For Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Isaiah 9:6

The September 11 tragedy has caused all of us to wonder what kind of world we're living in. Many have looked to God over world leaders in their quest for answers.

While there were no suicide hijackings and terrorist bombings in his day, Isaiah confronted plenty of sin in calling the nation of Judah back to God and telling of a coming Messiah. Isaiah wanted to purify people by helping them grasp God's true nature and message.

Like many prophets of his time, Isaiah became unpopular with his messages. He called on the people to end their self reliance, turn from their sinful ways, and trust God and His supreme holiness. Isaiah 9:2 explains beautifully what verse 6 means to Christ's followers: "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned." Seven hundred years after Isaiah made that proclamation, Jesus himself preached about lightness and darkness in the Sermon on the Mount.

As believers, we are all called upon to live above reproach morally so that we reflect God's goodness to others. "You are the light of the world . . ." Jesus says in Matthew 5:15. "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven."

Could September 11 have been a wake up call to rekindle the spiritual flame in our hearts and spread the gospel to others? Wouldn't Christmas be a perfect time to draw closer to God by celebrating the holiday for what it is - as the birthday of our Wonderful Counselor, the Everlasting Father, our Prince of Peace?

Prayer: Dear God, humble our hearts and give us strength, wisdom and direction to fulfill your will for our lives. May we take comfort that you are in full control. Amen.

John Peck