Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Read: Isa. 60:1-62:5; Phil. 1:27:2:18; Ps. 72:1-20; Pr. 24:11-12 We are seeing these scriptures fulfilled in our lifetime. The Gentile are coming into the kingdom and will continue like a flood. We are about to see the largest harvest ever before which will precipitate the Jewish harvest. We, as Gentiles are to provoke them to jealousy in our faith toward God and Jesus. The Jew that has been forsaken and hated will become an eternal excellence and joy. Violence will no more be heard in the land of Israel! Won’t that be a welcome change? I have to admit some of this sounds too good to be true, but it is not. When God declares something its a done thing. I believe this is talking about the seventh millennium but it will happen. We read in Isaiah that our gates should be praise and in Phillippians we read that our conversation should honor the gospel of Christ. Our gates are our mouths. We should guard what comes out of our mouths and let it be praise and wisdom. We should honor one another above ourselves and walk humbly before God. We can have the mind of Christ which makes us a servant. If Christ could submit to death, then we should be able to submit to our boss, or our husband, or to what God is asking of us. Only by dying to ourselves are we able to be exalted by God. We will see that our sacrifice will not be in vain. Lord, thank you for Your plans for a great future. Help us to not get weary in well doing but to patiently endure with joy till you come.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Read: Is. 57:14-59:21; Philippians 1:1-26; Ps. 71:1-24; Pr. 24:9-10 God is a redemptive god. He lists man’s sins and rebellion then says in 57:18, “I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.” God’s mercy knows no bounds! Isaiah 58 is known as the “fast chapter” because it explains why we fast. It is not to seem righteous and holy to others. It is to deprive yourself of a daily need so you will be compassionate toward those who are needy. Spiritually it is to break free those who have been bound under Satan’s power. So we mix fasting with prayer. Fasting clears our minds and spirits so that the light of Jesus can shine brighter through us. When we willingly do without as a fast to the Lord, then we won’t be forced to do it in famine. God will reward us then. There are other ways we please God: we don’t always do what we want to do but we honor God with calling holy what He calls holy. When we honor a day of rest and delight in the Lord, God will give us the promises of promotion and blessing. The last verse in chapter 59 is another great declaration for our families: “My spirit that is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.” This is our prayer today.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Read: Isa. 54:1-57:13; Eph. 6:1-24; Ps. 70:1-5; Pr. 24:8 It is amazing how many promises that we stand on are found in Isaiah. If you need a good rock to stand on for your children you can use Isa. 54:13-14 (“And all my children shall be taught of the Lord…”). For spiritual warfare, try Isa.54:17 (“No weapon formed against me shall prosper…”). If you are confused, Isa. 55:8-11 is a good reminder (“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord...”). If you are anxious and are having a hard time sleeping you can claim Isa. 57:2 (“I will enter into peace: I will rest when I go to bed.”) In Ephesians we have instructions on how to receive the blessings of God like: children honor your parents; fathers don’t provoke your children; servants obey your masters; be strong in the Lord; and put on the whole armor of God. Since our enemies are not earthly beings but invisible spiritual beings, our weapons must be invisible and spiritual also. Our first piece of armor is having our loins girt about with truth. That means we have the seed of God in our inmost being - our reproductive parts. This is talking about salvation. If we don’t have this truth, none of the other pieces will work. The next is the breastplate of righteousness. This has to do with the sanctification process that accompanies those who are truly saved. They want a pure heart. The next has to do with our walk. If we are truly saved then we will want to share it with others. Our faith is our next weapon. It acts as a shield against all the lies and discouragements the devil brings our way. Then we are to take the helmet of salvation. Our mind has to be covered with salvation. Our head must be covered with the blood. Last of all the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Notice that the Spirit and the Word work together. The Word has to be breathed forth from God for it to have power. Anyone can use the Word to preach their doctrine but unless it is breathed on by the Spirit is will bring death and not life. The Word is our weapon. We got ammunition in Isaiah to put in our guns, our mouths, that we can proclaim God’s Word back to him with power. God promised in Isa. 55:11, “So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Lord, teach us to use Your Word to accomplish Your will on earth.