Thursday, November 14, 2019

Walking in Paths

O. T. #1566  "Walking in Paths"
Nov. 14, 2019
Isaiah 2
And many people shall go and say, come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem. Isaiah 2:3


LET IT GLOW

In the summer, we went looking for mulberries to pick, so we took the cow path, that led us right to the tree. Although it wasn't a straight line, we got to our destination. Did you know that the Lord has paths intended for us to walk on as His children?

This chapter contains the prophecy of Isaiah. God gave Isaiah a gift of seeing the future.  The subject is the future events occurring to Judah and Jerusalem (Zion). Their destruction had already been revealed in the first chapter, if they did not repent of idolatry, it would happen. Now, we look to the future when the Messiah will return to earth to establish His earthly millennial kingdom, spoken of in Revelation 20.

What will happen then?
  • The Temple in Jerusalem will be reestablished, but this time the worship of  Jesus Christ will be the focal point.
  • Jesus will be The Judge who shall discern the affairs of all nations during His millennial kingdom.
  • The weapons of war shall be turned into tools of peace and farming as the Prince of Peace reigns.  
  • The laws of God will be taught and all will obey them.
  • Sin will be removed, as well as the causes of war, conflict, and other problems.
  • We will walk in the light of the LORD.
Are we walking (living) as children of the light and of the day? (Ephesians 5:8, Romans 13:12,
 1 Thess. 5:8) If we are, then we are living with peace and joy, for Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

LET IT GROW

Verse 22 in the New Living Translation, says: Don't put your trust in mere humans. They are frail as breath. What good are thy?

We humans are only mortals. We are limited in comparison to God. We are unreliable, selfish, and shortsighted. Yet we trust our lives and futures more readily to mortal human beings than to the all-knowing God. We must beware of people who want us to trust them instead of God. Only God is completely reliable. He is perfect, and we can rely on His mercy and enduring love (Ps. 100:5).
(Life Application Study Bible)

In whom are we putting our trust? Is it government, people, our job, bank account, or Jesus Christ?

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

LET IT GO

Jesus, You are forever faithful. Teach me Your ways, direct my paths, and help me to trust in You with all my heart.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

White as Snow

O. T. #1565  "White as Snow"
Nov. 13, 2019
Isaiah 1-Part 5
Come now, let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

LET IT GLOW

Look at verse 24. What are the three ways God describes Himself in this verse?
  1. the Lord,
  2. the LORD of Hosts,
  3. the Mighty One of Israel.
Here, God is emphasizing His role as the rightful judge of sinful people. The Mighty One of Israel occurs only here in the Bible, though, the Mighty One of Jacob appears five times. (MacArthur)

This powerful God who formerly was for Judah is now against them. Their hearts needed to be cleansed of sin, like the impurities of silver is purely purged away as dross. (verse 25)

He wanted to make Jerusalem a city of righteousness, the faithful city. Also, the judges and counselors will be restored. (verse 26)

As the temple is Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC, it was restored seventy years later in 516 BC under the leadership of Zerubbabel.

What do we need restored in our life?  Is it a deeper walk with Jesus? Is it a dedicated prayer life?

LET IT GROW

Our area finally has received snow. Yeah! Now it is not a 3 inch snow, but a dusting of powdery beads here and there. How white it is. Also, our neighbor raises sheep, which naturally have white wool. These are examples of how God wants to change hearts.

Take a look at our key verse now.
What is it God is calling Judah to do? come and let them reason together.
What is their condition? Their sins are as red as scarlet and crimson.

Life Application Study Bible explains:
Scarlet and crimson were the color of a deep-red permanent dye, and its deep stain was virtually impossible to remove from clothing. the stain of sin is equally permanent, but God can remove sin's stain from our lives as He promised to do for the Israelites. We don't have to go through life permanently soiled. God's Word assures us that if we are willing and obedient, Christ will forgive and remove our most indelible stains (Ps. 51:1-7).  Will you ask Him to make you clean?
How did God desire to change those red sins? He wanted to change them to be white as snow and wool.  Snow and wool are naturally white, but forgiveness is not unconditional. It comes through repentance, agreeing with God that we have sinned. Here we see the life-changing grace of God.
The blood of Christ can cleanse our dirty heart.

LET IT GO

Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. My heart that gets red with sin needs cleansing with the blood of Jesus today.

You alone are the Mighty One of Israel, the only one who can change hearts.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

What Pleases God?

O. T. #1564  "What Pleases God?"
Nov. 12, 2019
Isaiah 1-Part 4

LET IT GLOW


Last time we found out that Judah had a very small remnant which God protected. They would remain faithful believers and worshiper of the God of Israel. Even through the 70 years of captivity in Babylon, they would continue on.

Why was God saying that He would not listen to Judah? In their temple worship:

  • They paraded through His courts with their ceremony. (verse 12)
  • They brought meaningless gifts. (verse 13)
  • Their oblations (sacrificial offering) and special days for fasting were sinful and false.(verse 13)
  • Their hands were covered with the blood of innocent victims. (verse 15)
Those are the reasons God would not listen to the prayers, was sickened by Judah's offerings, had no pleasure in their sacrifices, was burdened with their feasts and fasting, and wanted no more of their pious meetings.

