Scriptural Gem for July 2014

In Isaiah 43:6-7 we read: 'I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth - everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.'

In the last verse of the passage above we have three different Hebrew words used to describe the work of God in those who are called by His name. The first is 'Bara' - a word used exclusively of God in Genesis chapter 1. It means 'to create out of nothing'. The second word (formed) is 'Yatsar'. This word means 'to squeeze into shape' - and is used in Hebrew to describe the work of a potter. The third word (translated 'made') is 'Asah'. This word means 'to accomplish'. So, in Isaiah 43:7 we have God's creative process described in the widest possible sense - from creation out of nothing all the way through to completion.

The question we need to face dear friends is how much of our Christianity is self-manufactured? Is He truly the beginning and the end of your identity as a 'Christian' or have you gone away with some kitset assembly instructions and 'styled' yourself according to what you think a Christian should look like? To me the worst example of this is the popular wearing of  'WWJD' (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets. Let us get one thing straight - only Jesus can do as Jesus would do. To say that you can 'do as Jesus did' is pure blasphemy. Only if He is truly living in you will you bring forth the actions of Christ and it will be Him doing them, not you. Neither will those actions be something you have to 'think' about. They will flow naturally.

Father forgive us for our kitset Christianity. Please create, shape and complete us all over again. A new creation for the display of your splendour. Amen  

Werner Schreiber