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Read Is. 51:1-53:12; Eph. 5:1-33; Ps. 69:19-36; Pr. 24:7 Today’s reading is one of hope. God calls Israel to remember their roots. They were called out of the seed of Abraham and salvation is coming. One day everything they went through will make sense and be rewarded. Faith is what saved them then and what still saves us today. They had faith looking forward for the Messiah, we have faith looking back at the Messiah. It is all the same. Faith is what saves us. We are still looking forward to the Messiah to come again. Isaiah 53 is probably the best Old Testament prophecy about Jesus’ first coming. I wonder what they thought about this scripture since they seemed to be thinking the Messiah would be a king and not a suffering servant. We could sum up the whole chapter of Ephesians and the New Testament in what Paul says in Ephesians 2: “Walk in love.” If we walk in Christ’s love then we wouldn’t want to do lewd acts or participate with sinners. Our righteousness would shine and we would be children of light. We would desire to be wise and walk in the Spirit. Paul even gives a description of a person who walks in the spirit. They speak the Word, sing the Word, pray and praise God with their lips. They are thankful for all things. If we walk in love then we can submit to our husbands and honor them as our spiritual head. Husbands can love their wives as Christ loves the church. Lord, help us to walk in Your love today.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Read: Is. 48:12-50:11; Eph. 4:17-32 Ps. 69:1-18; Pr. 24:5-6 There are some real nuggets in today’s reading. God promises in 48:15 to make our way prosperous. In verse 17 it says that God will teach us to profit and lead us by the way that we should go. If we will obey what the Word says then we will experience peace and righteousness. We won’t thirst when we walk through the deserts of life. Because God has chosen us like he chose Israel, we have been given a covenant with God to establish and inherit the earth. God will have mercy on his people and comfort us. We are engraved on the palms of God’s hands. Those that wait on God’s promises will never be ashamed. God will contend with the enemy and save our children. In Chapter 50, God promises to give us the speech of the wise that we will know what to say to those who are weary. He will open our spiritual ears to be able to hear His voice. These are some pretty good promises! Ephesians talks about being renewed in the spirit of our minds. That means having God’s perspective of life. We are spiritual people having a temporary earthly experience but we tend to live contrary to that belief. We are to put on the new man who doesn’t lie, isn’t angry, and doesn’t give the devil any attention in their life. This new man walks unafraid in the truth being kind and loving to everyone. Lord, renew our minds in You today.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Read: Is. 45:11-48:11; Eph. 4:1-16; Ps. 68:19-35; Pr. 24:3-4 When I read today’s reading I was made aware of the many times God used the word “commanded” or “declared”. He tells us to ask of Him things concerning the future and his church. We are to command Him concerning His doings. In other words… we read the promises and command them to happen. God has promised to raise up the righteous and direct all his ways. When we don’t see this happening we can call God on it (not disrespectfully). We have a part in making God’s promises come to pass. We need to agree with heaven to bring those promises down. In Is. 46:10 and in Is. 48:3 it says that God declares the end from the beginning. God declares the way a person or happening will end at the moment of its conception. How the middle goes is up to our agreement. We can do life the hard way and enter a life of discipline and hard knocks or we can do it God’s way and the path will be made smooth. I’m not saying their won’t be trials because there will be, but we will see the big picture and never lose our joy, peace and hope. In Ephesians we read that when Jesus rose from the dead he was rising from the lower parts of Sheol where all the people went who died before He came. He preached freedom to them and those who believed rose with Him when He rose. When Jesus rose he appointed ambassadors to carry out His work on earth. He gave them the grace to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to edify the body of Christ. Lord, thank you for Your promises. Help us to command them by Your Spirit to bring heaven to earth.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Read: Is. 43:14-45:10; Eph. 3:1-21: Ps. 68:1-18; Pr. 24:1-2 I just got home from visiting two of my sons and their families so my heart is heavy for them. As parents we want to see our children prospering in every way and it is easy for me to see all the things I should have done or prepared them for. It is hard not to feel like a failure, so I am so glad for the great promises in today’s reading. In Chapter 43, God says He will make a way when it seems impossible: a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. If you think about that, it is all impossible situations…it is impossible to make a path in the waters of a storm. But, God can do even that. No matter what our storm is, God can make a way out of it. In Chapter 44, God promises to pour out His spirit on our seed and His blessings on our offspring. God is our redeemer that formed us and our children in the womb. He will raise up decayed places like Jerusalem that had become uninhabited. To me, those decayed and uninhabited places are like unfulfilled dreams or plans. God can take the pieces our our failures and build them back into successes. In Chapter 45, God promises to go before us and make crooked places straight and break in pieces the gates of brass. God will make the hard times turn into prosperous times and tear down the things that are keeping us or our kids from encountering HIm. I have to bring out one verse that people have a hard time with and it is 45:7. The King James says that God created peace and evil. God is the creator of all things: good and bad. He created light and darkness, a tree with fruit of knowledge of good and evil. This should comfort us because God controls his creation. Lord may our children and grand children be strengthened with might by Your