Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wed.'s Devo -Tyre

Read Isa. 23:1-18
Tyre was known as "the queen of the seas" because of it phenomenal harbor where merchants traded far and wide. The city was divided into two parts, one on the mainland, and the other on a protected island a half a mile from the shore. Nebuchadnezzar captured the mainland city in 572 B.C., and Alexander finally conquered the island city in 332 B.C. by building a causeway to the city and besieging it (which took 7 months). Trading ships were harbored at Cyprus which was northwest of Tyre. When they heard of Tyre's conquest Isaiah called the people of Cyprus to mourn for Tyre. God had planned and executed the destruction of this wealthy city because he was judging the city of pride. The people needed to repent for the same thing. For seventy years Tyre was judged. The Assyrians restricted and controlled its trade. After the 70 years Assyria had declined in power and Tyre rose up again to be a city of trade but this time the profits from her trade would benefit the Lord's people. May this be for America.
Lord, we know that your judgments last for a while but your faithfulness and love for ever. May we learn humbleness in your judgments so that we will honor you in our blessed time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - The Keys to the Kingdom

Read Isa. 22:15-25
Shebna was a scribe who was second in command to the king. God is rebuking him for building a fancy grave to be buried in when he won't even be in Jerusalem when he dies. If you go to Jerusalem you will see that they built huge stone above ground graves to bury their dead. The kings had huge stones that they had hewn to be buried in. They spent years to build just to be buried in. Instead of spending the time to prepare their spiritual lives to die, they were spending their efforts in a monument to memorialize themselves. Shebna was guilty of this and God replaced him with Eliakim who would lead the people with God's heart. This is a picture of the spiritual state of Israel one day coming back to the heart of God. Eliakim's name means "god of raising". He was the man God raised up to take the place of man's raising up. This new wave of people who come back to God will realize who they are in Christ and the authority they have in Him. They will have the means to unlock the heart of God and walk in kingly authority like David did. He will get back what the devil stole from him and more.
As Christians we can do that now. We have been given the keys to the kingdom and it is our responsibility and mandate to use them. Lord, teach us how to turn the key and use it affectively.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mon.'s Devo - Judgment of Jerusalem

Read Isa. 22:1-14
Jerusalem is surrounded by valleys on three sides. Ezekiel found himself in one of these valleys when he prophesied to the dry bones and they came to life (Eze. 37). I find it interesting that he calls Jerusalem a valley of vision when it is on the mountain where you go to see clearly for miles. Maybe God called Jerusalem "the valley of vision" because their vision had become so narrow and short-sighted. Isaiah is describing the invasion and siege of Babylon led by Nebuchadnezzar in 588-586. Many of the people from neighboring towns have come to Jerusalem for protection making it a boisterous place. After a 2 year siege Jerusalem was overthrown and its inhabitants taken captive (2 Kings 25:6-11). Isaiah is beyond being comforted over Jerusalem being taken (vs. 4). The walls are torn down and the fighting men fled with the king (2 Kings 25:4). Elam (Persia) and Kir (an Arameean city) sent troops to help the Babylonians so the Kidron Valley is filled with chariots. The Kidron was symbolic for death and was the place they would throw their idols. Jerusalem had tried to preserve their water supply and repair the walls but to no avail. They had stop trusting in God so their was no hope for them (vs. 11). God was calling them to repentance, mourning and shame. They were being disciplined for their pagan philosophy of "eat, drink, for tomorrow we shall die." A philosophy that has no respect for life or responsibility to the next generation.
Lord, teach us to number our days and pass down a godly inheritance to the next generation.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - Naked and Barefoot

