Lent 2017: You Are Mine: Day 46

A New Creation

by

Today's Text: Isaiah 63:15-19, Isaiah 64:1-12, Isaiah 65:1-25, Matthew 26:20-50

Text: Isaiah 63:15-19, Isaiah 64:1-12, Isaiah 65:1-25, Matthew 26:20-50

A few nights ago, I threw myself down in my big fluffy chair to read Isaiah 65. It had been a long week with things going “differently” than I’d expected—meaning, EVERYTHING FELL APART. When days like these come to an end, all I know to do is make myself a cup of chai tea with almond milk, diffuse some essential oil that promises to ease all my stress, and sit down, Bible open, to whatever passage someone has encouraged me to read, just hoping it might make a difference in my attitude.

Those nights. You know the ones I’m talking about? The nights when you start spinning, thinking about how things could be going better, how life seems harder than it should be and isn’t exactly what you thought you were signing up for. As I read from Isaiah that night, I talked to God about what I was seeing on the page and how I longed for Him to show up.

Honestly, it’s not that I need Him to fix everything that feels broken in my life. Sure, sometimes I want a quick, easy fix to my problems, but I know what planet I’m living on. I know things here are hardly ever easy and never ever perfect. Jesus said it would be hard, but that He had overcome (John 16:33). Why don’t I remember that verse more often?

Trust me: there are plenty of nights when I just want to turn on Netflix and let episodes of Friends run back-to-back until even the screen seems to ask, “Are you still watching?” But this night was different. I knew I needed the quiet, not the noise or some other distraction. I knew I needed to connect with God, not pull away from Him.

It was a forced behavior, to be sure, but that happens in all relationships, doesn’t it? Moments when you want to isolate, but then you remember the commitment you’ve made, and somehow love leads you back toward relationship instead of running away from it.

So I drank my tea and I read. And there it was: New heaven. New earth. New.

Yes, I thought, I want NEW. I want a world where destruction—of places, of culture, of dreams and hearts and hopes—is barely a distant memory. I don’t know if it was God’s Word, the diffusing oils, or a combination of the two, but my heart started to calm down.

I think that’s what these pages and stories from Scripture are meant to do for the people of God—to remind us of what God is actively doing today and what He’s promised to do when He makes all things new (Isaiah 65:17). He is the One who answers even before we call. He is the One who acts while I’m still asking. He is the One who promises He’s present in any and all circumstances.

On that Tuesday night, before I’d even finished calling on Him, God answered me with peace and connection—with His very presence.

I think that will be the best part of the “new” that’s to come: God’s palpable and pervasive presence, uninterrupted by my sin or attitude or even Netflix. There’s so much about our eternity that is going to be beyond good, but being face to face with the God who hears and sees and answers and loves me completely? That’s the part I look forward to the most.

SRT-LENT2017-Instagram46s

  • I have to admit, I’m gonna miss this study so much. Now that we’re nearing the end, I just wanna start all over again because Isaiah is just so rich, and these reflections are so fitting and refreshing. praise the Lord for His word that is ever active and alive, and thank you SRT for your devotion to His work!

  • The part about Jesus answering before we call and acting while we’re still asking reminds me of something one of my pastors said during a Christmas Eve service. He was talking about how people were praying for the Messiah to come, not knowing the He had already come in the form of a baby. And the way he worded it was something about God answering our prayers before we even know He’s answered. And I love that idea. Thank God for the prayers He’s already answered!

  • Vicki Macklin

    I felt like this devotion was written just for me and about me (I love how God works like that!). I too have had “one of those days” that have been hard and resulted in reactions and attitudes I am not particularly proud of…..ok, just plain ashamed of. But in His Word He reminds us that, “the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes” and “we are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hands.” In days like today, I am reminded He is still molding me…He just needs to mold me more some days than others! I am so glad I found “She Reads Truth”….such a blessing and helping me get into His Word and letting it speak truth into my life!

