Scripture reading for July 24th: Isaiah 24-27
Isaiah broke forth in a prophesy about the coming “day of the Lord”. This watchman of Israel warned the people of God to be ready for what would surely come. They would welcome it with singing and joy. (Isaiah 24:14-16) The people of earth without a knowledge of the Lord would face it with mourning and terror! (Isaiah 24:11-13)
Out of this vivid description of the terror of the lost comes bright rays of joy and hope for those of faith! Isaiah heard shouts of joy and acclaim for the glory and majesty of the Lord arising from the East and West! He heard singing coming from the islands of the sea and the ends of the earth! God would bring His people together from the nations with great joy in His presence! (Isaiah 24:14-16) God would reign in their midst on Mt. Zion! (Isaiah 24:23)
In Isaiah 25:1-4, Isaiah praised the Lord for the fulfillment of His Word! God had spoken out His plans from ancient times and suddenly brought them to pass! He would humble the proud and exalt his humble people! He would care for the poor and needy and defeat all their enemies! On the mountain of the Lord, Mt. Zion, God would destroy the shroud that enfolded all peoples and swallow up death! He would prepare a great banquet for His people! No wonder His people from the ends of the earth were singing!
These verses were quoted by the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:50-57 to describe the resurrection body that would be given to each believer at the coming of Jesus Christ! They were also referred to by the Apostle John in his vision from the island of Patmos in Revelation 21:1-5 as he described the new heavens and new earth where believers would dwell with the Lord forever! There is also a reference in Revelation 19:6-9 as John describes the wedding supper of the Lamb! Whenever we receive Holy Communion, we are proclaiming His victory over death and our hope that great banquet!
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:3-4) Put your trust in Jesus Christ again today! He is our Rock eternal and Prince of Peace!
Scripture reading for October 30th: John 3-5
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is Spirit and His worshipers must worship in Spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24
God The Father is seeking out true worshipers! He is looking for those who will center on Him and give Him the honor and praise due to Him. His eyes look throughout the earth seeking these who will fully commit to Him so He can show Himself strong on their behalf! (2nd Chronicles 16:9)
Worship is ascribing worth and honor to someone who is worthy. All true worship centers on God as the only worthy subject! God is a Spirit. His presence fills the universe. He is The Truth and there is no falsehood or lie found in Him. Therefore, those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth. Worship can involve music or singing of hymns or songs. Worship can involve kneeling, bowing, lifting of hands, or dancing. Worship can involve reading God’s Word or sitting in silence. God is looking at our hearts when we worship, not just at what we are doing or saying.
Sin is a big hindrance to true worship. We are born the first time with our spirit dead to God because of sin. We cannot worship God, because we don’t really know God. Sin centers us on ourselves and rather than on God and separates us from God, who is holy. As we come to God humbly, agreeing with His Truth concerning sin and it’s consequences and asking for His mercy, He forgives us and we honor Him. We come to know God as Father through His Son Jesus Christ and can begin to worship Him in truth. As we allow Him to fill us with His Holy Spirit, the Spirit enables us to truly worship God in Spirit and truth!
As you go through each day, allow the Holy Spirit to help you to live a life of true worship! Everything you do can be done in Spirit and truth as unto the Lord with a thankful heart! (Colossians 3:17) He is worthy of all our worship each day, everyday, all day and night wherever we are! It is a life of worship that truly pleases our Father!
Scripture reading for September 24th: Zephaniah 1-3
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.“ Zephaniah 3:17
Zephaniah was a prophet around 630 B.C. during the reign of Josiah, a good king of Israel. He spoke some pretty strong words to the nation of Judah concerning the coming day of the Lord. Through Zephaniah, God warned that He would sweep everything from the face of the earth. (Zephaniah 1:2-3) That sounds like a very thorough cleaning similar to the great flood of Noah’s day!
Judah was warned that God’s hand was against those who were idolaters. Those who claimed to be Abraham’s descendants were worshiping Baal, the Canaanite fertility god. Even some of the priests of God’s house were involved. They were worshiping Molech and using astrology. (Zephaniah 1:4-5) Astrology is popular today in America. Almost every newspaper has a horoscope and many read it daily. Many follow the example of Judah in Zephaniah’s day, and turn away from following God. They are complacent or have followed gods of convenience and pleasure. (Zephaniah 1:12)
Zephaniah cried out to the people that their appointed time was coming as a day of wrath and destruction. Trouble, clouds, darkness and death were on the horizon. Their money could not save them on this day of wrath that would come at the appointed time. (Zephaniah 1:17-18)
The only remedy was to seek the Lord with humble hearts and those who responded would be sheltered by the Lord. An appetite for God must come from a heart that is humble. (Zephaniah 2:2-3) Idolatry is making a god that gives me what I want, instead of serving the God who made me to do what He wants!
We know from history that the young king, Josiah, turned to the Lord and led a revival that removed the idols and cleansed the land. He responded to this prophet’s strong preaching. When we repent, God relents! He would rather save us than judge us! He takes great delight in His people and desires to quiet us in His love. He rejoices over us with singing! Picture God spinning around in delight singing a song of joy over us! (Zephaniah 3:17) Turn to Him today before the coming “day of the Lord”.
Scripture reading for July 23rd: Isaiah 24-27
Isaiah broke forth in a dissertation about the coming “day of the Lord”. God’s people will not experience this day of wrath but welcome it with singing and joy. (Isaiah 24:14-16) (1st Thessalonians 5:9) The people of earth, those without a knowledge of the Lord and faith in Him, are filled with mourning and terror at this day! (Isaiah 24:11-13)
Out of this vivid description of this day of wrath comes bright rays of joy for those of faith! Isaiah heard shouts of joy and acclaim arising from the East and West. He heard singing coming from the islands of the sea and the ends of the earth! (Isaiah 24:14-16) God would reign their midst on Mt. Zion among His people! (Isaiah 24:23)
In Isaiah 25:1-4, Isaiah broke into praise for fulfillment of His Word! God spoke of His plans from ancient days and then brought them to pass! He cared for the poor and needy and defeated all their enemies! The Lord prepared a banquet of rich foods for all peoples! On the mountain of the Lord, Mt. Zion, God would destroy the shroud that enfolded all peoples! Death would be defeated and tears will be wiped away! No wonder His people are singing from the ends of the earth!
These verses were used by the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:50-57 to describe the resurrection body that would be given to each believer at the coming of Jesus Christ! They were also referred to by the Apostle John in his vision from the island of Patmos in Revelation 21:1-5 as he described the new heavens and new earth where believers would dwell with the Lord forever! There is also a reference to the great banquet in Revelation 19:6-9 as John describes the wedding supper of the Lamb! Whenever we receive Holy Communion, we are proclaiming Jesus’ destruction of the shroud of death and our hope of eating at that great banquet!
One last nugget from these chapters of Isaiah comes in Isaiah 26:3-4. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” Put your trust in Jesus Christ again today! He is our Rock eternal! From your end of the earth, sing songs of worship without ceasing as you rest in His love!