese are birds that mate for life. The pin represented his vow to her, a promise he kept.

The cherished pin, brass with two geese flying in the same direction, is one I saw my grandmother wear many times as she sat in the front row of the church pews, watching my grandfather as he sang solos in the church choir. It’s what she wore during their 50th wedding anniversary party, smiling as they snapped a picture together under the backyard tree that had witnessed their marriage blossom. It could be found pinned to her black dress on the day of my grandfather’s funeral, and on her shirt most of the days that followed.

Although my grandmother was usually in the kitchen making a coconut cake while my grandfather was picking bell peppers from his garden, they were always in hollering distance from one another. They came as a packaged deal. On the rare occasion you’d see them apart, maybe in the grocery store or on a fishing boat, their contribution to any conversation was always spent bragging on and missing the other. After my grandfather was gone, I think the geese pin helped my grandmother follow the routine they’d established together. It was a prized piece of jewellry, displaying the treasure of their union.

Isaiah also proudly displays a prized possession: the picture he’s been given of final glory. He rarely describes people and God as separated because his sight is set on the vision of being united. On the rare occasion he does see them apart, in our earthly aching and hoping, he doesn’t stop seeing us in the light of God’s radiance. We have been given a similar promise to that of the geese: eternal life together with Him. It is God’s covenant to us, one He will keep—the unity that was and is and will be again, forever.

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord shines over you.
For look, darkness covers the earth,
and total darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will shine over you,
and His glory will appear over you.
-Isaiah 60:1-2

Isaiah’s words help us look forward to heavenly things, but they do more than that. They give us a lens to look through in the meantime. Yes, the Lord will shine over us, and His glory will appear over us for eternity. Hallelujah! But until then, friends, let us not overlook the current rays of light, for they will only continue to grow and stretch and expand. Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shines over you. His glory is radiating daily, currently, actively.

Like my sweet grandmother’s pin, Isaiah’s words are a remembrance of what we have and what we can look forward to. May we bask in the rays of His glory, for we know we’ll see them shining fully soon.

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  • Molly Murtagh

    My life has been challenging to say the least for the last year and a half. I have diagnosed with breast cancer at 31 in Jan. of 2016. I underwent chemo, radiation, a bilateral mastectomy, and a hysterectomy. I’m BRCA-1 positive so my body likes frowning tumors (for lack of a better way to explain it). During this time all this was happening, my husband was battling acoholism. I kicked him out of the house at one point for endangering our 2 year old son. Thankfully he has been steadfast in healing and has been sober for 8 months. However, that and a host of other issues, coast him his job back in January of this year. Our medical bills continue to pile up and he continues to struggle in finding a job. All that being said, my life hasn’t had many rays of sunshine in it. After reading this devotional yesterday and opening up 6,000 dollars of new medical bills, I asked God for help. I’ve been asking him for this help for some time and I have felt abandoned and lost. I didn’t know what to listen for or what to look for. I didn’t know how to hear him. I want to follow his path but I didn’t know how to do that. Well after my prayers last night, I awoke to the idea of starting a gofundme.com page. I battled with the idea. My pride strongly saying no but I felt in my heart it was God telling me to do this. So after hours of debate I did it. And in just 8 hours, the wonderful people in my life have raised almost half of what I need. He is there. He is listening. It’s His plan and His timing. I know it’s been said a million times and I knew I had to wait for it but oh how good it is when you feel his love. Thank you sisters as I have struggled to feel a connection with God. Your thoughts, ideas and voices have helped me stay the course. I am blessed to read your thoughts daily. Thank you for welcoming me into your community.
    If you’d like to support me or read more about my battle, you can visit http://www.gofundme.com/mollys-cancer-support

    Thank you!

    • Molly Murtagh

      And you really should proofread what you write!

    • She Reads Truth

      Molly, praying for you and your family in this difficult and trying time. Asking the Lord for healing and provision and restoration. Grateful to have you in the SRT community.

      – Stormye

  • Keri McCue

    What an encouraging reflection today! It’s so comforting that we can look ahead and know that He’s coming, know we will be able to spend eternity praising Him!!!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Theresa Brady

    What a lovely picture of two people living and loving together through our Lord, “the geese pin! I pray that God will send me someone who will love me until “death do us part”. What a beautiful testament of Gods love for us, his love that will never walk away!

  • Thankful that we get a choice of what lens we are going to look through. I choose to look through the lens of Christ, not the lens of my circumstances.

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

  • For the past few years I have been trying to live my life according to my dreams, my wants and not what God wants. I have been so confused on my direction, but recently I found a great article that was titled “What you are doing wrong to move forward.” This was so enlightening. When I read it, I just thought to myself, God you move in mysterious ways!! Well during this time, I had applied for a job, thinking that’s where I needed to be, that was the perfect job and this was it. I am moving on, finally!! Well I got a phone call yesterday and I did not get the job. When you think you know where to go in life and think you are on track, God will push you even further to where HE thinks you need to be. This passage was perfect for me to read today. He is working everyday to make us a child of His and where we can use our abilities for Him and serve others in the process. Do not settle on where you are or on where you think you need to be to be comfortable in life. God does not want us comfortable. He wants us to be challenged, be better than we were yesterday and to work harder to be a child of His that he is proud to look at on this Earth. I can just imagine standing in front of God on that day of judgement and Him knowing all my flaws and sins and Him still loving me. Without His guidance I would not be where I am not nor where I will be in the future. He knows better than I do my life and my life’s purpose. Amen!

