Tag: light to the gentiles

Thankful for Grand Vision!

Scripture reading for August 11th:  Isaiah 47-51

Key Scriptures:  Isaiah 49:5-7  “And now the Lord says–He who formed Me in the womb to be His Servant to bring Jacob back to Him and gather Israel to Himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and My God has been My strength–He says:  “It is too small a thing for You to be My Servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept.  I will also make You a light for the Gentiles, that You may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Isaiah wrote down a conversation between the Lord God and His Servant Son detailing the Servant’s mission and calling.  This Servant was formed in the womb to bring Jacob and Israel back to God.  And if that was too small a thing, This Servant would also be a light to the Gentiles that He might bring salvation to the ends of the earth!  What a grand vision our loving Father and His Servant Son, Jesus Christ have laid out!

Thankful for grand vision:  “For this is what the Lord has commanded us:  “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'”  When the Gentiles hear this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.  The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.”  (Acts 13:47-49) (Isaiah 49:7)

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Simeon’s prophesy!

Scripture reading for March 5th:  Luke 2

The baby Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day according to the Law.  After the time of Mary’s purification, Joseph and Mary took Him to the temple to dedicate Him to the Lord as the law commanded for the first-born son.  (Exodus 13:2, 12)  Everything was done according to the Law of the Lord because Jesus would need to fulfill all the Law in order to fulfill His mission to save mankind.

When they arrived at the temple, a man called Simeon was waiting at the temple.  He had been praying and watching for the coming Messiah for many years.  The Holy Spirit moved upon him to speak a word of prophesy over Jesus and Mary.  “Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to Your people Israel.”  (Luke 2:28-32)

This amazing prophesy confirmed to Joseph and Mary the meaning of the name “Jesus”! (“The Lord Saves”)   Jesus would save all people, Jew and Gentile, from their sins and bring glory to His people Israel.  Jesus was the ‘consolation of Israel’!  God revealed this truth to a praying prophet and confirmed His Word to His servants.

Simeon’s final word concerned Mary.   “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts if many hearts will be revealed.  And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”  (Luke 2:33-35)  Simeon spoke of the conflict surrounding the child and how that would affect Mary.  Those words surely came to pass!

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Simeon’s blessing!

Scripture reading for March 16th: Luke 2:1-35, Psalms 59:1-17, Proverbs 11:14

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout.  He was waiting or the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  It had bee revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.  When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for Him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, you now dismiss Your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:25-32)

Simeon was one of the faithful in Israel who walked by faith in God’s promises.  Simeon had been looking for the promised Messiah and God had revealed to him that he would not see death before he beheld the desire of his heart.  On that day that Joseph and Mary brought Jesus into the temple to be dedicated and circumcised,  God moved Simeon to go to the temple as well.  When he laid eyes on the Child, Simeon immediately knew that this was the promised Messiah!  His heart’s desire had been granted!  He knew that this Child would bring salvation to not only Israel, but the Gentiles as well!  God always confirms His word and plans by the prophets and He alone knows the end from the beginning!

Simeon spoke a blessing over the parents and gave a word from God to Mary.  “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.  And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Simeon’s word was a blessing and also a word of warning to Mary about the mission of her Son.  His life and ministry would be controversial.  Some would speak against Him, others would have their hearts opened and revealed.  In the end, Mary’s heart would be pierced!  What a simple word of insight on the ministry of Jesus!  God alone could have revealed that!  Simeon was faithful to his Lord!

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The time of His favor

Scripture reading for July 31st: Isaiah 49-51

“This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “(Isaiah 49:8-9)

These next chapters of Isaiah tell of the “servant” of the Lord that will come to bring the promised comfort, salvation, and deliverance to God’s people.  God’s Word is very clear about the plans of the Lord to bring a deliverer.  Isaiah has already said that “Immanuel” would be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14)  In Isaiah 9:5-6 He would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of peace!  His government would be without end!  In Isaiah 49:5-6 God tells  how He will form this servant in the womb.  This servant will bring Jacob back to Him and gather Israel.  Then God says that He will also make this servant a light for the Gentiles and bring His salvation to the ends of the earth!  The story is so plain now in light of the life of Jesus Christ and all the prophecies that He fulfilled and the mission of His church!

