Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wed.’s Devo - The End!

Read Isa. 66

This is the final message of Isaiah describing true worship in the millennial reign. God is responding to Isaiah’s prayer. He made everything there is so there is nothing that we can give to God that he could inhabit except a contrite spirit who feared him. All our sacrifices mean nothing without the right heart. Because his people refused to listen to his prophets he will cause the things that they feared upon them. He will not listen when they cry out because they chose to sin and turn from his ways. But to those who do fear him and love him God will exalt in front of their enemies.

Jerusalem is pictured as a woman bringing forth a baby. She is to rejoice for she will bring this child forth in joy. She will prosper in peace and many Gentile will call her their home. God will once again bring comfort and blessing to Jerusalem. He will extend his hand and do wonders for his people and turn against their enemies. He will come with fire and judgment. He will kill many of his enemies. The nations shall be gathered to see his glory. People in far away places that haven’t heard of the power of God will hear and glorify God. They will come as an army to the mountain of Jerusalem bringing gifts into the house of the Lord. God will appoint from them new priests and Levites for the temple. The new heavens and the new earth will remain forever. They will look on the judgment of the wicked and be repulsive to everyone who sees them.

Lord, you are God Almighty who is all-knowing, all-seeing, and all wisdom. To your name be the glory! Amen!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tues.’s Devo - God’s Response

Read Isa. 65:1-25

This is God’s response to Isaiah’s prayer. God has made himself available to those that were not even looking for him. He has reached out to nations that were not called his. He has reached out to people who did not reach back, whose thoughts were only of themselves. He has endured their idol worship, their detestable sins, and their arrogance till his cup of anger is finally full. It is time for judgment. But even though the sins of their fathers have caused most of God’s anger he sees that there is this remnant he refers to as “new wine” that has come forth and for their sake he will save them. From this remnant he will bring forth Jesus from the tribe of Judah. He will inherit the mountains of Jerusalem and my people will live there. But for those who forsook the Lord, they will die in battle. They will die spiritually hungry, thirsty, and ashamed. While my true disciples will be singing and rejoicing, they will be crying for sorrow and affliction. Their name will be remembered as a curse because God will kill them and leave their inheritance to his people. Then God will usher in a new millennium: new heavens and a new earth and we will not even remember the last earth. We can rejoice is what God is going to do because it will cause Jerusalem to rejoice and the people to have joy. They will no longer cry or weep. People of that dispensation will not die before their time. They will live to be 100 and build houses and live in them. We will eat the fruit of our labor and not have loss. They will be a righteous seed so whatever we plant will be blessed of the Lord. They will walk with God like Adam did in the garden. God will hear their thoughts and answer them before they have time to voice their petition. Even the animals will live in peace with one another. There will be no violence in Jerusalem. Whether or not we will be present in this millennium I don’t know but I do know that if will be glorious and God does all things good.

Lord, you always have a happy ending for you children. Thank you, that we can trust you even if we don’t understand it all.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mon.’s Devo - Deliver us!

Read Isa. 63:15-64:12

We are in the middle of Isaiah’s prayer to the Lord for deliverance. He is crying out for mercy. He reminds God that they are his children even though they have never met Abraham. Since God has redeemed his people in the past, he is asking God to do it again. He is asking God the age-old question: Why did you make man to sin? He reminds God that they are his inheritance. They had once worshiped Him in the Temple in Jerusalem until the Babylonians destroyed it. He pleads with God to rip open the heavens and come down and let his fire burn up his enemies. If God did what he did on Mt. Sinai then the people would tremble. God has done great things on the earth, so great, that we could not have imagined them. In the same way, God has prepared some great things for his people to walk in, so great, that we could not have imagined them either. We can identify with their prayer in that we are all sinners who have fallen short of God’s righteousness but we acknowledge that God made us and we are the work of his hand sent to this earth to display his glory and works. We can join Israel in crying out for the Lord to visit us and deliver us from the oppression we are in.