Spirit in their inner man; that You may dwell in their hearts by faith in their inner man. May they know the love of Christ and be filled with all the fulness of God because you are able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Read: Is. 41:17-43:13; Eph. 2:1-22; Ps. 67:1-7; Pr. 23:29-35 When the Bible talks about the “poor and needy” it is talking the depressed in mind or circumstances and in want, but spiritually it means those that humbly realize their need for God. For them God promises to open rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys which means to open up the mysteries and the riches of who He is and fill our hungry hearts so that we might see and know and consider and understand the things God is doing and going to do in the future. Chapter 42 describes Jesus as His elect to bring light to the Gentiles. He will open their blind eyes, set those imprisoned free. God wants to bury our past so that He can bring forth a new thing in us. He wants us to sing a new song, trust Him to lead us in paths we are unfamiliar to us, make light out of our darkness and make our crooked ways straight. It is good to remind ourselves that Jesus came to bring peace and break down the wall between us and God. He abolished the wrath we deserve and the commandments to give us an access by the Spirit to God. We are now of the family and household of God. Lord, thank you for Your promises. It is so comforting to have such a caring daddy.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Read: Is. 39:1-41:16; Eph. 1:1-23; Ps. 66:1-20; Pr. 23:25-28 This is not the only time we see the king show the enemy all his treasures only to have them come and take it later. There are reasons that we aren’t suppose to cast our pearls before swine. The devil is out to steal, kill, and destroy everything we have so it is not in our best interest to flaunt our blessings before the enemy. Even God hid Jesus when he first came to the earth so the devil wouldn’t kill him as an infant. We are told to be wise as foxes and harmless as doves. That means that we are aware of our enemy and wise in dealing with him but willing to love and nourish those that are caught in his powers. Isaiah 40:29-31 is such an encouraging word: the weary and weak will be strengthened and those who wait for God to move will have renewed strength. They will rise up in great strength and fulfill their destiny. We read in Ephesians that our destiny is the good works that God has ordained us to walk in. We are no longer aimlessly walking around battling sin but our spirits have been made to come alive and our spirits are seated in heavenly places in Christ. I have to remind myself that I am a spiritual person having a temporary earthly experience and not vise versa. Lord, may we fulfill our destiny today.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Read: Is. 37:1-38:22; Gal 6:1-18; Ps. 65:1-13; Pr. 23:24 We learn two great concepts in todays reading in Isaiah. The first is that when God gives us a promise, the devil will try everything in his power to steal it. God told Hezekiah that God would bring him victory and right away Rabshakeh tried to intimidate him with fear. Hezekiah praised God and gave his fear to God and God gave him the victory he didn’t even have to fight. The second principle is found in Chapter 38. God tells Hezekiah that he is about to die and Hezekiah prays for more life. God grants his prayer. When the scripture says to number our days it means to weigh your days - give them meaning and purpose because we don’t know how short they will be. People shorten their lives with the way they live. They haven’t “numbered” their days well. God allows us to turn His heart and change his mind with our prayers just like Hezekiah did, just like Abraham did when he prayed for Sodom and Gomorrah and just like Moses did when he cried out for the people of Israel when God wanted to destroy them. Our prayers are affective with God. We are suppose to change things with our prayers. Galatians confirms what we learned in Isaiah. Paul tells us that what we sow we will reap. If we sow to our flesh we will reap corruption. (If we smoke, our bodies will die sooner.) Psalms 55:23 says that the evil will live out half of their days. I want to live out all of my life. If we sow to the Spirit we will reap life. That is the way to prolong your life. Paul also tells us to bear one another’s burdens. In other words to pray for them and restore them if they slip into sin. Lord, help us to walk in love today.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Read: Is. 33:13-36:22; Gal. 5:13-26; Ps 64:1-10; Pr. 23:23 In Isaiah 33 the people who pretended to know God will be afraid when God judges the land, but the real believers find their refuge in God. He will be protected, fed, and sustained and will behold the beauty of God and see the heavenly future God has planned for the overcomers. Chapter 33 and 34 have to do with the last battles on the earth. Even heaven will be dissolved and shaken. Satan now abides in that realm. God’s sword will come down on Idumea which is talking about Esau, the cursed brother of Jacob that despised his inheritance. He stands for all the people that had a chance to know God and be a part of His family and chose not to. In the end the earth is going to be destroyed by fire and that is what Chapter 34 is talking about. Chapter 35 gives us a totally different view. It is the view of the Christian’s future. For him the dessert will rejoice and blossom with joy and singing. So to those who are faint hearted and afraid, there is no reason to be. God is our judge and deliverer. This sounds like a huge revival to me. A revival of repentance and holiness to God. In Chapter 36 we get a true application of what Isaiah has prophesied. The king of Assyria comes up against Judah and should have no trouble taking it, but Hezekiah trusts in the Lord, who is more than able to defend it. Lord, help us to walk in the Spirit today.