Monday, 8 December 2014

Instead ....

When you read through Isaiah 61, you will notice how many times the word “INSTEAD” appears in this particular chapter? (Go on, why don't you take a look and count them).
It is actually mentioned 5 times in the NIV translation.

The word “instead” implies that something is replaced or substituted. It could also relate to a choice that we make. For example: "I decided to eat the chocolate cake instead of eating the healthy veggies!" (of course this would never be me - it's just hypothetical :) 

In this case, Isaiah is using this word as a comparative way of showing the people how God has blessed them – in a way, how God can offer us something else INSTEAD of what we are experiencing at the moment.

 Look at Isaiah 61:3
“to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.”

And then later on in verse 7 Isaiah writes…
Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.”

All of these verses present us with interesting choices. Would we rather have the "oil of joy" or "mourning"; a "crown of beauty" instead of "ashes"; a "garment of praise" instead of "despair?"

Advent is a season of preparation and a time for choices. God never forces us to accept his Son, Jesus Christ, but we do need to decide whether we reject or accept him.

What is going to be your "INSTEAD" this Christmas season?
#just saying

Living in Grace

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