Read Isa. 20:1-6
This chapter stretches me like Hosea does. Does God actually tell his prophet to walk around naked with his buttocks exposed? Or does God actually tell a prophet to go and marry a harlot? The answer is: yes. Prophets were walking word pictures so they were asked to do strange extraordinary things. It might help you to know that the early Olympians competed naked. They had an appreciation for the human body and their society looked at it differently than ours does now (thank God). In 711 B.C. Sargon II, king of Assyria, captured Ashdod which was a Philistine city. This event was a warning to the people of Judah who were wanting to make an alliance with Egypt against Assyria. Assyria would surely do the same thing to Egypt. Isaiah's nakedness and bare feet was a picture of the humiliation and impoverishment Egypt and Cush would suffer under the Assyrians so the people of Judah, who put their trust in Egypt instead of the Lord, would be ashamed also. As Americans, there is no nation that can get us out of the problems that we are facing. Our only hope is God.
Lord, we put our trust in you. Let us not be ashamed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wed.'s Devo Egypt's Turn

Read Isa. 19:1-25
Egypt had been Judah's hope when the Assyrians came against them, but Egypt didn't come through. Like in the day of Moses' the battle was against Egypt's gods and idols and the people who trusted in them. There will be a civil war and brother will fight against brother. People will turn to their false prophets and false gods but these gods will not be able to help them and they will be turned over to a cruel leader. It will be a time of drought throughout the land where the Nile will dry up causing a horrible stench in the land. The fishing trade will stop and the garment industry will suffer because of the drought. Egypt's economy will be destroyed and fear will fall on the land. Egypt, who was known for their wise men and prided itself in knowledge and wisdom will be dumbfounded and powerless against the wisdom and knowledge of God. This is the bad news.
Yet, in verse 16-25 we look forward to the future and see the good news. In the end of the age Israel will be converted (Zech 12:10-14) and Judah will become a powerful nation. Egypt will fear Israel, even learning Hebrew and going to Israel to worship. Assyria will also fear Israel's Messiah and worship him with he Egyptians. Israel will be the intermediary between Egypt and Assyria with a highway linking the two former enemies. In the millennium, these three will live in harmony. This should give us hope concerning impossible situations in our families. What is impossible with man is possible with God.
Lord, your plan is always redemption and restoration. You are true to your Word and totally trustworthy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - Ethiopia

Read Isa. 18:1-7
The next nation judged will be Cush which is Egypt-Ethiopia. Cush was a son of Ham who settled in Ethiopia. It is going to be conquered by the mighty Assyrian nation. Etypt-Ethiopia had encouraged Israel and Judah to defy the Assyrians so Assyria is going to attack it also. The Ethiopians were wealthy exporters with the Nile River right next to them for easy transportation. They were a mighty people who were feared by nations far and near. But when God raises his flag and blows his horn it is time for attack and no one can stand against God. He warns them that He will attack them before they can make battle plans. The vultures and wild animals will eat your dead. That is always a sign of the evil being slain. God buries the righteous but allows the evil to be devoured or burnt. Their defeat will be a blessing to Jerusalem and they will benefit from its spoils. This is all a picture of what will happen in the end times.
Lord, thank you that you promise your children eternal life. Prepare our hearts for what is in the future that we will not be afraid.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mon.'s Devo - Damascus

Read Isa. 17:1-14
On to Damascus...Damascus is the capital city of Syria which had allied with the Northern Kingdom of Israel against Assyria. Isaiah prophesied that it would become a heap of ruins. This was fulfilled in 732 B.C. The remnant of the people will be so few it will be like a reaper reaping the crop in his arms because the crops are so few. Verses 4-11 look forward to "that day" when in the future Israel will be through great tribulation and a remnant will be left to enter the millennial reign. God always leaves a remnant. That remnant will be humbled and turn to God as their source of supply. Verses 12-14 look at the Assyrian army that invades Judah. They roared like the seal and rushed like many waters, but God stopped them and spared Jerusalem. This happened in 701 B.C. and it will happen again in the last days. In Eccl. it says that what has happened will happen again, there is nothing new under the sun. We can look to the past to see our future.
Lord, help us to look back and learn. Help us not to make the same mistakes.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - Woe to Moab

