Category: Isaiah–BibleTrekToday

Sin has consequences

Scripture reading for March 23: 1 Samuel 27-31

Have you ever been curious about what will happen in the future?  If we had that information, we feel that we could get rich, save ourselves from disaster, or control the world.  God warns us not to seek any source other than Himself for this information! (Leviticus 19:31) He is the only source of Truth because He alone knows the things to come!  (Isaiah 42:9)

Saul lived in rebellion and was tormented by an evil spirit.  He had tried to seek the Lord, but God no longer answered him through the priests or prophets. (1st Samuel 28:5-6)   He was living in fear and desperate for direction.  He, himself, had banned all witches, mediums, and sorcerers from the land. But now Saul sought out a medium to ask for the spirit of Samuel to be brought up from the dead.  A spirit, like Samuel, appeared and spoke prophetically to King Saul one last time, pronouncing his coming death the next day and telling him the reasons why. There was no visible remorse or repentance.

1st Samuel 28:18-19 “Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out His fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. Moreover, the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with Me. The Lord will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.”  

True to the Word of Samuel, Saul and his sons died the next day.  Saul was wounded and asked his armor bearer to put him out of his misery.  The armor bearer was terrified and refused, so Saul fell on his own spear, taking his own life!  Even in his death, Saul took matters into his own hands! (1st Samuel 31:2-6).

Are you doing something right now that you know is in disobedience to God’s Word? In what ways did God show Saul mercy and demonstrate His patience? If you need to repent, today is the best time.

“But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)

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God sees our heart!

Scripture reading for March 20: 1st Samuel 16-19

Our culture prizes youth, beauty, intelligence, power, and money!  We tend to judge people by what we see or know about their life.  Where do they live?  What kind of car do they drive?  Are they handsome or beautiful?  What position do they hold?  Who are their friends?  We are very driven by our senses and peer pressure.  But God sees things differently!

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance, or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1st Samuel 16:7)

God is looking for a heart after God, a heart that will trust God and live by faith in His Word! (2nd Chronicles 16:9)  When we put God first, and not our “self”, He is pleased!   He is looking for a “humble and contrite” heart. (Isaiah 66:2)  He needs a heart that can be taught, corrected, and shaped for His habitation.  Jesus taught that only those who are pure in heart can see God.  (Matthew 5:8

Jesus Christ had the perfect heart!  He was fully sold out to God, his Father.  He did only what he saw His Father do and said only what He heard His father say!(John 5:19-20)  Jesus was humble of heart–and wants to teach us the same!  (Matthew 11:28-32)  Jesus was pure of heart–completely without sin!  He offered His own life on our behalf!  If we confess our sins to Him, He will cleanse us of our sins and all unrighteousness!  (1st John 1:9)  We can have a pure heart too!  We can learn from Him by receiving the Holy Spirit of Truth. 

Praise the Lord, God still looks at the heart!  Does He see Jesus Christ as Lord in your heart today?  How would you evaluate the state of your heart for being humble and teachable?

“The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands.  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”  (John 3:35-36)

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God loves F.A.T. people!

Scripture reading for February 10: Numbers 1-4

Numbers shows that  God cared about each person and family group.  He wanted the leaders to know how many they had to help with the work and protection of the nation.  God used His people and knows each one by name!  He knows even the hairs on their heads.  He knows the purpose and jobs that He has designed and gifted them to do.  It doesn’t matter so much what you do, as long as you are (F)faithful, (A)available, and (T)teachable!

The book of Numbers is so named because of all the counting and lists. Moses recorded that there were 603,550 men twenty years old or more that could serve in the army and fight from eleven of the tribes.  (Numbers 1:46) The only tribe excluded from the duty to fight was Levi.  The Levites belonged to God and were set apart to serve Him in the Tabernacle.  (Numbers 3:5-7)

There were three clans of Levi. The Gershonites clans were given the care of the tent curtains and coverings.   God assigned the Kohathites to be in charge of the sanctuary.  (Numbers 3:27-32) He assigned the Merarite clans  to carry the poles of the tabernacle. (Numbers 3:33-37)  The Levites were to serve Aaron and his sons. (Numbers 3:11-13)  He had redeemed them by the blood of the Passover Lamb!  All these men were called by God to do a specific job and to do it as unto the Lord. 

God is looking for faithful and available workers.  They must be teachable and humble enough to obey orders.  When He finds these workers, He shows Himself strong on their behalf.  They are blessed and God’s love and protection covers their homes and families.  It is not how much you do, or what kind of talent and position that makes you special to the Lord.  He blesses all “F.A.T.” people!

Do you find it hard to commit to membership in a church? Are you willing to commit to a church leader to be part of a team of ministers placed by the Lord? Are you faithful, available and teachable?