God has a “time of favor” when His salvation is available to all who will avail themselves of it!   This time began when Jesus Christ announced His mission with a quote from Isaiah in Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)  Notice how similar this quote is to our text for today’s devotion!   Jesus Christ announced His ministry of preaching, healing and deliverance to those in His home town of Nazareth.  They did not receive the message with the joy that was expected, however.  Those in the synagogue became furious and tried to throw Jesus off the brow of a steep cliff!  Not everyone responds to a “time of favor”.

In fact, the “time of favor” referred to the year of Jubilee during which every Israelite would have his inheritance restored!  If they had lost property through neglect or illness or bad business dealings, the property was to be restored and the inheritance was to be put back together.  It would be a joyous time of healing and restoration on the 50th years!  (Leviticus 25:8-13)  Jesus Christ was stating that He was their ‘Jubilee’!

Today we live in the “time of His favor” with promise of healing and restoration!  Be sure to thank the Lord for what He has done in Jesus Christ!  Share this good news with someone who needs favor today!

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Portraits of Jesus from 700 years out!

Scripture reading for July 20th: Isaiah 9-12

Isaiah lived over 700 years before the coming of Jesus Christ.  He was an ordinary man who was by grace chosen to see the Lord in a glorious vision.  He humbled himself and responded to God’s call to go and become a prophet.  As he lived his life and shared from his heart and relationship with the Lord, God used him to give prophetic pictures of His Son, Jesus Christ.  These pictures encourage us today and inspire faith and trust!

After speaking of a virgin giving birth to a son who would be called “Immanuel”, God with us, Isaiah continued to write about this coming one.  (Isaiah 7:14)  He himself had two sons who were given prophetic names that spoke to the future of the nation of Israel.   He told that the nation would go into captivity but that God would bring back a remnant.  The people were caught up in conspiracy theories and were tormented by fears.  Isaiah warned them that the Lord was the only one to fear!  (Isaiah 8:12-14)  The Lord himself would be a stone to cause the nation to stumble and a rock that would make them fall.  Seven Hundred years later, Jesus was that stumbling stone to the nation of Israel.

The coming child who would be born would honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by way of the sea, along the Jordan River.  He would show God’s light to those living in darkness there.  (Isaiah 9:1-2)  He would carry the government on his shoulders.  This child’s names signified that He would be special.  His names would be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!  His government would be one of peace and from everlasting to everlasting.  He would also reign on David’s throne, establishing it in justice and righteousness.  (Isaiah 9:6-7)  God’s own zeal would accomplish this!  These scriptures all speak of Jesus Christ who lived and ministered in Galilee.  He did great miracles and mighty works there, bringing light to the Gentiles.  He is the fulfillment of the names given by Isaiah through the Holy Spirit!

In chapter 11, Isaiah speaks again of Jesus.  He talks of a shoot coming from the stump of Jesse that will become a Branch that would bear fruit.  After the judgment that Isaiah spoke of, the nation would resemble a stump.  God would have a remnant that would bring His Son to fulfill His purposes!  God would place His Spirit on this Branch.  It would be a Spirit of wisdom and understanding,  a Spirit of counsel and power, and a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.  (Isaiah 11:1-3)  He would delight in the fear of the Lord!  Jesus Christ fits this description perfectly!  He was wisdom and knowledge personified!  He had wise counsel and power to heal, save and deliver!  He knew all things and taught with authority!  He delighted in the fear of the Lord in that He only did what His Father showed Him to do and always did that which pleased His Father!

There is so much more in these chapters today!  Read and enjoy and rejoice in God’s faithfulness to fulfill His Word!

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