Lord, bring salvation to the world and let us be a part of it. Let our lives shine forth your light to a dark and dying world.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fri.’s Devo - Mighty to Deliver

Read Isa. 63:1-14

This chapter is a description of the “day of vengeance when Jesus comes back”. He is depicted as a warrior coming back from battle stained with the blood of the enemies of the Israelites from Edom and Bosrah. When Jesus returns he will avenge Israel in the battle of Armageddon. In verses 7-12 the righteous remnant cry out to the Lord for help. They are in captivity in Babylon. Isaiah is praying for the nation, looking back to what God has done for them in the past. He delivered them from the bondage of the Egyptians and became their Savior. But Israel rebelled against the Lord, so He disciplined them . then the Lord sent Moses to deliver them from Egypt., bringing them safely through the Red Sea by miraculously dividing the waters. The Lord brought them safely into the promised land and gave them rest. This is God’s whole plan. He wants us to realize the bondage of the devil that we live in and cry to him for salvation. Once saved then He goes with us through out lives giving us peace from our enemies and teaching us to fight that he might bring us into a place of rest in Him. We can experience this rest right here on earth or we can wait to get it in heaven but God’s desire is that we experience it here on earth. It gives him more glory that way. What ever we are going through it is good to know that God is not lost and he has already planned our deliverance. We just need to trust in Him.

Lord, you are the mighty deliverer; great in battle. Thank you that you fight for us and you bring victory. We give you our failures and our weaknesses and we trust in you power to deliver.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thurs.’s Devo - Redemption for Israel

Read Isa. 62:1-12

Most commentators put this chapter in the Millennium but I am not sure. It is too easy to put everything in the Millennium that we don’t understand. I believe that Israel is going to be the head and not the tail here on earth before this whole thing comes to an end. So whether this is pre or post-millennium it still means the same. God’s righteousness is going to shine forth as a lamp. I think we are living in verse 2 where the Gentiles see this righteousness and receive a new name. We have come to the truth and are waiting for Israel to have their eyes opened to the truth of Jesus, the Messiah. When they do God is going to redeem their land and marry them once again. Prophets will prophecy once again in the streets of Jerusalem the word of the Lord. Jerusalem will be exalted in all the earth. They will harvest what they plant and get to keep it for themselves. They will once again do everything for God’s glory and he will set his blessing upon Jerusalem once again. Everyone will understand that Israel is God’s people and He did not forsake them.

Lord, you are the hope of your people and you never disappoint. Open the eyes of your people to see your loving hand extended to them.

I dreamed last night that I was in a strange place. An old Asian man asked me if I knew how to live forever. I told him I did and he listened intently as I told him God’s plan of salvation. We both teared up when I talked about Jesus. I asked him if he had ever heard of the name Jesus and he said “No”. He asked me why I didn’t tell everybody about this. Good question!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wed.’s Devo - Why He Came

Read Isa. 61:1-11

This is another favorite chapter in Isaiah. It is a Messianic prophecy. Jesus quoted the first 2 verses in Luke 4:18 only he stopped before he got to the place that said ”the day of vengeance of our God”. He then closed the book and said, “today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” He stopped there because it was not the time of vengeance but of salvation. When he comes back he will be able to fulfill the last part. Jesus came with a mission which was to preach the good news, heal the broken hearts, speak freedom to those who were in bondage, to set free those who were in prison and to proclaim that this was the day of salvation. He came to give comfort to all who were mourning and to turn their failures to something beautiful and to give them joy instead of sadness, joy instead of depression, and that they may be firmly planted in God. He came to build back things that had been torn down in their lives and repair things that had been destroyed. He was speaking of bloodline curses and old prophesies that they hadn’t seen come to pass. He came to give them hope and faith. He came to make them the head and not the tail - the ruler and not the slave. He came to let them know who they were in him: Priests of the Lord, Ministers of the Lord. He came to give them a double portion of inheritance. He came to clothe us in the robes of righteousness so that we could bloom on the earth.