    • SarahMay

      Amen! I’m in a similar circumstance–while waiting for my “dream job” to come through (2 months after I interviewed), I received a phone call for another job. Immediately I thought it was a distraction, but came to see it was even better than the first, in so many ways. Only my Jesus, me Shepherd, could do this. Praying you know His voice and leading during this time! Lean not on your own understanding, and in all your ways acknowledge Him!

  • Diane Huntsman

    Lord I pray for all of those who can’t see beyond the current darkness they are facing today.. I ask You to break through the thick dark wall of pain, disappointment, fear, whatever the ailment is that inhibits seeing You clearly.. may the current circumstances that hinder a clear view of You be lifted.. may Your presence be felt and Your promises be claimed.. this life is a vapor of smoke appearing for a time and then vanishing.. help the suffering saints to see beyond what seems so hopeless and so hard.. please replace sorrow with joy unspeakable.. in the life giving and sustaining name of Jesus I pray.. amen
    Friend.. you are not forgotten!! Hold tight to His promises!!!! xoxo

  • Loved this reading and its devotional this morning. I read Isaiah 60 and 61 all in the present tense – meaning God will make all of this come to pass in my life right now. He will shine over me, give me riches and joy. Why will he do these things? Because I have mended my relationship with Him by committing to our relationship. I remember that he is the one responsible for all my blessings. And when people try to exalt me, I don’t take credit. I say, “thank you, but it wasn’t all me. It was mostly God.”

    And they will be righteous trees, planted by the Lord to glorify him. Isaiah 61:3. That is our purpose. To have a daily, committed, loving, public relationship with God. And not because you *have* to or because you’re *supposed* to. Because you’re actually truly happy in your relationship with him. You love glorifying him. It comes naturally. Just like the author’s grandparents!

    It goes back to Song of Solomon. God is your husband and you spend time with him every day, seek to understand him better, you enjoy his company and you love him. He does the same for us. He seeks us out, protects us, shows his appreciation and love. That’s the relationship God seeks with us.

    And I really, really love how they paired Matthew 25 with this Isaiah reading. Because Isaiah says, when you have this kind of relationship with God, you will be blessed in mega ways. And then Matthew follows up saying this glorifying God and God glorifying you isn’t about your ego or God’s (nonexistent) ego. God blesses you so that you may glorify Him by being a blessing to others. It’s like a Holy circle of love. You love God. God loves you. You share some of this love with others. And I am so here for it!

  • [email protected]

    It is a (for lack of a better word) weird spot to be in. Knowing that I am already saved, Jesus as already won the battle…and yet still live in this sinful world with my sinful nature. It can be tough because my responses/choices here on earth will either accelerate or hinder my sanctification. I ran across this scripture in my study this week,
    Rom 15:4 “For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through encouragement from the scriptures.”
    Just another reminder that God has given us His Word for instruction, endurance, and encouragement. As long as I stay in the Word and “hooked up” with the Spirit I have everything I need to experience joy through Christ here in the middle, between justification and glorification!

  • Thankful the Lord shines over me & I anxiously await the day He comes for us! ❤

  • 17 I will bring gold instead of bronze;
    I will bring silver instead of iron,
    bronze instead of wood,
    and iron instead of stones.
    I will appoint peace as your guard
    and righteousness as your ruler.

    I love this verse! I love the imagery of God taking the earthly weaker materials and replacing them with beauty and strength.

    It’s also beautiful to read that peace will be our guard and righteousness our ruler. When He makes all things new worry, doubt, anxiety, temptation, etc. won’t rule in our lives BUT peace and righteousness will. That is balm to an anxious worriers heart!

    • Emily B.

      I agree! Thank you for sharing about that image and what it means for us!

  • 19 The sun shall be no more be
    your light by day,
    nor for brightness shall the moon
    give you light;
    but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
    and your God will be your glory.
    This was the verse that came to me as I prayed for my sick Nanny a good number of years ago now. I’ll never forget it. She passed away soon after but, as sad as it was, I felt peaceful knowing she was at peace with God; the verse seemed so appropriate.
    May I always remember my God is my glory!

  • I love the imagery of current rays of light that we receive. There are so many amazing gifts that he extends to us daily and I can’t fathom how awesome it will be when that day comes. It’s funny that the day the devotion is about rays of light, it is a rare 85 degrees and sunny here in PA! I think I’ll take it as a sign of his glory as I take in those rays today.

    On another note, the passage in Matthew has always troubled me a bit, and I’m wondering if others feel the same. While I try to do my best with serving others, there will always be more hungry, poor, needy people that I can’t get to. I know I’m not meant to serve every single one, but I think I still feel a bit of failure that I haven’t reached those people as well when I see them. I know that those feelings aren’t from God, but I do wish I was able to help the many people that are unreached. Anyone else feel that way?