Folks, this is serious. Judah was failing to please God because of their sins. His special people were just going through the motions when they worshiped. Their heart was not in it.
Are we guilty of the same things?
Are our prayers not being answered?


LET IT GROW

What was the solution? God tells Judah in verses 16-20:

  • Wash your hands and be clean!
  • Get your sins out of God's sight.
  • Give up your evil ways.
  • Learn to do good.
  • Seek justice.
  • Help the oppressed.
  • Defend the cause of orphans.
  • Fight for the rights of widows. New Living Translation  


Wow! Is their anything we are not doing from the list?
How do we get a  clean heart? Confess our sins and ask God to forgive us through the blood of Jesus.

LET IT GO

Lord, it is not my gifts You want from me, but my heart and life.
Teach me what pleases You.
Show me how to meet the needs of others.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Very Small Remnant

O. T. #1563 "A Very Small Remnant "
Nov. 11, 2019
Isaiah 1-Part 3
Except the LORD of Hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. Isaiah 1:9

LET IT GLOW 

As I think of celebrating Veterans Day, my heart focuses on those men who gave their life in order to keep America free from communism and dictatorship. Had they not be willing, we would not be free to worship God here. When the service people take an oath to protect their country, it is for life. Were they a very small remnant compared to the millions in Nazi  armies? Such mercy God showed us! Judah had those, too. Read on, dear one to find them.

If the Lord God Jehovah had not spared a few of  the Hebrews in Judah, they would have been wiped out like Sodom  and completely destroyed like Gomorrah. You will recall what those two cities were like (Genesis18-19), where homosexuality was rampant. Abraham went there to rescue the cities from destruction and his nephew Lot and family. He asked God to not destroy it if there were 50, all the way down to 10 righteous people there. However, they were not to be found. Fire and brimstone rained down destroying the cities, except for Lot and his two daughters, who escaped.

God had a very small remnant of 3 people who were saved because of Abraham and God's grace and mercy, not their righteousness. Now Judah faced a coming destruction. God gave them a warning by using the prophet Isaiah and other prophets. And so a very small remnant of true believers God saved. They were the ones who later returned to Jerusalem to rebuild it.

Are we feeling that our nation is headed for destruction because of our sins? What about our family?
Take encouragement folks, God has a very small  remnant of believers here. We included in the remnant? Will we continue to worship our Lord of Hosts no matter the persecution?
May we worship Him only, the One True Living God.
When we get saved, we are agreeing to serve God for the rest of our life.

LET IT GROW 

What was wrong with Judah that God would destroy His holy city of Jerusalem and beloved nation of Judah? We find out in this first chapter. They:

  • didn't recognize God's care(verse3);
  • loaded down with a burden of guilt(verse 4);
  • were evil people and rejected the LORD(verse 4);
  • despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs in Him(verse4);
  • they were rebels(verse 5).

May we not be guilty of such sins! If we are, let us ask forgiveness today. May we be a part of the very small remnant who love, worship, and serve the Savior, Messiah, Jesus Christ. 

LET IT GO

Help me to encourage the remnant. 
God, thank You for loving me, a sinner, enough to die in the cross for me. 
Thank You for a very small remnant of believers You preserve. 

Friday, November 8, 2019

My Sweet Kathy

O. T. #1562  "My Sweet Kathy"
Nov. 8, 2019
Isaiah 1-Part 2
Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints. (Isaiah 1:5)

LET IT GLOW

Israel fell captive to Assyria, the great world power at that time. Prophet Isaiah has a vision from God, where He is speaking to Judah. What is this problem Judah has? They are worshiping idols in the high places. They are in disobedience and sin, not obeying God's laws.

In verse 5, what is the nation of Judah's condition?
  • Their whole head is sick,
  • their heart faints.
Sick, in the Hebrew, means anxiety, calamity, disease, or grief. 
Faint means sick, troubled. 

Have you ever felt this way? Friends, today I am in that condition-my head is grieved and I am faint hearted. My cousin Kathy passed away yesterday morning of a massive heart attack.  We were more like sisters than cousins. When we were kids we would play together, as teens we would do things together, as senior adults we would call each other often. Our relationship was a special bond. She didn't have a sister and mine was miles away and 10 years older. We shared what was happening in our family and our pains.

My head tells me she is having a wonderful time in heaven, but I am so grieved, missing her like crazy. My heart is faint, troubled, and sick. There are so many regrets of not calling her more often. However, I know we all feel that way when we loose a loved one.

Sweet Kathy was a kind person, happy, funny, didn't meet a stranger, endured the problems of being a diabetic, had vision problems, but kept going with Jesus. Oh that I could be more like her. Eventually I will get to the point of rejoicing with her.


LET IT GROW


Jesus, there is no one like You. You are our hope. You are the strength of my heart. I know You make no mistakes, doing all things right. Show me how to minister to Kathy's husband, four children, and grand babies.


