Category Archives: Isaiah

Isaiah 56-59; Psalm 70; 1 Corinthians 16

I cannot remember the first day I loved the name of Jesus. It is amazing how much I love His name today. I wish I could remember that day.

And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord
minister to Him, love the name of Yahweh
and become His servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
and who hold firmly to My covenant— Isaiah 56:6 HCSB

There is something about loving the name of God which basically means to love God. In a concrete way, loving means to obey. Loving the name of God means I love and imitate His character. That is how I and others know I am in love with Him. So there is the emotional love and the action love. Action comes in the territory of serving and is reflected in my whole life and with my whole being. It means that loving Him reflects on me keeping His law.

All of this is for one reason – so when foreigners show up in the temple because they are motivated by love for God, they will stand out from the one who have come with a deceitful motive.

It is why Jesus prayed for us to be one – under Him, our Saviour – bond together in the bond of love and peace. It is only when I walk away from God’s love does my own love grow cold. It is amazing – it is either this or I am persecuted for my love.

God, deliver me.
Hurry to help me, Lord! – Psalm 70:1 HCSB

I need God because how else will I be able to love my enemies, to do good to those that hate me and to pray for those who persecute me.

Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love. If anyone does not love the Lord, a curse be on him. Marana tha that is, Lord, come. – 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14,22 HCSB

While the church is open to everyone, the church does not consist of everyone. The mark of a follower of Jesus is based on their love for Jesus – not affiliation or family ties. Therefore it is my choice that I make – I chose to love.

Father, I want those who see me to see Jesus in me. While I struggle for the words, I pray that my actions will be not leave doubt. I need You Lord – there is nothing I can do on my own without You. I expect You to show up and give me wisdom and to guide me in all my relationships. It is the only way that anyone will see You in me. As You taught us to pray, I ask you to not lead me into temptation but to deliver me from evil. May Your Kingdom rule in my heart and in my life so that I may love like You. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Isaiah 49-52; Psalm 69; 1 Corinthians 14

God’s got this.

Save me, O God!
    For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
    where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
    and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying out;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
    with waiting for my God.

Psalm 69:1-3 ESV

Whether the muck threatens our own life and mental health or those of a friend, God offers timeless encouragement with the reminder that He is present and hears our cries.

When the humble see it they will be glad;
    you who seek God, let your hearts revive.

Psalm 69:32 ESV

Pity parties pull us into ourselves. If I keep looking at myself, my shortcomings, my circumstances, I miss the hope He gives. The psalmist reminds me to seek God. Not looking at the problem or even searching for possible outcomes, but seeking Him. His glory, His praise. Worship. My selfishness draws me toward self-preservation. Worship draws me to His presence.

Paul Tripp points out the need for this perspective in parenting also, while convicting me of my own need for greater worship and selflessness.

What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

I Corinthians 14:15 ESV

Mind, heart, and soul, must recognize the place God has in our lives and in our challenges. Placing him first keeps everything else in line.

Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness
    and has no light
trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on his God.

Isaiah 50:10 ESV

The following verse here (Isaiah 50:11) talks of someone who makes their own light instead of trusting God as verse 10 guides us to. We are so quick to solve the problem in the immediate rather than praying first, trusting first. This message of, “God first, God only, God always,” will speak life to us and those around us.

One thought that is continually pounded home in I Corinthians 14 is that we should strive to build each other up, to encourage one another. We might know the good news, but we need to keep hearing it, speaking it into our own lives and building up those around us with it.

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain gladness and joy,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 51:11b ESV

How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
    who publishes salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

For you shall not go out in haste,

    and you shall not go in flight,

for the Lord will go before you,

    and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

Isaiah 52:7, 12 ESV

God is there. God is here. He’s got this. Whatever fills today and tomorrow and the next day. Whatever threatens my life or my family members’ lives, or my neighbor’s lives. He’s got it covered. We don’t need to rush around like crazy people trying to find the answer, to figure it out. We need to seek Him first. He will go before us and behind us and work it out in His way, in His time.

Lord God, help my first response, my gut reaction to be to run to You. First and always may You be the answer to all I’m trying to figure out. Instead of my worrying through it on my own, lift my eyes to You and Your plan. Not earthly resolution, but eternal glory. Not a strictly emotional response or only a logical one, but one that melds mind and spirit as You created me to function, a unified, complex being to bring You worship. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Isaiah 33-35; 1 Corinthians 6

I am amazed today how I see so many struggle with love and justice. It seems like the two cannot get married and stay married. I was with a group of young adults, basketball players trying to make it into a league that will get them as close to the NBA as possible. I meet them once every three months or so as a spiritual advisor and encourager. As I finished up I knew I had hit a raw nerve when the coach introduced the Bible as a book of rules, contradicting my entire message which was based on God’s love.

It must have been real hard for the prophets to share this message. They only had the law and they did not have the new covenant of grace introduced by Jesus. Still, the character of God has remained the same, so they focused on that.

