It Is Finished

Good morning. Today is Wednesday, November 21, 2012. Normally, this would be “hump day,” but I guess it doesn’t fall into that category this week, because it’s kind of like Friday for a lot of people. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so most people are off, unless you are unfortunate enough to work for one of these evil retailers that have decided to move Black Friday to Thursday.

Today is “World Hello Day.” I like that. HELLO, WORLD!

On this date in 164 B.C., Judas Maccabaeus restored the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is commemorated by the festival of Hanukkah.
North Carolina became the 12th state on this date in 1789.
On this date in 1877, Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph. Possibly one of the greatest inventions ever. 🙂
On this date in 1920, 31 people were killed in what eventually become known as “Bloody Sunday.”

On this date in 1934, Ella Fitzgerald won amateur night at the Apollo Theater.
On this date in 1953, the “Piltdown Man” was revealed to be a hoax.
The movie Rocky premiered on this date in 1976.

Today’s birthdays include Voltaire, 1694, Stan “The Man” Musial, 1920, Christopher Tolkien, 1924, Joseph Campanella, 1933, Marlo Thomas, 1937, Dr. John, 1940, Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters), 1944, Goldie Hawn, 1945, Steven Curtis Chapman (musician), 1962, Bjork, 1965, Troy Aikman, 1966, Ken Griffey, Jr., 1969, Hank Blalock (baseball player), 1980.

We got in one last workout before the Thanksgiving Feast. I’m trying to minimize the damage that will occur tomorrow, so I’ll be trying to eat really healthy today. We won’t work out tonight, because 1) Rachel and Justin will be coming over, and 2) the cooking begins tonight!
Stephanie’s psych visit went very well yesterday (outside of some confusion over his participation in Medicaid). He was thrilled to see her progress, health-wise, and behavior-wise, there wasn’t much to tell him, so we got her meds refilled for another three months. She felt better for most of the day, yesterday, but by the evening, after working out, she was felling a little down again. Hopefully, she will feel better this morning.

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. (Psalm 43:3-4)
Father, show me your light and truth this morning. Give me a clear vision of the path, that I may walk it faithfully.

Today, I’m reading Isaiah 2:1-5.
1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,
3 and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
5 O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD.

What a beautiful picture is painted in this passage. There is no way to tell when this is supposed to be taking place, it is simply “in the latter days.” All nations will flock to the house of the Lord, seeking to learn his ways and walk in his paths. The best part is verse 4, the end of war. This leads me to believe that it is speaking of a time after the Lord returns, since, in my understanding, that is the only time war will cease to exist.

Today’s reading in My Utmost For His Highest is called “It Is Finished.” The scripture reference is John 17:4, in which Jesus says, I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

We think wrongly if we think that the death of Jesus was something that “happened to Him which might have been prevented.” We need to wrap our brains (and our hearts) around the fact that “His death was the very reason why He came.”

Once again, Chambers reminds us (for the third day in a row, so this must be an important topic for us to grasp) that our preaching should not be built around the idea that God will forgive us because he loves us. This kind of thinking makes the cross unnecessary, “and the Redemption ‘much ado about nothing.'” It is only on the basis of the death of Christ that we are forgiven. “The greatest note of triumph that ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the Cross of Christ–‘It is finished.'” (Emphasis mine) It is the final word in the redemption of mankind.

When we take a false view of the the love of God, we actually belittle his holiness, and this contradicts the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. We should never allow ourselves to think that Jesus became a curse for us out of sympathy or pity. He because a curse for us by “Divine decree.” Our part in this is our conviction of sin. “Jesus Christ hates the wrong in man, and Calvary is the estimate of His hatred.”

Father, I thank you for the cross of Christ. “Once again, I look upon the cross where you died; I’m humbled by your mercy and I’m broken inside. Once again I thank you, once again I pour out my life.” (Thanks to Matt Redman for that lyric.) I thank you, Jesus, for not shrinking back from the Divine decree that sent you to become a curse for us, out of hatred for the wrong within us. My only acceptable response is worship; and that worship involves me pouring out my life to you as an offering of thanksgiving. “It is finished” should be our battle cry, Lord. The work is accomplished. The battle is over, and it has been won. And it is upon the outcome of that battle that my forgiveness is completely based. I cannot praise you enough for that, Lord.

I pray for this day, Lord. Christi is working from home again, and I give you thanks that she is able to do this. I pray for her day to be stress free and enjoyable. I pray that Stephanie will continue to feel better today, and that she and her mother might have some good moments today. I also pray for Christi’s mother, who is, apparently back in surgery this morning, as the initial surgery was not quite successful. Keep her safe, Lord, and make her recovery quick. I pray that my work day will be smooth, as well, and I pray that this Saturday’s work will also go smoothly.

I lift up a special prayer this morning for Kandi Mitchell Sargent-Lowe and her family, as their hearts are unavoidably drawn back to the loss of a daughter, Janakae, in a drunk driving accident six years ago this month. Father, I pray for their comfort as they continue to deal with this loss.

The most triumphant words ever spoken:




Grace and peace, friends.

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