Lord, may we live out everything you came for. May our lives make you glad you came and make you smile.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tues.’s Devo- Jerusalem in the Millenium

Read Isa. 60:1-22

These verses describe the what will happen on the earth in Jerusalem during the Millennium . The glory of the Lord will shine over the earth and dispel the darkness. The Gentiles and all the leaders of the earth will come to the light and knowledge of the Lord. God’s people from all over the earth will stream to Jerusalem bringing wealth and praise. They will all come with one purpose in mind: to worship God and the place will be full of the glory of God. The gates of Jerusalem will stay open day and night because of the great influx of people streaming to Jerusalem. Israel’s enemies will humbly come and acknowledge that Jerusalem is the city of the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. Jerusalem that was once a desolate land will become excellent and full of joy. Wisdom, knowledge, understanding, peace and righteousness will reign. The natural sun will be replaced with the light of God just like it was at the beginning of time. Israel will be their inheritance forever and its inhabitant will be righteous because God’s promises are true. He will do what he has promised he will do.

Lord, what a day this will be. Thank you that you are true to your promises.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mon.’s Devo - Jesus, Our Intercessor

Read Is. 59:9-21

Isaiah was a true prophet and intercessor for the people of Israel. He identified himself in their sins. He uses personal pronouns like “us” and “we”which is the mark of a true intercessor. He took responsibility for the sins of his people. Sin totally blinds us to the truth and Isaiah describes this blindness well. Verse 10 says that they were in such darkness that it was like a person feeling for the wall in the dark. Even in the middle of the day they were operating in total darkness because of the darkness of their heart. There was none who could administer justice or right judgment which displeased the Lord. There was none who was qualified to bring salvation for Israel so God promised to do this. He will do this in his son, Jesus Christ who will put on righteousness as his vest, salvation as his hat, and vengeance as his clothing. His overcoat will be passion. He will administer right judgment because he will be sinless and the only one who can judge rightly. He will punish the enemies of God and God’s own people. Then the fear of the Lord will fall upon the earth and when Satan rises up, Jesus will defeat him. Jesus will be a redeemer to those who put their trust in the Lord. This is God’s promise.

Lord, this is such a picture of our nation. Right has become wrong and vice versa. Raise up your standard and defeat your enemies. Restore the fear of you to our nation and our hearts. Forgive us of our trespasses.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fri.’s Devo - Spiders and Snakes

Read Isa. 59:1-8

God is always ready to save us and his ear is listening for our cries, but sin is what keeps God back from being able to move on our behalf. The Israelites were enslaved in Babylon and wondered why God didn’t deliver them. God sent Isaiah to let them know why he wasn’t coming to their rescue. They had killed, lied, and spoken wrongly. Their judgments were not fair, they had forsaken truth for lies, they premeditated sin and were reaping its rewards. Their evil ways were like snake eggs and spider’s webs. When the snake eggs burst open the viper comes out. Evil always multiplies. Sin is like a spider’s web that gets more and more complicated and traps innocent people in its strings. They had become so accustom to a lifestyle of sin that they were driven to sin and it just got worse and more destructive. They had forgotten what the peace of God even felt like. They had lost conviction, and wrong had become right.

How many times do we see this happen in our own lives. We do something and feel convicted but if we don’t turn from it and repent, then we start rationalizing and start comparing sins. We can always find some way to justify sin but if we do, then we blind ourselves to God’s righteousness and soon we have become totally blinded to truth and fallen for the lie.

