Monday, October 31, 2011

Mon's Devo - God's Faithfulness

Read Isa. 51:9-23
This is the cry of Isaiah and the remnant for God to act in the future as He has in the past. Just as God redeemed Israel at the Red Sea and brought the Israelites out of Egypt, so they are calling him to act on their behalf. When he does they will return to Jerusalem with singing and joy. Then Isaiah comforts the people and encourages them not to be afraid of the Babylonian government or any man because God is their maker and he can turn the hearts of kings. He promises them that they will not die in Babylon but God will bring them out and the Babylonians will be destroyed by the Medo-Persians. God is raising up Cyrus to come against the Babylonians like a roaring wave, but God will protect his people. God's discipline lasts for a season but his faithfulness is forever.
Lord, help us to remember your faithfulness to your remnant and may we never be afraid.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - God is in Control

Read Isa. 51:1-8
To all those who run after what is right and look to God: we were taken from the pit of Satan and carved from the rock of Jesus. What a transformation! We were put in a family with an inheritance and blessed. In the midst of desolation and destruction God will comfort us. He will cause us to bloom in the most unfruitful places and give us gladness and joy and a song to sing. God brought about judgment on the earth and a light to us in the salvation he brought through Jesus. People will live and die until time is over and then God will do away with both heaven and earth, but his salvation will last for ever. So for us now, we should not be afraid of what is happening on the earth or of man, because his days are short and God is forever in control. I love how God communicates his watch over us. I was concerned because I have a deadline for some curtains and my material hadn't come yet. I was expecting it to be there during the day and now it was after 7 at night. I was fighting being anxious. Dave and I had just sat down on the couch to pray. Dave said, "Lord thank you for your peace..." As soon as he said the word "peace" the door bell rung and I knew that the ups man had brought my fabric! Peace was manifested in my heart. Thank you, Lord. Thank you that your timing is right on time and your plan for the earth is perfect and right.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo -Strange Fire

Read Isa. 50:10-11
In verse 10 God is speaking to those who walk in misery and darkness and have no light. Job 29:3 says that he walked through darkness by the light of the Lord. Those are two different things. We will walk through darkness on this earth but if we know Jesus his light will be there to guide us through it. But to those who don't have Jesus as their Lord, they must trust in the name of the Lord and lean on him to help them in dark times. In verse 11 God is talking to those who not only walk in darkness but try to make their own light out of their own fire. Pro_26:21 says, " As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife." The fire that they make will be what Lev. 10:1 calls "strange fire" - fire that God doesn't approve of because he didn't order it. That kind of fire brings contention, strife, and sorrow. God's fire is a consuming fire that burns away sin and leaves us pure.
Lord, help us to trust in your name alone and not in our own devises.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - Jesus, Our Hope of Restoration

Read Isa. 50: 1-9
Just like a man who writes a divorce paper and sends his wife away, so their sins have divorced them from God. When they did this they cut themselves off from God's blessings and instead they got his rebuke. All heaven mourned Israel's rebellion and separation. But Jesus will spring forth out a dry ground and his words will pierce the heart. When Jesus came and his words left everyone speechless, even the religious leaders. The officers said that "never has a man spoke like this man." If you listen to Jesus you will gain wisdom even if you are unlearned. Knowledge can be taught but wisdom must be revealed and that is what Jesus came and did. He opened the eyes and ears of the spirit in man. He willing let himself be beaten and spit upon. He fully gave himself to God's will and set his heart to fulfill his destiny for us. God will vindicate everything that Jesus had to go through.
Lord, help us to walk the walk that Jesus walked.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tue's Devo -The Road Back