Read Is. 15:1-16:13
Moab was the son of Lot and his oldest daughter so he was conceived in deception and incest. Moab was one of Israel's enemies. They had tried to curse Israel through Baalak (Num. 22-24) and their women seduced the Israelite men (Num. 22-24). They had oppressed Israel for years. In Isaiah's prophecy all Moab's major cities are brought down. The Israelites had already captured Ar and Kir which forced the Moabites to flee south to Sela in Edom. The women attempted to cross the Arnon River in its shallow part but their only true security is found in Israel. They did end up in Judah paying them tribute money to stay there safely. But, ultimate rescue will come from a man from the tribe of Judah many years later. How true.
Moab, was know for being proud. Because of this everything will be destroyed. All its wealth: its delicacies, grain fields, vineyards, and orchards will wither. Joy and singing will not be heard. Very few will survive.
Moab was conquered three times: first in 704 B.C. by Sennacherib, an Assyrian, then in 701 B.C. by Tiglath-pileser in 731 B.C., then in 715 B.C. by King Sargon of Assyria.
Lord, our ultimate security and safety lies in you. What is death except for promotion. Help us be faithful to the end.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thur.'s Devo - God's Mercy

Read Isa. 14:29-32
He next addresses the Philistines. They had recently seized four Judean cities (2 Chron. 28:18) because the king of Judah, Ahaz had encouraged moral decline and had been continually unfaithful to the Lord. The Philistines had killed Ahab and were rejoicing which would be short lived. A "viper" (Hezekiah) would come from a serpent's root (Ahaz) and defeat the Philistines (2 Kings 18:8). God is so merciful to his people. He gives them second chances and third chances, etc. He never gives up on them. He always has a plan to bring them back. What a loving father. James 3:17 says, "but the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of MERCY and good fruits. without partiality, and without hypocrisy."
Thank you for your great grace and mercy that you extend to your children. Please extend it to the nations and the leaders of our country.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - The Defeat of Satan

Read Isa. 14:1-28
In the very last days God will once again choose Israel and set them in their own land. People from other nationalities will unite with them and Israel will embrace them. They will take the people who once oppressed them and make them their slaves. Israel will be a strong nation that doesn't fear other nations. The wealth of the ungodly nations will be gone and their ungodly people will be judged harshly. The physical earth will rejoice and respond to the coming of the Lord. Hell will tremble as it has to give up its dead. All the kings of history will be brought forth to be judged. Satan will fall from heaven and be put in hell. I know we think of Satan being in hell right now but that is not what the Bible says. He is the prince of the air (Eph. 2:2) and roams the earth like a roaring lion seeking people to devour. One day he will be locked up and eventually thrown into the lake of fire and destroyed forever! He thought he would become greater than God because he has always been deceived and is the great deceiver. God will expose Satan to all who have ever lived so they can see him for who he really is. They will look on him and wonder how he could have deceived so many people and destroyed so many cities. Satan will not be allowed to rest in death but be made to watch as God destroys all of His enemies. This will all happen in the year that the king Ahaz ("possessor") dies. So when Satan the great possessor of evil dies God's people will really live!!!
Lord, thank you once again for your great plan to destroy evil and let righteousness reign. You REIGN!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - The Burden of Babylon

