Friday, July 31, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - The Plan of God

Read: Isa. 59-63
I don’t know of any of the prophets that prophesied more of Christ’s coming than Isaiah. When there was no intercessor so God sent Jesus who put on righteousness as a breastplate and salvation as his helmet. He was clothed in vengeance and zeal for God.
In chapter 60, it says that Jesus will come when the world is full of darkness. He will arise in light and the Gentiles will be drawn to the light. Jerusalem, once again will become a city lifted up. After the fulness of the Gentiles have come in, the Jews will be gathered to the Lord. The kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of our God.
Isaiah 61 starts with the description of Jesus’ first mission to earth. Jesus read this back to the people when he stood up in the synagog in Luke 4:18.
Isaiah 62 is all about the Jew coming to the Lord. Those who saw themselves forsaken and desolate shall be called delightful and married to the Lord. Jerusalem will become a praise in the earth. - a city not forsaken.
After God redeems his people, he will bring judgment and salvation. Salvation to those who called upon his name and judgment to his enemies.
Lord, your plan is beyond our comprehension so let us live the part we are to play in your great story.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - The Promises of the Upright

Read: Isaiah 54-58
Isaiah 54 foretells of the day when Salvation through Christ will come to the Jew and the Gentile. The shame and desolation of the past will be done away with and joy and mercy will take its place. Our children will be taught the things of God and oppression will leave because our foundation will be righteousness.
Isaiah 55 speaks of the Word of God being our food and drink. When people choose the Lord over all else then our thoughts become His thoughts and our ways become His.
Isaiah 56 invites everyone to obey the Lord. His promises and blessings are for the eunuch as much as for the priest. Everyone who follows the Word and obeys the Lord is blessed and not forgotten.
In Isaiah 57, the righteous are taken from the evil to come but the wicked must suffer. They will be punished for their idolatry, their acts of persecution on the Christian, and the fact that they forgot God. God will heal the humble and restore those who cry to Him for help but punish the wicked.
Isaiah 58 describes mans self-righteous attempts to get God’s attention. God was not interested in their fasts because they refused to live for the Lord. The fast that gets God’s attention is one that gives bread to the poor, give shelter to the homeless, and that clothes the naked and that makes man aware of his own sinful state. Then we will be a light to the world, God’s righteousness will precede us and his mercy will be around us. If you we spiritual food to the hungry and build up those that are cast down, then our light will rise and we will be noticed and honored by the people. God will lead us and feed our spirits when everyone else is in a spiritual drought. We will be full of the spirit and walk in His ways.
Lord, may we turn from our own pleasures and do your will and speak your words today. We delight in You!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - The Coming Messiah

Read: Isaiah 49-53
Isaiah proclaims his purpose which is to bring Israel back to the Lord and make Israel a light to the Gentiles. He reminds the people of God’s unfailing love for them. If Israel will wait for the Lord’s deliverance, they will not be ashamed.
In Isaiah 50 the Lord asks them where the bill is of their divorcement because the Lord never divorced them even though they left the Lord. Verse four is a great verse to declare over yourself. If we are saved, we will have the tongue of the learned that we will speak a word in the right season.
In Isaiah 51, Isaiah reminds them of where they came from and what the plan has always been. They are a nation set apart for the Lord. He encourages the people to turn back to God because their deliverer is coming.
Isaiah 52 is a call to wake up and get ready for the Lord to visit them. He begins to describe Jesus. Isaiah 53 is the best Old Testament picture of Jesus’ first coming. He describes how he will be a person who grows up among them who is ordinary and not of kingly ascent. He will be despised and rejected of most men and not accepted. He will be brought as a lamb to the slaughter and killed for the sins of the people. His sacrifice will be the ultimate sacrifice that will atone for man’s sins.
Lord, thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus. Thank you for the day we are living in and for the Holy Spirit. Wake us up to ready ourselves for your second coming.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Our Destiny

Read: 2 Kings 20-21
I have so many questions to ask Hezekiah when I get to heaven. I applaud him for contending for himself and getting his healing but what did he do during his last 15 years? He received the word that his sons would be eunuchs in the house of Babylon by the same prophet that told him he would die immediately. He contended for himself but not for his sons. Manasseh was only twelve when he became king which means that Hezekiah had him after this encounter. He had twelve years to pour everything he knew about God and how to please Him so that Manasseh would be a good king. If Hezekiah could turn God’s hand from his own body, he could turn his wrath from his nation. He should have spent his last days turning his nation to God but apparently he just enjoyed his last years showing off his kingdom and waiting for his death.
Prophecy is not what has to happen. It is what God has planned. We can change that by either changing and doing what is right or doing what is wrong. If it is a prophecy of doom, we can repent and turn God’s wrath away. If it is a good prophecy of destiny, we can abort it by our rebellion. It is in our hands. Right now if the Christian’s don’t repent and turn back to God with all their hearts, there will be a disaster happen that will keep our present leader in office. If we pray, we can change this.
Lord, we do repent for our rebellion as a nation. Awaken our