Read Isa. 49:8-13
This is our word for today! In an acceptable time God has heard us. In these verses we learn that God hears us, helps us, keeps us, and gives us a spiritual inheritance. God promises to restore the earth. We as Christians are going to one day get back what the devil has stolen from us. Verse 8 calls them "desolate heritages". Those who are locked in sin and oppression will come out of their tombs just like Lazareth did when Jesus said, "Come forth". Everyone who has hidden in darkness will come out. God is going to call his people back to the land and will provide for all their needs on the way. It will be like the days of Moses when he led the children of Israel through the wilderness and fed them manna from heaven. All obstacles, or mountains will be taken away as God leads them safely back to Israel. He will bring them from the land of Sinim which means "thorns". Thorns are a symbol of curses. So God will bring them from curses into the blessings. When this happens all the earth will rejoice and be glad. God will once again have mercy on his children.
Even though this is talking about future events the Bible is alive and speaks to us all the time. To me, these verses tell me that God is bringing people right now out of tremendous bondage and affliction. Salvation is free to anyone who asks and many are on their way home.
Lord, help us to be ready to receive your prodigal sons back into the fold of your flock.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mon's Devo - Our Labor is Not in Vain

Read Isa. 49:1-7
In these verses we get to see the heart of Jesus, the son, and God the Father. Jesus was called from the womb and given a sword as a mouth so that everything that proceeded from his mouth was God's words. God hid him from the devil's schemes to kill him . Verse 4 shows how Jesus viewed his own ministry. "I have labored in vain." He knew that he was sent to earth to bring God's people back to him so he went to the Jews first. But God's plan extended to the Gentiles and to the ends of the earth. Halleluiah! God says in verse 7 that even though he was despised and abhorred by the ones he came to save many will be saved because of his life and death on earth.
How many of us can relate to the way Jesus felt? Sometimes the Christian walk can be disappointing and discouraging but when we see seeds that don't sprout in our time, God sees seeds that sprout in his time. God sees the end from the beginning. Our job is to just keep planting and walking in Him. The results are always up to him.
Lord, may we be diligent to plant seeds of salvation, hope, and love and leave the result to you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - Pilgrimage Back to Israel

Read Isa. 48:1-22
God is telling them what is to happen in their future. One day they will again be captive in Babylon because of their obstinacy and hypocrisy. They said that they called on God's name but the truth is they were very comfortable in Babylon and didn't want to return to Israel. God promises to give them new prophecies since they refused to believe the last ones and tell them secrets he had previously kept from them. They have been through the furnace of affliction but it had not produced a humble people. But God is true to his promises and it is time for them to go back to Israel. God promises to lead them out and punish Babylon. He will use Cyrus of Persia to destroy the Babylonians. If they had only trusted in the Lord and followed his commands, they would have had peace like a river and lived in righteousness. They would have prospered and grew to be a mighty nation. Just as the Israelites had to flee Egypt in the days of Moses, they were called to flee the Babylonians. And just as the Lord provided for the Israelites in the wilderness, he would provide for them as they leave Babylon and go back to Israel. For the wicked among them, there will be no peace.
Lord, have mercy on us for trusting in idols of the world. Show us places in our hearts where we have not allowed you to reign.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - Babylon's Last Stand

Read Isa. 47:1-15
God had sent Israel to Babylon to be disciplined. The Babylonians had been cruel and merciless to them and they never considered the consequence. Babylon, once the lady of kingdoms is about to be totally humiliated and disgraced by the Persians (539 B.C.) Babylon is compared to a half-naked slave girl working as a slave. This was new to Babylon since she had never been conquered before. She will no longer be the queen of kingdoms and her pride will be brought down to the ground. Once a wife and mother she will be reduced to a widow and childless. All her witchcraft and demonic power will not be able to help her. She trusted in her wickedness and her perverted wisdom and knowledge, but it cannot help her against God who is all wisdom. Everything that Babylon trusted in will not be of any help against God's judgment on her. None will be able to save her.
I pray that this doesn't happen to our nation. Lord may you see the righteous remnant and may it be enough to save us.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wed.'s Devo Lighten Your Burden