1st Corinthians 12:18– “But in fact, God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, exactly as He wanted them to be.” Isaiah 6:8–“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”  and I said, “Here am I.  Send me!”

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Jesus our Jubilee!

Scripture reading for February 9th: Leviticus 24-27

In our culture, Golden anniversaries are special.  When a couple has been together 50 years there is always a celebration!  God also uses the 50th year calling it the year of Jubilee!  On the 50th year, debts were to be forgiven and property that was taken or bought from the original owner was restored and given back.  On this year, no one was to work the land.  The land would be left to rest and whatever grew without any human effort was to  be used for food for the people.  It pictured the reign of Messiah, when He would come and restore the fortunes and possessions of his people and vanquish their enemies.

The Jubilee was the culmination of seven periods of seven years.  After six years, the Israelites were to rest their land for a year.  God promised to provide enough for them in the sixth year to carry them through until the harvest of the eighth year.  After seven cycles, following the 49th year, on the Day of Atonement, the priests were to sound the trumpet and announce the beginning of the Year of Jubilee! (Leviticus 25:8-10) God again would provide a second year for His people without their effort.

But the Israelites never took the Sabbath years every seventh year and they never did have a Year of Jubilee.  They knew about it but failed to do what God asked.  When we fail to obey, God always has his way.  The Israelites went for seventy years of captivity in Babylon so that the land where they had lived and neglected God’s command could have it’s rest! (2nd Chronicles 36:20-21) 

In the New Testament (Luke 4:18-20), Jesus announced His calling and ministry by reading from Isaiah 61:1-2.  The proclamation of the “year of the Lord’s favor” was a reference to “Jubilee”!  Jesus is our Jubilee!  In Him, we have restoration and a return of our stolen property.  God wants us to find our food, fulfillment, and blessing from His grace, not our works!  Jubilee is a picture of Jesus’ provision for every person who trusts in Him by faith!

Why do you think the Israelites never kept those Sabbath years? As you think about Jesus Christ and the ‘jubilee’ or ‘year of His favor’, what are you looking forward to the most?

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds  to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words. 1st Thessalonians 4:16-18

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Defusing Satan’s designs!

Scripture reading for September 19th: Isaiah 64-66, 2nd Corinthians 2

2nd Corinthians 2: 5-11 “Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure–not to put it too severely–to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his designs.”

Paul wrote this second letter in part to this church family to encourage them to forgive a repentant brother that was under discipline as a result of serious sexual sin. (1st Corinthians 5) Paul and the church leadership had put this person out of the church for the destruction of his flesh that he might ultimately repent and be saved. Paul noted that this discipline process had worked and that now the church needed to forgive and restore this person. Satan’s design was to destroy this man and the church through strife and unforgiveness. In forgiving, the church would totally defuse any design of Satan to destroy anyone involved and spread the aroma of Christ’s mercy and restoration to many.

2nd Corinthians 2:14-16 “But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for giving us insight into Satan’s designs and traps and for protecting us through clear instructions in Your eternal Word. Help me to always forgive and restore those who are contrite and repentant and demonstrate the love and mercy of Your Son Jesus Christ. Allow the fragrance of Christ in me to spread the knowledge of Him everywhere.

Isaiah 66:1-2 “Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool; what is the house that you would build for Me and what is My place of rest? All these things My hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at My Word.”

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Learning to rely on God

Scripture reading for September 16th: Isaiah 60-63, 2nd Corinthians 1

2nd Corinthians 1:8-11 “For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves, but on God Who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”

As Paul begins this second letter to the church at Corinth, he informs them of the difficult trial that he and his ministry team had in Asia. They were under such an attack, that they felt they might die. It was not pleasant, but it also worked in their lives for their good and increased their faith. It taught them to press deeper into trusting God for Whom raising the dead is not a problem! Paul was confident that God would deliver them yet again, but asked the church to pray for them. Prayers of others in agreement have great power and bring answers and thanksgiving to God, the Deliverer!

2nd Corinthians 1:18-20 “As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been yes and no. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not yes and no, but in Him it is always yes. For all the promises of God find their yes in Him.”

Prayer: Father God, You are so amazing! How you work everything out for our good and blessing and draw us closer to You is something to thank You for each day. You have delivered me from perils many times and often I didn’t even realize it. I trust that You will deliver me yet again this day! Lead me to pray for those under sentence of death and in hopeless situations that many will rejoice and give thanks.

Isaiah 63:1 “Who is this Who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, He Who is splendid in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save!”

