Friday, March 30, 2018

Isaiah 53

Isaiah 53:1-12

[Messiah] 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 grief 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.

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 day. The will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 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.

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.

Isaiah prophesied these words 700 years before Messiah was crucified on a cross. His name is Yeshua—Jesus. He died as a sacrifice for the sins of those who by faith seek forgiveness and turn from sin. He conquered death three days later rising from the tomb and promises eternal life for those who follow Him in faith. 

Ask Him for forgiveness. Turn away from the things that have separated you from the God who loves you. Put your faith in Messiah. Follow Yeshua. He died for you. Follow Jesus. He is risen!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Shalom and Racial Reconciliation

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission published an article—the first of a two-part series—I wrote on racial reconciliation. You can access it by clicking the link below.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Remembering Lottie

Following is my annual reminder of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for missions:

Each December, Southern Baptist churches collect offerings for missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. Here are some facts about Lottie Moon summarized from an ERLC newsletter, “The Weekly” published December 11, 2015:

Charlotte "Lottie" Moon, born in 1840, earned a Master of Arts and on July 7, 1873 was appointed as a missionary to China by the Foreign Mission Board. In 1885 she became the first American woman to adopt Chinese dress and language. Moon reported, “We need to make friends before we can make converts.”

In 1888 the Woman’s Missionary Union was founded and Moon suggested collecting a Christmas offering for mission work in China.  Named for Lottie Moon in 1918, the offerings have collected almost $4 billion since it began.  

During famine, Moon shared her meager food and finances adversely affecting her health. By 1912 she weighed only 50 pounds. Friends sent her to the U.S. but she died en route at the age of 72.  Her life is told in the movie, “The Lottie Moon Story,” and she is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church. In China, a monument to her at Dengzhou Baptist Church has a brief description with the words, “How she loved us.”