March 24, 2015

Read: Isaiah 53:5

Can you think of a time when someone did something very special for you?  It is certainly nice to be on the receiving end of someone else’s generosity and kindness.  I’m ashamed to admit that all too often I do not recognize or appreciate the things that others do or have done for me in the past.  

For example, it was years into my adult life before I realized and fully appreciated so many of the sacrifices my parents made for me and my siblings growing up. They worked nights, weekends, extra shifts, and often went without certain material possessions to provide for me and my siblings. And can you believe that they did all of this even when we acted like ungrateful brats!?!?

As wonderful as my parents’ generosity, love, kindness, and sacrifice was, it pales in comparison to what Christ did for us on the cross.  Isaiah 53 is a wonderful foretelling of the sacrifice Christ made, but more importantly, what that sacrifice means to us as Christians. The text tells us he was pierced, crushed, and punished. Not for any wrong he had done, but for our sins.  This one act of love and kindness provides us peace and healing. Without His sacrifice we would be faced with eternal separation from God.  Instead we not only have forgiveness of our sins, but friendship and fellowship with God.  

Pray:  

Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship.  

Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.  

Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness.  

Supplication: Petition God for growth in your character and personal discipline, and for physical health and strength.  Ask for Him to empower you for spiritual warfare against the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil.  Ask for help regarding your activities of the day and other concerns you have.  Intercede for the poor and hungry, the oppressed and persecuted, and those in control of world resources.  Offer prayers for peace among the nations and current events and concerns.