Read Isa. 13:1-22
When Jesus comes back he will judge the nations. He will start with the one that did Israel the most harm which is Babylon. The meaning of the word "Babylon" is confusion. Babylon was the empire that destroyed Jerusalem and took the people of Judah captive in 586 B.C. Babylon is found throughout the Bible to be a symbol of man's rebellion to God. The first mention of it is in Gen. 10 where Nimrod built the Tower of Babel and the last mention of it is in Rev. 17 where God called it the "mother of prostitutes". God will call his "sanctified ones", "those that rejoice in his highness" to fight in this battle to destroy all of his enemies. They will come from a far country, from heaven, and even the Lord will fight in this battle using His weapons. In history the "people from afar" were the Persians which were 350 miles east of Babylon that God used to destroy them in 539 B.C. but prophetically it speaks of the day God will judge the spirit of Babylon. "The day of the Lord" in verse 6 has to do with any day God chose to come to earth and judge it. It will be a scary day. Mens heart will fail for fear and God will destroy all sinners from the land. The sky will be dark like it was when Jesus hung on the cross. Life will be scarce. God will shake the heavens and the earth will be thrown from its path and undulate through space. There will be mercy for no one: pregnant, old or young. The ungodly will die never to rise again. They will be food for the vultures and wild animals that prey on the dead. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Lord, when you come back may you find faith on the earth.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mon.'s Devo - The Great Return

Read Isa. 11:10-12:6
In God's kingdom Israel will turn back to him and be restored to the land. They will raise their flag and many will come to show their allegiance to Israel's God. Nations will either turn to God or become his adversary. Jews from all over the world will come back to Israel and Israel will no longer be a divided nation but Judah and Israel will be restored to one. Together they will defeat and dominate the nations of the world. Once again God will dry up the Read Sea and the Euphrates River so that God's remnant will be able to return on dry ground. This will be a time to praise the Lord, because the time of God's anger will be over and God will truly be their salvation and their song. God will receive his people and comfort them with his love. Joy and singing will return and God's renown will be praised on the roof tops. What a joyful time this will be. This is what Israel has been waiting for. This is what we Gentiles have been waiting for. I went to visit my grand babies a few days ago and had such a great time but when I drove into Tulsa I was so glad to be home. I think this is just a drop in the bucket of how they will feel on this day.
Lord, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for protection for your people. We look forward to the day when you will be revealed to the nations and to your people.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - The Spirit of God

Read Isa. 11:1-9
These next few verses are some of the most powerful verses explaining Jesus' ministry and God that are in the Bible. The first verse tells of Jesus' origin. He will come from David's father, Jesse which is a picture of God since David is a type of Jesus. God is the tree and Jesus will be like a twig growing up from the trunk and a fruitful shoot coming from his roots. Since Jesus has always been with God he goes back to the root and the branch is his life here on the earth that everyone will see. Verse two gives a list of the 7 spirits of God: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord. He groups them in pairs because the two work together and the last one is the very spirit of God. Jesus will operate in all of these at a young age. He will be able to look into the heart of man and see what is not obvious on the surface. He will have perfect discernment which is why he could answer the woman at the well from the question of her heart instead of the question of her mouth. He will stand for the ones who can't stand for themselves and rebuke the unjust rulers. He did this as he healed and set free the common people and rebuked the Pharisees and leaders. He has no fear of man and saw everyone at the same level. He will be the epitome of righteousness and faithfulness to his father and his will. In the end he will set up a millennial reign where evil will be eradicated and righteousness will reign. The animal kingdom will be as it was in the garden of Eden where they all dwelt together in harmony. There will be no fear of being stung, attacked, or bit by an animal so little children will be able to play with snakes and lions. The whole earth will proclaim the glory of God.
Lord, what a day to look forward to! Help us to remember this when we get overwhelmed with life. We are here for a season but there are much better seasons ahead. To You be the glory.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo Destruction to Fruit

