Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - Call Unto Me

Read: Jeremiah 33:1-34:22; 1 Timothy 3:1-16; Psalm 89:1-13; Proverbs 25:23-24
Jeremiah 33:3 is a take everywhere scripture. It says, “Call unto me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” If you see 3:33 on the clock often or see these numbers you will know that God is trying to get to you ask him questions so he can answer them. God was telling Judah that he was about to destroy it and they needed to know why. They had brought it upon themselves so they could not blame him. Once their time of discipline was over, God would restore joy and prosperity to their land. He gave them the promise of the Messiah as a righteous Branch.
The armies of Babylon came against Jerusalem and as they were fighting them God sent word to King Zedekiah that he would not die by the sword but would die peacefully and be honored by the people.
Zedekiah had told the people to free their Hebrew slaves but as time went on they had enslaved them again. God had Jeremiah remind them of the year of Jubilee where all the slaves were to be free. They had broken this law and because they did this they would die by the sword, plague and famine. King Zedekiah would be taken to Babylon then the Babylonians would return to Jerusalem and waste it.
Paul warned them again about deceiving false teachers and doctrine. The way you stay away from being deceived it to study the truth; then the counterfeit will be obvious.
Lord, help us to sing of your great love and remember your faithfulness.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - There is Hope

Read: Jeremiah 31:27-32:44; 1 Timothy 3:1-16; Psalm 88:1-18; Proverbs 25:20-22
Judgment is only for a set time then it is time for restoration. God could hardly wait to tell them about the good times ahead instead of dwelling on the time of discipline. This is the heart of God - it is always looking for the good and wanting to bless his people. Jeremiah speaks of a day when God will write his laws on their hearts and not just stone. In this day, they will all know the Lord.
Zedekiah asked Jeremiah why he prophesied that the Babylonians would come and destroy them and they would go into captivity, as if Jeremiah could say what he wanted to say. God’s response to his question was to buy a field that would be his inheritance. He was to put the deed in a bottle to be kept until they returned. So his answer was not one of doom but of hope. The Babylonians would come and destroy their land and take them captive, but a day would come when they would return because God is good and wants only what is good for his children. This was not the answer King Zedekiah wanted to hear but it was the truth. Sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth either because it is convicting and uncomfortable. But we can rest assured that God’s plan is for our good and prosperity. God always wants us to live in hope. Hope is knowing that he is love and his plans for us are always good.
Timothy gives us the requirements of a leader. With power and position there is much responsibility. We are to be accountable for our actions and an example of what is right and honorable.
Lord, help us to walk in your light and your truth.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - Jacob’s Trouble

Read: Jeremiah 30:1-31:26; 1 Timothy 2:1-15; Psalm 87:1-7; Proverbs 25:18-19
Judah was in what they called “Jacob’s trouble”. It was the time of great persecution, bondage, oppression and fear. It was a picture of Yom Kippor, the time between when the church is raptured and Jesus comes back. In the land of captivity, God offers hope. God promised to bring an end to the nations they had been scattered to and punish them. Their pain looks incurable and their situation hopeless but God promised to one day bring them out and restore and heal them. In the end, God will punish every nation that has refused to honor him and restore his kingdom on earth, but it will be hard for those left behind.
At the same time there is great turmoil and unrest on the earth, God will save his people that turn to him. A remnant will be saved. Jacob will be redeemed and saved. There is hope for their end because God will bring them back to their land.
Jeremiah received all this in a dream.
In Timothy, we are exhorted to pray for the people God puts in authority over us so that our lives might be full of peace, godliness, and honesty. His desire is that every man be saved and come to truth so we need to pray for everyone.
Lord, truly all our fountains are in you!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - The Kingdom is Advancing

Read: Jeremiah 28:1-29:32; 1 Timothy 1:1-20; Psalm 86:1-17; Proverbs 25:17
Hananiah, the prophet, prophesies that they will only be in Babylon two years then they will return to Jerusalem with all the articles that were taken from the temple and Jehoiakim will return with the exiles. This is the opposite of what Jeremiah had prophesied. When Hananiah and Jeremiah met, Jeremiah had a wooden yoke on his neck to show the people that they would be under the yoke of the Babylonians 70 years. Hananiah took this yoke and broke it to prove his point of their breaking their yoke of slavery in two years. Jeremiah returned with a yoke of iron to prove his side. He also told Hananiah that since he prophesied lies that he would die within the year. He died in the seventh month, which was two months later. The seventh month is always a feast month of deliverance. They were delivered from the lies of the enemy.
Jeremiah sent a letter to those in exile encouraging them to settle down in Babylon because they would be there for a while. He also told them to beware the false prophets and to not listen to their words. After 70 years, God would bring hope and bring them back from captivity. He had wonderful plans for their future but now they must endure the hardship they brought upon themselves.
To the people who didn’t go into exile,and the king of Judah, God was going to send sword, famine and plague against them and they would be severly punished for not listening to what the Lord told them to do. Then Jeremiah called out the false prophets: Ahab and Zedikiah, and Jeremiah of Anathoth, and Shemaiah. They would receive their just reward.
We will always have false prophets. Paul also had to fight the lies of these men. In his day the false prophets taught the people about myths and genealogies. They promoted controversy instead of unity and love. There is so much out on the internet about what was going to happen in September and it is now October and none of it happened in the natural. It is not the time of destruction but of building for our churches, our nation and our Lord. We are advancing the kingdom on the earth so let’s not get distracted by wanting to beam out of here. We have a work to do and the fields are ripe unto harvest!
Lord, help us to see the kingdom and walk in it.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - Recompense

Read: Jeremiah 26:1-27;22; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18; Psalm 85:1-13; Proverbs 25:16
God sent Jeremiah to the courtyard of the temple to tell them one more time to repent or destruction is coming on their land. The priests and the prophets seized Jeremiah and would have killed him had not the elders spoken up for him. The elders reminded them of other prophets who had said the same thing and of the kings that heard their words. Hezekiah had repented and God saved them. Jehoiakim killed the prophet Uriah. Now they had a choice and they chose to let Jeremiah live.
God then told Jeremiah to make a wooden yoke and wear it on his neck. He was to send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon. God was king of the earth and he was going to hand them over to Babylon to serve Nebuchadnezzar also. Any nation that did not bow its knee to Nebuchadnezzar, he would bring sword, famine and plague to destroy it. He warned them not to listen to their prophets and mediums when they told them that they would not serve Babylon because they would not be speaking the truth.
To his own people he said the same thing and added that the articles of the temple would not return now. Even the articles that have not been taken to Babylon would be taken and they would not return until God came for them.
Jeremiah and Paul were both trying to make the people responsible for their own actions. Paul told the people not to associate with people who refused to walk in truth and pulled their own weight. He told them to warn them like a brother but not to associate with them.
Lord, prepare us to walk in blessings and prosperity and may we always live with the kingdom in mind.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - The End.

Read: Jeremiah 23:21-25:38; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-1; Psalm 84:1-12; Proverbs 25:15
Jeremiah mourned for the prophets and the priests who were both corrupt and evil. They caused Israel to sin, so they would be held responsible. They lied to the people and told them that their words and dreams were from the Lord when they were false and did them harm and not good. They should have warned them to turn from their sins but the leaders were doing worse sins than the people.
They didn’t believe that God could see them in their secret places doing hideous sins. This shows us that they didn’t understand God at all. They didn’t know him as the Omni-present God.
They didn’t believe the prophets God sent them like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Hosea just to name a few. God had given them plenty of chances to repent and they refused them. So God would send Nebuchadnezzar from Babylon to come against them and destroy their land, take their joy and hold them captive for 70 years. After that 70 years, God would punish Babylon and repay them for their evil.
Paul ends his teaching on the end of time. Since before the world was created there has been an Anti-Christ and his name is Satan. He has put his spirit in man and in every generation he rises up all over the world. After the church has been taken, he will appear on earth embodied in the last Anti-Christ and he will hate God and deceive man. We are called out of darkness to share in Christ’s glory so we have nothing to be afraid of.
Lord, encourage our hearts and strengthen us in every good deed and word.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - Retribution

Read: Jeremiah 22:1-23:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12; Psalm 83:1-18; Proverbs 25:11-14
After prophesying to the priests, Jeremiah went to the king’s house and prophesied to the king. He told him to start giving out righteous judgment and to stop sinning and oppressing the innocent. God was going to make this wonderful city a wilderness which would be barren and lifeless because they had forsaken the covenant of the their God.
In verse 10, Jeremiah told them to weep, not for the righteous King Josiah who died and would never see the evil to come, but to weep for the living like Shallum and Jehoahaz, Josiah’s sons who were evil and had been carried away by Pharoah-necho into Egypt. They would never see their native land again. God’s people who die are to be envied, but living sinners are to be pitied. Shallum means “retribution”and Jeremiah is applying it to Joshiah’s fourth son. His first son, Jehoahaz had only reigned three months before he was taken to Egypt and the people put in his fourth son to rule. Pharoah-necho replaced him with Jehoiakim, the second son. Sadly, none of them lived like their father who did judge the poor and the needy with righteousness.
Jeremiah mourns the hypocrisy of the prophets who were to be a beacon of truth and righteousness but instead were the worse of sinners.
How refreshing to read 2 Thessalonians! Paul is so grateful to the church for their growth in the Lord and their love for each other. They were commended for how they endured the trials of life and the persecution they were faced with. All their trials would be worth it in the end. There will be a righteous judgment on the earth!
Lord, thank you for reminding us that we don’t endure trials for nothing, but a reward is awaiting us and it will be worth it all!God’s retribution is holy and righteous.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thurs’s Devo - Walk in the Light

Read: Jeremiah 19:1-21:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-28; Psalm 82:1-8;
It is easy to read Jeremiah and think “how many times is God going to warn them?” But that is the Lord’s long-suffering and love. He desires that all be saved and he never does anything that he doesn’t first tell his prophets. Their job is to tell the people. Jeremiah was giving a very unpopular word when all the other prophets were saying the opposite. He said that Tophet and Hinnom would be called a place of slaughter. Tophet means “a spitting as an object of contempt” and Hinnom meant “to make oneself drowsy”. God was taking it one step further. The place of contempt and self-denial was going to be completely destroyed.
King Zedekiah sent the priests Pashur and Zephaniah to hear what he was saying. Their names mean “liberation” and “treasured”. No wonder they couldn’t hear that their freedom was ending and their treasure would be taken by their enemy. In Thessalonians, Paul continues talking about the end of time. He tells them that though he is coming as a thief to the world, he is not coming as a thief to them because they didn’t live in darkness but the light. They would be able to see that he was coming. If we live in the light we will not suffer the rewards of those who walk in darkness. God will save us from the wrath to come. He gives us a list to always do: be joyful, pray, be thankful, hold on to what is good walk in peace. Then he gives us a list not to do: don’t put out the fire of the Holy Spirit, don’t hate prophecy don’t believe everything you hear, avoid evil.
Lord, help us to continue to walk in the light of your presence.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - This is Our Time!