Lord, show us the ways we have compromised your Word and help us to turn to you in spirit and in truth.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thur.’s Devo - The Sabbath

Read Isa. 58:13-14

The last verses in this chapter talks about the Sabbath and making it holy. When I was a little girl there were no stores open on Sunday. The nation honored Sunday as a day for God. Now it is uncommon for a major store to be closed on Sunday. There are a few stores who refuse to open on Sundays like Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-a. These are known as Christian businesses and are thriving because of their stand on Sunday. But, the reason stores are open on Sunday is because we shop on Sunday. I know I am guilty. Verse 13 says that we are not to do what we want on the Sabbath but to honor him and not work. The rewards are in the next verse. Our heart will be turned toward the Lord. He will cause us to be exalted in the earth and inherit the promises in this Bible. That is hard to pass up.

Lord, help us to choose you first, and honor you on Sundays and not do our own thing but set it aside for you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wed.’s Devo - Letting our Light Shine

Read Isa. 58: 10-12

Fasting should remind us of those who are hungry every day. When we reach out to the poor, we re spreading light into the darkness. As a result, our light will become brighter and we will be able to see spiritually. God’s will for our life becomes plainer. Even in times of spiritual drought, we will be fed and our sprits will prosper. We will be full of God’s spirit so that others will be blessed. God’s liven water will refresh us and those around and never run dry. We will restore things that have been ravished by the devil. We will be instrumental in bringing salvation to families and hanging their spiritual bloodline. W will be known as those that bring restoration and healing in relationships that seemed torn apart and unrepairable. We will establish God’s kingdom on the earth.

Lord, may it be. May our fasts break the devil’s strongholds and restore godly paths for Gods’s people.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tues.’s Devo - God’s Fast

Read Isa. 58:6-9

The right reason for fasting is to rid ourselves of bondages, release the burdens we carry and break out of oppression. It is not only for ourselves but for those we are praying for. Since we as a nation worship food, evident by all the different kinds of foods and restaurants we have, as fast helps us get back to eating more healthily. When you fast food and feel how being hungry affects you, you will be more compassionate to give to the poor. You will know how it feels to not be able to eat what you want, when you want it. Fasting takes your mind off yourself and tenderizes your heart. It gives you eyes to see the sufferings of others even in your won family. Your spiritual eyes will be opened and you will see with God’s eyes. You will know how to pray his will and you will see results. God will draw near because he raws near to those that have a broken and contrite heart.

Lord, break our hearts to the needs of those around us and let us see with your eyes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mon.'s Devo - Fasting

Read Isa. 58: 1-5
Isaiah 58 is the "fasting chapter". Our church is on a 20-day Daniel fast at the moment so this is very timely. Isaiah is instructing the children of Israel about what is an appropriate fast and what is not. They were fasting but weren't seeing the results they wanted and wondered why. First of all, they were fasting for the wrong reasons. They didn't fast with the right heart. Their fasting was a showy act of piety while their lifestyles were full of selfishness and self-pleasure. They mistreat those who were weak. This type of spirit will not turn God's heart or move God's hand. God is not interested in the outward signs of piety and self-denial. He is always looking for a humble and contrite heart.
Lord, examine our motives as we fast and in everything we do. Let us have a heart that moves yours. Move our hearts to yours.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fri.'s Devo -Have No Other Gods Before Me

Read Isa. 57:1-13
This is a continuation of yesterday. The rulers were so perverted and unjust that they persecuted and killed the righteous, but in their death they found peace. In verse 3 he addresses the wicked. They practiced sorcery, magic, casting spells, and some practiced prostitution which was a part of the worship of Baal and Asherah. They sacrificed their own children as a pagan ritual. God invites Isaiah behind the doors of the wicked. He also took Ezekiel there in Eze. 8:8-12. God told Ezekiel to dig into the wall and when he did he found a door. God told him to go in and when he did he saw pictures of all the idols that Israel had embraced. He described them as creeping things, and abominable beasts which symbolized what the elders of Israel do in the dark, in the chambers of their imagination. Interesting that they were the things they imagined in their minds, not just their deeds. Their idolotry had taken them so far from God and since they hadn't heard from God they stopped fearing him. They would face judgment, but the righteous would inherit the Promised Land.
Lord, I read today in Ex. 23:13 that you tell us to be circumspect and not to mention the name of other gods, or let it be heard from our mouth. Watch over our mouths and let us speak of You and your greatness and not of the gods around us.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thur.'s Devo - The Gentiles and Eunuchs

