January 9

Isaiah 49:1-4

“He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’” vss. 2-3

In spite of external appearances like the destruction of Jerusalem and the ensuing captivity in Babylon, the prophet continued to believe that Israel would one day bring glory to God. The nation was like a hidden weapon that would one day be used to bring light to the entire earth. That same metaphor could well be used to describe how the servants of Jesus will one day be used to reshape and reform the world. Sometimes it doesn’t appear as though the church has much significance or relevance–political and economic forces seem to be dictating the trends and directions of modern times. Different nations spend trillions of dollars as they vie for global domination. Cultural icons from the entertainment and sports establishment are the trend-setters and people of faith are seldom seen or heard. But we know the church is real; the body of Christ is no figment of our imagination. Places of worship are seen in every land, a hidden force in plain sight, and one day the servants of God will be unleashed to bring justice and peace to all peoples. In spite of appearances we are a potent force, and through us God will be glorified. 

Thought for the Day: Why does the church appear to be impotent?

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