Read: Jeremiah 16:16-18:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3; Psalm 81:1-16; Proverbs 25:6-7a
The Lord searches the heart and examines the thought of people and they are rewarded accordingly. Judah had been examined and found guilty. They had become rich deceitfully and forsaken the Lord and his commandments. For all this they were being judged. God’s people were like pots that God could make or destroy according to their sins. Jeremiah had warned them but they refused to listen.
Paul had instructed the followers of Christ how to live a life that would please the Lord. It is God’s will that we be sanctified in our hearts. When that happens we won’t want to be sexually immoral or dishonor God by a lack of self-control. We will also love our neighbors, live a quiet life minding our own business and staying busy with what is ours to do.
Paul ends with telling them not to worry about times and dates when Jesus will return because he is coming as a thief in the night and the world will understand God’s timing. One thing we need to know is that we will not be here then. The rapture will occur first and the Word says that God never does anything that he doesn’t first tell his prophets. The second coming will be later and we will come back with Jesus. The people on the earth will not know when that will be. But…we are in the kingdom age where we are going to see revival on a proportion we have never seen before. The harvest has to be brought in before the rapture. We are to bring heaven down to earth first so we need to be busy about our Father’s business which is doing the things that Jesus did. We are living in the most exciting days of the church yet!
Lord, give us boldness and power to step out and do what Jesus did - heal the sick, deliver the oppressed and break every yoke.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - Judgement on Judah

Read: Jeremiah 14:11-16-15; 1 Thessalonians 2:10-3:13; Psalm 80:1-19; Proverbs 25:1-5
God told Jeremiah not to pray for blessings for Judah because He was not blessing them. He told Jeremiah to tell the people that God was bringing destruction on them through the sword, famine and plague. Their prophets were prophesying the opposite which made Jeremiah a very unpopular prophet. God told him not to worry because He would protect him. He also told him not to marry any woman living in Judah because she would be killed.
They were being held responsible for their parents sins and the fact that instead of repenting for their father’s sins, they joined in their sins. They had more gods than cities. But, if they would repent he would restore them. One day, the ones who turned to him would be restored and return to their land.
Paul commended the people of Thessalonia for trusting that God spoke through them. They had suffered by the hands of their own people like Paul had suffered by the hands of the Jews. Paul explained how hard he had tried to come to see and encourage them but Satan had stalled his visits. So now he was sending Timothy to them to be Paul’s spokesman. He reminded them that the trials that they were both experiencing had been prophesied over them so they shouldn’t be surprised. But trials come to make us strong so stand against the enemy and be firm.
We can join in Paul’s prayer for the people of Thessalonia: “may the Lord make our love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else.”

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - God’s Justice

Read: Jeremiah 12:1-14:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:9; Psalm 79:1-13; Proverbs 24:30-34
God brought a case against Judah which had to do with justice. The rich got richer at the expense of the poor and innocent but God was going to change that. God’s people were going to be put in the hands of their enemies and experience the punishment of God. All of their land would be trampled and devastated by their enemies because of their sin and rebellion. But, woe to the ones God used to bring judgment on his people. They would be punished also. When the time of punishment was over, God would look on compassion on his people and bring them back to their land. Our Psalm today, described the devastation that Jerusalem went through and the feelings of the people as they prayed for God’s deliverance.
God had Jeremiah give them a physical sign to show what he was going to do to them. Jeremiah was instructed to get a linen belt and wear it around his waist. It was not to touch water. Later, God told him to take the belt and go to the Euphrates River and dig a hole and hide it in the hole. It was now dirty and not useful. God said, that this is how he saw his people - unprofitable. The belt is truth (Eph. 6:14) and they had hidden the truth in their filth of idolatry making everything they did unprofitable. God also said he would make them drunk with the wine of judgment because of their pride. Instead of ruling themselves, they would be taken into exile. Instead of a nation, they would be scattered throughout the earth. Because they had forgotten their God who loved them, their sin would be exposed for all to see. Instead of water, they would live in drought.
Paul made sure that the church in Thessalonia understood that he wasn’t a false teacher coming in to deceive through extortion. He came with truth and proved it with acts of God’s power.
Just as God judged Israel because of her unjust judges, God is judging our judicial system. God will be replacing five of our Supreme Court judges and reversing Roe vs. Wade.
Lord, may we walk in truth and the power of your Holy Spirit.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - Walk in Worship

Read: Jeremiah 10:1-11:23; Colossians 3:18-4:18; Psalm 78:56-72; Proverbs 24:28-29
Israel had followed the traditions of the nations around them and adopted their dead idols as their god. Because of this, God told them to leave their land before God hurled them out. Those that stayed would be captured. The ones living in Jerusalem who didn’t follow his commandments would be cursed. They had been warned over and over to turn back to the Lord and had refused to listen or turn so the time had come for God to act in judgement.
In the book of Colossians, God gives instructions of how to treat different people. Wives are to submit to their husbands, husbands are to love their wives, children are to obey their parents, father are to encourage their kids, slaves are to obey their masters out of a sincere heart and reverence to the Lord. In everything we do we are to do it as if we are doing it to and for the Lord. The way we work, relate to others, do our day to day is all a reflection of how we honor God. Our daily walk is worship to the Lord.
Lord, may our walk today be worship to you.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - Turn!

Read: Jeremiah 8:8-9:26; Colossians 3:1-17; Psalm 78:32-55; Proverbs 24:27
Jeremiah rebuked the people for believing they had the truth when their teachers didn’t teach the truth about God’s Word. They didn’t desire to know truth because it would mean they would have to change and they didn’t want to. Because of their greed their wives would be given to other men and their fields to other owners. What God had blessed them with would be taken from them.
Our Psalm gives the same story - different time. It was about their walk through the wilderness but it still applied to where they were in Jeremiah. It is amazing how history repeats itself if we don’t do the necessary change. We can change our history; it only takes an inner change of our hearts. Our curses can be turned to blessing.
You feel the Lord’s pain as He watches the judgment fall on his people for what they have done. God has no other recourse but to refine his people through the fire. He wanted them to remove the deceit from their speech and the stubbornness from their hearts but they refused.
Paul warns us and the church of Colossi of the judgment to come. He says to put to death our earthly nature that includes sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed. He explains that greed is idolatry. He also tells us to get rid of anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language. As God’s people we are to wear compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. We are to walk in forgiveness and gratefulness to the Lord.
Lord, may we heed the warnings of your Word and walk in righteousness and truth. May your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - Discernment

Read: Jeremiah 6:15-8:7; Colossians 2:8-23; Psalm 78:1-31; Proverbs 24:26
God held the prophets responsible for leading the people even further astray. They told them lies and things that they made up in their minds to sound right and holy. God was bringing judgment and they didn’t even warn the people because they didn’t know the timing of their days. Jeremiah gave them one more chance to repent and change God’s sentence on them. He pointed out all their sin, how they have been deceived, and what their end will be. If only they had listened and repented.
Paul warned the church in Colossi about the same deceitfulness that was trying to come into the church. People were teaching philosophy which depended on tradition and principles in the world. They were teaching formulas and works as opposed to walking in the spirit and walking in grace. Paul reminded them that there has never been any power greater than Jesus who had the Father and the Holy Spirit in him.
Some men had had experiences with angels who told them things contrary to the Spirit and the people were being deceived by them. The supernatural is very exciting but we have to test the spirits to make sure we are experiencing God’s supernatural and not Satan’s. Satan mimics everything God does so we have to have discernment. Every bright light is not God. Satan can appear as an angel of light.
Our Psalm reminds us of all God did for his children. I can’t help but pray that we not be like the tribe of Ephraim that even though they had bows, they turned back in the day of battle. We have been given the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Let us not lose the battle because of fear. Let us be people that live by the Word.
If there was ever a day we needed discernment it is now. Lord, open our spiritual eyes to see and discernment to know what we are seeing and whether it is from You or not.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - Freedom from the Law

Read: Jeremiah 4:19-6:14; Colossians 1:21-2:7; Psalm 77:1-20; Proverbs 24:23-25
Jeremiah saw the heart of God for Israel and he was broken-hearted. Jeremiah was shown the future for Israel if they continued as they were living. It was in ruins. God could not find one person who dealt honestly or sought the truth so he could forgive the city. The prophets had prophesied that God would not bring destruction but he they were lying. They had been utterly unfaithful to the Lord, but God promised to leave a remnant to be able to testify as to why God did this. It was not God who destroyed them but their sins.
Colossians describes being deceived by false teaching as being taken captive. All of God and the Holy Spirit could be found in the Christ Jesus. He set us free from having to follow formulas and acts of piety. He sets us free to be sinless and enjoy life. The rules of the law lead to death if you follow them to get right with God. It is by faith that we are saved. We are now free to eat, drink and follow Christ.
Lord, help us to live and walk in freedom yet not use it as an excuse to sin.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - Return to the Lord

