Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rise Up

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Sometimes life gets us down. It isn’t that difficult because we live in such a sin-sick world. Everywhere we look there seems to be crime and cruelty. Terrorism brings stories of barbarism from around the world on nearly a daily basis. Domestic violence seems out of control. I read an article yesterday from the Baltimore Sun that 28 people were shot, nine of them killed, over the Memorial weekend in Baltimore, adding to the already record-breaking violence. It’s enough to make you hang your head in sadness and frustration. 

Isaiah lived in such a day. Oppressed by Assyria, hearts were heavy, heads were hanging. To them, and by way of application to us, the Lord said, “Awake, awake…put on garments of splendor…shake off your dust…rise up, sit enthroned…free yourself from the chains on your neck.

Great encouragement, but how is it possible? Jesus! Jesus destroyed sin and death when He rose triumphantly from the grave. He would not live in the grave of doom, defeat, and despair, and neither should we. We are victorious by means of His victory. And to add icing to the cake, one day He will delivery us directly to heaven where we will experience a world and life that we only now see by faith. 

The words of an old hymn are appropriate here:

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!
(This poem, written by William P. Merrill, was first published in the Continent, 1911)

Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again. Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Jerusalem. Isaiah 52:1-2

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