  • peanut cheese

    Thank you so much for today’s devotional. I have to say that I still haven’t gotten around to reading the passages – and that’s what it’s all about, but it already struck me because I’ve been fleeing from myself a bit too. And at the moment it feels like everything is about to fall apart. I still have some hope that it won’t, but the mere thought makes me run away from myself and having difficulty finding time. I’ll tidy all around me and then make that cup of chai (or whatever) and then try to properly read. In the meantime, can I ask you to pray along with me? I’m just feeling really edgy, insecure and fickle and need some real guidance, comfort and maybe some sort of a miracle.

    • Emily B.

      Even if everything falls apart, don’t forget about “But God…” I pray He’ll be with your emotions and help you with whatever’s going on in your life.

  • Whenever I feel under stress or just need to relax I try to turn toward God. Sometimes it is my bible that I open, other times a music album with hymns or songs from scripture. It does bring peace, every time that I need it. Amen!

  • Nydia Lugo

    This is what I needed to hear. I’m so grateful to have found this website. I pray it would strengthen my relationship with my heavenly Father.

  • Sabrina Klomp

    Yes! All of these have been my thoughts this week. Thank you for sharing!

  • This passage and devotional was so timely! Over the past few years of lots of trials and difficulties, I slowly started to pull away from the Lord. And it really started with just small changes…choosing to spend time watching TV instead of in His Word, choosing to stay home instead of going to Church or Bible study, stepping away from serving, etc. And I’m not trying to point to legalism, but rather saying that these were the small decisions that would end up pushing me further and further away from trusting the Lord and into a world of (trying to) trust only myself. And eventually I found myself in a place of hopelessness and honestly just hating the person I had become, so void of love and peace and joy. And yet, God didn’t give up! Just like we’ve been reading in Isaiah, God is in the business of pursuing and restoring His people. And He showed me that it would be the small decisions that would also lead me back into fellowship with Him. And this time they wouldn’t be done out of a sense of duty and obligation but out of a deep trust and love and commitment to Him. And man, it is like a whole new relationship with Him! So thankful that God loves us enough to not let us stay where we are!

    • Emily B.

      That’s awesome! I hope you continue to see how He’s working in your life–He’s not going anywhere. ;)

  • Keri McCue

    “but then you remember the commitment you’ve made, and somehow love leads you back toward relationship instead of running away from it.” – This reminds me so much that love in all forms isn’t just a feeling. Love is action, love is showing up even on the days we don’t want to, love is continuously growing and learning. And it never fails, I always grow the most, and most comforted when I DO love even if I don’t feel like it. THAT is when it’s most rewarding and fulfilling!!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

    • Lana

      This is the part that stuck out for me as well. I’m the queen of isolating. QUEEN. God has been working on me with this. I was actually just choosing to isolate again, and then BOOM, this message. I won’t. I’ll make the effort and ask God for help. Thank you for the reminder that when you DO love even when you don’t feel like it, that’s when it’s the most rewarding. I needed to hear that. Thanks, Keri.

  • Alecia Huval

    This lent has been unexpected. Started out eliminating alcohol incorporating more yoga and less TV. Then, after almost 3 years of trying I finally got pregnant. I’m 7 weeks today – no more exercise for now. I’ve been constantly worried I won’t see the baby or somehow it didn’t make it. I hate this feeling. This feeling like I’m not trusting God because we’ve struggled so much. Like this life is for everyone else but me. I go in today and please pray that this kid is still thriving and all the spirulina smoothies are working! Most of all please pray my anxious is replaced with God’s confidence. I really want to enjoy this time of my life. Happy Holy Week!

    • Kersti

      Oh wow what a blessing! I’m really excited for you!
      Fun fact your little one is almost done creating every organ in its ENTIRE body! Seriously by around 8 weeks, a heart, brain, liver, kidneys & feet are all formed and now just get to grow and keep developing!
      I pray great comfort over your heart and mind today. I pray that you take all your worries and fears to God, he is big enough to hold them all! This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter! May the little one grow strong and healthy!