Read: Jeremiah 2:31-4:18; Colossians 1:1-20; Psalm 76:1-12; Proverbs 24:21-22
God condemns his people because they are not repentant. They believed they were sinless while wearing the blood of innocent people on their clothes. They looked to Egypt to be their hope and yet God said they would leave there as slaves. They took the gods of all their captors and rejected the God who made them a people and saved them from the very ones they now held in high esteem. God cried out to them to return to him and let him restore them and take them back. God was their husband and he still loved them. God’s lovingkindness and grace knows no bounds.
Today Paul writes to the church in Colossi and encourages them with his prayer he has prayed for them. It is such a good prayer I want to personalize it for us.
“I pray that God will fill us with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. That we might live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that we might have great endurance and patience and joyfully give thanks to God who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - Jeremiah’s Calling

Read: Jeremiah 1:1-2:30; Philippians 4:1-23; Psalm 75:1-10; Proverbs 24:17-20
Jeremiah prophesied from the end of Josiah’s reign through his next two sons until Judah went into exile. Josiah was a good king who brought spiritual reform but sadly his sons were not.
God told Jeremiah he had chosen him from the womb and he would put his words in Jeremiah’s mouth. Jeremiah’s father was the high priest at the time. God showed him natural things like branches from the almond tree and boiling pots to show spiritual implications. God gave Jeremiah tremendous fortitude and courage to stand before Judah and point out their sins and call them to repentance. He pointed out how they had changed gods as a nation. No other nation had done that but they had forsake the true God for a bunch of stone dead gods who had no power. It made no sense but showed how spiritually dead they were. They had no discernment and could not see how far they had fallen. Jeremiah was God’s wake up call.
In Philippians, Paul encouraged them to rejoice always but he knew that they had to have a renewed mindset to be able to do this. He told them what to think about: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Paul could tell a church’s spiritual state by how they responded to him. He could tell if they were mature or not. How we treat others is a reflection of how we love the Lord. That is convicting!
Lord, help us to have love, real love for one another that reflects our devotion to You. Help us to all realize our calling to speak your words.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - God is Above All

Read: Isaiah 66:1-24; Philippians 3:4b-21; Psalm 74:1-23; Proverbs 24:15-16
God told Israel who He is. He is the God of all. Heaven is his throne and earth is his footstool. Everything that is made was made by him. He was looking for people who were sensitive to Him and had a humble heart - the person who was so touched to kill his ox that it was as if he was killing a person. He looked but he couldn’t find this. Instead he found people that did their own thing and only looked after themselves. They had no care for others or their plight but were selfish and greedy.
He was going to bring the very thing that they feared the most upon them.
God spoke to the remnant that were oppressed and yet they feared the name of the Lord. They would see their enemy go down in shame. In a day, God was going to deliver Jerusalem and his people. God is speaking of the end of days but also speaking to his remnant throughout history. God delivers his people. We are in the midst of seeing this very thing happen in Israel and in the America. We are going to see the wealth of the oil of the Arab nations return to Israel and the United States, the Gentiles. God is turning our shame to glory!
In Philippians, Paul gives us his reasons why he could be proud in his flesh, but chooses to count all his pedigree and achievements as rubbish compared to knowing Jesus. He had lost everything for that name and has no regrets. He knows that eternity is his prize and goal and encourages us to feel the same.
Lord, help us to look forward with great joy and expectancy because you control the whole cosmos!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - God’s Promises of Blessing

Read: Isaiah 62:6-65:25; Philippians 2:19-3:4a; Psam 73:1-28; Proverbs 24:13-14
God told Isaiah that he had posted watchmen on Israel’s walls. These watchmen were from his heavenly host of his army but also natural prophets. The prophets are the watchmen who watch in the spirit to see what is coming and warn the people what God is about to do and what Satan’s plans are. If you think we have no prophets today all you have to do is go to Elijahlist.com and join for free. You will get prophecies daily that come from prophets all over the world. They will tell you the same thing Isaiah was saying to his people. We have gone through the wine press of God and everything that could be shaken has been shaken so that what remains will be what God can work with. God does reward those who wait for them and obey his commands. We will soon forget our past trials and troubles. God will bring in the new and it will so out-shadow the old that we will not remember the old. Jerusalem will be a delight and its people will be a joy. It will teem with life and God’s people will reap the rewards of what they sow. None of our work will be in vain. Our children will prosper and we will be a blessed people. This is a picture of the millennium but also a picture of what we can have right now by faith.
In Philippians, Paul praises Timothy for being a man who is like no other disciple he has ever seen because Timothy took a genuine interest in the welfare of the people. He worked under Paul as a son would with his father. Then he praises Ephaphroditus for his service to the Lord. He almost died in his work for Christ but is being sent back to them. Paul wants them to receive him with great joy and celebration.
He ends in warning them again of the false prophets who he refers to as dogs. Our Psalm explains what Paul was talking about. Sometimes it is easy to get discouraged when you look around and see the evil blessed and you are suffering. The Psalmist realizes that though they might have it good for a while on earth, their end is destruction and their good life is very temporal. What we have is eternal so what is a little suffering in the face of eternity? Our small suffering works for our eternal reward. God is our refuge when we get overwhelmed. He will never let us down.
Lord, help us to taste and see that you are so good!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - Healing the Land

Read: Isaiah 60:1-62:5; Philippians 1:27-18; Psalm 72:1-20; Proverbs 24:11-12
Today’s reading is a word for America and for Israel. God wants us to rise and let our light shine because we are suppose to be a nation that other nations look to and see the light of God. We are to send missionaries all over the world and be a beacon of truth. We are to be the land of the brave and the free so let’s start believing this and living it.
Of course, this is also speaking to Israel and it will be the place of God’s sanctuary. Those that despised it will bow down and call it God’s city. There will come a day when there will not be any violence in the streets of Jerusalem. This has to be good news to them. God will restore Jerusalem to be his home.
In Isaiah 61, Isaiah proclaims his mission in life which is a Messianic prophesy about Jesus’ mission also. Jesus read from this very passage in the temple in his own home town in Luke 4:18 but left out the line that said “the day of the vengeance of our God” because he did not come to bring vengeance. Jesus came to bring healing and grace. This is our mission on the earth also: to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, release from darkness the prisoners, and preach the good news to the poor.
Paul told the Philippian church to live their lives in a way that brings honor to the Lord. We do this by the way we treat other people and how we look after their interests as well as our own.
I pray that one day, America will be a land married to the Lord. The Psalm today is also a word for our nation. Put our presidents name in place of “king” and pray this over him. This Psalm is his destiny; Lord let it be. May we be a people who rise up and let our light shine and bring healing and grace to the land.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - Prepare the Way

Read: Isaiah 57:14-59:21; Philippians 1:1-26; Psalm 71:1-24; Proverbs 24:9-10
“Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” That is what God told his people through Isaiah. That is what God is saying to us today. It is not the time to tear down and criticize. It is time to unite and bind together. We are to prepare the road by getting the obstacles out of the way of our maturing in the Lord and anything that could be criticized by the world. Some of these obstacles are the same as they were then. They did as they pleased and exploited their workers. They quarreled and debated their doctrine and yet they expected their prayers to be heard. They did all this while fasting to get close to the Lord. Their lives were hypocritical and a stumbling block to those who were looking to them for answers.
Fasting and times of prayer should not be to appear spiritual but to accomplish something in the spiritual realm. It should loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of bondage. Our goal should be to set the oppressed free and to bread every yoke of bondage. We should be caring for the poor and meeting the needs of those we see, starting with our own families. When we do this we will be the light of the world and our own healing will come. We will be safe in God’s protection and He will hear our prayers and answer them. We will have discernment and revelation. When the world is unfruitful, we will be healthy and fruitful. We will then be able to build up the walls of salvation and restore the path of righteousness. If we stop doing what our flesh wants to do and start doing what the Lord created us to do, we will soar with the Spirit and be filled with joy. Every promise in the Bible will be ours.
The people of Israel had a hard time maintaining devotion to the Lord so they lived in the consequences of choosing death instead of life. To them, God promised a Redeemer who came in the person of Jesus Christ.
Paul sends a letter to the Philippians commending them for their love. He has much joy when he thinks of them and knows that God is doing a great work in them which will just get bigger and better. They are preaching the gospel and Paul encourages them to continue.
Lord, may we remove all the obstacles that keep us from running our race without any hinderances. May our lives light the way for sinners to come to You.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - Time of Joy

Read: Isaiah 54:1-57:13; Ephesians 6:1-24; Psalm 70:1-5; Proverbs 24:8
The time of judgment and discipline are over and it is time to shout for joy. God’s kindness and grace is being extended over Israel. It is time for rebuilding and restoration. They can rest assured that every promise that God gave Israel will be fulfilled.
God gives hope to the foreigner who calls on his name and the one who has been made a eunuch. He will give them a name in his temple that is better than sons or daughters. He will give them joy and acceptance.
God explains that the righteous die and no one wonders why but the reason they die is so that they will be spared from evil. They instead enter into peace and rest. This is a great reminder to us when we don’t understand the death of someone we love. God does everything out of his love for us.
Isaiah rebuked the men who were suppose to be the prophets of the day. Instead of using their gifts to warn the people of what was to come, they were using their gifts to benefit themselves. Instead of worshipping the Lord, they worshipped idols so their idols will have to save them in calamity.
Paul reminds them to honor their parents, obey their masters and treat their slaves well. He reminded them that their Master was in heaven and he had no favorites.
Then he admonished them and us that our enemy is the devil and not people. We fight him by having our spiritual armor
on and using the Word against him. We gain ground by praying in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. That means to ask God his will and then pray it.
Lord, may we open our most and fearlessly make know the mystery of the gospel. May we wear joy as our clothing today.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - Shake Off the Dust

