The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

09/04/2012

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A Rise From The Ashes


"A shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit" (Isa.11:1).

The Assyrians had all but destroyed Jerusalem, but it was the Babylonian exile that brought the kingdom of Judah to an end in 586 BC. In Greek lore, a mythological bird called the Phoenix is able to rise from its own ashes and be reborn. It is able to do this again and again, implying an eternal nature. The people of Judah have been reduced to ashes in their captivity in Judah, but after 70 years are allowed to return to their home in Jerusalem. There is a basic tendency for people to be at their best when rising from the ashes. Pioneers in our country who headed westward to establish a better life are examples of this type of rising up. They had a new undertaking in mind, and were single-purposed in their devotion to make it work. The Jews were returning to their homeland with a renewed love for God, and their zeal to rebuild and rise from the ashes was apparent. But the luster came off the rose pretty quickly, and another, more permanent renewal was needed. Isaiah the prophet tells about the way that people can rise up from the ashes of sin and despair. The shoot that will spring through the lineage of Jesse (David) is of course Jesus. Only through Jesus can people truly rise up from the ashes to a life of hope. As long as people dwell on the earth, God will continue to chasten them as they sin. We can have Phoenix like qualities, but it is not mythological. God will continue to raise up His people from the ashes to spiritual renewal. As we rise, we should do some of our best work, but should not allow our zeal to wane. We need to take the spirit that brought us up out of the ashes, and build upon it. We must allow that spirit to crescendo in enthusiasm, as we rise higher and higher....

Have a great day.... Do good, give God the credit.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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