Read Isa. 10:28-34
God is on a trip through the regions to judge the arrogant and proud who refuse to acknowledge his lordship. He starts in Ai, the second city Joshua faced when he entered the promised land. They arrogantly thought they could take it with 3,000 men but when they were sorely defeated they went to God for an answer. He told them they had transgressed and discovered that Achan had taken some of the forbidden booty from Jericho, so they were cursed till they brought this to light and disciplined him. After they settled that sin they went back and destroyed Ai and left it in ruins which is the meaning of the word: ruins. God next went to Migron which means to yield up and to cast down. I guess what ever sin they yielded up to God he was coming to cast down. From here God send out carriages which were heavenly apparatuses filled with artillery. He sends out a warning to Gallim, Laish and Anathoth. The only mention of the first two towns were in 1 Sam. 25. Saul had promised his daughter Michal to David in exchange for Phillistine foreskins which David delivered. But instead of getting the girl, Saul deceived David and changed his mind and gave his daughter, Michal, to Phalti whose father was Laish whose father was Gallim. (A picture of deceitful leadership.) Anathoth was a city in the land of Benjamin that Jeramiah prophesied would be brought evil from God. The word itself means "affliction". Jeramiah is told to buy this land of Ananthoth back and redeem it. Going on to verse 31: Madmenah which means a "dunghill" is removed. The people of Gebim unite to evacuate. Gebim means a "cistern or a pit". God will remain at Nob which means "fruit" and shake his hand against the pride of Jerusalem (his house). In all this God is saying that his spirit is going out through the land and bringing down the high and lofty. He is allowing to remain all that are fruitful for his kingdom. Lebanon is the last mentioned to fall. Lebanon is known as the white mountain because it has snow on its cap all year round. It is a picture of the way man tries to make himself appear righteous by wearing the right outward appearance but whose heart is hard as stone. It is a picture of the leadership since it is a tall mountain. God's judgment always begins in the house of the Lord then filters out to the rest of the world.
Lord, let you judgments be righteous on this land and bring about a cleansing so that the end might be fruit.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - May God Arise!

Read Isa 10:12-27
God's judgment was first on the "house of God", Jerusalem, then turned to Assyria. Assyria may be the axe and the saw but God is in control and he is wielding the implements. Because Assyria refused to see God's hand in their victory God is going to visit them with disease and the "light of Israel" would devour the Assyrian soldiers in a single day. In verses 20-23 Isaiah is looking into the future to the time when the remnant will return to Israel from Babylon. God encourages them with hope that there will come a time when God will not be angry with them anymore and the destruction will cease. He compares this time to that when Gideon defeated the Midianites and when Moses parted the Red Sea with his rod. Both times a small group of people were against a huge enemy army and God fought for them and delivered them in a miraculous way. Verse 27 says that they will be alleviated of the burden of their oppressor because of the anointing on them. May this be the same for America. God always rebuilds what he destroys if it is his people. His message is repent and be saved; it is always a message with hope. We are experiencing great judgment and sorrow and no answers except for God. He is the only one who knows how to fix our economic, political, spiritual, problems and he can do it in a day if he chooses. I drove to Shreveport to visit my grand babies and the whole trip I listened to a conference on the Oak Initiative which is a Christian coalition Rick Joiner has started with real answers for our country which start with repenting and getting spiritually right with God then putting Christian men and women into leadership roles in our nation. It was so hopeful and encouraging. If you are interesting in learning more about it just Google Oak Initiative. Now is the time for us to be united as believers over Jesus and our nation, not doctrine.
Lord, raise up godly leaders for our nation and forgive us of thinking we could do anything apart from you. We acknowledge that YOU are God over America and the whole earth!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - God's Hand

Read Isa. 10:1-11
This is the chapter of woes. "Woe" means "oh!; alas". Then it lists the recipients of this woe: those who make unrighteous decisions that affect others, and those who don't give justice to those who can't get it themselves. These people who do these horrible things will not receive justice or mercy when they need it. They will have no one to turn to and fall to their oppressors. This goes out to Assyria who God is using to judge his people. They refuse to understand that it is God who is giving them permission to harm his people. They think they are doing this from their own judgment and strength. It is in their heart to destroy and their heart is arrogant. So since the king of Assyria refuses to see God's sovereignty, he will be judged himself. Isaiah uses the example of an ax that cannot chop without someone doing the chopping. Assyria is the ax in God's hand. Assyria, itself, is so full of idols that God calls them "the kingdom of idols". If God punishes Assyria for her idolatry, how much more will he punish is children for their idolatry. How true of America. We now have mosques in the name of tolerance and some cities have Muslim prayer call. We have our own American Idols and worship anything but the true God. How long do we have to be under the judgment of God before we wake up and realize the weather doesn't just go crazy for no reason.
Lord, wake up your people to repent and pray. You are long suffering and merciful. Have mercy on us and save us by your hand.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mon.'s Devo - When a Nation Refuses to Repent