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - The Secrets of Darkness

Read: Is. 44-48
These are some of the richest chapters in the Bible for showing us the secrets of God. I love how God starts out talking to Jacob his servant and Israel, whom I have chosen. I think that Jacob would refer to the Jews as a nation and Israel would include all who know him and are called by his name. In the next verse he speaks of Jacob and Jesurun which is a symbolic name for Israel. He is referring to the Gentile church and all believers. Jacob’s name was Jacob until God revealed himself to him and called him Israel. We are Jacob, the supplanter, trickster, sinner before we are saved. Once we are saved we become Israel. Israel means “he will rule as God.” One day the body of Christ is going to get that revelation and we will rule as God. In the third verse it tells us how this will be possible….by his spirit that he will place in us.
One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 45:3, “And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.” Another shocker is verse 7: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” When I tell people that God created evil they don’t believe me till I show them this verse. How can the creator of all, that is in control of all, not be the creator of evil? “Evil” in the Hebrew means “adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, displeasure, distress, grief, harm, heavy, hurtful, mischief, naughtiness, sorrow, trouble, wrong.” Meditate on those words and it will give you a new perspective of God. “Darkness” in that verse means “misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness, obscurity”. It all makes sense if you realize that the purpose for forming this earth is to find a bride for his son and a kingdom of people who will serve Him. She has to come forth out of all the evil and darkness as a righteous, pure, holy bride who has chosen Him. His servants will build his city on the foundation of God’s righteousness (vs. 13).
In 46:10 and in 48:3, 5 we see that God declares the end from the beginning. We need to do that also. We need to declare what we want to see, not what we do see. That is faith. God is the one who teaches us to profit and leads us by the way we should go (48:17). If we would just do what God says then we would have peace, be prosperous and our offspring would be also. There is no peace to the wicked.
Lord, show us the secret things that You have hidden. Let us chose to turn from the wickedness and allurement of the world and pick You!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Hope and Salvation Has Come!

Read: Is. 40-43
The book of Isaiah is set up like the Bible. The first 39 chapters correspond to the 39 books of the Old Testament. The 40th chapter to the 66th chapter correspond to the 36 chapters in the New Testament. Look at how chapter 40 begins. It begins in comfort and hope because Israel’s sins are forgiven. It foretells of John the Baptist who will cry in the wilderness, “prepare ye the way of the Lord…” Jesus was the Lord revealed in the flesh for all to see. Jesus truly fed the flock like a shepherd and gathered his lambs with his arms. He gives power to the faint and increases the strength of the weak.
God called the generations from the beginning of time. We were strategically placed on the earth for this time in history. And we have been given the grace to walk through everything this generation will be called to endure. He reminds us to be of good courage. He will hold our hand and say to us, “Fear not; I will help you.” God promises to never leave us or forsake us. He called his people to be righteous so that they would be a light to the Gentiles. Their gospel would cause those who were spiritually blind to be able to see and those that were locked in their own prison to be set free and saved. God had a new covenant in Jesus and he promised to tell us before it happened. This was God’s way of preparing us for the new covenant of grace through Christ. Salvation is the new song - the new way. God promised to make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. He can make a way in all our problems!
Lord, thank you for your promises and your plan. You are our God and we adore You!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Don’t Give Up!

Read: Is. 37-39; Ps. 76
Yesterday, we read that the men of Assyria had surrounded Jerusalem and were threatening them. Hezekiah went to the temple and poured out his heart to the Lord. Isaiah told Hezekiah’s servants to tell him not to be afraid of the words of the king of Assyria because God was going to cause him to hear a rumor and return and all by the sword in his own land.
Sennacherib, the king of Assyria did hear the rumor but was determined to take Jerusalem first so he sent out even more threats. He reminded Hezekiah of all the other nations they had plundered and how their gods hadn’t been able to stop them. Hezekiah took the paper with the threats written on it and spread it on the floor before the Lord. What Rabshadek had written made God mad so he sent Isaiah to tell Hezekiah that He took personally what Rabshakeh had said. He was not just any god he was the only God and Israel was not just any city but God’s city. He would personally fight for them and destroy him. So the angel of the Lord went out and slew 185,000 that night and Sennacherib woke up to dead corpses. He took what was left of his army and left. He was killed in his own land by his own sons.
I want to point out that when Hezekiah got the word that the king was going to return to his own land he didn’t leave right away. He stayed and was even more determined to defeat them. Hezekiah continued to pray until he saw the victory. How easy it is for us to get discouraged when God doesn’t come through right away. We need to have the same response Hezekiah did and continue to pray because the answer is surely on the way.
Lord, help us not to faint in the middle of the battle but to continue to pray and have faith.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Hope Instead of Intimidation

Read: Is. 35-36
Since chapter 36 is just the beginning of a story, I’m going to start with it. The king of Assyria has besieged Jerusalem with his army. He sent his chief butler, Rabshakeh to give them his warning. He warned them not to trust in Egypt or in the Lord because he said the Assyrians were stronger than both. He spoke in the Hebrew language so he could intimidate the whole city and everyone would be able to understand what he was saying. He told them that if they would surrender to him he would take them to Syria where they would have plenty to eat and drink and have their own land. He told them to be aware of Hezekiah’s false promises of hope.
The devil is the great intimidator. He will say anything to get God’s people to fear. He is doing that right now in our nation and if we are not careful, we will be intimidated by him also. Satan offers false hope and lies that he can’t deliver. We need discernment to know the truth. It is wonderful to hear so many Christian songs talking about being brave because that is what we need to be right now. We win in the end and God is still in total control.
I wanted to end with chapter 35 since it is a chapter of hope. The wilderness and the desert will blossom like a rose. Physically this is happening in Israel, but spiritually it will happen too. God’s people will rise up with joy and singing and we will see the excellency of our God! To the fearful of heart, God says, “Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.” Healing and miracles will be unleashed, blessings will be on the earth and holiness will be the way. The ransomed of the Lord will return to Zion with singing and joy!
Lord, we put our hope in You. We refuse to be fearful or intimidated by the devil’s lies. You are our God and you win!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - Promises to God’s People