    • She Reads Truth

      Alecia, what joy! Praying for you and your little one. Asking the Lord for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

      – Stormye

    • Micah lee

      Congratulations!!! What a wonderful event for lent

    • Bethany

      Praying for you!

    • Emily B.

      I hope God calmed your spirit today, and I pray He does that every day in the future. :)

  • Thought this was a great devotional that really spoke to me. This has been a difficult study, trying to get through Isaiah and keep the big picture in mind. This reminds me to stay close to God and not continually try to do things my own way with God as an after thought.

  • Churchmouse

    Since He is the One Who answers even before I call, and since He is the One Who acts while I’m still asking, and since He is the One Who promises He’s present in any and all circumstances, and since He is God and He is good and He loves me, I can be at peace. Thank you, Annie and SRT, for the reminder. I so love “since”! All truth. All good.

    • Jesus Girl

      So very true Churchmouse & you said it so well! I too would like to thank SRT for giving and sharing such wonderful guidance to God’s word. We certainly couldn’t make it without our Lord!

  • “…you did what was evil in my eyes, and chose what I did not delight in” …But then: “Therefore, my servants shall eat but​ you shall go hungry.”. This comforts me so much, that no matter how crazy this world gets, if I’m seeking the Lord, if I’m choosing what delights Him (doesn’t that seem easier somehow?) even when the current culture tells me my beliefs and God’s ways are wrong – that He will take care of me. Even when the faithful were led into exile, He took care of them, He was with them. Maybe it wasn’t the way they would have preferred! But He kept His promise to them, and He will keep His promises to us, even when the world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket.

  • I am struck by Isaiah 54:8…Yet You Lord.

    The previous verses are a stark reminder of just how filthy I am even when I am trying to cover myself in “righteous acts” that are like dirty rags before the holiness of God. Isaiah asks how then can we be saved? (v. 5). Great question Isaiah…it certainly is not by our own attempts! And then I read Matthew and the Yet You Lord takes on a whole new level of meaning as it sinks in that even though even my attempts to be righteous before God are deeply unclean, God bent low in the form of His Son who would look upon His sleeping disciples with love (and probably some frustration!) with the full weight of the end on His heart and mind. He would even look Judas, His betrayer, in the eyes and still call him a friend. How can we be saved? Through the willingly given, broken sacrifice of Jesus. If it wasn’t for the compassion and love in the Yet You Lord, Jesus wouldn’t have come to die for me for God could have just said “oh well…maybe next time.” But He didn’t. He doesn’t. He is working and redeeming every moment of every day because despite how much I fail and flail around, He is still my Father, my Creator, My God who will continue to draw and pursue me until I take my final breath. It’s the most wonderfully overwhelming truth of my life!

  • My identity has been found anew. I know who I am. I am His. I probably should have seen this coming, what with the title of this study being “You are Mine.” However I really had no clue just how relevant the book of Isaiah is to me today. My Lenten journal is overflows with verses that revive my identity in Christ and of His promises as my Father.
    Today’s reading from Matthew reminds me that all this came at a price. Who am I that the Lord would suffer so much so that I could be called a daughter of God and spend eternity with Him. I am just one soul. But apparently I am precious in His eyes. Has my life to date revealed my grateful heart? I think the Lord is calling me to sit with these feelings over the next three days and hopefully come to believe that My salvation is worth the brutal sacrifice of Jesus. That he did this for me and for every single one of you.

    • Zoe

      “That my salvation is worth the brutal sacrifice of Jesus.” I really struggle with feeling worth it! My head knows Jesus died for me but my heart doesn’t always believe that I’m worthy even thought God says I am. How audacious, right? To think I know something about myself better than God, who calls me beloved. It’s a tough struggle. Praying that we and all women stop doubting our worth in Christ, because to him we are priceless treasures.

    • She Reads Truth

      So thankful for this and thankful that the Lord has revealed this to you! What a beautiful thing to know your identity in Him. Grateful for you today, Michlyn.

      – Stormye

    • Emily B.

      It is so hard to fathom that Jesus still would’ve endured such a painful death if only one of us would be saved. Thank you for your words today–they’re encouraging to me!