Read: Isaiah 51:1-53:12; Ephesians 5:1-33; Psalm 69:19-36; Proverbs 24:7
God calls out to all his remnant who pursued righteousness. He reminded them of their beginning and how he formed them. He began with Abraham and Sarah who he called out and blessed them. Surely he will take care of Israel and see them through. Just as he brought them out of Egypt and into their land, he will bring them back with joy and singing. He encourages them to wake up and shake off the dust of affliction and poverty because it is time to arise and be strong. It is time for a change; it is time for redemption.
This is so true of what God is saying to the body of Christ. It is time to rise up and shake off despair, hopelessness and fear. It is time to be strong, daring and hopeful. God is coming to our rescue and we will the the head and not the tail.
Isaiah ends with the perfect description of Jesus’ first coming to earth. It was not as a triumphant king but as a lowly servant.
Ephesians gives us a perfect picture of a Christian. They show live a life of love and purity. We are to the be light of the world so we can have no darkness in us. Our marriages should reflect the way God loves his bride and the way the bride honors her husband.
Even our Psalm describes Jesus’ death and his promise to save Zion and rebuild it. We are spiritual Zion and we will be strong on the earth.
Lord, help us to realize the power we carry and it purpose. We were created to bring glory and honor to you.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - Leave Babylon

Read: Isaiah 48:12-50:11; Ephesians 4:17-32; Psalm 69:1-18; Proverbs 24:5-6
God gave Israel some great words that we should heed. He says that He is our Lord who teaches us what is best for us and directs us in the way we should go. If we pay attention to his commands then we would have peace and righteousness and our descendants would be great in number. He instructs us to leave Babylon (the confusion of the world) and rejoice in our redemption. We are instructed to remember all the times God saved us and rescued us out of our troubles. Is it too hard for God to do it again? God is faithful and he has chosen us and he will help us. He will restore our land and bring the captives out of captivity. God has not forgotten us and he will call in the prodigals and the lost to salvation. If we hope in the Lord, we will not be disappointed.
In Ephesians, Paul teaches them to not live like the world lives in lust and impurity. They are to put off the old man and its desires and be made new in the attitude of your minds. Whatever is in your mind will eventually come out of your mouth and your actions. We need to be saying things that are helpful and build one another up. The last thing Paul says is to forgive just as Christ forgave you. That includes everything.
Lord, thank you for being our redeemer and our salvation. We put our confidence in you alone.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - God Will Do It!

Read: Isaiah 45:11-48:11; Ephesians 4:1-18; Psalm 68:19-35; Proverbs 24:3-4
Many prophets today feel that Trump is a type of Cyrus. Yesterday, we read that Cyrus was a Persian king who God anointed to subdue nations and bring down kings. He was to make the crooked places straight and cut through hypocrisy and strongholds. God promised to give him the wealth of the wicked and wisdom. For the sake of God’s people, he called Cyrus before he knew God and chose him to rule for the elect’s sake. Woe to the person who fights against God and the one God chooses.
I have to agree with the prophets, but the first verse today says that if your don’t understand God’s choice you can ask him and he will tell you. God said that he raised up Cyrus in righteousness and He would direct his ways and through God, Cyrus would build God’s city. Cyrus would let the Jewish captives go back to Jerusalem and everyone would agree that God was in Cyrus.
Then we read about what will happen to those who had idols and trusted in things other than God. They would be put to shame and disgraced. The gods they served would fall to the power of God. God would prove himself to be the only God.
God tells them to remember the things God has done in the past because he makes known the end from the beginning. What he has said would happen will happen.
This is such a parallel to what God is doing right now in our nation and in the world. He is bringing to shame the deeds of satan and setting up his standard once again but it is a war in the spirit and in the natural.
To Babylon, God promises to bring down their pride and destroy them. They have lifted themselves above him and he is done with them.
To his covenant people who have not followed him in heart but only in words, he reminds them that he has given them fair warning. He will delay his wrath for his own sake but he will not give his glory to another.
In Ephesians, Paul admonishes them to live their lives to honor the grace God has given them. He wants them to mature in love and the gifts God has given them.
Lord, by your wisdom build our spiritual houses, through understanding may we be established and through knowledge my our rooms be filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Thank you for what you are doing in our nation. You promised you would save us and you are doing it. Help your people to unite in love and see your kingdom come to earth.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - God’s Grace and Deliverance

Read: Isaiah 43:14-45:10; Ephesians 3:1-21; Psalm 68:1-18; Proverbs 24:1-2
God gave them a promise of deliverance from the bondage of the Babylonians. He promised them that they would come back on the very boats they were carried away on. He is the one who led the Israelites through the desert and fed them and gave them water once, and he could do it again. But, he didn’t want them to dwell on the past, because he is going to do a new thing. He was not going to deliver then like he did then. He just wants them to know that he can deliver them and he will. God would blot out all their sins and transgressions.
Isaiah was speaking about Jesus, their Messiah, who would come in a most peculiar way and dressed in humility and love. He would not be a wooden idol but a real person - God coming to earth in a form we could relate to. He would be the final sacrifice to blot out all of their sins.
God controls kingdoms and raises up and throws down kings. In Isaish 45:7 it says that God formed the light and creates darkness. He makes peace and creates evil. The word “creates” in the Hebrew means “to cut down”. So it should read, God molds the light and cuts down misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow and wickedness. He brings forth peace, health, prosperity, happiness, perfection and cuts down evil, calamity, distress, and harm. The devil is the one who brings all these hurricanes and tornadoes against our nation. We need to stand up and say “Peace be still” to the storm.
I have had two storm dreams lately. Storms come in so many different ways so I say “Peace be still” to all of our storms.
Paul tells his people in Ephesians that surely you have heard about the grace that God has given us. He still gives out this grace to whatever is going on in our lives. Grace is the ability to do through God what you can’t do yourself.
Paul prays for his people and us that we would be strengthened with power in our inner man and that we would know how wide and long and high and deep Jesus love for us is. God is able to do more than we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us.
Lord, thank you for the power of your love that works through us.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - God’s Redemption 9-9-17

Read: Isaiah 43:14-45:10; Ephesians 2:1-22’ {sa;, 67:1-7; Proverbs 23:29-35
God aways has a remnant of people who are thirsty and hungry for Him and His word. God addresses them and tells them that he hears their cry and will answer them. He addresses the rest of the people who turned from him to worship idols. Have their idols ever said anything to them about the future or the past? Have they ever done anything? Their counsel is false and their deeds don’t amount to anything.
But, God has done amazing things and spoken amazing things! What he promises, he does and he does it in such power and glory. He has raised up leaders and put them down. He promised to lead Israel and raise them up in glory. He tells them to rejoice and sing for joy because the Lord is going to battle their enemies and win. Even though Israel rebelled and turned away from the Lord and he had to punish them, he would one day bring them again to this place and redeem them.
Isaiah was talking to the Jews and Ephesians is talking to the Gentiles. Paul reminds the Gentiles that they are saved by grace through their faith in Jesus. This faith is a gift from God and not something they did to get. Jesus came and made the Jew and Gentile one people by his blood. His blood is our bloodline to the promises he gave to the Jews.
Lord in the midst of all the storms that are all around us, may your peace be our refuge and our hope.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - The Mystery of His Will

Read: Isaiah 39:1-41:16; Ephesians 1:1-23; Psalm 66:1-20
Today we read of the last 15 years of Hezekiah’s life. The son of the king of Babylon, Merodah-Baladan heard about Hezekiah’s miraculous recovery and sent him a gift by some of his men. Merodah-Baladan means “rebellion; Baal is lord”. While they were there, Hezekiah showed them all his palace and his wealth.
Isaiah came to visit after they had left and asked him what he showed them. Then he told him that everything he showed them would one day be theirs.
The devil never gives a gift without a selfish intention.
Hezekiah receive the word from Isaiah and was just happy that it wouldn’t happen in his lifetime. He didn’t seem concerned that his sons would one day be eunuchs in Babylon. This shows us the true heart of Hezekiah.
Isaiah 40 is a prophecy about John the Baptist who would one day bring comfort and hope to God’s people after they had been judged for their sins. He gives them words to read when they are weary of persecution and trials. He reminds them that God is awake and aware of all they are going through and will be their salvation.
Ephesians is such a great book full of rich understanding and great prayers. It says that God wants us to know the mystery of his will and we are part of his will. He predestined us to be his children and when we believed that, he marked us with a seal which is the Holy Spirit. Now his power works in and through us. In the Old Testament, God spoke through the prophets but now he speaks to all of us individually in our hearts.
Lord, help us to walk in integrity, wisdom and your power. Speak to us today about the mystery of your will.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - God’s Will