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Read Is. 30:12-33:12; Gal. 5:1-12; Ps. 63:1-11; Pr. 23:22 It is hard to read Isaiah and not get a little sad or afraid so let’s look at the promises to those who stay true to the Lord. In Chapter 30 we learn that in repentance and resting in the Lord we will be saved. When things get crazy around us, if we will turn to the Lord instead of relying on our selves to fix it, we will be saved. God will raise up teachers for the hungry and the Holy Spirit will guide us step by step. In Chapter 31 it tells us that when the enemy won’t listen to our leaders, God will come down and fight for us. We are spiritual Jerusalem and God will defend his city. In Chapter 32 we see the righteous king Jesus reigning. When He does our eyes will see clearly and we will hear perfectly. No longer will a vile person be labeled a liberal. He will be exposed for the evil person he is and will be judged according to his deeds. The work of the righteous shall be peace and confidence in God. We will rest in quiet places of refuge. In Chapter 33 we see that when it gets bad in the world, God is exalted. Our stability is going to be in our Godly wisdom and knowledge. The fear of the Lord will be our treasure so what do we have to be afraid of? O God, You are our God; early will we seek you. Your ways are wonderful!
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Read: Is. 28:14:-30:11; Gal. 3:23-4:31; Ps. 62:1-12; Pr. 23:19-21 There will be people who have made a covenant with hell…who have rejected the words of God and Isaiah and they will be destroyed because they didn’t believe God would judge them. Ariel is a fictitious name for Jerusalem. All the nations that come up against her will be like empty dreams. Right now, the Jew's eyes have been shut by God. They talk of God but they can't understand Him or His Word because their hearts are not willing to hear the truth. When we see God bless Lebanon then we know that He is about to open the eyes of the Jews also. Then those that are meek and humble will come to God and receive His son. Sometimes it is hard to know where we Gentiles fit into the promises of God, especially those specifically given to the Jews. Verse 29 of Galatians today settles this matter. If we are in Christ then we are Abraham’s seed and heirs of the promises. So every verse in the Bible pertains to us. We are grafted in to Judaism. In Chapter 4, Paul is trying to remind them that he loves them even though he has to rebuke them and speak truth to them. He sees them slipping back under the bondage of the law and is trying to keep them free. Those that want to walk in freedom will always be a minority and be persecuted by those that don’t understand. Lord, help us to watch over and fight for our freedom in Christ.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Wed.’s Devo -Abraham’s Seed 9-17-14 Read: Is. 25:1-28:13; Gal. 3:10-22; Ps. 61:1-8; Pr. 23:17-18 God has to punish sin but even in His judgment there is always mercy and restoration to those who repent. Isaiah was not only speaking to the people then, but ahead to us. Our enemies aren’t flesh and blood but invisible forces from the devil. One day Satan will be judged. In that day, Israel will bloom and fill the earth with redeemed people. In Chapter 28, God judges the proud. They prophecy that they will be safe. That nothing will happen to them. They believe that their riches will save them. Those people will be brought down and God will be exalted in his remnant. The people who trusted in the Word and believed God would fulfill every line of it will be saved. He will become the beauty of the earth. If we want to be saved by works then we will be judged by the law and not be able to stand. But if we want to accept the grace that Jesus gives us through the cross, we can be saved. Salvation comes by grace alone. Lord, we give you praise. You have been our shelter and strong tower from the enemy and we are so grateful.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Read: Is. 22:1-24:23; Gal. 2:17-3:9; Ps. 60:1-12; Pr. 23:15-16 In the midst of Isaiah’s prophesies of judgment we see a Messianic promise. In Chapter 22 Isaiah speaks of Eliakim who was a type of Jesus. “Eliakim” means “a raising up” which is what made Jesus powerful: he rose from the dead. God would clothe him with His power and he would be father to Israel and Judah. The key to the house of David would be placed on his shoulder. The key to the house of David was a spiritual key that David had to unlock the heavenly realm. David was a worshipper like none had ever been. His worship unlocked doors. Jesus would have this same anointing. We all have probably memorized Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ…”, but have we noticed the next verse? Paul said that he does not frustrate the grace of God. Another word for “frustrate” is “violate”. In other words, he doesn’t freely sin just because he can. And, the other side of that is, he doesn’t try to earn God’s favor by his good works. He honors the grace of God. To receive God’s grace all you need to have is faith that God is who he says He is. Abraham was saved even before Jesus because of his faith. He still had to embrace Jesus when he came. Lord, we thank you for the key of David, that we can ask what ever You put in our heart to ask and you will give it to us. Give us the grace to open doors to the spiritual realm.