Read: Is. 31-34
As Christians, our only hope is in God. The government is not our source and our job is not our source. Jesus alone is our source. God has promised to fight for us and restore Jerusalem to his people. If He can do that, he can restore our inheritance to us. If we just look at the promises in today’s reading we will see that a king will reign in righteousness. We will be able to see what God is doing and hear what He is saying. Our hearts will understand knowledge and be able to speak the wisdom of God.
The spirit will be poured out from heaven and the wilderness will be fruitful like a forest. God’s righteousness will bring peace, quietness and assurance. We will dwell in peaceable habitations that are safe and quiet.
We that loved evil will reap the benefits of evil and go through the fire of God’s wrath. But the righteous that walk in God’s ways and speak God’s words: that refuse to be crooked in their business and refuse to hear of the horrors of the wicked, they shall dwell in the secret place of the Almighty. We will be fed and given water to drink. We will see the Lord in his beauty. He will be our judge and our lawgiver, and our king; He will save us! The Lord will avenge our enemies.
Lord, help us to look to You when all we see is disturbingly evil. Take the blinders off the eyes of your people and help them to discern good and evil.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wed.’s Devo- From Slumber to Life

Read: Isa. 28-30
Once again, Ephraim could be America. She is the crown of pride and drunk in her sin. Her beauty is fading like a flower because of her choises. May the Lord rise up to be a crown of glory to the remnant of people left after judgment.
Isaiah described their land as being a place where all their tables were full of vomit and filthiness, so that there was no clean place. I saw some of the commercials for coming sit-cons that made me want to vomit. We have opened a can of evil in our nation that is lulling the people into a stupor of ignorance about what is good and what is evil. Our leaders think they can hide under lies and deception for safety but God’s foundation is the standard and the only one that is safe.
In Chapter 29, Ariel is another name for Jerusalem. It means “the lion of God.” Isaiah prophesies Israel’s enemies and it sounds like today. He told Israel that they had become spiritually asleep and the truth was like a sealed book that they couldn’t read or understand. They said the right prayers but their hearts were not in sync with what they were saying. They even tried to hide their plans from God. But one day they will hear the words of the book and they will understand what it says about Jesus.
Chapter 30 addresses the people who refuse to turn to God. They walk into bondage and refuse to ask God directions. They are rebellious and don’t want to know what God says. They don’t want to hear what the prophets say.
The good news is that God’s heart is to restore teachers to his people that will teach them the truth and teach them to walk with God. Then, God will bind up the breach of his people and heal their wounds.
Lord, may we as a people who are called by Your name cry out for You to save us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Israel’s Future According to Hosea

Read: Hos. 8-14
Israel thought her idols would prosper her and for a while it looked like they were, but Satan is the great liar and deceiver. He will give you what you want for a season just long enough to hook you, then he will withdraw that prosperity. This is what Israel was experiencing. God had removed His blessing from the people and things were starting to die and diffuse.
The watchmen that used to be God’s men were replaced by false watchmen so they couldn’t adequately protect the people. A watchman is a prophet that can see into the future and tell what is coming. Their watchmen had no discernment of truth so their predictions were totally man-made and false.
Israel reminded the people of the time when they were weak and helpless and needed God. God came to their rescue and saved them from the oppression of Egypt and led them through the wilderness and taught them His ways and His laws. They became ungrateful and fell into sin. They backslid and did every evil thing they learned from the people that were suppose to be their enemies.
Ephraim became a people of merchants who learned worldly principles and conducted their business with fraud and deceit. They worshipped the god of Providence. Their abuse of God’s favor led to punishment.
To the remnant God would show mercy. Those who sought God’s face would turn their anger to mercy and love. They would turn from their idols to serve the one true God.
We could change the name of Israel to America and it would all fit. Lord, please have mercy on Israel and America and turn our hearts back to you. Help us to abhor evil and love what is good. Give us discernment to know right from wrong.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Israel’s Plight

Read: Hos. 1-7
Hosea is such a strange book. It is like the rules don’t apply to the prophets. God tells Hosea to go marry a harlot to be a sign to the people of what they have done to God. Hosea takes Gomer to be his wife. I just hope she was prettier than her name! Gomer means “completion”. God was completing his judgment on Israel and Judah. Gomer and Hosea had a son named Jezreel which means “God will sow.” God was about to sow justice in Jezreel. Jehu had shed much blood there. Later, they had a daughter named Lo-ruhamah which means “not pitied”. Because Jehu and other kings had not had pity on the people, God was not going to have pity on them. But on the house of Judah, God was going to have mercy because they had not committed the sins that Israel had. Their third son was named Lo-ammi which means “not my people”. God was disclaiming Israel because they had disclaimed him.
In chapter 2, Hosea addresses the ones who are his people and who are pitied and tells them to repent and put away their idols and turn whole heartedly to God.
In chapter 3, God tells Hosea to go take an adulteress and love her like God would love her. He bought her and took her under his roof and wouldn’t allow her to prostitute herself for money. She was to be a picture of what God was going to do to Israel. They would be taken from their homes and not have their idols to prostitute their souls.
In chapter 4, Hosea tells of why they would be taken from their land. The land would need to rest for all the sabbaths they worked the land and didn’t let it rest. He summed it up in vs. 6: “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” If you don’t know the law, you don’t know when you are breaking it. They didn’t know God’s laws and didn’t care to learn them.
In Chapter 5, Hosea held the priests and the kings responsible for not being the spiritual leaders they were suppose to be. They will be held responsible for their lack of leadership more than the people.
Hosea calls them to repentance in chapter 6. God has torn them but he will heal them.
In chapter 7 their sin is revealed and it is awful. They refuse to return to the Lord, so judgment is imminent.
Lord, let this not be our fate in America. May we return to You and be Your people once again.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - A Good King