Read: Isaiah 37:1-38:22; Galatians 6:1-18;
Today we get to read the rest of the story. The Assyrian army had surrounded Jerusalem and were yelling out threats of what they were going to do to them. Hezekiah cried out out to the Lord and God send Isaiah to tell him not to be afraid of the king of Assyria. God would send him a report that would make him return to his own country and there he would be cut down with the sword.
It happened just as God said it would. Sennacherib, the king of Assyria heard that the king of Egypt was marching out to fight against him. Sennacherib left to meet him but he left with a promise that he would return and defeat Jerusalem. He added that the God they depended on would not be able to save them against him. God sent Isaiah with another word to Hezekiah reminding him of who He was and what He had done in the past. Then God sent his army from heaven out to fight the Assyrians. They killed 185,000 of them. Sennacherib returned home and was stabbed by his own sons.
Hezekiah became fatally ill and Isaiah came to him and told him to get his affairs in order. Hezekiah cried out to the Lord and reminded him of all he had done in God’s name. God repented and sent Isaiah back to tell him he could live 15 more years. To prove his words were true he made the shadow on the sundial go back tent steps adding 10 minutes to the day. He also told him what to do about his boil so he would recover.
Amazing that God would change time for Hezekiah. This affected everyone from then on. Ten minutes was added to the day and it affected time from that day on. It just shows the lovingkindness of the Lord. Sadly, it would have been better for Hezekiah if he would have gone to the grave then because he didn’t end well. I am reminded that God will allow us to do things he knows is not the best for us just because we ask, but his plan is always the best and his timing is always better.
Galatians deals with the same issue that Hezekiah had. We cannot take pride in anything we do because there is no good in us. Only God is good and what we do in the Spirit. Paul reminds us that we will reap what we sow. Hezekiah asked to live longer based on his own goodness. It was costly to him because he couldn’t maintain his good works.
Lord, help us to walk in your Spirit and choose your will for our lives. It is truly better than anything we could imagine.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - Live in the Spirit

Read: Isaiah 33:13-36:22; Galatians 5:13-26; Psalm 64:1-10; Proverbs 23:23
Isaiah opens with the dread of war. They have heard the rumors that the Assyrian army is on their way to destroy them. The only ones who can have peace during these times are the righteous. The righteous man doesn’t listen to this news because his bread will be supplied and his water will not run out. He will set his mind on God’s plans and His promises. The Lord will be the Mighty One who will save them.
God promised to them salvation. He told them to strengthen their shaking hands and steady their knocking knees because he was coming to save them.
In the fourteenth year of Hezekiah’s reign the Assyrian army did come. They were known for their barbaric tactics. We can compare them to today’s ISIS. They surrounded Jerusalem and shouted threats. They wanted to bargain with Hezekiah for 2,000 of his best fighting men. They even had the audacity to say that the Lord had sent them to destroy Jerusalem. Tomorrow we will read about the deliverance the Lord gave them, but today we are left hanging.
We all face our own crisis and our own enemies and we can choose to listen to their lies or we can do what the army of Hezekiah’s was instructed to do and that was not to answer them. We don’t have to cave in fear or reason with demons. They are unreasonable for one thing and the other is that they are to be under our feet. We need to remind them of that and trust in God. He can do the impossible and will if we just ask and believe.
Paul gives us the secret of living an abundant sinless life - live by the Spirit. He will never lead you to sin. His fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Lord, help us to trust you with our trials and live in the Spirit.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - Hope

Read: Isaiah 30:12-33:12; Galatians 5:1-12; Psalm 63:1-11; Proverbs 23:22
Isaiah gives us a picture of the end judgment for the rebellious and glory for the faithful. He describes sin as a wall that will collapse and fall, but salvation will be found in repentance. The people of Isaiah’s time would have to endure God’s judgment but He longed for the day when He will be able to show his grace and compassion. Isaiah described a future day as a time when there would be rain to water their seed and the harvest would be rich and plentiful. The hearts of God’s people would be healed and they would shine with the glory of God.
This is not only talking about a day in Israel’s future, but a future day that will happen in the end. It will be a time of devastation to the world but great rejoicing for the people of God. The eyes of the Jewish nation will be opened and their ears will hear the voice of the Spirit of God. The godless people who rule now will no longer rule. God will bring justice and honor to the places of authority. It is the day will have dreamed about. God will be the foundation of this building. His treasures of wisdom and knowledge will be open to those who fear the Lord.
In Galatians, Paul speaks of this same day that we look forward to. He reminds us that the only thing that is important is faith which is expressed in love.
Lord, may we walk in love and great hope for you have a glorious future planned for those who fear you.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - God’s Ways

Read: Isaiah 28:14-30:11; Galatians 3:23-4:31; Psalm 62:1-12; Proverbs 23:19-21
The Assyrians are coming and they are not prepared because they have listened to the lies of their false prophets. There is no hope in their lies, but God is true. He promises to lay a foundation stone in Jerusalem where they can build a refuge and a building for the Lord that will never be torn down. He is speaking of salvation by faith - not a physical building. Jesus will be the cornerstone and he will bring life. God likened what was happening to plowing a field. He was plowing the field so he could plant new seed and reap a harvest. Once he leveled the ground, he would not keep leveling it but he would plant on it. Jerusalem would be plowed to the ground and uninhabited. The eyes of the people would be blinded so they wouldn’t be able to envision what God was doing or saying. Even Isaiah’s words would be like a book in another language; they wouldn’t be able to read it or understand it.
This is a picture of the unbeliever who can not see the truth. They have been blinded and even when they read the Word of God, they can’t understand it until it is time. We are coming to that time when God is opening the eyes of the Christian and the unbeliever and they are beginning to see.
Isaiah gives a woe to those who refuse to see the truth and those who refuse to obey the Lord. They will be put to shame because they caused shame and disgrace. But, we are not those who tell the prophets not to speak. We want to hear what God has to say so he is speaking loud and often. We are living in a glorious day!
In Galatians, Paul explained that the law was meant to bring us to faith. Before, the children of Israel were sons who didn’t know their rights and were not living in their inheritance, but now they are sons who know their inheritance and are living in it. The old covenant still made its followers slaves because it was natural but the new covenant of grace makes its followers free.
We are no longer slaves to religion and doing good, but we are free to experience God’s presence and walk with him in righteousness. We do this not out of obligation but out of love and relationship. We can know God!
Lord thank you that we can pray with David who said, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” Thank you that through our trusting in You we will never be shaken.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - Stepping into Peace

Read: Isaiah 25:1-28:13; Galatians 3:10-22; Psalm 61:1-8; Proverbs 23:17-18
Babylon is the type of the anti-christ system. Today’s reading is a picture of the final days of the anti-christ reign. Babylon is left in a heap of ruin and the poor and needy have found a place of refuge in the Lord. He speaks of a mountain that will be the place where God will take away the veil between the spirit and the flesh and swallow up death forever.
God’s city, his church will be strong - built on salvation. The righteous will enter through its gates and find perfect peace. He is speaking of being at rest in the midst of chaos.
They were still in the late stages of the tribulation so God encourages them that their dead will live again. They should hide themselves and wait for God to finish his judgment on the earth. When it is over, they will be rewarded with the fruit of their faithfulness.
Paul explained that the law was give to deal with sin until the promise had come who would do away with the power of sin. The Promise did come in the face of Jesus Christ and it brought deliverance from the penalty of sin. The world is under the law and will be judged according to the law but if we accept the promise, Jesus Christ, then we are no longer judged by the law.
Lord, help us to walk in your perfect peace keeping our minds always on you.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - The Valley of Vision

Read: Isaiah 22:1-24:23; Galatians 2:17-3:9; Psalm 60:1-12; Proverbs 23:15-16
The valley of vision was Jerusalem, the seat of revelation and the prophets. This judgment would not come through the sword but through a plague. In verse 15, Isaiah confronted Shebna who was building a monument to himself and his family and asked him why he was doing this since they are about to be taken captive. He then spoke of a man named Eliakim that would be a type of Jesus. In him would lie access to come in and go out. He would carry the glory of his father’s house just as Jesus would carry the glory of heaven.
Isaiah spoke of Tyre which was a harbor of merchandise from all over the world. It was rich and prosperous but very wicked. It was destroyed and later built up just as Isaiah said it would be. It became a place where Paul and his disciples preached and brought many to the Lord but the entire fulfillment is still yet to come.
Isaiah 24-28 are a description of the end of times as well as the past for us. When it talks about “the earth” it is referring to Judah and Jerusalem. It was totally emptied for years until 1948 when people began to return and declare Israel a nation once again. In the future this is speaking to the whole earth. It is warning of world wide judgment. Hopefully we will be raptured by then.
Paul rebukes the Galatians for turning back to the law instead of continuing in grace and faith. It is easier to follow a formula and a ritual than to press into the spirit and listen, but the spirit gives life and the ritual is dead. The Galatians had gotten weary and went back to what was familiar. Let’s not do that. God is doing a new thing and we don’t want to be left following ritual when we could be swimming in the spirit.
Lord, help us to dive into your spirit and expect unbelievable results because that is what you want to give us.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - Judgment of Egypt

Read: Isaiah 19:1-21:17; Galatians 2:1-16; Psalm 59:1-17; Proverbs 23:13-14
Isaiah turned his attention toward Egypt. God was going to judge Egypt for their dependence upon their idols, charmers, familiar spirits and wizards. They would be turned over to a cruel lord and a fierce king. All of the things that they put their trust in would fail them. There would be no help coming and no amount of money could buy them out of their trouble. Eventually, they will cry out to the Lord and he would send them a savior to deliver them. At that time, Egypt, Assyria and Israel will be a blessing.
When this prophesy began to take place, Isaiah acted out what was coming. He took off his mantle and his shoes and walked around to show them that they were about to be taken captive and lose everything. After three years, this happened and the Egyptians and the Ethiopians were lead naked and barefoot to Assyria.
Isaiah 21 tells about the land between Babylon and Persia. This plain was covered with waters from the Euphrates until dams were built. Cyrus removed the dams and it went back to being a marsh. Isaiah pictures himself at the very feast that Cyrus gives the order to open the dikes and flood the land so they can take Babylon by boat.
In Galatians, Paul goes to great lengths to say that it is not genealogy or works that will save anyone. Everyone has to come through the cross and have faith in Jesus.
Lord, may we read about history and learn from others mistakes. We seek you and you alone as our Savior and our Lord.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - The End of Judgment