    Praying you all have a blessed day full of his rays of light.

    • Susan

      Yes I too feel failure in the serving area of my life, but God knows that all of us cannot “go” but we can “do” and most are called to do right where they are. I struggle with this as many in my immediate family travel overseas to help the hurting and I never have and feel guilty. But God has made it clear that my ministry is here, at least for now. No small service is failure. They are all huge in His eyes!

    • Sandy

      I think God placed people in our life that we can help. Always remember to listen to the spirit as it speaks to your heart. You will know when He is calling you to help the poor, the hungry, and clothe the naked. It’s not always literal too! Think of those things as spiritual needs too! You may be speaking truth into someone’s life and not even realize how it helps them. It’s not just the physical needs we are called to help. All God’s goodness shines through us so that they may see His glory!

    • Kellie

      Caitie–I can definitely relate to the feeling similarly about the passage in Matthew! Trusting that we would go and do as He leads us in his righteousness and very thankful for you sharing your heart today!

  • Tochi Heredia

    I must confess that I’m blinded and overwhelmed by this present darkness. My hope is in being reunited with my Lord and basking in his light forever.
    I must confess that lately I’ve been wishing that my life here on Earth would end, so I could finally be with Him.
    The biggest encouragement I have today is that He Himself, our Lord Jesus Christ, had to go through the darkness of this world. He knows exactly what I feel. And it’s compelling to know we have a mission: to proclaim freedom to the captives.
    May God help us to be faithful on this Earth, as we await the fulfillment of our faith.

    • Jess

      Praying for you this morning sweet Tochi. That God’s would overwhelm you with His light today.

    • Claire

      Praying for you, Tochi!

    • Sandy

      I’m sorry you are hurting. I read over your words many times. I am walking through some heavy stuff as well. Please continue to find light and hope in your faith! Until God calls us home we have so much goodness to give others. Let your light shine so all can see that God will fill them. I will pray for you that don’t feel alone and that God will comfort you and His spirit guide you to that which He wants you to do. Blessings dear friend. Be encouraged, you are not walking alone!

    • Jen

      Releasing supernatural hope over you today! Where there appears to be no way may He show you the way.

    • Emily B.

      Life here on earth can be discouraging, especially when we know that we have a heavenly home waiting for us. But keep fighting the good fight! God’s got you, and He’s going to uplift your spirit. :)

    • CJ

      <3 praying that God will lift your spirits sweet one.

    • Andi

      I went through a time of depression after I lost my child 3 years ago. I would go days longing for God to bring me home. At one point I just woke up with this thought: we were not promised a perfect life on earth with our salvation. We were actually promised trials and darkness, but it’s what you’re doing with those trials that make the difference! I started volunteering in our children’s ministry at church every Sunday and found a small group (weekly bible study group). I begged God to renew me everyday and give me the opportunity to bless someone else because it was the only time I felt “normal”, if that makes sense. It was a slow process but I grew so much in the time.

      He can and will turn your sorrow into joy! I had to ask Him every single day to help me, but now, my life is overflowing! I never imagined I would be where I am. The sadness still finds me but not for long!

      • Diane Huntsman

        Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of hope!! May the Lord continue using you and your story to bless others!! I am deeply sorry for your loss! Love and hugs to you!! xo

      • valerie

        amen!
        that’s an awesome testimony andi!

      • She Reads Truth

        Andi, what a powerful testimony. Thank you so much for sharing this. Grateful to have you in this community.

        – Stormye

      • Kendra

        Love this!

      • Naomi

        What a beautiful testimony, Andi! May God continue to bless all you do in His name!

    • CC

      I have had those same feelings Tochi. Sometimes it feels like the weight of this broken world is too much. Praying that the Lord would strengthen and encourage you today with HIS power and love. Praying for little moments of encouragement that show you how deeply and intimately He cares for you. Those little moments always reminded me of His closeness and His good plans that He still has for me! Thank goodness He has overcome the world!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, friend. Thank you for your vulnerability in this hard time. Asking the Lord to renew your hope.

      – Stormye

    • Micah lee

      Praying for you, sister.

  • Churchmouse

    Isaiah 61:4. Rebuild. Restore. Renew. I look forward to this when He returns. I’m so grateful He graciously gives us “current rays of light” to encourage me until that day. When someone in our family has an exceptional experience they will say “It doesn’t get any better than this!” Then someone else will answer. “Oh yes it will!”. This life can be oh so good…and then there’s heaven! The blessings here pale with what is yet to be. My heart is full of praise this morning for His goodness and His generosity.

  • Christina

    I appreciate how Jesus’ words in the Matthew passage seem to practically explain Isaiah’s poetic prophecy. Those who remain under the darkness will not receive the blessing of eternity with God. Those who receive the blessing of eternity with God are those who obey by the power of the Spirit within them. My prayer for me today is to have eyes of discernment to see the need around me and to be numbered with the saints upon whom the light of Christ has shined by His power at work in and through me to meet the need.

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