Read: 2 Kings 18:1-8: 2 Chron. 29-31; Ps. 48
I wish every leader would read about King Hezekiah of Judah. He was the first king after David to take down the high places and rid the country of idolatry and God prospered the land and he was able to rid the oppression of the enemy. They no longer paid tribute to the Assyrians. That is like being free from your past with no repercussions - total freedom to prosper.
We get the details in the Chronicles. The first thing he did was to replace the doors. The door is Jesus but they had used many other ways to worship God. The door was the first thing that needed to be established. There is no way to the father except through the Son. Next, Hezekiah sanctified the priests. We are all priests to the Lord. Then he established Passover and called the people to come and repent. Many mocked and laughed, but some of the people humbled themselves and came. The people rid the temple of its false worship and worshipped God is spirit and in truth. Once the temple was cleansed, the people went back to their own homes and tore down their high places. The people started bringing sacrifices and tithes to the temple. They had so much they had more than enough to run the temple. This is the way our churches should run - totally debt-free.
Lord, You are our God for ever and ever: God will be our guide even unto death. Great is the Lord!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Perfect Peace

Read: Isaiah 23-27
Isaiah prophesies against Tyre and the ships of Tarshish. Tyre means “to distress” and Tarshish means “the region of the reverse”. Her harvest was the seed of Sihor which means, “black; turbid (confused, stirred up)”. Tyre will be judged for 70 years then resurrect to be a holy land and they will use their profit to further the kingdom of God.
Chapter 24 speaks of total destruction on the earth, then the remnant is going to come forth and glorify God. Not only will God judge the people in the earth at this time, but the hosts of heaven (vs. 21). They will be shut up in prison until the time God will throw them into the lake of fire.
Chapter 25 says that the vail that has been over us that has kept us from seeing the Lord clearly will be taken away. Death will be swallowed up in victory and we will be glad. God will save us completely!
Chapter 26 has one of the best promises for today found in the third verse. This needs to be our motto: God will keep us in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because we trusts in Him. God promises to take down everything that rises up against us and his plan. The end of the chapter describes the church in the end. The church is like a pregnant woman trying to deliver but not able to. Her prayers have not be answered for the earth like she wanted. God tells her to go into her chamber and shut the door till His judgments are through.
Chapter 27 is the picture of this judgment. Satan will be punished along will all his followers. At the sound of the trumpet, the redeemed will come out of their hiding places and worship God at Jerusalem.
I have to admit that I don’t understand how all this is going to happen, but God does and he wrote the end from the beginning. God, You are amazingly wonderful! May our minds be continually on You and may we walk in perfect peace.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - A Nail in a Sure Place

Read: Is. 18-22
Today’s reading is God’s promise to judge unrighteousness. I want to concentrate on Chapter 22 since I think it pertains to us more than the rest. It was against the “valley or vision” which means their revelation of God. It looks like things that should have been hidden were not and the obvious was hidden from them because of their distance from God. Their walls were breached and their enemies were spoiling them. Sounds like us today. They did things without asking God. God had called them to repent and mourn for their sins but instead they partied and were merry. They thought that God would wait and judge after they had died, but God had a surprise for them. They would be judged before they died and they would be taken into captivity. But to the ones who have been faithful like Eliakim, God will clothe with a robe and give him the power to lead. He will have the key of David to open and shut. The overcomers will be like a “nail in a sure place” which means they will be strong and hold up the feeble. Jesus was the ultimate support. He was given a robe of righteousness and the girdle of truth but he passed that on to us. We have to be that support for our Christian brothers and remind them that now is not the time to be fearful or timid. We have been given the keys to the kingdom and whatever we bind on earth has been bound in heaven already and whatever we loose on earth, has been loosed in heaven.
Lord, help us to walk in the authority that Jesus walked in because He is in us. Help us to be that nail in a sure place for someone today.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - Babylon’s Judgment

Read: Is. 13-17
Babylon was destroyed by the Medes and the Persians just as Daniel saw in his dream. No one in Babylon could believe the prophets that told them they would one day fall but it happened. God fought against them and there was no mercy. Sin is measured and when the cup is full, God brings judgment. Medes means “measured”. Persia means “he divided”. Daniel 5:28 says that God divided the kingdom of Babylon and gave it to the Medes and Persians. This is also a picture of spiritual Babylon being destroyed in the end of time. Babylon means “confusion” which has been the devil’s strategy from day one. He confused Eve at the tree and he has deceived ever since.
Chapter 14 talks about the remnant that will be given the land and rest from all their sorrows, fear and bondage. Lucifer, the morning star, will be judged and thrown to hell. Lucifer was once a son of God (Job 1:6) who wanted God’s place so he like Absalom rebelled and tried to usurp God’s throne. He was defeated and thrown to earth. He has been roaming about the earth and heaven ever since. In the end he will be thrown into the bottomless pit.
Isaiah’s prophecy to the Moabites took place in three years which gave validity to the other prophecies of Isaiah. Moab’s chief cities were surprisingly attacked and they fled to their idols for comfort. Famine followed war and many died.
Moab means “who’s father?” Moab was born of an incestrial relationship between Lot and his daughter. He had no traditional father. This is the people whose father is not God. Today Moab is modern Jordan.
In Chapter 16, Isaiah tells Moab to repent and do what is right.
In Chapter 17, Isaiah gives Damascus their word. They will be judged for their idolatry also. Verse seven shows us God’s desire in judgment. It is so that we will look up and see our maker and worship him.
Lord, we repent for our nation and pray that we will look up and worship You before it is too late. I know You delight in mercy over judgment.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - Our Wonderful Counsellor