Read: Isaiah 15:1-18:7; Galatians 1:1-24; Psalm 58:1-11; Proverbs 23:12
Isaiah is given a glimpse into what is going to happen when God judges Moab. He sees ahead to the time when their people have fled or have been taken captive, their provisions have dried up, they have lost their wealth, and even the ones who have escaped are not safe. When they cry out to God for help, God responds with hope. He promises that he will establish his throne again in their midst.
Before this, Moab was prideful and conceited but in a moment she will be humbled. Isaiah laments for Moab as their joy will be totally gone. God says that this will happen in three years.
Next, Isaiah gets a picture of what will happen to Damascus which is in Judah. It will be left deserted in ruins because they had forgotten the God of their salvation.
The last lament is to the land of Ethiopia. He parallels all this judgment to the end of time when God will raise up an ensign (the cross) and the blowing of a trumpet which points to his second coming. At that time, God will be given the redeemed of the land as a present. He describes these people as a people scattered, obstinate, born in fear, and spoiled by prosperity. These people will be brought to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts. These will be the redeemed of the Lord who have give up all to serve him.
Paul has found that the Galatians, like the Corinthians, have been influenced by false prophets and wrong doctrine. He confirms to them who he is and his testimony so they will know he is the real thing.
What we can learn from today’s reading and what is going on in our nation can be summed up in the last verse of our Psalm: “Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.”
Lord, help us to keep our eyes on you and not the false news we hear around us. You are the judge of the whole earth. May you judge your enemies and set your righteous on high.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - Lucifer to Satan

Read: Isaiah 12:1-14:32; 2 Corinthians 13:1-14; Psalm 57:1-11: Proverbs 23:9-11
Isaiah 12 was the response of Chapter 11. When Jesus came it was not for judgment but for salvation, not only for Israel and Judah but for the world.
In Chapter 13, God was calling his heavenly army to fight and bring judgment on Babylon. The whole world would be, and will be punished because of Babylon’s wickedness. This is not only a “then” prophesy but this is the picture of the end of the world as is written in Revelation 18. Every evil that they did to other nations was going to be done to them. But God will have mercy on Jacob and choose Israel and the strangers that will join themselves to them. Then God’s people will rule over the people and have rest from sorrows, fear, and from the hard bondage that they were made to serve. The whole earth will experience rest and quiet. It will break forth into singing. Once again this is speaking into a day yet to come. Hell will be afraid at the coming of the Lord.
Isaiah 14:12 is the picture of the day when Lucifer was thrown from heaven to become Satan. Lucifer exalted his name above God’s so he was cast out of heaven to the earth where he does his work. One day, he will be contained in hell and all his power will be stripped from him. We will look at him and wonder how this one being did so much damage. We need to see Satan that way now because he has no power over us. One day, God will cut down his kingdom of Babylon and totally destroy it.
In Corinthians, Paul was writing his final letter to the Corinthians and he reminded them that it is in their inadequacies that God is strongest. In his final words he tells them to be restored, be comforted, live in unity and peace and most of all let God’s love guide them.
I pray that for us too!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - What’s Wrong?

Read: Isaiah 10:1-11:16; 2 Corinthians 12:11-21; Psalm 56:1-13; Proverbs 23:6-8
Isaiah gives a list of the things the people were doing that was upsetting to God. They made unjust laws that oppressed the people and deprived the poor of their rights. They preyed on widows and robbed people who had no parents. He asked them where would they run when judgment comes.
God was going to use the Assyrians to punish his people, but then he was going to punish the Assyrians for doing it. The king of Assyria pridefully thought that he had conquered the Israelites in his power, but God was going to show him that he had nothing to do with it. It was all God’s plan.
The same idolatrous idols of Assyria were found in Israel and Judah. They were all guilty.
One day, the Lord would show the whole world what He would do with his people. He spoke of the day that he would send Jesus to earth and put his Spirit on him. He would have God’s wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge and the fear of God. He would judge righteously with justice. With his mouth, he would bring down the wicked. He would cause the wolf to lie down with the lamb - he would totally change people and put people together that would never have been put together like Paul and Peter.
I know that this is also talking about he millennium but it is a picture of both. God always does things both spiritually and physically and in each generation it looks a little different.
In Corinthians, Paul is trying to let them see the difference in his ministry and the apostles that came through wanting great amounts of money to speak. He never charged them, yet they went after the ones that did. Apparently the other apostles had taught a very greasy grace and they had bought into it so they could keep living in sin. Paul is hoping that they repent before he gets there.
It is hard not to read today’s reading and not think of all the televangelists through the years that have preyed on widows social security checks and on anyone who would give just to keep their million dollar ministries going. Some of them were legit and others weren’t. It is our job to have discernment and listen to God’s voice to know when to give and when to not.
Lord, give us discernment and help us to judge righteously with Your wisdom and understanding. Let your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mon,’s Devo. - Names

Read: Isaiah 8:1-9:21; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Psalm 55:1-23; Proverbs 23:3-4
God told Isaiah to take a scroll and write down the word Maher-Shalal-Has-Baz that means “quick to the spoil; swift to the prey”. This was to be the name of Isaiah’s son. Yesterday we read that God told Isaiah the virgin would have a son and name him Emanuel which means “God with us”. By the time Isaiah’s son could say “ma ma” or “da da” the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria would be carried off by the Assyrians. Part of the plunder of Samaria was the gold they took from Jerusalem’s temple. Since the people didn’t repent when Rezin and Remaliah reigned over them, God was sending the Assyrians who were bloodthirsty and barbaric.
God warned Isaiah not to get caught up in the thought of the day. He told them not to fear what the people feared or dread it. War was imminent but God would take care of those that fear him. God told Isaiah to bind the Word on the hearts of his disciples and tell them to wait on the Lord. God’s disciples would be signs and symbols to the people. The people would have no hope because they didn’t put their trust in the Lord.
In the future, the people who walked in darkness would see a great light. This light would be John the Baptist preaching repentance and getting them ready for The Light to come. God promised to come to the Gentles in Galilee and bring salvation. He went on to prophesy the birth and names of Jesus. He would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. This was what the people would have to wait for. It would not come in their lifetime, but their children’s children would see him.
Paul tells the people about his visions but to stay humble, Satan sent him a messenger to torment him. We don’t know if this is a person or a spirit but it kept Paul humble and needing God.
Lord, make us a sign and a symbol to the world of your great salvation. May your name be exalted.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - Isaiah's Encounter

Read: Isaiah 6:1-7:25; 2 Corinthians 11:16-38; Psalm 54:1-7; Proverbs 23:1-3
Uzziah’s father was Amaziah who did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart. He brought the gods of the Edomites home with him and bowed down to them. god destroyed him for this using Israel’s king, Joash. Amaziah’s son, Uzziah became king and he did what was right in the sight of the Lord. He sought the Lord and God made him prosper. Uzziah built up the army of Judah and fortified the land. But, when he was older, he became filled with pride and sinned against the Lord. He went into the temple to burn incense. The priests tried to stop him but not before he was struck with leprosy. He lived his last years separated from people in seclusion. Jotham his son reigned in his place. Even though he was a good king and followed after the Lord, the people lived corruptly.
Today’s reading began at Uzziah’s death. Isaiah had a tremendous vision of the Lord on his throne with all the seraphim that surrounded the throne. He saw the glory of the Lord. All Isaiah could see was his sin until the angel touched his mouth with the coal from God’s altar and Isaiah was saved. God commissioned Isaiah to go tell the people that they won’t be able to see or hear or comprehend Him because they have chosen this themselves. Isaiah asked how long the people would be spiritually impotent and God said until the whole land was completely desolate. But…a tenth will remain and they will be a holy seed to reseed the land.
No matter how bad it is, God always has a plan of redemption and restoration.
Paul gives the church a new perspective. He saw that the people had been swayed into false doctrine by these super apostles and Paul was trying to bring them back to reality. He might not have the vernacular that these men had, but he had truth. Paul gave them his credentials: a Hebrew who had been beaten with rods, shipwrecked three times, robbed, and in all kinds of perilous situations all to care for the churches. His glory was in his infirmities not his lies.
John the Baptist had warned them time and time again about false prophets that would come. Paul was trying to keep their feet on the ground.
Lord, help us to not run after people who talk the talk, but in those who walk the walk. May we be examples of truth.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - Judging a Nation

Read: Isaiah 3:1-5:30; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15; Psalm 3:1-6; Proverbs 22:28-29
Isaiah tells us what God does when he is judging a nation. He takes away his protection, support, provision, water, valiant men, the military, honest judges, the prophet, revelation, the wisdom of the elderly, creativity, good leaders, wise advise, and the voice of prayer. The leaders won’t be the experienced wise men but the young men will lead who have none. People oppress each other and children are disrespectful towards adults. Base people disrespect and attack the honorable leaders. People become desperate for someone with an answer. People are proud of their sins and have no shame.
This sounds like America. In verse 13 it says what God’s response is - He will stand up and judge the people. God will start with the leaders and those that have oppressed the poor. He will bring down the proud and exalt the humble.
Chapter 4 is our hope! It is the chapter for the remnant that walk with God and have made him their lord. They…we shall be holy, beautiful and glorious. God will lead them like he did the children of Israel through the wilderness - a fire by night and a cloud by day. God will be our light and our refuge.
Chapter 5 is a more detailed picture of the sin the nation had fallen into. Their reason for their captivity was because they had no knowledge of Scripture and were spiritually starving. God gave them an allegory of their condition and asked them what they would do if they were him. He had no other recourse but to judge them.
In Corinthians, Paul saw that they have been beguiled by “super apostles” who were false prophets. Paul explained that Satan masquerades as an angel of light so discernment is so important to have.
Lord, we repent for our nation but we acknowledge that we see your plan for restoration. Help us to have discernment to see your hand and join You in your restoration plan.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - Peace to Our Nation

