In the Wilderness
For the Lord . . . Makes her wilderness like Eden. - Isaiah 51:3
In my mind's eye I see a howling wilderness, a great and terrible desert, like the Sahara. I perceive nothing in it to relieve the eye; all around I am wearied with a vision of hot and arid sand, on which are ten thousand bleaching skeletons of wretched men who have expired in anguish, having lost their way in the pitiless waste. What an appalling sight! How horrible! A sea of sand without boundary and without an oasis, a cheerless graveyard for a forlorn race.
But look and wonder! All of a sudden, springing from the scorching sand I see a well-known plant; and as it grows it buds, the bud expands—it is a rose, and at its side a lily bows its modest head—and, miracle of miracles, as the fragrance of those flowers is diffused, the wilderness is transformed into a fruitful field, and all around it blossoms abundantly like the glory of Lebanon, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon. Do not call it Sahara; call it Paradise. Do not refer to it any longer as the valley of death, for where the skeletons lay bleaching in the sun, a resurrection is proclaimed, and up spring the dead, a mighty army, full of life immortal. Jesus is that well-known plant, and His presence makes everything new.
The wonder is no less in each individual's salvation. I can see you, dear reader, cast out, an infant, unclothed, unwashed, defiled with your own blood, and left to be food for beasts of prey.
But look, a jewel has been thrown into your bosom by a divine hand, and for its sake you have been pitied and guarded by divine providence; you are washed and cleansed from your defilement; you are adopted into heaven's family; the fair seal of love is upon your forehead, and the ring of faithfulness is on your hand—you are now a prince to God, though once an orphan and a castaway. Cherish then the matchless power and grace that changes deserts into gardens and makes the barren heart sing for joy.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Isaiah 33
verse 2 Revelation 3
How Church Can Change Your Life
Ours is an age in which assumptions about church can no longer be taken for granted. Far from being viewed as “the pillar and buttress of truth” (I Tim 3:15), the church finds herself in an increasingly hostile climate in many parts of the world. Accordingly, if those within the church want to see more and more people love the same church that we love and that our Lord “obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28), then we must be more equipped to answer questions about the church in contexts and cultures that do not share even our basic assumptions about truth, much less the church. Enter Pastor Josh Moody to help us with his excellent little book, How Church Can Change Your Life.
With chapters organized according to ten questions, this book is geared toward those who know very little, if anything, about the church. Perceiving a gap in the plethora of works that have come out on the church in our day, Moody aims to answer a fundamentally different question: “Why should I go to Church at all?”
How Church Can Change Your Life is a helpful resource to give to those visiting or considering joining your church. While its clear that this book is not meant to go into the depth that every subject demands, it does give helpful answers to questions that people are inevitably asking when they show up at your church. (Available in soft cover or as an e-book)
Click here to learn more about Truth For Life
From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.