The wilderness and the dry land will be glad;
the desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose.[q][r]
It will blossom abundantly
and will also rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God and the redeemed of the Lord will return
and come to Zion with singing,
crowned with unending joy.
Joy and gladness will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee. – Isaiah 35:1-2,10 HCSB

The disposition of God’s heart is joy and gladness. I think God is troubled about those things that hinder love. When I look at His judgments, I see Him removing everything that hinders love. That is why He intervenes in judgment – He is zealous to fill the earth with love, humility and righteousness.

But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. – 1 Corinthians 6:17 HCSB

This is why I think that I pursue such a union with Jesus. There is nothing more I need. When I am discipling others, this becomes a stumbling stone because they want more from me and all I have is Jesus. I try to show them how precious it is to fall in love with Jesus more and more. To seek out His beauty, to delight in Him. to joy in Him and to worship Him. I ask them to train their heart to make the choice to love Jesus more than any thing or any one.

This hymn might be helpful describing what it is like to be the bride of Jesus. It is a meditation on what that would be.

Father, thank You for revealing Your joy and gladness to me in the midst of calling me to love You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who sustains me and calls me to make a choice everyday to love You. Your love is sustaining me and I love You for this. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Joshua 3; Psalm126-128; Isaiah 63; Matthew 11

I am a morning person and it does not take much for me to get excited when leaders I admire do important activities first thing in the day.

The next morning Joshua and all the people of Israel got up early, left the camp at Acacia, and went to the Jordan, where they camped while waiting to cross it. – Joshua 3:1  GNT

Joshua had made it a habit to do things early. It is a form of structure that seems to matter in my life.

If I took three Psalms that all speak into my need for God’s blessing in my personal, corporate and family life they would be Psalm 126-128.

They speak to my joy that I find in my journey which includes times of renewal and those come when I pray and when I plan to give.

They speak to my dependence of God when I am working. Instead of worrying or even working too much overtime, I should be realizing that I am not the one that will bring blessing to my family, especially if this is my path. God is the one who will bless them and I need to be aware of that and give Him what is rightfully His.

There is a strong message that speaks to me about my family and how blessed I am to have a family that is being looked after by God. I pray every day that He will bless them.

Whenever I feel that God is not working in my life I look at these three Psalms and I also pray a prayer found in Isaiah 63:15-19. 

In fact, when times get desperate and I am not feeling His presence like I normally do, it is time to pray this prayer.

Desperate times require desperate prayers.

Even so, as I am in this very moment, I hear Jesus’ call to come and rest.

Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28  GNT

Father, I come to you humbly and I know that You know I need You. I am looking for Your rest and I come to give You my heart and my mind so that I may be still before You. I choose to put all of my worries and things I think that matter on You. In this quiet space, can You once again speak to me and allow me to sense Your presence? Fill me with Your peace as I put my trust in You. Thank you. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Isaiah, Joshua, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Joshua 2; Psalms 123-125; Isaiah 62; Matthew 10

“Then, since Rahab’s house was built into the town wall, she let them down by a rope through the window.  “Escape to the hill country,” she told them.  “Hide there for three days from the men searching for you.  Then, when they have returned, you can go on your way.”  Before they left, the men told her, “We will be bound by the oath we have taken only if you follow these instructions.  When we come into the land, you must leave the scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down.  “I accept your terms,” she replied.  And she sent them on their way, leaving the scarlet rope hanging from the window…Then the two spies came down from the hill country, crossed the Jordan River, and reported to Joshua all that had happened to them.  “The Lord has given us the whole land,” they said, “for all the people in the land are terrified of us.” Joshua 2:15-23 NLT

The Lord positioned Rahab right where she needed to be for his purpose.  Rahab had the kind of courage that I want to have. She didn’t question, but accepted the plan.  And great things were accomplished because of it. It might have seemed like a small task to her at the time.  Did she even know all the lives she would affect through her obedience?

“O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually.  Take no rest, all who pray to the Lord.  Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.  The Lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength: “I will never again hand you over to your enemies.  The Lord has sent this message to every land: “Tell the people of Israel, ‘Look, your Savior is coming.  See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.”  They will be called, “The Holy People” and “The People Redeemed by the Lord.” And Jerusalem will be known as “The Desirable Place” and “The City No Longer Forsaken.” Isaiah 62:6-12 NLT

Am I a ‘Watchman on the Wall’ interceding for my family and friends daily?

“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves.  So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.  When you are arrested, don’t worry how to respond or what to say.  God will give you the right words at the right time.  For it is not you who will be speaking-it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”  Matthew 10:16-19 NLT

I need to stay in prayer, so that I am not deceived.  I need to stay close to Him, so I can and be ready to answer anyone.

“I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven.  We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.” Psalms 123:1-2 NLT

Dear Father, Thank you for so generously giving wisdom when I ask.  Help me to stay hopeful. Only you can break bonds. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

 

 

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