Read: Isaiah 1:1-2:22; 2 Corinthians 10:1-18; Psalm 52:1-9: Proverbs 22:26-27
Isaiah prophesied through the reigns of four kings of Judah which was about 62 years. Hosea , Micah, and Nahum all prophesied during his time. Isaiah means “Yaweh is Salvation”. He prophesied during a most crucial period of Judah and Israel’s history. They had experienced 50 years of prosperity and power but had fallen to pagan worship and idolatry. They had secret places of pagan worship, the wealthy oppressed the poor, the women neglected their families for carnal pleasure, and of the priests and prophets had become pleasers of men rather than pleasers of God. They had completely violated their covenant they made to God with Moses. Judgement and captivity were inevitable for both nations because of their sin.
Isaiah entered his ministry at the time when Rome was built and the first Olympic games were being played. Assyria was ready to take over the nations to the south and west of them. Asia was also wanting to grow their borders. Isaiah was a student of world affairs and could see the conflicts boiling and in a few years Assyria took Samaria (Israel’s capital).
God sent Isaiah to tell the people of God’s great displeasure with the condition of their hearts. He was not impressed with their fake worship and their selfish sacrifices. God was going to shake the earth mightily and deal with their idols.
Where the warfare in the Old Testament was physical and tangible, Paul explained that in the new covenant our warfare is spiritual. Our weapons are not guns or our criticism but they are mighty through God. They bring down strongholds, cast down imaginations, and everything that tries to look larger than God. They bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I can’t help but read this whole chapter in light of what is going on in our nation. We have a leader who God has miraculously placed in office to lead our nation back to him and he is criticized at every step. He is criticized if he says something and if he doesn’t say it right on time. I have never seen a person undergo so much opposition and hate as our president. Whether we agree with everything he says or does is not the point. The point is we have to stand behind him and use the weapons of our warfare to fight for God. God has the agenda for our nation but it is always contingent on His people and how they repent and pray. If we don’t see revival happen in our nation it will not be because of the president but because the people rejected what God was doing. Let’s not be that people. Let’s get on our knees and pray God’s kingdom down to earth and pray for our leaders.
Lord, we pray for our leaders and for what you want to do in this nation. May it be a nation that knows God and walks in righteousness and truth.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - The Maturing of the Bride

Read: Song of Songs 5:1-8:14; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15; Psalm 51:1-19; Proverbs 22:24-25
Song of Solomon is like no other book in the Bible. Today the lover comes to see his girl and she is not ready for him. By the time she gets ready, he is gone. We can miss God’s timing and never get back that opportunity. She was distraught and looked for him everywhere. She ran into the watchmen of the walls and they beat her and bruised her. The “watchmen of the walls” is a term identifying prophets. Prophets all over the internet have been saying that Jesus will come back this September. If you listen to them you will feel beat and bruised in your spirit. Not all prophets are true prophets of God.
The beloved’s friends asked her why her lover was better than others and she described him in the most beautiful words. She knew every part of him and found him altogether lovely. She knew that he could be found in the garden gathering lilies. Lilies in the Hebrew is Shuwshan. The feminine is showshannah which is like Roshashannah. The lily is shaped like a trumpet. Roshashannah is the Feast of Trumpets and Jesus will come back on that day.
The lover expounds on his love for her and describes her beauty. She is totally unique and perfect in his eyes. That is how God sees us.
It ends with them uniting and coming up from the desert together. She finally sees herself as someone worthy of her lover’s love. She now dwells in the gardens her lover dwelt in with those she has brought. She has matured into a blessed and beautiful woman.
In Corinthians Paul is getting the people primed for an offering he is about to take. He explains that their gift is their seed they sow to produce a harvest that will come back to them. He encourages them to be generous in every gift they give to God. This gift is not just for the people who need it but if overflows to God.
Lord, may we be like the Shunamite woman in Song of Solomon and grow in our intimate love for you. May we learn to dwell in your garden of spices so that we reek the aroma of heaven to those in the earth. May we be generous in every gift we give.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - The Lover and the Beloved

Read: Song of Solomon 1:1-4:16; 2 Corinthians 8:16-24; Psalm 50:1-23; Proverbs 22:22-23
Song of Solomon is a beautiful love story that is an allegory of Christ and the Bride. The beloved is the bride and she begins with her proclamation of love to the lover who is Christ. It begins with our love acceptance of him. The friends are probably angels who rejoice in the union of the beloved and the lover. The beloved recognizes her sin. The angels guide the beloved to the right place where she will encounter her lover. The lover doesn’t see the imperfections of the beloved because he is looking through eyes of love. The lover bids the beloved to rise up and run with him. He tells her not to hide her face from him when things are not going well.
In chapter three, the beloved thinks she has lost her lover and looks frantically for him. She finds him and brings him to the place of her birth. This is a picture of returning to our first love, which is Christ. When she does this she has an encounter with King Solomon. When we come to Jesus, we also encounter Jesus in his royalty and kingship over our lives. The lover proclaims his view of his lover with the most choicest of words. Now, the beloved can say to the wind, bring what ever trial you want, it will only spread the fragrance of Christ that is on her.
Trials do crush us so that the very aroma of Christ can be enjoyed by those we meet.
In Corinthians, the church is sending a very generous gift to help the body in other places and they really want it given the right way in the right spirit. Paul encourages them to let the other churches see what he sees in them.
Paul was such a father to the churches. We see his pride in each one of them as he encourages them to step out and become leaders.
In the light of our solar eclipse we just had our Psalm explains that God speaks to the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. God uses the heavens to summon earth. The solar eclipse was a picture of the sun (God) stepping into the church (the moon). On that day the sun, moon and earth aligned together. We have entered into the kingdom age where we will bring heaven down to earth and walk in the works that Jesus walked into. Jesus didn’t do one miracle till he reached 30. Then God stepped into Jesus just like God is stepping into the church in this new season. Great things are about to happen.
Lord, help us to step into this new season with courage and power. Thank you for pursuing us as our lover.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - The True Riches

Read: Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15: Psalm 49:1-20; Proverbs 22:20-21
Today’s thoughts from Solomon are worth contemplating. I wonder what would happen if we did what verse 20 says: “Don’t revile the king even in your thoughts. Our country needs to read this one. Another verse I have heard over and over is: “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.” To me, this means to give out what you have and when you need it, it will come back to you. It is the same thing as reaping what you sow. Later Solomon says that if you just watch the wind and look at the clouds, you will never reap. If you wait for the perfect situation to do what you are called to do, it may never come. Noah built the ark before he had even seen rain. The Christian walk is the walk of faith in the midst of diverse opposition.
We are warned to seek the Lord in our youth because we will be judged for the things we see and do. If we find pleasure in the Lord while we are young we will never be bored. Pleasures of the world are defined by age but the things of the Lord get better and better the older you get. You will never be too old to move in the Spirit and do exploits for the Lord.
Paul commended the Macedonian churches for their overflowing joy and rich generosity in the midst of their extreme poverty. I have learned that it is sometimes the less fortunate that are the most generous because they identify with the hurting better. Paul encouraged them to finish strong and continue in their giving and generosity.
Our Psalm continues this same theme. It says that if you don’t trust in riches then when evil days come you will not be able to stand. Money will never save us, but God is more than able to keep us and provide for us. He is our salvation.
Lord, we trust in you!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - Wisdom

Read: Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18; 2 Corinthians 7:8-16; Psalm 48:1-14; Proverbs 22:17-19
Solomon compares a good name to perfume. Both are intangible but leave a good remembrance. Since everyone’s destiny is death, it is wise to consider it and not run from the fact that your life is short and every minute is important. It is not wise to look back and think the past was better than the future. God always saves the best for last.
Solomon instructs us not to live in extremes. We are to be well balanced. There are some things we will never figure out. Righteous people die young while wicked people live long lives. This doesn’t make sense to our theology, but God is bigger than our theology and is past finding out. Solomon noticed it too; he saw righteous men getting what the wicked deserved and wicked men getting what the righteous deserve. The consolation in this is Judgment Day where the righteous will receive rewards and the wicked will be condemned to hell.
Since we have no idea when our last day will be, we should do what Solomon suggests: whatever our hand finds to do, do it with all our might because there is no working after we leave.
At the end Solomon tells about a poor man who saved a city with his wisdom. Once the people were safe, they didn’t honor or remember the poor man. This is the way of the world, but God writes down every deed we do and it is recorded in heaven where the last will be first and the first will be last.
Paul praises the Corinthian church because of their response to his discipline. By the time Titus got there, they had so repented and gotten the church in order that Titus was pleased to report their obedience.
Lord, may we walk in wisdom and obedience.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - The Eternal Riches

Read: Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7; Psalm 47:1-9; Proverbs 22:16
Job realized man needed an advocate and Solomon saw the need of a comforter. We are so blessed to have Jesus as our advocate and Holy Spirit as our comforter. Solomon also observed that man’s work stemmed from wanting things other people had which is envy. He concluded that this was meaningless and a chasing after the wind.
Solomon did find something helpful which was a friend who could help you get back up if you fall. He also saw the importance of having a spouse to sleep with and keep you warm. How funny! I never thought of telling someone to marry so they could sleep warmly. That was before electric blankets!
He told us to guard our steps when we went into the house of the Lord. We are to enter God’s presence humbly and listen. If you make a promise to God, then you need to be quick to do what you said you would do.
Solomon summed it up with this: the blessing of life comes from being able to take time to enjoy what you have whether it is small or abundant.
Paul gives his revelation about life. He says to live with nothing between you and God. Keep yourself from the world and its evil and you will be able to enjoy your relationship with God and other people. Make room in your heart for God and other believers. Where Solomon speaks of happiness, Paul speaks of joy. Happiness is circumstantial, but joy is eternal and something that even your circumstances cannot take away.
Lord, help us to seek the things which reap eternal riches. We make room in our hearts for You.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - God’s Timing