Read Isa. 56:1-12
The next 10 chapters are explaining the details of the Millenial kingdom that Jesus is going to set up in the last of days. In the first two verses the people are being encouraged to live righteously. He is speaking of his coming salvation and specifically to the Gentiles and the eunuchs. The Gentiles and the unuchs represent the non-Jews and the servants. In Mosaic law they were not allowed to worship with the Jews but not so in the New Testament. In verse 5 they are given a place in heaven that is better than the Jews. Thoses that loved the Lord, served him and kept his Word, God is going to exalt them and bring them to exalted places in his kingdom. They will be able to enter into God's temple and worship the Lord. To those who chose not to worship the Lord, he will gather to be devoured by the beasts of the world. The wicked leaders that caused Israel to sin are called blind watchmen. They were only after fame and power but they will be judged.
Lord, your judgments are right and perfect.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - Grace and Joy

Read Isa. 55:6-13
We are living in the days of grace but one day grace will be no more. That is why we need to seek the Lord now, before it is too late. We are to turn to the Lord in deed and in our thought life. God promises to save us and pardon our sins. Our ways and our thoughts are not like God's because his are so much higher. He sees the big picture and knows what is ahead so we have to constantly choose his ways and his thoughts to stay on his path. He gives us the picture of the rain and snow coming down and watering the earth. It is God's way of watering his garden on earth just like the Word of God that comes down from heaven waters our spiritual garden of our hearts. His Word causes our spirits to leap for joy and peace to well up in our hearts. It also causes the hills to sing and the trees to clap their hands. All curses will be gone and in their place will be new growth. This is not only a word picture of what happens in our hearts but an actual picture of what will happen in millenium.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - Thirsty?

Read Isa 55:1-5
It is said that we only come to God when we are in need. Actually, we are always in need of God, it is just that some people have found a panacea in the world. The rest of us are thirsty for God. Verse one says that whoever is thirsty must come and purchase wine and milk without money or price. God's living water and wine is free and available to all. The world offers many things for us to spend our money on that does not satisfy, but God's Word will make us fat in a good way. God's Word gives us promises that are sure and good. God sent us David as a type of Jesus. He would lead his armies to victory and remain a worshipper of God. Whenever he was afraid or needed help he always called on the Lord and has left us his psalms to use in similar situations. God's covenant with David was that the Messiah would rule on the Davidic throne in an everlasting kingdom (Luke 1:31-33). That will be fulfilled at Christ's Second Coming (Matt. 25:31). Verse 5 talks of the Gentile nations coming to Jesus and making him their king. (Mic. 4:1-5; Zech. 14:16-21)
Lord, we are thirsty for your revelation and your word. Teach us the times we are living in and how to move in You.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mon.'s Devo. God's Plan

Read Isa. 53:10-12
This verse is hard to comprehend with our natural minds. It pleased God to bruise Jesus. "Bruise" in the Hebrew means "to beat to pieces; crush". God orchestrated everything Jesus went through his whole life up to the moment he breathed his last breath. And when we spiritually understand that and let his sacrifice be our sacrifice then it makes God very happy. He allowed all that to happen to his only son so that he could multiply him on the earth through us. When we appropriate his blood in our lives and let him take our sins, then Jesus is compensated for all the suffering he went through. In the end, God will give Jesus the reward for what he did and he will share it with us. Verse 12 says what Jesus did in a nutshell: he emptied himself in death, called a rebel, bore our sins, and prayed for all the sinners that would come after him.
Lord, we are so grateful for what you have done for us. May we live our lives to honor you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fri.'s Devo From Prison to the Grave

