Weekly devotions to post this day from Missionary Pastor Lyle Kath
PALM SUNDAY-Old Testament
TEXT: Isaiah 50:4-9a
TITLE: “Hey, Flint Face!”
“Therefore, I have set my face like flint and I know I will not be put to shame.” Isa.50:7b
Children can be cruel. Sometimes they can be merciless with one another in calling each other names. “Hey, four eyes!” “Fatso!” “Hey Freckle-face!” Those can be very painful, and oft times, unforgettable experiences. Isaiah in this text tells what it’s like to be a prophet of God. For God’s Namesake, he was beaten, had his beard pulled out, mocked, spit upon, and (though not recorded here) sawn in two during the reign of Manasseh. On the one hand we were born cruel in our fallen nature. We have to go against our natural selves to be nice to somebody. Enter Jesus! On the other hand, Jesus has cleansed us of our sins and has given us the power to be truly nice to others!
Isaiah says he will set his face like flint and will not be put to shame; meaning he will be strong, immovable, and singular focused in his stand for God. Perhaps we could say Isaiah was setting himself up for more ridicule. “Hey Flint Face! Tell us some further flabergastic fables, Flint Face!” Name calling was perhaps one of the least of his worries. We can see he went through far worse. The Bible says, “Don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are suffering as though some strange thing were happening to you.” All Christians suffer for Jesus name sake to their own degree. Though it’s never easy or pleasant, and regardless of the type, we have God’s promise to see us through. God has, and always will be our refuge and strength.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for setting my face like flint each day as You help me carry my cross. Help me to help others carry their cross so they see you in me and believe in You, in Jesus Name, Amen.
TITLE: “Attitude Adjustment”
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” Phil. 2:5
A Hank Williams Jr. song entitled-‘Attitude Adjustment,’ speaks of a man who broke the Law and doesn’t want to come peaceably with the Police:
“Now sticks to the head and sticks to the shin,
And several bites from Rin Tin Tin,
It was an attitude adjustment, oh I went peacefully,
It was an attitude adjustment, they made me clearly see.”
On the one hand our attitude is all our own; that is, in our fallen sinful nature! On the other hand, we have an attitude of Jesus; gentle and humble by what He did for us on the cross!
This type of attitude adjustment parallels the one of which our text speaks in the sense that we’re to do a 180-degree turn and change our natural, sinful attitude to that of Jesus’ attitude. Of ourselves, we have rebellious, self-willed, and self-centered attitudes. By God’s grace, we’re given strength to overcome that which is natural by allowing His Spirit to utilize His fruits within us such as love, patience, and self control. It’s true; in this life we’ll never be perfect like Jesus. We’ll still make mistakes and need reminding (hopefully not with Billy clubs and K9s!). But with God’s Word and Spirit working through us, we’re blessed with attitudes that are humble, obedient and conscious of God and others in a most loving way. And, hopefully less painful! Though the world isn’t always receptive to Godly attitudes, still it’s this attitude that brings true peace to others as well as us.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the attitude You gave me! Adjust my attitude according to Your Will that I may be a blessing to others and give glory to Your Name, in Jesus Name, Amen.
TEXT: Matt.26:1-27, 66
TITLE: “Forsaken For Us”
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Matt.27:46b
A story is told of the late Duke of Windsor. He abdicated the throne of Britain to marry the woman he loved. However, she was not a woman acceptable to the Royal Family, thus the Duke went into a self-imposed exile. As a result of his bitter experience, he declared that “Forsaken was not simply a matter of being alone, but rather the feeling that no one really cares what happens to you. It’s not necessarily caused by a set of circumstances; it’s a state of mind.” Being alone involves physical separation, but according to this definition, being forsaken includes psychological isolation as well. If we were to add to that ‘spiritual forsakenness,’ or being forsaken by God, now we have hell.
On the one hand, this was the kind of ‘forsaken’ our Lord and Savior Jesus experienced while on the cross and wee experience because of our sin. It involved being separated from His Father. The understanding of it all goes far deeper than any of us can fathom. However, on the other hand, Jesus forsakenness and His experiencing hell meant heaven for us! He took away our sins! It also meant we would never have to know what being truly ‘forsaken’ ever meant. We have a Savior and Lord who promised us, “Never will I leave or forsake you.” In the best of times and the worst of times, He’s with us. Praise Jesus!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being with me also as I take up my cross and follow you, help me to help others with their cross, in Jesus Name, Amen.