Read Isa. 46:1-13
What a picture of what bondage will do to you. Bel and Nebo are names of Babylonian gods. To worship them caused the people to become bent over with burdens too heavy for them to carry. Even the animals were stooped over from carrying them. Jesus told the people to take his yoke upon them and to learn of him because his yoke was easy and his burden light. Why do we choose to carry burdens when God has told us to roll them on him and he will carry them for us. In verse 3 God makes an appeal to his children who he carried in his womb and birthed them himself. How can they compare him to their gods that they make out of silver and gold who cannot live or answer their prayers? Don't they remember him who created the earth and told them what was to come in the end. He sent them prophets who rightly spoke for him and told them things to come that only God would be able to know. Even though it looks like to them that God is never going to deliver them.... he will. Everything that he has purposed will come to pass. Everything.
Lord, help us to not be like the Israelites in this chapter that went after other gods because they didn't want to wait on the Lord's salvation. Help us to roll all our concerns and fears on you because you want them. You want us to walk unencumbered to do your work.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - The Kingdoms of This World...

Read Isa. 45:12-25
God is speaking of the last days but it applies in our lives. He is saying that He who made man and earth has raised us up to build him a city of righteousness. When we set get set free of all our demons and become the body of Christ we were meant to be then even our enemies will come and bow at our feet. The world doesn't have the answers for the world's problems but God's people do. When we realize that God is the only answer we will shine like stars. Those that refuse to come to the Lord will be disgraced and their wisdom will look foolish compared to God's. Israel (God's people) will be free and safe during this time and forever more. God, who created this world, did not create it to be destroyed but for it to be inhabited.
So God is calling his people out of the bondage of the world to come together as one. In the end everyone will bow before God and those who have called the Lord their God will be justified and glorified and those who have been against God will burn.
God is raising up his people to places of authority in the earth and when the world runs out of answers they are going to see the wisdom of God's people and they are going to run to hear what they have to say. The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God. (Rev. 11:15)
Lord, help us to run after your wisdom and have an answer from you.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mon.'s Devo Things to Come

Read Isa. 45:4-11
I don't think I have ever seen this: God "surnamed" us (vs. 1). "Surnamed" in the Hebrew means to address by an additional name; to give flattering titles; to eulogize. It is like God is giving his people a nickname because he is so endeared to them. He surrounds them with his love and all to a people that don't even know him. Once again he is trying to draw them near to him. He wants them to be always aware of his loving presence. He is the one who creates light and dark, good and evil. Sometimes it is hard for us to realize that God actually causes affliction, adversity, and harm (all meanings of the word "evil"). He does and he does it for his purposes. His ways are higher than our ways (Isa. 55:9). He wants the heavens to drip righteousness and for salvation to spring up from the ground. Who are we to argue with the one who made us and fashioned us for a specific purpose? God welcomes us to ask him questions about himself and about the future so we will be prepared. It is God's great plan that he created this earth and man as his prized possession. He loves to share his plan with us.
Lord, cause us to hear your voice and the name that you have given to us. Show us things to come that we might learn to trust in you.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - The Secrets of God

Read Isa. 45:1-3
I absolutely love this chapter. It is full of wisdom about God. When God opens gates it is for us to come into a place we have never been before. There are places we can achieve in the spirit that are new but only God can reveal. If we are hungry and want to grow in our walk with God he will take us down roads that have been hard before. He will make the road straight which means prosperous, pleasant and right. It will fit us and our gifts. Things that have been a hindrance to us will be demolished by God. He will reveal secrets to us that have not been revealed before. I love those times. I have asked God questions that I didn't think were answerable to man and God has told me the answers because I asked. He longs for a people that want to know him and his ways. We wrongly think that we are not suppose to know the mysteries of God but he loves to share them with people that love and honor him. So ask him a hard question and see what he says.
Lord, help us to grow in our relationship with you. Thank you for your willingness to share with us your secrets.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - God Alone

