Devotionals by Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe

Say to those who are afraid, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” - Isaiah 35:4

Sports fans set aside a major portion of their lives to follow the fortunes of the team of their choice. It is not enough for them just to watch the game. Fully involved fans must give careful attention to the “pregame show,” in which they indulge themselves with speculation and anticipation. Then follows the game itself, in which they involve themselves as if something of significance is taking place. And then, the final whistle is only the signal for the “postgame show” to begin. To this postmortem the fan gives himself with earnest devotion as he analyzes and criticizes the game. The game begins before it starts and continues after it has ended. The fans can’t get enough of it!

Our salvation also began long before we were born, and it will continue far beyond our earthly end. Salvation has three tenses, and history has three phases. Salvation lets us contemplate the past, looking back over what God has done. We can also celebrate the present, savoring what God is doing. And on the basis of God’s promises we can anticipate the future, looking forward to what he will yet do. The three tenses of our own salvation also tie into the three phases in the history of salvation. In the past the prophets predicted that Christ would come again; that we can contemplate. Now Christ has come; this we can celebrate. And in the future, Isaiah reminds us, Christ will come again; that we can anticipate.

We contemplate the beginnings of our salvation because of what Christ did when he came, and we anticipate the conclusion of our salvation, which he will accomplish on his return. When Christ returns in great glory he will consummate all that he has begun. Not a few blind eyes, lame legs, and deaf ears were healed when he came the first time, but these were simply foretastes of what he will do when he comes again (35:5-6). Then he will make all things new.

Armed with anticipation, we should encourage each other. There are tired hands that need to be strengthened, weak knees that need to be encouraged. The fearful need to be told, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God . . . is coming to save you” (35:4). However, unlike sports fans, we can enjoy our postgame show now—we know who wins, and we can savor his victory even while the “game” is still in progress.

For Further Study: Isaiah 35:1-10 

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About Telling the Truth

Telling the Truth exists to make available sound biblical teaching, practically applied, with a view to producing lives that glorify God and draw people to Christ. The whole of our ministry is to encourage, console, strengthen, teach, and train.

About Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe

Stuart Briscoe uses wit and intellect to target your heart, capture your attention and challenge you to grow! You will find his logic compelling as he brings a fresh, practical perspective to the Scriptures. Born in England, Stuart left a career in banking to enter the ministry full time. He has written more than 50 books, received three honorary doctorates and preached in more than one hundred countries. He was senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for thirty years, and currently serves as minister-at-large.

Jill Briscoe was born in England and found Christ when she was 18 years old. She never looked back. Upon graduating from Cambridge University, she began working as a teacher by day and had a vigorous street ministry to the youths of Liverpool by night.

She met Stuart at a youth conference and they married in 1958. In the 50 years since, Jill has become a highly sought-after Bible teacher and author who travels around the world ministering to under-resourced churches and speaking at international seminars and conferences. Since 2000, she and Stuart, who was formerly senior pastor of Elmbrook Church for 30 years, have had the joy of equipping and encouraging believers across the globe in their roles as ministers-at-large for Elmbrook.

Jill has authored more than 40 books including devotionals, study guides, poetry and children's books. Her vivid, relational teaching style touches the emotions and stirs the heart. She serves as Executive Editor of Just Between Us, a magazine of encouragement for ministry wives and women in leadership, and served on the board of World Relief and Christianity Today, Inc., for over 20 years.

Jill and Stuart call suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin their home. When they are not traveling, they spend time with their three children, David, Judy and Peter, and thirteen grandchildren.

Pete Briscoe, youngest son of Stuart and Jill, was also born in England but grew up under his father's ministry in Milwaukee. While getting his Masters of Divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL, Pete had a professor tell him that it was "a sin to bore people with the Bible." He has taken that to heart as he has served since 1992 as senior pastor of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX. Pete and his wife, Libby, have three children.

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