Read Isa. 9:8-21
God had sent prophets to warn Israel what God will do if they didn't repent but they refused to listen so it is now time for God to stretch forth his hand and execute judgment. Even as the Assyrians are attacking and destroying their land, the people are arrogantly saying they will rebuild even better. This only makes God madder and his hand continues to destroy. Notice in verse 15 God gives his grade on the people. The older leaders are the head and the false prophets are the tail. We live in a society where youth is worshiped and age is dishonored but that is not how God sees it. In verse 17 it says that God will not have mercy on the fatherless or the widows because all of them are hypocrites and evildoers and every mouth speaks lies. So God is throwing them all in the fire to purify the evil from them. God doesn't bring judgment because he is a mean God; he brings judgment because if he let man keep going in the direction he is headed he will soon be extinct. God brings judgment because he loves us and longs to purify us and bless us. He breaks us down to heal us. God loves justice so he loves judgment. Man's judgment is the opposite of God's. Jesus was led to the judgment seat and proclaimed guilty - punishment by death - though he had never sinned. God judges by the heart that man cannot see. His judgments are righteous and true.
Lord, may your hand of judgment on our nation bring about the response of repentence that you might heal us and restore us back to you.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - Thy Kingdom Come!

Read Isa. 9:6,7
These two verses do a good job of summing up God's plan through Jesus. He will come as a child, God's gift to mankind, but the burden of the whole world will be on him. His name shall embody all that he is. He will be a miracle, a marvelous thing: our adviser, deliberator, and guide. He will be our powerful warrior, eternal father and governor of our welfare. His empire and prosperity will become increasingly great upon his chosen people and his dominion. He will establish his kingdom with divine law for ever. In his jealousy for his bride he will accomplish his plan. Zech. 14:9 says "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one." And verse 11: "And men shall dwell in it (Israel), and there shall be no more utter destruction: but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited." Dan. 7:14, and verse 27 says this about the people: "And there was given him (Jesus) dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom which shall not be destroyed." "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdoms, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."
Lord, your wisdom and understanding goes beyond our comprehension. We are so grateful to be under your government and to have you as our God. May your kingdom come!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - Trumpets and Fire

Read Isa. 9:4, 5
Yesterday's verses had to do with Christ's first coming but today's have to do with Jesus second coming. When Jesus comes again he will abolish three things: the burdens of life, the way we support ourselves to live such as food, and the attacks of the enemy. He compares it to the conquest of Midian so let's look at that. It is found in Judges 6 and 7. Israel had gone into sin so God sent the Midanites to oppress them for 7 years. Every time Israel sowed seed so they could have a harvest, the Midianites would come in and destroy the seed and trample their land. Israel had no food to eat so the people began to call out to God to deliver them. At the end of the 7 years God wanted to deliver his people so he raised up Gideon. God sent an angel to call him out of hiding and fear to empower him to lead his people to victory. First he told him to tear down the strongholds of the enemy that the people had raised up (the altars to Baal). Then after many series of events Gideon took 300 men and surrounded the Midianites tents armed with trumpets and pitchers with burning lamps inside them. They woke the enemy with the trumpets and scared them with their lights and they were so confused they started killing each other and finally fled. Then Gideon called the other tribes to help him finish off the enemy.
In the end there will be a battle and those who have their garments rolled in the blood of Jesus (trumpet with their mouth the coming of Jesus) and are burning with the light and fire of the Holy Spirit inside will be able to fight. We will stand back and see the salvation of the Lord as God confuses the enemy with the noise of the trumpet and they fight each other.
Lord, prepare us to be trumpets of your Word and vessels burning with the light of the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wed.'s Devo Bringing in the Kingdom of Light