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Read: Is. 19:1-21:17; Gal. 2:1-16; Ps. 59:1-17; Pr. 23:13-14 God declares that Egypt will be judged. They were known for worldly wisdom and their knowledge of science. They were about to be humbled and soon. But the good news is that there will come a day when Egypt will turn to God. The Egyptians will speak the holy Scripture’s language. In that day, the Jew and the Gentile will worship together with one heart. Isaiah was a prophet who acted out his prophecies. God told him to walk about naked and barefooted for three years as a picture of the Egyptians being led as captives by the Assyrians. God showed them what would happen in hopes that they would repent so He could show them mercy. If they didn’t they would know that God was in control when it did happen. In Chapter 21, Babylon stands for the antichrist system in Revelations. As hard as if was for Isaiah to tell the things he was seeing, he was a watchman on the wall. It was his duty to tell what he saw. In Galatians, we learn that there are tares sown with the wheat whose job it is to see our liberty and bring us back into bondage. They are the people who tell us not to be so spiritually minded that we are no earthly good. To be spiritually minded is to have the mind of Christ which is our goal. They tell us that we have to be good and not associate with sinners to please God. Jesus must not have pleased God. He always did good but he also loved to associate with sinners. We were all once sinners. The tares tell us to walk sensibly and not by faith. They are the debbie downers. Lord, help us to walk like the righteous and put on the mind of Christ.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Read: Is. 15:1-18:7; Gal. 1:1-24; Ps. 58:1-11; Pr. 23:12 In Chapter 15, Isaiah foretells of the ruin of Moab because they have turned to idols. Moab had been prosperous and proud, but was being humbled by God at the hand of the Assyrians. In Chapter 16, Isaiah tells Moab how to repent. Their only hope is in the mercy of God. In Chapter 17, God brings judgment on Damascus, the capital of Israel. God is judging his people. He said that a few would repent and be saved but the majority would fall with their idols. In Chapter 18, amidst more woe, we see the promise of the Jewish people returning to their homeland one day. Galatians was written to a group of churches in the area of Galatia. These churches were in Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Paul wrote the letter because there were legalists in the church called Judaizers who taught that they still were bound to the law and that the promises of God were only for the Jews. If the Gentiles wanted to have them and be saved, they must be circumcised. Since Paul had taught them that salvation came by faith alone, they tried to discredit Paul’s authority saying he was a secondhand apostle since he didn’t really follow Jesus when he was on earth. Paul explains to them that his message used to be from the law which he defended by killing Christians, but now that he has come to the truth, his teaching comes by revelation of the Holy Spirit. Lord, Thank you for reminding us that the unjust will not always rule. That there is a judgment coming one day. We pray that we would be found doing Your will when You come.Sun.’s Devo - In Defense of the Truth 9-14-14 Read: Is. 15:1-18:7; Gal. 1:1-24; Ps. 58:1-11; Pr. 23:12 In Chapter 15, Isaiah foretells of the ruin of Moab because they have turned to idols. Moab had been prosperous and proud, but was being humbled by God at the hand of the Assyrians. In Chapter 16, Isaiah tells Moab how to repent. Their only hope is in the mercy of God. In Chapter 17, God brings judgment on Damascus, the capital of Israel. God is judging his people. He said that a few would repent and be saved but the majority would fall with their idols. In Chapter 18, amidst more woe, we see the promise of the Jewish people returning to their homeland one day. Galatians was written to a group of churches in the area of Galatia. These churches were in Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Paul wrote the letter because there were legalists in the church called Judaizers who taught that they still were bound to the law and that the promises of God were only for the Jews. If the Gentiles wanted to have them and be saved, they must be circumcised. Since Paul had taught them that salvation came by faith alone, they tried to discredit Paul’s authority saying he was a secondhand apostle since he didn’t really follow Jesus when he was on earth. Paul explains to them that his message used to be from the law which he defended by killing Christians, but now that he has come to the truth, his teaching comes by revelation of the Holy Spirit. Lord, Thank you for reminding us that the unjust will not always rule. That there is a judgment coming one day. We pray that we would be found doing Your will when You come.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Read: Isaiah 12:1-14:32; 2 Co. 13:1-14; Ps. 57:1-11; Pr. 23:9-11 In the midst of judgment we have chapter twelve which is a song of praise to God for bringing them out of captivity. It is also for the new Christian who has just found the saving grace of God. It comes right before God’s chapter of wrath on His enemies. Chapter thirteen is a picture of God’s wrath on Babylon, the proud and arrogant. He sends an army from afar (the Medes and the Persians) to totally destroy Babylon and its inhabitants. It is not a pretty sight. Chapter fourteen is a chapter of grace for the Jews, God’s chosen people and for us. When Jesus died on the cross, He destroyed His enemies and gave us possession of the land and the people. He gave us rest from sorrow and fear and bondage. The whole earth and creation rejoices when we walk as sons of God. We already have this deliverance but so few of us live it. God’s kingdom is not of this earth. We can have this now spiritually but one day it will be made manifest and all will see Satan’s demise and God’s reign. In Corinthians, Paul is coming for the third time to visit them. He once again defends his authority and position in Christ. The person who opposed Paul and deceived many of the people in the church has been taken out but a small group still follow him. Paul is still trying to woo them back. Lord, help us to walk in the power and victory that you won for us on the cross.