Read: 2 Chron. 27; Isaiah 9-12
Jotham was a good king and didn’t try to burn incense like his dad. He was a builder and he fought the Ammonites and made them pay him tribute. He prepared his ways before the Lord. He died at 41 and his son, Ahaz succeeded him. Sadly, Ahaz did not follow in his footsteps.
In Isaiah, Jesus was sent to Galilee, a land that at one time was ravaged by the Syrians and Assyrians. When Jesus walked the land he brought light and life. He would be the child born whose kingdom would increase and would be a kingdom of peace. It would be a kingdom of justice and righteous judgment. His name would be Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. He would be sent to a people who didn’t seek the Lord. The Lord is angry with their sins but He says over and over that His hand is stretched out still.
God hates the oppression of the poor and those who do that will receive a greater judgment. God will raise up Assyria to discipline his people. When he is finished with the Assyrians, He will judge them, too. The remnant will return to God and the yoke will be broken from off their neck because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 11 has to do with Jesus’ second coming. Jesus came the first time to bring salvation. He will come again to bring judgment. This chapter speaks of his judgment. The wolf will dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall like down with he kid…and a child shall lead them. All creation will change. The fear and destructive nature of these animals will be gone and they will be able to dwell together in harmony. It will happen with man also. God will have a highway for the remnant of his people to exit their bondage. They will come out singing that God is our Salvation, we will trust, and not be afraid.
Lord, we join them in singing that You are our strength and song. You have become our salvation. Your name is exalted!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Micah’s Prophecies

Read: Micah 1-7
Micah prophesied over the span of three kings of Judah. Each chapter is a different prophesy. The first one has to do with the religious places of worship for Judah and Jerusalem. Israel’s high place is Samaria and it had become corrupt and full of idols. Judah worshipped in Jerusalem and stayed closest to the law, but they had become idolatrous, too.
In chapter 2 Micah condemns the evil man who preys upon his fellow man. God’s people had become an enemy to God because of their evil ways. As always, God promises to gather the remnant and lead them into his sheepfold.
In chapter 3 Micah condemns the kings of Judah and Israel because they loved evil and hated good. He condemned the prophets because they prophesied prosperity and good when they were headed for judgment and destruction.
Chapter 4 is a “last days” prophesy. In the last days people will do what it takes to be taught of the things of the Lord. War will be no more. Fear will be gone. God will gather his elect from the earth and be their king.
Chapter 5 is the picture of what God will do to the enemies of His people.
Chapter 6 is God’s plea to his people. He reminds them of who he is and all he has done for them. He tells them that all he requires of them is to live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
Chapter 7 is about the harvest and fruit. Jesus said much about fruit. If we don’t bear fruit then God takes it away…we die. If we do bear fruit then he will purge us so we’ll bear more. We have a misconception that our fruit is how many people we get into the kingdom but that is not what the Bible teaches. The fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. If we produce this fruit then it will multiply souls into the kingdom automatically.
Lord, may we have the fruit that remains, and may our fruit further your kingdom.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - The Coming Christ

Read: 2 Chron. 27: Isaiah 9-12
Jotham became the king of Judah after Azziah died in his leprosy. Jotham prepared his ways before the Lord so God prospered him. He built many towers, and cities and fortresses and he defeated the Ammonites and they paid him tribute. He only lived to be 41. Sadly, his son, Ahaz is not going to follow in his footsteps.
Isaiah is a true mystic so he throws in little tidbits of prophecy that I’m sure made no sense to them then. In chapter nine, he prophecied the first coming of Christ. Jesus was to be the light that would come to earth and dispell the darkness of ignorance. This light would bring judgment to those who refused to accept it but salvation to those who did. Isaiah says repeatedly that “for all this (sin), his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” God is a merciful god.
God raised up adversaries, like the Assyrians, to use in punishing his people but God reminded them that they were just the axe and He was the hewer. God was, and is still the one in control - not the Assyrians, not our government or Isis. Saturday we learned that one of the ways God judges is fire. Did you notice that the day after our Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages that we had an outbreak of fires? God is in control.
Chapter 11 is all about the second coming of Christ. This time he is coming to judge the earth. The wolf will dwell with the lamb and the leopard lie down with the kid. I don’t understand what all this means but it says that our rest will be glorious. In verse 11 it says that for the second time, God will recover the remnant of his people from captivity and destroy his enemies.
Lord, we sing to You because You have done excellent things which will one day be known in all the earth. Great is the Holy One of Israel!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - The Plumb Line and the Summer Fruit

Read: Amos 6-9
The first people to be taken when Israel goes into captivity will be the ones who blatantly worshipped other gods. They were wealthy and comfortable and had no fear of judgment or God.
God showed Amos a plumbline he was using to measure Israel by. A plumb line makes sure everything is straight and right. It was God’s way of saying He was coming to observed their ways and judge them by what he found. Next, God showed Amos a basket of summer fruit. It was a picture of the fruit God found worth keeping. It was only a basket full. God had seen how they neglected the poor and even made them fail..probably with welfare! They couldn’t wait till their worship days were over so they could get back to the business of making more money. It reminds me of how we manufacture our goods in countries we can get cheap labor and then have so many unemployed in our own country. We are taxed to pay for welfare so we don’t come out ahead.
The place they will be taken will be no better. They might be fed but their soul will starve for the lack of hearing the words of God. The prophets will be silent. That will be worse than a food famine.
Chapter nine shows us that there will be no place to hide from God’s judgment. All the sinners will die and then the Lord will raise up the tabernacle of David - the spirit of worship. God will rebuild his kingdom here on earth and restore Israel.
Lord, may we not take for granted Your Word, Your blessings, and Your prophets. Thank you for putting in us the heart to worship You.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - The Judgement of God