LET IT GO

Thank You Jesus for giving me such a loving friend as I needed.
To You be the glory.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

A Vision

O. T. #1561  "A Vision"
Nov. 7, 2019
Isaiah-Chapter 1


LET IT GLOW

If God gave us a vision of what kind of effect our life has on people, would we be ashamed or glad hearted? I know there were times that I was not the kind person I should have been. My words came across as judgmental and harsh, not helping others. That would not be a good thing to watch.

The book of Isaiah is divided into two part-the first half covers chapters 1-39 and the second half covers 27 chapters of 40-66, which is similar to the Old and New Testaments. In the first part, Isaiah calls for Judah, Israel, and surrounding pagan nations to repent of their sins. During the last part, there is hope as the promise of the Messiah unfolds.

Historically, we find that as king of the Southern kingdom called Judah, Uzziah (also called Azariah) reigned 52 years (790-739 BC). We learned about him in 2 Kings 15. He probably served his first 23 years as a co-regent with his father.

Judah has become prosperous during Uzziah's reign. They developed into a strong commercial and military state with a port for commerce on the Red Sea and the construction of walls, towers, and fortifications. Yet, this period was one of decline of spiritual purity. (MacArthur)

Since God loved His people in Judah, He forewarned them of  a coming judgment if they did not repent of their sins. The first chapter opens with Isaiah having a vision of what was happening. Who was his vision concerning? It is aimed at Judah and Jerusalem. What is a vision?

A vision is a sight (mentally); a dream, revelation or oracle, as it is defined in Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament.

This first vision that God gave to Isaiah covers the first twelve chapters. It tells us of Judah's social sins and their political entanglements. They failed to give God the love and obedience He deserved. Even though King Uzziah had Judah worshiping God, he failed to get rid of the idol worship in the high places. In the Ten Commandments, God told His people to have no other gods before Him. God had intended for Israel to be a witness of His blessings to the pagan nations, but they failed by rebelling, so God was going to judge them and bring them back by allowing Babylon to take the captive.

Don't you think this would have been a difficult message for Isaiah to write down and proclaim?
If God had a vision for us, would it be one of judgment or blessing?

LET IT GROW

In verse 4, God calls Israel, specifically Judah, a sinful nation.
Sinful is a participial form of the verb chata' meaning to miss the mark or to offend by sinful actions.

Judah had missed the mark, goal, that God had for Judah:
  • Their iniquity was so great that it was pictured as a wagon laden with a heavy load.
  • They were the seed of evildoers, whose parents were unspiritual and likely to continue in the same trend.
  • They were children of corrupters by corrupting the way of God and following after their own way.
  • They provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger. This is the name of God used 12 times in the first half of the book and 14 times in the last half. (Liberty Bible Commentary)


Friends, don't we act like Judah at times? We miss the mark in our life by sinning against God's rules. Like an arrow not hitting the bull's eye target, we miss the mark. However, God is forgiving if we only repent, admitting our failings and disobedience.

The Holy One of Israel waits for us. Is there a hidden sin that we need to confess? Are we going our own way instead of God's way? Are our prayers not getting answered?
All ye that labor and are heavy laden, come to Jesus.

LET IT GO

Forgive me Jesus for going my own judgmental way, not Your loving way.
Help me begin again with words of wisdom and kindness.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Plans and Prophesy

O. T. #1560  "Plans and Prophesy "
Nov. 6, 2019
Introduction to Isaiah-Part 2

LET IT GLOW

You will recall that Israel divided into two nations after King Solomon died.
Isaiah's name means The LORD is salvation. He was a prophet which God called to inform His people in Israel and Judah what would happened to them if the didn't repent of their pride and idolatry. He ministered in and around Judah during the reigns of four kings of Judah-Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Previously, we gave an overview of what happened during their reigns.

This prophet condemned the empty ritualism of his day and the idolatry into which so many of the people had fallen. He foresaw the coming Babylonian captivity of Judah because of their departing from the Lord. (MacArthur)

The Northern kingdom of Israel went into captivity by Assyria some 135 years before Judah was conquered by Babylon. Isaiah was faithful to prophesy this would happen. Isn't it great to trust in a God who has control of events and knows what is next in His plans?

Friends, we need to be careful that things, people, governments do not take the place of God in our life. If something has captivated our thoughts and heart, something we spend more time thinking about than our Savior, then it may have become an idol for us. Dare we ask the Lord Jesus if we have any idols in our life?

LET IT GROW

God used other prophets during this time-Jonah, Amos, Micah, and Hosea, who wrote their own books of prophesy.

There is some good news found in this book. God had a remnant of people who continued to love Him, worship Him, and serve Him. Isaiah prophesied some 100-200 years before it happened that King Cyrus would conquer Babylon and send back Jews  to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the city.

Another thing we will find is the prophesy of the coming Messiah. How wonderfully planned out our God did details of events. Not only did Jesus come to earth to live a sinless life in order to qualify as the perfect sacrifice for each of us sinful people, but He endured a lot of mean people so He could accomplish it.
What an awesome Savior is Jesus our Lord!

LET IT GO

I am trusting in Your plans for my life in this new season.