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Read: Isaiah 10:1-11:16; 2 Co. 12:11-21; Ps. 56:1-13; Pr. 23:6-8 Isaiah prophesies Assyria coming to destroy them, but of a remnant that would return. He described it as a rod that would come forth from the stem of Jesse, David’s father. This rod was no twig but a significant branch that would grow from the stump of David. David’s root would be cut down and look like there was no way of rising back to power. Jesus would spring from that seemingly dead root. Jesus is the embodiment of God which is the spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Jesus would smite the earth with the rod of his mouth and the wicked with the breath of his lips. Jesus’ kingdom is not of this earth. The creation will return to the way it was in the garden. It will be a time of peace, salvation, restoration and when Jesus will be exalted in the earth. I don’t pretend to understand how this will look only what Isaiah says. In Corinthians, Paul is sending them a warning that he is coming to see them for the third time. He is hoping to find them faithful and walking in purity. May God find us that way also. Lord, thank you for Your eternal plan for the world and for Your children. How can we be afraid of the future when we trust in You.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Read: Isaiah 8:1-9:21; 2 Co. 12:1-10; Ps. 55:1-23; Pr. 23:4-5 After Isaiah prophesied that a virgin would have a child, his own wife got pregnant. I wonder if he thought this was the fulfillment of the prophesy since “virgin” in their day could also mean “a young woman”. We see how obedient Isaiah is when he names him the name God says instead of Emanuel. He calls him Maher-Shalai-Hash-Baz. I would have put my foot down on that one but Isaiah and his wife didn’t. (Surely they shortened it to Maher.) It means “quickly the spoil” or “hasting the prey”. Isaiah explained that Syria and all his army are coming to them and will sweep over the land. They needed to bind together and pray to the Lord who would deliver them. Isaiah goes back and forth from the near future to the far future when Emanuel will come. They need to repent and turn to Emanuel to see salvation for themselves against the coming armies just like we need to come to Emanuel so that we can win our battles against sin and the world. This Emanuel is also called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Notice how many times it says, “but his hand is stretched out still.” What a picture of the mercy of God in the midst of great war and judgment. To God, mercy triumphs over judgment every time. Paul was intelligent, well studied and very capable in his own self to teach but he realized that God’s strength was made perfect in his weaknesses. God’s grace was sufficient and Paul would rather have the glory of Christ than the praises of man for what Paul could do. He realized that when he felt the weakest, God was the strongest through him. Lord, be our strength and sufficiency.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Read: Is. 6:1-7:25; 2 Co. 11:16-33; Ps. 54; Pr. 23:19-21 Isaiah was a prophet to the kings. When Uzziah died, Isaiah was given a vision of heaven. In this vision, God cleansed Isaiah of his sins and purified his mouth. Then God sent him with a message for the people. He was to tell them that they were so far from Him that they couldn’t hear, see, or perceive God. Because of their hard hearts, God was going to send them out of the land, but a tenth would come back. Uzziahs son, Ahaz reigned and the king of Syria and Isarel came up against Judah. Isaiah was sent to Ahaz to tell him God was going to give him victory and he was to ask God for a sign. Ahaz told Isaiah he would never bother God by asking for a sign. This made God mad but he gave him a sign anyway. He told him that a virgin would have a child and his name would be Emanuel. I’m sure King Ahaz didn’t understand his sign and it didn’t come true for many hundreds of years but God wanted it spoken, then. Some times God gives us a promise that we will never see in our lifetime. He does that so that we will speak them out in the atmosphere and pray them in. If we do that, then when we die we get to become part of the crowd of witnesses in Hebrews 12 watching and waiting to see our promise come true. If we ever get tempted to feel sorry for ourselves we can read today’s reading in 2 Corinthians. Lord, thank you for sending our Emanuel to Mary. Thank you for prophets.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Read: Is. 3:1-5:30; 2 Co. 11:1-15; Ps. 53:1-6; Pr. 22:28 God can reduce a rich nation to poverty whenever He wishes and vice versa. When God judges a nation He robs them economically and reduces their armed forces. He takes away the prophets, the judges and the old wise people and replaces them with immature leaders. Oppression and rebellion spring up just like what happened when Hitler came to power. Judgement brings to light the ones that truly are His. Though they are in captivity for a while, God will bring them out. For the remnant, God will be a place of refuge. In Corinthians, Paul warns us of forgetting the simplicity of the cross and being deceived by false prophets. Satan is an angel of light even though he is really darkness. We need to have the gift of discernment so that we will know the difference of the true and the false. Lord, we pray for our nation for it to repent of turning from You and Your ways. We pray for revival in our land that would shine the light on truth and bring salvation and righteousness.