  • My story so far has been sad, trouble filled, scary, heartbreaking, and full of brokenness, confusing… and the negatives go on…
    On occasion in the past I would often be heard to say in response to the question, “what would you change if you could about your life?”…..I would want to know my mother in my childhood, I would want to change my feelings of rejection, I would change meeting and marrying my first husband, so as not to be beaten, abused mentally, live in fear…the list from a life that has been mine goes on…
    But here’s the thing… What if I HAD to go through those things, walk that journey, to be where I am today, not fully me … the me God created me to be, but by golly, closer to that plan of Gods than my own?
    I pondered that question, many a time, and I remember one day thinking … but if I didn’t marry him, I wouldn’t have had my beautiful girl, the one positive from that marriage. My heart soared and hurt at the same time, the revelation that I needed to be in that place and time, to live that life then, and to go through what I did because, without that journey, that struggle, that pain and hurt, I would not have had my daughter… A new creation, the gift from God, I would not have known the deep mothers love I felt for her, the joys we shared, or even known her smile…I would never have held a hand so beautiful and small, I would never have heard her say, I love you Ma, with a twinkle in her eye…

    So back to the question, what would I change… I would change Nothing… I couldn’t.. I absolutely couldn’t.

    But God….

    He could…

    He is the One who answers even before we call. He is the One who acts while I’m still asking. He is the One who promises He’s present in any and all circumstances…. He knows my thoughts, my feelings, my journey….. Every step, and He promises a new day, a new dawn, each day, but most importantly He promises a New creation, a new beginning… where the life I have endured, though now it leads me to God, will no longer be so… no more sorrow, no more pain, no more weeping, the events of the past will be forgotten..there will be joy, rejoicing, happiness… there will be nothing harmful or evil or heartbreaking… I’m in…
    Looking forward to that day, for now, I walk with the God who has Loved me, shown Grace, given me Hope, me through my trials, my storms, my highs, my lows……

    Praising you always Lord God, Thank you for everything, Thank you.♥

    Praying God turn His face to shine on you my Sisters… with love…xxx

    • leeann

      may God richly bless you.

    • Jen

      So very beautiful…thank you❤️

      • Kersti

        What powerful truth. You lived through all that to be brought to this point of praise. Wow. You are strong!

    • Allie Smith

      Your story brought me to tears…God bless you for walking with him through dark times, and still being thankful on the other side. I had a verbally abusive father and I have since forgiven him, trusted God with what happened when I was a kid, and thanked God for how he showed himself to be my perfect father, but in a dark season of my life right now I had somehow forgotten how God showed himself so faithful….your story and your reflection so helped bring truth back to mind. Thank you

    • She Reads Truth

      What a beautiful testament to the Lord! Thank you for sharing this, Tina. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    • ~ B ~

      Love you Tina! You are such a beautiful light and your story is so profound!

    • Sarah Joy

      Thank you for sharing. I had a conversation last night with a friend who shared the deep pain of rejection twice over. She feels so broken and incapable of trusting again. Your testimony speaks of God’s ability to redeem anyone regardless of what they’ve experienced. Thank you for sharing.

  • New Creation, New Garden, New Life …

    “Will you restrain yourself from at these things, O Lord?” The entire portion of Isaiah 64:1-12 speaks so much to my heart this morning and has me recalling something I wrote for Maundy Thursday awhile back because I know the reality is that I slept while Jesus prayed, that I denied Him, that I kissed His cheek and still He sacrificed Himself so that I may be new, so that I may have The Garden. Restraint? God doesn’t show restraint in His passion over us, in His love over us. He doesn’t holdback the best portions. Oh this day and Good Friday always rock my heart, knowing what my Savior did for me.

