Scripture: from verses four and five:
To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths and…hold fast my covenant…I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.
Observation: God is speaking to people who may feel that they are outside of God’s blessing: eunuchs and foreigners and outcasts. God says that their circumstances will not block His blessing. If they choose to follow Him, God will gather them close, and bring them into His unity. The eunuchs should not describe themselves as “dry trees,” even though that is exactly what they are, because God is not stopped by their physical limitations.
There is no human limitation that can stop God’s blessing. He can give an everlasting legacy to a eunuch. He can give us righteousness, no matter what our past decisions have been. He can make us whole, no matter how hurt we are. He can give us health, no matter our genetics or condition or age.
Application: Speak the truth: that God has made you righteous and whole and strong. Don’t describe yourself as a dry tree.
Prayer: Yeshua, I praise you because there is nothing that limits you. There is nothing that the powers of this world can do to stop you from blessing me. Thank you for restoring me. Help me to see your truth. Amen.
Scripture: verse 3
Among you there should not even be mentioned sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or greed.
Observation: Two things struck me here. The first is that we’re not even supposed to discuss these things – except presumably as is needed for teaching. We’re not supposed to be gossiping about them, or speculating about them. Sin is not for thinking about. The things we think about gain power, and we should not give that power to sin.
The other thing that struck me is the pairing of sexual immorality and greed. (“Impurity” is kind of vague, so I think I’m going to leave it alone, at least for now.) We tend to treat sex stuff as the Big Sin, as if it’s worse than the others. But it isn’t. Greed is equally shameful.
Possibly the link between the two is the need to be content. C. S. Lewis speculated in Perelandra that the root of sin is the desire to have control over what happens to us – to make pleasant things happen over and over again whenever we want.
Admittedly I’m writing from a place of privilege here, as I’m not lacking in either affection or material wealth. (Though one wonders if that’s because God has blessed me, or because I’ve chosen to be content in those areas. Fascinating. Some of each, maybe?) At any rate, the point is to be grateful for what we are given – good things to think about, the love of our friends and family, and the security of God’s provision.
Application: Dwell on God’s blessings. It’s that simple. Notice the things He has done for me, and dismiss discontented thoughts. Hard to apply consistently, but I can at least make steps in the right direction.
Prayer: Yeshua, thank you for all the ways you’ve blessed me. Thank you for my Hero and my girls and my family and my home. Help me to find interest in the the things you would have me thinking about. Amen.
Scripture: from verses 16 and 17
I pray that from the treasures of His glory He will empower you with inner strength by His Spirit, so that the Messiah may live in your hearts through your trusting.
Observation: So. The goal of this prayer is for the Messiah to live in our hearts. Two things are apparently required for that to happen: for us to trust, and for us to have inner strength. I’m not certain why we need inner strength in order for Messiah to live in us, but I guess it’s because Messiah changes us, and we need the strength to cooperate with those changes and not turn away. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength we need from the treasures of God’s glory. Possibly because God is strong, possibly because God made me and has the ability to upgrade me, and possibly because the reward of God’s glory helps us be strong. Though I’m disinclined to believe that last one, since it assumes we have the strength on our own, and we don’t.
Application: Trust in Him, since apparently there’s not much else we can do. Use the strength He gives us.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, please empower me so that Yeshua can live in my heart. Please give me the courage to belong to Him. Amen.