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Read: Is. 1:1-2:22; 2 Co. 10:1-18; Ps. 52:1-9; Pr. 22:26-27 The book of Isaiah is laid out like the Bible. The first 39 chapters coincide with the Old Testament and are filled with judgement of sin. The last 27 chapters coincide with the New Testament and are a message of hope. Isaiah spoke to the house of Judah and he also speaks to the Church. God is upset because Judah has forgotten Him and all He did for them. They have chosen a lifestyle of sin. They still go through the motions of “church” but their heart is far from God. God is tired of their pretenses, but He promised that if they would turn back to Him, He would turn things around for them. In chapter two, Isaiah speaks to our generation. He speaks of a people that will walk with God. If we enter into the rock (Jesus) and hide there, He would be exalted and we would be protected. Second Corinthians teaches us that we might be flesh and blood, but that is not how we fight and win. We do that in the spirit. Through God we can bring down spiritual strongholds and we can bring every thought to Christ’s will. What a prayer of pray for those that don’t know Christ! Lord, thank you that You don’t look at the outward appearance but You see to the core of our being. May our hears be one with Yours.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Read: Song of Solomon 5:1-8:14; 2 Co. 9:1-15; Ps. 51:1-19; Pr. 22:24-25 The exchange between the lover, Jesus and the Shulamite, the Bride is so beautiful and intimate. It speaks for itself. If we could realize the love Jesus has for us it would undo us. But the verse that always stirs me to tears is the response of the relative when the bride has been reunited with her lover and they are walking together out of the wilderness. The relative hardly recognizes her because of the change she has undergone being with her lover. She walks out leaning on her beloved. She turns to him and says, “set me as a seal upon your heart.” She describes her love to him as stronger than death. In Corinthians we read the familiar verse: “He who sow sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that sow bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” I usually think of that in monetary terms but today I was reminded that it is also talking about spiritually. If we are eager to give out to people of ourselves and teach, encourage, love bountifully, we will receive these blessings in the same measure. If we want to give bountifully to the Lord we can give him a broken spirit and a contrite and a broken heart. He can use that to fill up with His Spirit and pour out to others. Lord, may our love for you be stronger than death.
Friday, September 5, 2014
Read: Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14, 2 Co. 8:1-15, Ps. 49:1-20, Pr. 22:20-21 In reading today’s verses in Ecclesiastes one verse jumped out at me. Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “He that observes the wind will not sow; and he that regards the clouds shall not reap.” We have been waiting for a harvest of souls. America is due a revival and God has been preparing the Body to be ready. But if we “observe the wind”, we will never sow. The wind in this verse has to do with outside circumstances. Evil is rampant in the earth and especially in our nation. If we look at the spiritual weather of our world, we will give up and not try to reach them. We will lose heart. If we don’t plant the seeds we will not reap a harvest. The next verse says that man doesn’t know the way of the spirit nor the things we cannot see. God works in the womb of every one’s heart and no matter what we see on the surface, God is working underneath. In Corinthians, Paul is praising the Macedonian church because though they were very poor Gentiles they gave richly to the ministry of the Jewish people. Their sowing in the face of their wind gave them much joy. Paul was hoping the spirit of the Macedonian church would spread to the church in Corinth. It had been so generous in the past and Paul was encouraging them to return to their past generosity. Paul wanted them to experience the same rich joy the Macedonians were enjoying. He encouraged them to do what they could do individually and not compare themselves to another who might be able to give more or not be able to give as much. Thank you for making your Words of truth known to us that we can comprehend and know how to answer those that need the truth.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Read: Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18, 2 Co. 7:8-16, Ps. 48:1-14, Pr. 22:17-19 Today I would describe Ecclesiastes as sobering and sound wisdom. It is wise to consider death and the importance of life. In chapter 7, verse 17, Solomon concludes that wickedness and foolishness makes you die before your time. Think of all the teens who have gotten drunk and died in car wrecks. It is possible to die before your time. I think it is interesting that Solomon seems to have met many evil women which would make sense since he had 600 wives. Many of them were from heathen nations that he married as a peace agreement. He describes this woman as having a heart that is snares and nets and hands that are bands. She sounds like a very needy woman who entices men through seduction and her own insecurity. Ecclesiastes is good to read if it brings us to godly sorrow for how flippantly we might live our lives. Paul is saying the same thing. He is defending a hard letter he wrote to the Corinthians saying that if his letter produced repentance then it was worth hurting their feelings. Solomon and Paul are both defending the truth. Proverbs confirms that. It tells us to listen to the wise and desire truth. If we do then the things we say will be wise also. Lord, we desire Your wisdom. Let us be quick to hear and quick to understand.