Read Isa. 44:1-28
God loves to call things that aren't as if they were. God sees the end from the beginning so he never sees us in sin; he sees us in righteousness. God called Jacob and Israel to be his own possession and all of their offspring. He calls them "Jesurun" which means "upright". God speaks to the day that he will come to Israel and pour out his spirit so that all that are desiring him will be satisfied. He promises to not only pour his spirit but to bless them with many descendents. They may separate themselves by family saying "I am of Israel, or I am from Jacob", but God says they are all his and that He alone is their father. All other gods are good for nothing and when they die they will be ashamed to find out they were worshiping gods that were empty and man-made. They went to great pains to have the best idols made of the best wood and iron all for naught. The same wood that they made an idol and worshiped was the same wood they used to burn and make themselves warm. God made the tree that the wood came from and the earth that it is planted in. How stupid it is to worship things when you can worship the creator of the things. God decides who will be exalted and who will be abased. He alone is in control and He alone deserves our worship.
Lord, forgive us for thinking you can not help. You hold the future of the universe in your hand. You alone are God.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wed.'s Devo. - Glorify Yourself on the Earth

Read Isa. 43:20-28
The rest of this chapter is a picture of millennial reign when Israel is in their land reigning over the earth. He mentions that the beasts of the field and the dragons and the owls will honor the Lord. These are three unclean animals that are associated with darkness and the occult. They are animals that feasts on dead things. But one day they will be set free of their curse and become holy. Even the land will become holy and the desert will have rivers running through it and the wilderness will be watered. Whatever happens naturally will also happen spiritually. The actual deserts will have rivers and the people that have lived in a state of thirst for God with no spiritual refreshing will be taught and showered with healing and anointing power. Humanity was created to honor God but they didn't do that. Even his chosen people Israel and Judah didn't honor God by following his covenant. They didn't bring him the sacrifices that he asked. Instead they wearied the Lord with their sins but how merciful is God! He chose to blot out our transgressions and to forget our sins. But, because of his nature, he has to discipline them first. Then he can bless them.
Lord, send us streams in the desert that we might be filled with your spirit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tue.'s Devo - New Things

Read Isa. 43:1-18
I love these verses. God tells us that he has bought us back from the devil's domain and called us by name and given us his name. When we go through small and large trials he will go with us through them. He will not let the situation overwhelm us. When we walk through persecution it will not leave us with scars and we will not stay there. Isaiah skips ahead to out lifetime when God began to call the Jewish people back to their homeland. In 1948 the land of Israel became a nation and from then to now God has put it on the heart of his people to come and live in Israel. He has given them scientific secrets into how to turn desert land into farmland. Trees have been planted where there was once barrenness and wilderness. He brought forth the blind people who had eyes and the deaf people who had ears. In other words he called people that don't even know the Lord to come back and follow their heart. They have the ability to know him they just haven't YET. God is the author of humanity. He has always been in control and he will always be in control. The things we have seen God do in the past won't even compare to what he is going to do. We will talk tomorrow about what that is going to look like.
Lord, there is nothing compared to your majesty and your wisdom. I am so blessed to be your child.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mon.'s Devo - Restore

Read Isa. 42:13-25
When God gets ready to act there is no stopping him. He comes in like a mighty man who is jealous for his son's bride. He will bring down the authority of the land (the mountains and the hills) and "dry up all their herbs". "Dry up" in the Hebrew means to cause their plans to be confused and ashamed. All the world's systems will not prosper. God will start setting things straight. The blind will be lead by the spirit of God and their ways will become his ways. God will come back and lead his people. The truth will be presented in a way they can understand it and they will be ashamed of their false idols. God will restore his ways and word to his people and they will realize how they have allowed the devil to steal from them and keep them in bondage. God will restore them so that they can get back what the enemy stole from them and be restored to right relationship with God. It was God who allowed Israel to go into bondage because of their sin and it is God that will bring them out and restore them back to him.
Lord, restore your church back to right standing with you and your Word.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - The Servant is Coming

