Tuesday, April 1, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 102: The Rescue Plan

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 102, April 1, 2014
Readings: Psalm 102, Leviticus 9, Isaiah 7, Isaiah 8, 2 Corinthians 4:1-18, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10

God has always known what he's doing. He knew what humanity would do when he made them. He knew, each time that he rescued his people, each time he forgave them, that they would break his heart. That they would reject him. And yet he chose to create us. To pursue us. To love us. Never has he faltered. And this love is not only for "his people," the people of Israel - it is for all.

This is what Jesus was furious about with the Pharisees, and all the people that had come before them. Israel was never meant to be a "chosen nation" that would never interact with others. Israel was always intended to be a nation that God blessed and loved, carrying the message of the one true God to others around them. They were to be the example that drew others in. God wanted other nations to see God's work in the Israelites and compare the true God to their false gods.

But the Israelites were selfish and haughty. They took what God gave and kept it for themselves, while constantly flirting with other gods and other nations. God knew this would happen, and so, from the beginning of time, God had other plans. And He didn't even keep it a secret!

Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD:
that he looked down from his holy height;
from heaven the LORD looked at the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die,
that they may declare in Zion the name of the LORD,
and in Jerusalem his praise,
when peoples gather together,
and kingdoms, to worship the LORD. (Psalm 102:18-22)

Hundreds of years before Christ, the Psalmist shares God's heart for the world. God desires that many nations will come to him. That he plans to save them, to release them from their shackles. I am one of those prisoners. I have been set free by God's plan, the plan he has had since the beginning.

Blessed and freed by God, I am set apart, as Israel once was. I have a choice about what to do with my freedom, my blessings. I can keep them for myself, as Israel did, or I can declare the love of God to the nations. I can show who God is and how He loves us. How He gave everything for us. How he has loved us since the beginning of time. God's love, God's grace, was never intended for me to keep to myself. He always desired that it would be spread and shared.

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