I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through
Who can forget the fantastic moment when God opened the Red Sea and destroyed
Israel’s enemies behind them? What a remarkable day, a miracle unparalleled in human history!
as that miracle was, an even greater miracle is the salvation our God freely gives to all. When God gives us new hearts in
salvation, we are truly and miraculously reborn. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing
a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV).
Our salvation marks the closing of our past. It is forever gone, buried
under the waters of God’s grace. After crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites looked back across the waters and could
see nothing of their former captors. The bondage and servitude of the past was wiped out in a moment’s time. It was
as though God put up a sign that said, “No fishing allowed!”
Paul said “Because of Christ and our
faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome” (Ephesians 3:12). He
not only made a way out from our problems and sin, but He also made a way in to newness of life in Him. Whether you need to
come out of something or go in to something today, He is the Waymaker. Wherever He goes, His foes “run for their lives”
and “perish in the presence of God” (Psalm 68:1-2).
Daily Readings: Isaiah 43:14-45:10 • Ephesians
• Psalm 68:1-18 • Proverbs 24:1-2
Listen to me, all you who are left in Israel. I created you and have cared
for you since before you were born.
How can we fathom a God who has known us even before our birth? How can
we grasp the love of a God who says, “I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with
age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you”
was a great king of the Medes and Persians who was chosen by God to play a pivotal role in the life of the Jewish people.
Hundreds of years before his birth, however, Isaiah called him by name and proclaimed a very special prophecy concerning him
(Isaiah 45:13). Some traditions say that Daniel read this passage of prophecy to Cyrus, and it so moved him that he released
the Jewish people to return home from the Babylonian captivity.
Before we even had enough sense to follow God, the
Lord was carrying us and planning lives of destiny for us. He has ordained gifts and callings for us long before we were even
born. Paul said that Jesus
“gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and
the pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11). These callings were part of God’s plan for us and His Church from
the beginning of time.
Doesn’t it challenge and encourage you to know that God has a plan for your life—a
plan that is already known to Him? Your constant prayer should be, “Lord, I beg You to help me lead a life that is worthy
of Your calling” (Ephesians 4:1).
Daily Readings: Isaiah 45:11-48:11 • Ephesians 4:1-16
Psalm 68:19-35 • Proverbs 24:3-4
Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten
through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.
You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness—righteous, holy, and true.
The exciting reality of Christianity is that a believer becomes
a new person. In Ephesians 4, Paul contrasts the “old man” and the “new man.” The old man is a liar,
while the new man tells the truth (Ephesians 4:25). The old man is always angry, but the new man controls anger and makes
amends for it before the day is over (v. 26).
There are further contrasts between the old man and the new. The old
man is stingy and steals, but the new man has a desire to work hard and give to others (v. 28). The old man uses abusive language,
but the new man speaks words that encourage others (v. 29). The old man holds grudges and bitterness for years, but the new
man is kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving (v. 32).
For you to say that you have become a Christian yet continue to
lie, vent your wrath, steal, curse, and harbor unforgiveness is a contradiction in terms. As a Christian, you must put off
your old self and put on the new self, which was created to be like God. In this way, you will live a life “worthy of
your calling” (v. 1) by the grace God has given you through salvation.
Remember: You are a new person!
Readings: Isaiah 48:12-50:11 • Ephesians 4:17-32
• Psalm 69:1-18 • Proverbs 24:5-6
But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine to satisfy
In certain passages of the Psalms and in the book of Isaiah, two of the
greatest prophets of the Old Testament, David and Isaiah, provide a preview of Christ’s crucifixion hundreds of years
before it happened. How could even nonbelievers deny the incredible accuracy of their prophecies?
David foresaw the
moment when the soldiers would give Jesus gall and vinegar to drink upon the cross after He would say, “I am thirsty”
(John 19:28). David also clearly saw and described the crucifixion scene in Psalm 22:16, 18 as he foretold that Jesus’
hands and feet would be pierced and that the soldiers would cast lots for his clothing.
Isaiah, too, foresaw the suffering
of Christ upon the cross. He graphically described the disfiguring and marring of Jesus’ countenance (Isaiah 52:14).
He also saw that Jesus would be “wounded and crushed for our sins . . . beaten that we might have peace . . . whipped,
and we were healed!” (Isaiah 53:5). He saw Jesus “counted among those who were sinners” (two thieves hung
on either side of Him) and “put in a rich man’s grave” (vv. 12, 9). Finally, he saw that Jesus “interceded
for sinners” (v. 12), fulfilled in Luke 23:34 when He prayed, “Father, forgive these people, because they don’t
know what they are doing.”
Daily Readings: Isaiah 51:1-53:12 • Ephesians 5:1-33
• Psalm 69:19-36 • Proverbs 24:7