Read Isa. 42:1-12
This is the first of many of Isaiah's servant songs. The "servant" may be referring to Israel as a nation, the godly remnant, or the Messiah. This one refers to the Messiah. He is the one that God delights in. He will one day judge the Gentiles. He will not be like the Pharisees who were argumentative and strict. He will be gentle with the weak and not quench the smallest fire in the heart of the people. He will not fail in his mission nor be discouraged by the reaction of the people. He will fulfill his covenant to Israel and be a light to the Gentiles. He will open the spiritually blind eyes as well as the physical. He will bring them out of their man-made and self-made prisons. He will not share his glory with an idol or any other thing. The past is gone and God is going to do a new thing. Praise God for he will give us a new song to sing to him. All earth will rejoice as what the Lord will do. Even the isolated places will hear what God has done and praise him. All this was done by Jesus and will be done again when he comes back.
Lord. How Wonderful you are! We look anxiously for your return.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - Only God

Read Isa. 41:21-29
God is challenging the nations of the world to use their idols to predict the future. When they fail and their predictions don't come true they will realize that their pagan gods are worthless. But God is true and he knows the future because he wrote it. God raised up Cyrus from the north to trample Israel's enemies like the potter trampling clay. No one but God has declared this. Their idols were not able to predict this because they were nothing and their works were vanity. God knew that one day Jerusalem would be the place where Jesus would bring the good news of the gospel. Isaiah prophesied Jesus coming more than any other prophet and all his prophecies came true. God is not slow concerning his promises but has the future all mapped out in his perfect timing.
Lord, help us to wait on you and your goodness. Let us not turn to the world for answers because only you hold the future.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - A Bright Future

Read Isa. 41:1-20
God is challenging the Gentile nations to come to his courtroom. God raised up Cyrus, the Persian, from the east and gave him power to conquer the Babylonian Empire. It is God that empowered him to rule. Anyone who tried to withstand him would be going against God himself. As for Israel, God will remember his covenant with Abraham and he will strengthen Israel and protect it. Isaiah looks forward to the millennial reign when all their enemies will be ashamed and put down. God will come to the aid of his people. God will make Israel strong and powerful again and make them instruments of war that will fight their enemies and win. Israel will once again rejoice in the Lord and glory in the Holy One of Israel. The whole earth will respond to the Lord. The wilderness will blossom, the dry places will be watered with fountains and rivers. Trees will grow and bear fruit where they couldn't before. He lists 7 different kinds of trees that will flourish in the desert. They stand for tenacity, discipline, repentance, , praise, endurance, and steadfastness. God's glory will be evident everywhere. This is what God wants to do in each of us: be strong and powerful, make us bloom and fill us with his Holy Spirit so that we might bear fruit.
Lord, thank you for giving us a hope and a future and the tools we need to bear much fruit.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mon.'s Devo - The Greatness of Our God

Read Isa. 40:1-26
The next 8 chapters of Isaiah look forward to the time when Israel will be in captivity in Babylon.  Isaiah probably wrote these later in his life.  He starts out comforting Israel during its time of discipline in Babylon because it is over.  Now Isaiah is calling Israel to get ready for God to act.  They need to prepare themselves spiritually.  They are to make a smooth highway for God to enter in the desert.  Every valley will be brought up and every mountain will be made low; the crooked straight, and tough places smooth.  In other words, everyone is going to be at the same level.  God's glory has a way of reducing us all to dust.  No pride stands against his glory.  God himself will rule and take care of his people like a shepherd tends his sheep.  This God who holds all the waters of the earth in the palm of his hand, who can measure heaven with the spread of his fingers, and knows the measure of the dust of the earth and the weight of the mountains will gently lead us and love us.  No one taught God how to judge or live.  He is all knowledge and wisdom.  There is nothing that can stand before him or comprehend him.  People have tried to make images of him for ever and no one has gotten it right.  God sits on the path that the earth takes and sees us as grasshoppers.  He stretched out the heavens as I stretch out my curtains on my table.  He can totally manage and control the heavens and the earth.  He decides who rules and who gets dethroned.  What on earth do we have to compare to God?  No one.        
Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  How can we not trust you and love you?