Let It Go!

‘Get rid of that slave woman and her son.’ Genesis 21:10 NIV

Some people simply can’t help themselves. When God doesn’t deliver what they want within the timeframe they’ve asked for, they have to ‘help’ Him out. Abraham tried to hurry the plan of God along with some well-intentioned but misguided human effort. As a result, Ishmael was born.

We all have our ‘Ishmaels’—a good idea that wasn’t a God idea. And it can complicate your life so badly. So God told Abraham He would bless Ishmael but he still needed to be removed from Abraham’s life. In other words: ‘It’s time to deal with your past and clean up the mess. It’s holding you back, and until you deal with it you can’t move forward!’

Sometimes your miracle (Isaac) and your mistake (Ishmael) can live together for a while under the same roof. Things can be so good in one area of your life, yet so bad in another. But there comes a time when God says, ‘Because of the plans I have for you, you must put this thing out of your life.’ And that’s not easy. It’s painful letting go of what your flesh craves or cherishes.

But you have only two options: be led by your emotions and miss out on God’s best or say, ‘As much as I love this person or thing, I love the Lord more.’ When you’re willing to walk away from something you thought you had to have because you love God more, that’s called ‘the sacrifice of praise.’ (Hebrews 13:15 NIV) And when you offer it up to God, you position yourself to experience a new level of His blessing.

Is God speaking to you today about something similar in your life? If so, let it go!

SoulFood: Isa 53:1–12, Acts 8:26–40

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019

Today’s Readings

Isaiah 53 ()

()

53:1   Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
  For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
  he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
  He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
  and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
  Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
  yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
  But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
  upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
  All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
  and the LORD has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
  like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
  By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
  that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
  And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
  although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10   Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
  when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
  the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11   Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
  by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12   Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
  because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
  yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Acts 8:26–40 ()

()

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:

  “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
    and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    so he opens not his mouth.
33   In his humiliation justice was denied him.
    Who can describe his generation?
  For his life is taken away from the earth.”

34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

Sun 10 February, 2019


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