Read: Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Psalm 46:1-11; Proverbs 22:15
Solomon was recorded as the wisest man on the earth and Ecclesiastes is his journal. Solomon observed and wanted to experience everything on the earth in search of purpose. Theses are his results: all was meaningless. He tried work, pleasure, foolishness and wisdom. He found that there was nothing new under the sun. Pleasure and laughter didn’t accomplish anything. Wisdom was better than folly because a wise person had eyes to see where a foolish person was blind. Everything was like chasing after the wind because the wise and the foolish would all die. He concluded that the gift we have is time. Timing is everything. That is where wisdom comes in and our lives have meaning. God has written eternity in the hearts of every man so a person that finds happiness in the time he is given is blessed. On this earth judgment is not fair, but God’s judgment is and it is final.
Paul spoke of timing also. It is important that we understand the timing we are living in. In Paul’s day it was the time of God’s favor and the day of salvation. We are living in that same time - the time of God’s grace.
Even our Proverb speaks of timing. There is a time to spank when children are being foolish.
If I could sum up today’s readings it would be to walk in the Spirit and be aware of what God is doing. To walk in the Spirit is to walk in the timing of the Lord on the earth.
Lord, awaken our spirits to hear, discern and walk in your timing.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - Job’s Restoration

Read: Job 40:1-42:17; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Psalm 45:1-17; Proverbs 22:14
God ends his speech with a detailed description of behemoth. Behemoth in the Hebrew means a water-ox, in other words the hippopotamus or the Nile-horse. God said that this animal ranked first in place, time, order and rank. He is the chief of the animals. In his description he tells of his great strength. He said there was no creature on earth equal because he had no fear. He was king over the proud. Job got the point. God told him this to put Job in his place and humble him. It did just that and Job repented because he didn’t understand God and yet he had spoken as if he did.
Then God spoke to his three friends and told them that they hadn’t spoken of God the truth like Job had. He told them to take a perfect sacrifice to Job and ask him to pray for them. They obeyed and Job prayed for them. God restored to Job twice what had been taken from him and gave him the exact number of children: seven sons and three beautiful daughters. He gave them all an inheritance and died after living a long prosperous life.
Job had a born again experience in his restoration. He lost it all and God gave it all back and more with blessings. Paul explained that we can’t look at anyone through a worldly mindset, but we have to see them through the lens of Jesus. God reconciled us to him so we are to reconcile the world to God.
Lord, give us your eyes to see the world and reconcile them to You.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thur.’s Devo - Our Eternal Glory

Read: Job 37:1-39:30; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10: Psalm 44:6-26; Proverbs 22:13
Elihu finished his speech and God answered Job out of the storm. I’m sure it was a literal storm, but how fitting that God answered out of a storm. It seems like we hear him better when there is a storm… or could it be we are listening better then because we are desperate. I think that is it!
Anyway, God answered them in their language. They spoke the language of questions and philosophy so God answered them in the same way. God asked questions then answered them. God put Job in his place and he put himself in his place. He is the creator and knows his creation that he rules over.
Paul explained our trials as the very thing that is achieving our eternal glory. It is through our trials that we gain rewards in heaven. Life is temporary but our heavenly dwelling is eternal. Now we experience the presence of the Lord by faith, but then we will see the Lord face to face.
Since we have some time let’s look at our Proverb. The sluggard or slothful man is lazy. He sees danger and can only be afraid and pronounce doom on himself. He has no fight in him or desire to better his situation. We can be lazy in our walk with the Lord. We can see our situation and only imagine the worse scenario or we can see the worse situation and imagine God’s deliverance and power. We can sit and just let things play out or we can be proactive and pray and act on what God tells us to do. The thing we don’t want to do is try to control it with our own ideas. God’s are always the best plan…the only plan that will bring forth fruit and life.
Lord, help us to find your plan in the worse situations because we know that all things work for the good. May your glory shine through your church today.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - The Resurrection and the Life

Read: Job 34:1-36; 2 Corinthians 4:1-12; Psalm 44:1-8; Proverbs 22:10-12
Elihu continues his banter condemning Job of sinning. He says that God repays men for what they have done and brings upon them what their conduct deserves. This is Old Testament law: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But, none of Job’s friends can prove or point to a specific incident that Job has done to violate God’s laws. Their defense is all speculation which would never pass in a court of law today.
Elihu argues that God is not answering him because of his pride and arrogance. He accuses Job of empty talk. Elihu thinks he is speaking for God and presenting his case.
If there is one thing I know about God, he is able to defend himself and who he is.
Reading Job again reminds me of all the times I speculate about other people and even my own situations. I am so quick to try to find the answer and fix the problem. I realize that I need to ask God more questions and pray more instead of jumping to conclusions. Thank God we have the Holy Spirit who can lead us into all truth.
Paul says that God blinds the eyes of the unbelievers so they can’t see the light of the gospel of the glory of Ghrist who is the image of God. We have this glory in us. We carry both the death and life of Jesus inside our soul. The cross is the death and the resurrection of Christ. We need both. We need to die to our old man and be resurrected to walk as a new man in Christ.
Lord, help our words to be life and resurrecting.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - Our Mediator

Read: Job 31:1-33:33: 2 Corinthians 3:1-18; Psalm 43:1-5; Proverbs 22:8-9
Job continued to examine his life and defend his righteousness. He had always reached out to those who needed help or a place to stay. He challenged his accusers to put their complaints in writing and to back them up with facts. Job’s friends stopped their speeches because they were out of words. When Elihu saw that they were not going to say any more he decided it was his turn since he was about to bust to give his opinion. He rebuked Job’s friends for not being able to solve Job’s dilemma.
He does say some interesting things about dreams. He says that many times dreams are warnings to turn man from sin. He explains that sometimes God uses pain to chastise people. He despaired that God needed to send an advocate to mediate between heaven and earth. This mediator could tell men what was right and be gracious to him and spare him from hell. This mediator would give new life and restore men’s youth. Then men would be able to say, ‘even though I have sinned, I did not get what I deserved.’ He restored my life from hell. Little did Elihu know he was prophesying about Jesus, our Mediator.
Paul explains that it is not education or a committee of people who determine who is qualified to minister, it is the Spirit who has written his words on our heart and ordained us to minister his Word. This light that God has put in us is not something we have to hide but something we need to share. It reflects the glory of God and sets people free.
Lord, may we be transformed into your likeness and ever increasing in your glory.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - The Aroma of Christ

Read: Job 28:1-30:31; 2 Corinthians 2:12-17; Psalm 42:1-11; Proverbs 22:7
Job begins by explaining how precious metals come from deep dark places that are deep within the earth and have to be found and searched out. He compares these to finding God’s wisdom; but wisdom is far more precious than anything we can find on this earth. Only God understands the way to wisdom and knows where it dwells. God says that the fear of the Lord is wisdom and to turn from evil is understanding.
Job remembers the day when he had intimate friendship with God and His blessing was on his house. He was prosperous in every way, but he thinks that God took all that from him. He says that God unstrung his bow and afflicted him. Job feels the affect of loss of reputation and dignity which are harder than the loss of material things. He has lost who he was as a person. I can’t help but wonder what his wife is going through.
Paul was a mentor and a pastor so when he didn’t find Titus in Troas where he thought he would be he was deeply concerned for his life. He left and went to Macedonia hoping to find him there. Paul was either loved or hated everywhere he went because he carried the aroma of Christ. To those who were drawn to the light and hungry, he was the aroma of life. To those who opposed Jesus, Paul was the aroma of death. We carry that same potential. The aroma of Christ flows from a vessel that has been crushed and broken. When we are empty of ourselves, the aroma of Christ flows the freest. We are also the most vulnerable in our emotions so we have to remind ourselves that the rejection we get from other people isn’t personal, it is a spiritual reaction to what we carry. People that are drawn to us are drawn to us because they are hungry for the light we have.
Our Psalm is such an encouragement to a downcast soul. Our hope is in You, Lord. We will praise you all day!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - Stand Firm in Your Confidence in Christ

Read: Job 23:1-27:23; 2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11; Psalm 41:1-13; Proverbs 22:5-6
Job brings their attention to all the suffering and wrong done to innocent people. He points out that you can’t judge a man’s righteousness by the way his life turns out. This life is full of evil men who prey on the innocent. So how can they look at what happened to Job and believe it is his fault this calamity has happened to him.
Bildad still asks Job how he can consider himself righteous before God since nothing is righteous but God. Job comes back with a discourse on the power of God over the earth but stands on his integrity. He has searched his heart, and there is nothing standing between him and God. I love that Job stands up for himself and doesn’t cave to condemnation. He is an example of what we are to be. We are righteous because of the blood of Jesus, but we can also walk with a clean conscience and do good and not sin because of Christ in us.
I think that his friends were afraid of what happened to Job. They had to wonder if it would happen to them also. What we tend to do with things we are afraid of is to try to figure them out so we can beat it. That is why Job’s friends were so adamant about making it Job’s fault and not just the sovereignty of God.
Paul says the same thing Job does. He defends his holiness and clear conscience. It is Christ in us that gives us confidence to stand against accusations of the devil and men.
In this letter Paul encourages them because he hopes and believes that they have righted all the wrongs he wrote about in his first letter. He wanted to give them time to set everything straight before he came so his visit could be a joyful one instead of one where he would have to discipline the people. He tells them that if they have disciplined and forgiven the man who was sleeping with his mother-in-law then he has too. Whoever they forgive, he will also.
Lord, help us to walk in love and confidence of the grace you have given us.