Read Isa. 53:8-9
Jesus had to be judged by the religious before he could die. Since the Jews don't crucify their guilty, they had to convince the Romans that he was worthy of death because the Romans do crucify. When Jesus was brought before the high priest he rent his clothes and said Jesus was speaking blasphemy and was guilty of death. (Mat. 26:65-66) When he was brought before Pilate he spoke with him and could find no fault in him and tried to set him free (John 18:38-39). After much intimidation by the Jews he finally agreed to crucify him. But, just as Jesus said, they had no power but what his father had given them, so he submitted to the judgment and the punishment because he knew that he was purchasing our salvation with every blow. He was condemned a guilty man and placed in a Joseph's tomb, who was a rich man who believed he was the son of God. All this was done to an innocent man who had never sinned in deed or thought.
Lord, it is incomprehensible how you must have felt during this time. I am so sorry that you had to go through this, yet so thankful. I love you, Lord.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - When to Talk and When to be Silent

Read Isa. 53:7
Jesus was driven like an animal and browbeat, yet he refused to complain or defend himself. He is compared to a lamb being brought to the slaughter and not making a sound. The Bible has much to say about our mouths - over 500 verses. It is the same Hebrew meaning for the word "edge" as in the "edge of the sword". We know that our sword is the Word of God so when we read that Joshua killed the Philistines by the edge of the sword it could read Joshua killed the Philistines by the word of his testimony. That is how we defeat our enemies. But Jesus knew when to wield his sword as he did against the Pharasees and Sadusees and he knew when to be silent when it was time to be the slain lamb. There are times to speak up and defend the gospel and times to be quiet and not defend ourselves. God has promised to do that. He did that for Jesus. He proclaimed out of the clouds, "this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." (Mat. 3:17) At his crucifixion he spoke out of the sky and brought thunder, lightning and darkness in the middle of the day.
Lord, help us to fight for you and let you fight for us.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - Jesus, the Bearer of Our Transgressions

Read Isa. 53: 1-6
This is my favorite chapter in Isaiah. It is like the angels in heaven are having this conversation with God. They are sent to tell of Jesus coming and they are asking God, "Who is going to believe this news?" And, "who in history is God going to send this incredible gift to?" Then God describes to them what it is going to look like. Jesus is going to be sent during a time when the spiritual climate is very dry and dead. He is going to be life springing from the dead. There will not be anything particularly beautiful about him like there was in Moses. He will be hated and rejected by the very ones he is sent to save. He will not be recognized for who he is. But he will carry all the griefs that man can encounter and it will look to man as if he is cursed of God. All his wounds will be because of our sins and perversity. Because of his afflictions we will be given well-being and healing. Mankind is like sheep that leave the flock and stray away yet our rebellion will be placed on Jesus and he will bear our consequences. It doesn't seem fair but it is called grace.
Thank you, Lord, for grace. Thank you for what Jesus bore for us that we might come boldly into your presence and obtain grace.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - Awake and See the Salvation of the Lord

Read Isa. 52:1-15
Whenever the Bible says something twice in one verse it means it will happen soon. Isaiah admonishes them to awake twice. "Awake" in the Hebrew means "open your eyes". Isaiah wants them to open their spiritual eyes and know that God is going to deliver them soon from the Assyrians. It is time to take off their sack cloth and put on beautiful garments because God is going to do something beautiful and he wants them dressed for the occasion. He tells them to rid themselves of all the Babylonian influence they have slipped into and return with their whole heart to the Lord. They have lived with a people who blaspheme God but... "no more". God is about to bring Jesus on the scene who will bring salvation and peace and comfort to his people. Their job is to cleanse their selves of sin and the unclean things of their captors. When they leave Babylon they will not be fleeing in a hurry but God will go before them and lead them out like he did with Moses. This great deliverer will amaze the people because his physical appearance will be disfigured worse than any they had ever seen. But with his speech he will amaze kings that don't even know about him.