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Read: Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12, 2 Co. 6:15-7:7, Ps. 47:1-9, Pr. 22:16 If you want to get depressed read Ecclesiastes. If you want to be encouraged read James. To feel significant read Ps. 139. For protection read Ps. 91. Solomon observes man’s short life and all the suffering in life and sums it up in this statement: death is better than life. Looking at some people’s life without God and I would have to agree, but we should never see life as something to escape from. Life is a gift from God and the only time in our history that we can do something for God. Our lives are our sacrifice to God. There may be trials and opposition in this life but God has overcome the enemy and we can walk in freedom, joy and life in Jesus. Walking in the Spirit is just pure fun! There is nothing futile about it. I’m not saying that Ecclesiastes is all depressing. It is sobering and good to read. It’s like going to Africa. It is good to see the truth about other people’s lives to give you a better perspective on yours. Ecclesiastes makes you look deeper into life so you can make better decisions. It is true that we came with nothing and we can take nothing when we go. That should encourage us to use up all our energy here on earth doing something worthwhile. The only thing worthwhile is what God thinks is worthwhile. God’s blessings are to have, enjoy, and share with others. Lord, help us to spend our days full of You and fulfilling our destiny.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Read: Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22, 2 Co. 6:1-13, Pr. 46:1-11, Pr. 22:15 “Ecclesiastes” comes from a Greek word that means “one who addresses an assembly”. It is believed to be written by Solomon in his old age. Solomon seems to be evaluating life and what he perceives to be wisdom through observation and experience. The main theme of Ecclesiastes is found in Chapter one, verse three: “What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun?” The secondary theme is to enjoy life and God’s blessings keeping in remembrance that one day God will judge how you did this. Solomon was one of the richest men in history and all his material blessings could not satisfy his soul. He reduced it all to vanity. Notice how often the word “time” is used in Chapter three. We are limited and bound by that one word in this life…but not in the next. How we live here in this small limited time effects how we will spend eternity so it is not all vanity. It is vitally important to us and to God how we live here and now. Our reading in 2 Co. says that now is the accepted time and now is the day of salvation. Paul saw life much differently than Solomon. Paul had not give himself over to pleasure, but to sacrifice. He had found a reason for his life. He ends his list with “as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” He learned the secret of the treasure in Jesus which far surpasses any earthly wealth. Jesus said that He came to give us an abundant life. God delights to bless us. Third John, verse two says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers. There is nothing evil about being rich - as Christians, we should be ruling and reigning in this world. We should be the leaders in all walks of life because we have the mind of Christ. If our hearts are right, riches won’t destroy us, but help us further the kingdom of God. Lord, show us our destiny on this earth and help us be faithful to achieve it.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Read: Job 40:1-42:17, 2 Co. 5:11-21, Ps. 45:1-17, Pr. 22:14 When God finally speaks, He puts Job in his place and Job quickly humbles himself. Job promises never to speak to God again, but God tells him to be a man and answer Him. God really does want a relationship with us even though He doesn’t need anything from us. God wants to talk to Job and set some things right. It is time for Job to get some answers and have his curse taken away. God begins by proclaiming His sovereignty over creation. I think he names Leviathan because even though it was a literal sea monster, it is a picture of Satan. He declares that Satan is under His control just like a fish is on the end of a hook. Satan is God’s slave for ever. He sums it up by saying everything under heaven belongs to Him. The devil might seem strong and fearful, but not to God. Jesus defeated him and now Satan is under our feet. Job concludes that all his wisdom is nothing compared to God’s. Job had knowledge of God before, but now he has experienced God and Job sees his sin and repents. What a picture of salvation. We can know who God is and fear him but when we experience Him we are totally changed. God reversed all the evil that Satan had been allowed to bring and allowed Job to pray for his friends and get his double portion of God’s blessing. Paul does a great job of summing up what Job experienced. When God reveals to us who he is we become a new creation; the old is gone and the new has come. Job got a foretaste of the salvation to come in Jesus. Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; the scepter of Your kingdom is the right scepter.