    “Crisp air rose tall and deep on the dark sky as He stood alone in the garden, hands to His face, blood stained tears falling. Darkness illuminated by innocence and the weight of His decision hanging heavy like humidity on a southern summer night. Alone, hands to Heaven knowing the road ahead, knowing a wretched death was ensured … leaving Him a pendant to destruction, yet He stood. He stood, those He loved asleep around him, soon to deny Him leaving Him empty, ready to receive what God would pour out on the world. Like an empty bucket in a storm He would invite rain in wrath and in turn pour Himself onto us, His persecutors, so that we could gain, so that we could grow, so that we could know … forever sealing us to our Father in Heaven. And so He walked out of the garden that Maundy Thursday ready and willing, accepting the kiss of His betrayal afoot into redemption and securing OUR position in the garden.”

    • Tina

      B, after watching the Passion last night with my prayer group, and the enormity of Jesus’ last days, hitting me, I find tears rolling down my cheeks as I read your words…, what truth. I was asleep too whilst He prayed, I was also one, if not all, who attacked him, I was the cause of His pain, the beating, the crown of thorns, those nails… His crucifixion.. I hurt, B, yet, Jesus did know, His love greater than I could ever imagine, He knew and still He took my/our punishment so we would know the love of the Father and the Hope of life to come…
      I hurt.
      I ache.

      But for Jesus, I am secure…., free…., saved.

      Thank you Jesus…♥

      Hoping you are well my friend and that life is being kind to you and yours… sending you love and hugs across the pond…
      Happy Easter.♡♥ x

      • ~ B ~

        Happy Easter to you, T! I hope it is a beautiful day for you and yours.

    • Emily B.

      I like the picture of Jesus at the Garden. Thank you for sharing!

    • Zoe

      Thank you for this

    • Lana

      Thank you for this fresh perspective.

    • Cecelia Enns Schulz

      Wow. Just wow. Sometimes I need to really sit in the blackness of that night. Remembering that it was because of me. It was for me. Jesus endured and gave and forgave for me. And it wasn’t begrudgingly. I was the joy set before him. He thought about me. And knew that it was worth it. I was worth it. We were worth it. It is too much to take in. My mind can’t wholly grasp it. But with all I am I want to thank him for this gift. I want to live life blessing his heart. And my tears flow.

  • I’m reading over the last supper with fresh eyes and I see that even after Jesus calls out Judah’s as his betrayer, he still gives him the bread & wine of communion. I’m not sure what parallels to draw from that but am mulling it over this year.

    • Zoe

      I had a friend once tell me that she couldn’t stand to go to mass because of all the liars she saw around her. The unfaithful spouses, the drunks… etc. at the time I didn’t know how to answer her. Years later, I know that those are exactly the reasons we go to church! Why we need Jesus! We are all unfaithful. We are all drunk on some idol other than Jesus Christ. And despite it all, God invites us in, offers us communion with him by His flesh and blood. He turns no one away who seeks Him. HE IS SO GOOD! And we are all so loved. Even if mountains are moved and hills displaced, we are not separated from God’s devotion! If no earthly disaster can bring us down, certainly no act we commit could ever take us away from
      The Lord who eagerly forgives repentant hearts. Communion with Christ is for all.

    • Michelle C.

      So interesting. The thing that stood out to me with this reading was that Jesus called Judas “friend,” even as he was betraying Him.

  • You have no idea how on point your words were for me this morning! What you chose to focus on is exactly what I so desperately needed to hear Him say to me today. Thank you!

  • Nikki Mock

    I’m an expert on running away and hiding myself behind other things. Definitely need to work on my pursuit of Christ and turning to Him when the rough patches come.

  • Sarah Joy

    Reading the passages from Matthew startled me. It’s too soon, I thought. Then I realized what day it is. No, it’s right on time. Just as Jesus must have known in that moment. His disciples questioned, wondered, worried, fell asleep, freaked and ran.
    But Jesus… continued His steady movement towards completing His mission. He knew He was fulfilling promises and prophesies. And nothing, no one would get between Him and finishing what He came to do.

    Thank you Jesus for coming. Thank you for your submission to the Father despite the cost. You are beyond comprehension.

  • Claire Bills

    Love today’s study. Great passages, great study and inspiring me to stop. To take time to be quiet and rest with God. To reconnect because of his love. Thanks srt!

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