Read: Amos 1-5
The key to Amos is found in Amos 1:1. It is two years before God is going to send an earthquake and this is what God is saying to the people. This is why he is sending the earthquake. According to Psalms 19, the heaven’s declare God’s glory and through nature, God talks. Earthquakes, drought, famine, fire, war, are the tools of God’s judgment. In the first chapter we see God sends fire to the house of Hazael. “Hazael” means “God has seen.” God has seen their sin and is coming to judge. He breaks the bar of Damascus which means “silent is the sackcloth weaver.” That shows us that the people are not repentant. God said he would cut off the inhabitants from the plain of Aven to the house of Eden. “Aden” means “idolatry” and Eden means “delight”. God is tired of their idolatrous worship and their life of self-pleasure. God said that Syria will go into captivity unto Kir. “Syria” means “exalted” and “Kir” means “a wall”. Those that exalted themselves and stood stubborn as a wall would be enslaved. The wall of Gaza would burn with fire. “Gaza” means “strong”. The strong in their own strength would burn. God would cut the inhabitant from Ashdod and tribe of Ashkeon . “Ashdod” means “a ravager” and Ashkelon means “a weighing place or mart”. This speaks of the corruption in the market place. God would turn his hand against Ekron and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish. “Ekron” means “eradication” and the Philistines means “wallowing”. God was punishing those who uproot what is right and are indulgent in their sins.
The list goes on and on but it sounds so applicable of what is happening in our society right now. God had sent them small judgements on the earth but they refused to heed them and return to the Lord. So God has to send something big.
To the righteous, God says to seek good and hate the evil and maybe the Lord will be gracious to the remnant.
Lord, we do repent for the sins and perversion of our nation. May the remnant stay strong in their faith. Grant us your favor and grace. Lead us by Your spirit.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Produce Good Grapes

Read: Isaiah 5-8
Isaiah sangs a song about Uzziah who built vineyards and towers then desecrated the temple by burning incense in it only to become leprous and have to be carried out of the temple. God had blessed Judah and it brought forth wild grapes instead of good grapes. Now, God was taking down the hedge of protection and its enemies would trample it down. (Sounds like America.) Their prosperous times were over and inflation would hit. Men would be driven to drink and party. The people would go into captivity because they didn’t know or honor the Lord. Many would die and many humbled. But it would be worse for those who refused to learn the lesson.
When the pride of Judah, Uzziah died, Isaiah had his most profound encounter with the Lord. He saw the Lord in his glory and it totally undid him. He saw his sin against the glory of God. Then a seraphim flew from the altar with a coal in his hand and laid this hot coal on Isaiah’s mouth and cleansed his sin. He heard a voice saying, “whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” and Isaiah offered to go. God told Isaiah he was sending him to shut the eyes and ears and understanding of the people. What a weird request only it was the same kind of people that Jesus was sent to. That is why Jesus only taught in parables. He knew their hearts so he confused them and left them wondering.
Isaiah was to speak to these people so they wouldn’t understand until their land was totally desolate. But God promised that a tenth, a remnant would return and from that remnant would God’s holy seed be born.
God raised up Syria and Israel to conspire against Judah and planned to set their king, Tabeal over Judah. “Tabeal” means “good for nothing.” God promised Isaiah that their plans would not stand and what they had planned against Judah would return to them. Then Isaiah told King Ahaz to ask God for a sign and Ahaz refused because he said he didn’t want to tempt the Lord. Isaiah rebuked him for wearying the Lord by not asking for a sign. He told him that God would indeed give him a sign. He then prophesied the virgin birth of Jesus, Emanuel, God with us. When this happens Israel and Syria will lose their kings because the King of Kings has arrived!
Lord, we welcome Your word, Your prophets and Your signs. They are everywhere so please take off our blinders and let us see. Forgive us for producing wild grapes and cleanse our lips.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo -The Remnant

Read: Isaiah 1-4
In the midst of all the rebellion and sin, God always has a remnant. Isaiah calls them the daughter of Zion. He compares her to a cottage in the midst of a vineyard, a lodge in a garden of cucumbers and a besieged city. That is what the body of Christ is. The New Testament describes us as lights in the midst of darkness, a city on a hill, and lambs in the midst of wolves. But, like Isaiah said in verse 9, if it wasn’t for the remnant the whole world would be destroyed. We hold back God’s judgment.
Isaiah’s name means “God has saved.” Isaiah speaks of the salvation of the Lord that will one day come to His people.
God hates idle worship and show. He hates sin but he loves mercy and forgiveness and he pleads with Israel to come and
reason with him. Though their sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. It is up to them whether they are blessed or cursed.
God’s plan is redemption and righteousness. One day God will redeem his people and they will be ashamed of the things they once lusted for. Their whole attitude and desires will be changed. One day, Jerusalem will become the mountain of the Lord’s once again and people will desire to know his laws and peace will be restored on the earth. But before this happens, there will be great judgment on the earth. Judah and Israel will be judged for their sin against God. Chapter three is a picture of what that will look like. It’s not pretty. But, chapter 4 shows us that for the remnant it will be glorious. They shall escape this judgment.
Lord, we see this happening in our day. Show us how to pray.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wed.’s Devo. - The Pride of Uzziah