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Love and grace are essentials

Scripture reading for September 15th: Isaiah 56-59, Psalm 70, 1st Corinthians 16

1st Corinthians 16: 11-12, 21 “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act as men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. . . . I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If anyone has no love for the Lord; let him be accursed. Our Lord, Come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

Paul closed this letter of encouragement and teaching to this church family with simple words of truth. Watchfulness was needed because of the false teachers who sough to draw them away from the Gospel truth. They must stand firm in their faith yet show love to all–even to those who might be opposed to them and the truth of the Gospel. But loving our Lord was not an option, but an essential. Paul reminded them that anyone who did not love Jesus and claimed to be a believer was under a curse. God’s grace is a gift to be received and held on to. Paul assured them of this and of his own love for them as he wrote this letter of correction and instruction as their father in the faith.

Isaiah 59:19-21 “”So they shall fear the Name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; for He will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives. And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord. “And as for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord; “My Spirit that is upon you, and My Words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.””

Prayer: Father in heaven, thank You for Your love shown to us in Jesus Christ, Who laid down His life for us. Thank You for the Gift of the Holy Spirit to abide in us always and release Your love in us and through us to a lost world. I love you and pray for grace in my children and grand-children and all offspring to know You and be filled with the promised Holy Spirit. Let it not depart from them forever! Amen!

Psalm 70::4-5 “May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! Your are my Help and my Deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.”

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The Gospel of first importance!

Scripture reading for September 14th: Isaiah 53-55, Psalm 128, 1st Corinthians 15

1st Corinthians 15: 1-8 “Now I want to remind you, brothers, of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the Word I preached to you–unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some who have fallen asleep.

Paul gave the church at Corinth a simple summary of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel covers the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in accordance with the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Paul had received this Gospel from Jesus Christ Himself and that was the basis of all his preaching. Christ confirmed His resurrection from the dead by appearing in His resurrection body to Peter and all His disciples plus a crowd of five hundred and even to Paul. The Gospel message is God’s message of love to lost mankind. Through the Gospel, God reveals His righteousness as well as His justice in Jesus Christ. It is the power of God for salvation to the Jew and Gentile.

Isaiah 55:10-11 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Your Word, first through the holy prophets of the Old Testament and then in the person of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for the Gospel message of Jesus’ virgin birth, obedient life, sacrificial death and glorious resurrection. Thank You for accomplishing this mission of salvation for us, lost sinners living in darkness. Multiply fruit through my submitted life.

Psalm 128:1-2 “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways! Your shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”

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Building up the church!

Scripture reading for September 13th: Isaiah 49-52, Psalm 69, 1st Corinthians 14

1st Corinthians 14: 1-5 “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be build up”

Paul wrote to instruct the new Corinthian believers on the proper use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. There had been confusion in their midst as those speaking in tongues were talking in their spiritual languages and no one was interpreting. Unbelievers could not understand and were confused and believers also could not be edified because they did not understand what was being said. However, prophesy is speaking in a known language under the influence of the Holy Spirit and it is profitable for all who hear. It builds up the believers in the Church and it brings conviction on the unbelievers. If tongues are spoken, they need to be interpreted. Tongues plus the gift of interpretation is the same as prophesy. Then all can be edified. Jesus Christ modeled prophesy in His living and His speaking as Isaiah the prophet foresaw.

Isaiah 50:4-5 “The Lord has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning He awakens; He awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the Holy Spirit and the gifts He brings to build up Your Church. Thank You for those given gifts of prophesy and tongues and words of wisdom and knowledge. Teach my tongue through Your Holy Spirit to speak words that builds up Your Church and encourages those who are weary. Open my ears to hear Your voice and direction in each opportunity.

Psalm 69:30-32 “I will praise the Name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His own people who are prisoners.”

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Faith, Hope, and Love abide!

Scripture reading for September 12th: Isaiah 45-48, 1st Corinthians 13

1st Corinthians 13: 4-7 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, endures all things.”

As Paul explained the work and gift of the Holy Spirit among the members of the church, he stopped to emphasize something greater and longer-lasting than the gifts. He emphasized God’s love as the greatest gift or fruit of the Spirit. God Himself is love. God’s love seeks what is best for those who are its object, regardless of cost or personal sacrifice. Love is patient and kind, and God’s patience allows people time to repent and His goodness and kindness draws them to repentance and faith. God is Truth and rejoices in what is right and true. He waits for His Truth to come to pass as it works through love. God’s love never ends and it is His greatest Gift in Jesus Christ our Lord.

1st Corinthians 13:8-13 “Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then is shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your gift of loving me and demonstrating that love in Your Son dying on the cross for me. As wonderful as the gifts of the Holy Spirit are, this fruit of love is the greatest gift that is not just temporal, but abides forever. My faith works by love and Your love is poured out into my heart by the Holy Spirit. Your love gives me eternal hope and anticipation that the best is yet to come.

Isaiah 45: 22-23 “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By Myself I have sworn; from My mouth has gone out in righteousness a Word that shall not return: ‘To Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance'”

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