Read Isa. 9:1-3
No matter what time in the timeline of life we are living God always encourages his people with hope. Today Isaiah gets to look into the future where all this judgment and discipline is over and the people have waken up to God and he has healed their land. He speaks of Zebulun and Naphtali because they are the tribes in Galilee that felt the devastation of Assyria's invasion and were ultimately taken captive. He is prophesying Jesus' coming. Matthew 4:16 quotes Isaiah: "the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up." This was fulfilled when Jesus started telling the people to repent for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Jesus walked along the land of Zebulun and Naphtali and called his disciples and did many miraculous displays of the kingdom. He walked around calling light into darkness, healing into decay, and life into death. He put this kingdom into the hearts of his disciples and if we are his disciples he put it into us too. We are not preaching the kingdom till we are demonstrating its power. The same thing will happen in his second coming. Everyone will look upon him and see that he is the Son of God and that God is Our Salvation and the light will come on for them. The joy he speaks of in verse 3 has to do with the joy of spoiling the kingdom of Satan's. He is the strong man in Mark 3:27 that has to be bound before we can spoil his house and get back everything he stole from us. Jesus came bringing us that power to defeat the enemy. I Co. 15:22 says that Jesus is reigning from heaven till he has put all enemies under his feet and the last one will be death. We are the vessels he is going to use to put all his enemies under his feet. We have to fight in his name. We should never, never, never be afraid of the power of the enemy. God will not put us in a battle we can't win through Him.
Lord, let us be viligant and fight for your name's sake and pull down the kingdoms of the devil.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - Seek the Lord While He May be Found

Read Isa. 8:14-22
God first tries to reach people through kindness and when they refuse to acknowledge him he sends prophets or people to warn them. When they still won't listen he becomes their adversary and sends famine and disaster all in hopes of turning them back to him so he can heal them. In today's reading both the house of Israel and the house of Judah have forsaken God and refused to hear his advise so God has become their adversary. When there seems no hope in a nation the people will turn to anything that gives them hope. God is pleading them to turn to him and forsake their occultish practices because there is no light in all of that. Seeking anything but the Lord will lead them deeper into darkness. Light can only be found in the law and the testimony of God.
Lord, this is where America is now. Forgive us of seeking other mediums other than you. Forgive us for receiving the gods of other nations as if you are not enough. We declare that you are the god of America and we honor you. You alone can heal our nation.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mon.'s Devo - Mahershalalhashbaz

Read Isa. 8:1-13
Isaiah's wife is about to have her baby and the Lord has some words he wants Isaiah to write down concerning this child. God wanted Isaiah to write his name on a big scroll with witnesses because his name would signify what God was about to do. His name will be Mahershalalhashbaz ( surely he had a nick name) which means "the enemy is close to the prey" because before the baby will be able to talk, the king of Assyria will attack and take the spoils of Damascus and Samaria. True to his prophesy two years later Israel and Syria fell to the Assyrians. Not only them but Judah had also rejected "the soft waters of Shiloah" which were God's gentle ways of dealing with his people and chosen the might of man. So the king of Assyria will take them like a tsunami overflowing their banks. He will not only take Judah but its surrounding territories. Isaiah warns them to brace themselves for the battle. Even in the midst of their discipline, God promises to be with them. Then he warns Isaiah not to join the people in their idea of a confederacy. No alliance is going to keep them from the judgment doled out to them. Instead of fearing the future they need only to fear God who has the power alone to deliver them.
This is such a word to us in the middle of a nation that seems to be making all the wrong decisions and straying further and further from God. We need to fear God alone who is able to deliver us and prosper us in every way during a very volatile time in history. Lord, may we be strong, like Isaiah and not be afraid of what man can do to us but only fear you and your great power that can deliver us.