Read: 2 Kings 15: 2 Chron. 26
Once again, Kings gives us the outline and Chronicles gives us the details. Judah’s king, Uzziah had done so many good things for his country: he defended his people from the Philistines, built towers, dug wells, caused the agriculture to prosper, built up the army, invented engines to shoot arrows from the watchtowers and had much favor with God and man. But, pride slipped in and Uzziah decided that because he was the king he could also be a priest. He went into the temple and offered incense upon the altar of incense and was smitten with leprosy and spent the rest of his life in a hospital. Huzzah’s name means “God is strong” because during his reign God proved that he was stronger than Uzziah. Uzziah’s son, Jotham reigned in his place. His name means “Jehovah is perfect”.
Meanwhile in Israel we go through a list of evil kings: Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, Hoshea. Most of them became king by murdering the prior king. The deeper Israel got into sin the weaker their kingdom became. They had to pay tribute to Pul and were taken captive by Tiglath-pileser. That is what serving the devil will give you…a life of slavery and oppression.
Lord, You are supreme over everything. Help us to humble ourselves before You.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Jonah

Read: Jonah 1-4
Jonah is a story that shows us the kindness and compassion of God. He loves this Assyrian people who have not discernment about what is right and what is wrong and he wants them to be saved from destruction. They are so wicked, God has to destroy them but in his loving kindness he gives them one last chance to repent.
Nineveh means “offspring of ease”. It was built by Asshur the son of Shem. Shem was the son of Noah. Nineveh represents the name of the goddess Ishtar and its symbol is a fish inside an enclosure. How interesting since Jonah was enclosed inside the fish to set them free from this worship. Nineveh was an Assyrian capital and home to many wealthy kings. It was a great city of wealth and sin. The population was 120,000 people when Jonah arrived and it would have taken him 3 days to walk across it. He went one day and gave his one line speech. It was enough to make the people and the king to repent. They did exactly what Jonah was hoping they wouldn’t do - repent. It made Jonah look like a liar to not have his prophecy come true and Jonah seemed more interested in his own reputation as a prophet than the people he was sent to evangelize. God rebuked him for his selfishness and we are left hanging. I hope that Jonah went back and taught the people God’s ways but we aren’t told. Second Kings 14:25 says that He (King Amaziah) restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gath–hepher.
We do know from history that Ninveh was eventually destroyed because of their sin hundreds of years later.
Lord, help us to be compassionate toward the sinner and desire to see them repent.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Endure Till the End

Read: 2 Kings 14; 2 Chron. 25
Our passage in 2 Kings gives us the overview but 2 Chronicles gives us the details. Amaziah is king of Judah and he starts out as a good king who feared God but his heart wasn’t perfect towards God. He atoned for his father’s death according to the law and established peace in his kingdom. Then he built up an army to battle the children of Seir which were Esau’s descendents. He hired 100,000 Israelites to fight with them until a prophet advised him not to. God was mad at Israel and would not bless his venture if he took them with him. King Amaziah had already paid him 100 talents of gold and now the prophet was telling him not to let them fight. When he questioned the prophet about the money the prophet said, “the Lord is able to give you much more than this.” God is not limited with funds. If we make a mistake and it costs us money, it is nothing for the Lord to give it back to us! Our job is to humble ourselves and repent and turn and do it God’s way. Amaziah sent the Israelite army home and went to war with only his men and won. But, Amaziah took the gods of his enemies and set them up in his temple and started worshipping them.
The Israelite soldiers were not happy about not being able to fight so they spoiled the Judean towns on their way home.
When King Amaziah heard about this, he decided to meet Israel’s king face to face. Since Amaziah had chosen to worship foreign gods, God did not defend him and King Joash took everything of value from the temple and the kings’ house. He also released the hostages.
Amaziah had been taught to served the Lord. He knew better so he was judged. People in his own kingdom conspired against him and he lost his kingdom. But, his downfall began when he turned away from God.
Lord help us to endure to the end and not be drawn away by other gods.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - The Promises of God are Eternal

Read 2 Kings 12-13; 2 Chron. 24
Joash comes to throne at the young age of seven. He was a good king who honored God. No doubt he was helped by the priests, but he turned his nation back to the Lord. He told the priests to use the money brought to the temple by the people to be given to repair the holes in the temple. They didn’t do it for years so Joash rebuked the priests. They put a box with a lock on it so only they could open it to keep the unrighteous priests from stealing it. They used this to repair the temple. It said that the people rejoiced when they were asked to give. They gave abundantly. That is how it should be.
In Israel, Jehoahaz, Jehu’s son reigned. He was evil and God delivered them into the hands of the Syrians. Jehoahaz finally wised up and sought the Lord for deliverance. God sent them a savior who delivered them from the oppression of the Syrians but they went back under sin when Jehoash began to reign. He was also evil.
Before Joash died, he went to visit Elisha who was sick. Elisha had him do a prophetic act. He told him to shoot an arrow out of the window. This was to be a picture of God’s deliverance over Syria. Then Elisha told Joash to strike the ground with the rest of the arrows. When he only struck it three times, Elisha rebuked him and said that now they would only beat the Syrians three times.
Elisha died and they threw a man into his sepulcher that had died. The man sprang to life to complete Elisha’s double portion blessing. He needed one more man to double Elijah so his prophecy was completed after he died. This is a great concept to consider. Our prayers and the promises of God don’t fall because we died. God will find someone to fulfill every promise spoken to you whether you are living or asleep in the grave.
Lord, may the prayers of all those that have gone before us be answered according to Your perfect will.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sat.’s Devo -Joash is Proclaimed King

Read: 2 Kings 9-11
God anointed Jehu king of Israel to rid the land of Ahab and his descendants. He killed Joram, king of Israel and Ahaziah, king of Judah. They and Jezebel died in Naboth’s vineyard which was the fulfillment of prophecy and atoned for Naboth’s murder. Then Jehu killed everyone in Ahab’s line. After ridding the land of the people of Ahab, Jehu went to Samaria to rid the land of the family of Ahaziah, king of Judah and the worshippers of Baal. Jehu rid the land of Israel of the worship of Baal. But in all of Jehu’s zeal to do great things for God he had no pleasure in following his laws. He fell to the sins of Jeroboam who worshipped God in the high places which was where the people went to worship God the way they chose. In 1 Kings 13, a prophet came to Jeroboam and told him that a child named Josiah would one day rid the land of the high places.
In the meantime, in Judah, the mother of Ahaziah rose to be the queen. Her name was Athaliah. She killed all the royal seed so no one could usurp her reign. Her own daughter hid her younger brother, Joash for six years in the house of the Lord. In the seventh year, the priests formed a coup and brought Joash out of hiding, placed a crown on his head and blew the trumpets and proclaimed him king. They killed Athaliah as she tried to escape. This is a picture of Jesus being crowned after 6,000 years of being hid in the house of the Lord. He will return to the blasts of trumpets and all the earth will see and proclaim that he is Lord!!!
Lord, everything You do is for a purpose. Help us to see your purposes.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Elisha in Action

Read: 2 Kings 5-8
Today’s reading reads like an action film. We see God heal a Syrian captain of leprosy because to the boldness of a little Israel captive. His leprosy leaves after he humbled himself to dip seven times in the Jordan and it reappears on Gehazi, Elisha’s servant because he lied to Elisha and wanted a reward.
Elisha throws a stick into the water and restores a borrowed ax head which just shows us that nothing is lost that God can’t recover.
The king of Syria thought he had a spy in his ranks because the army of Israel was always one step ahead of him and seemed to know his next move. When he investigated he found out it was because Elisha told the king of Israel everything he said in secret. He must kill Elisha so he surrounded Elisha’s house. Gehazi told Elisha they were surrounded by Syrians and Elisha answer is worth repeating. He said, “Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” He prayed that God would open Ghazi’s eyes and he saw the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire. I wonder if Elijah was on one of those horses! Elisha prayed they would be struck with blindness and they led them to Samaria where their eyes were opened. Elisha told the Samarians to feed them and send them home. This humiliated the Syrians and they left Israel alone for a while but not the Samarians. How do you fight the supernatural with natural weapons? They had met their match!
They did come back and besieged Samaria. Samaria had no way to get food so they were starving. The king blamed it on Elisha since he was the one that made the Syrian’s so mad at them. Elisha prophesied they would have provision galore by the next day. Sure enough it happened and the officer who laughed and didn’t believe was trampled in the gates as the people ran to the plunder. It amazes me how close we can come to despair when God’s answer can come over night in a way we could have never imagined.
In Chapter 8, Gehazi gets to see the very story he is telling the king come to a happy ending.
Lord, you always see us through to the end. Your provisions never run out and you always save.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thur.’s Devo - The End of Elijah’s Ministry and Beginning of Elisha’s

Read: 2 Kings 1-4
Our first verse reads “Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.” But, we don’t have the story until the third chapter verse 5. In the same way, Elijah threw his mantle on Elisha a while back and we don’t see him walk in it till now.
In the meantime, Elijah has many words to give to the king. He tells Ahaziah that he won’t recover from his fall because he went to ask Baal-zebub first. I wonder what Baal-zebub said? It cost Ahaziah 102 of his best men and his life.
Elisha is with Elijah on the day of his departure. Elijah visits three places: Bethel, Jericho, and Jordan. Theses are three strategic places in the Bible. Bethel means the “house of the Lord.” It was the first place God spoke to Abram and told him that he was giving him the land. Abrams built an altar here and the Jewish nation was birthed. Jericho was the first city in the promise land that they encountered. God delivered it into their hands with a shout. (Joshua 2). Jordan was the river that they had to cross to enter the promise land and it was the place where Jesus’ ministry began at his baptism. John the Baptist hung out around the Jordan and he had the spirit of Elijah (Matthew 17:12-13).
Elisha stayed with Elijah the whole day and when it was time, a chariot of fire came between them and Elijah went up in a whirlwind. He left his mantle behind which Elisha picked up and parted the Jordan. He healed the waters at Jericho, then cursed the mocking children at Bethel. He had retraced the steps of Elijah days before and did God’s miracle at each place. Then he was sent to give a word to three kings: the king of Israel, Judah, and Edom. Because of Jehoshaphat, Elisha gave them the word of the Lord.
He then went to a Shunammite who honored him and God and blessed her body with a son. He had to come back and raise him from the dead. His next stop was Gilgal where there was a famine. He cast meal into the poisoned pot of stew and make it edible. Then a man came with his tithe and gave it to Elisha. It was enough to feel the people. His servant noted that there wasn’t enough to feed the 100 people but the man said it would be more than enough and it was. Sound familiar?
Lord, Your Word is amazing! Let us learn from Elisha that You direct our paths and when You lead us to a place of need it is because You want to meet that need.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - God is Faithful

Read Obadiah 1; Ps. 82-83
Obadiah prophesies against the people of Edom. They were the descendants of Esau who would not allow the Israelites to pass through their land when they came out of Egypt. They dwelt in the land between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. These are types of the unsaved. Those that have rejected every call of God to repentance and chosen to live as an enemy of God.
Their wisdom and understanding will be destroyed and they will be judged for their hatred and cruelty done to the Jew. God’s people will destroy the house of Esau and possess their land. The kingdom of the earth shall be the Lord’s.
God will defend the poor and the fatherless and do justice to the afflicted and the needy. He will deliver the poor and needy and deliver them from the hand of the wicked. One day all will know that the name Jehovah is the most high over all the earth!
Lord, we wait patiently for Your salvation!