Surely

Scripture

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’   Isaiah 41:10

Observation

These words, spoken to Israel through the prophet Isaiah, eased the fears of Israel who had a long history of idol worship, forsaking God, and generally acting how ever they wanted.  Israel acted just like I often do.  And just like Israel, I wonder why God punishes me.  OK, so Babylon didn’t invade my city but there are other consequences to bear for what goes in my life today.  And just like with Israel, those consequences serve as a wake up call — HEY!  COME BACK HERE!!  DO WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO!

Isaiah’s words foreshadow those of the New Testament:

  • “I am with you” compared with  “…I am with you always…”  Matthew 28:20
  • “Do not anxiously look about you” compared with ” Be anxious for nothing…”  Philippians 4:6
  • “I will strengthen you” compared with ” After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”  1 Peter 5:10 
  • “I will help you” compared with “ I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;”  John 14:16

And finally, “I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  This speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ –  “So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”  Mark 16:19

It is by the very power of Jesus Christ — the right hand of God – that I am forgiven my sins.  By His blood my sins are washed away.  I deserved to be punished but Jesus bore that punishment for me.

Application

In all that plagues me, and makes me anxious, and fearful I need to remember not to navel-gaze and cry out “why me?”  From my knees – an attitude of prayer – I need to look to the Cross, then get up and look in the Tomb.  And remember, I am being held up by His righteous right hand.

Prayer

Father, I recognize that I have sinned against You.  There are consequences for this.  I am so thankful that the ultimate consequence has been placed on Jesus.  I pray that Your Holy Spirit would remind of this regularly.  May You be glorified.  In Jesus’ name I pray…Amen

This Mystery

Scripture

For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:29-32 (NASB)

Observation

Marriage between one man and one woman is a reminder of the relationship that exists between Jesus Christ and His bride the Church.  Any other type of arrangement destroys what God has created.

If two men were to “marry” then there would be two Christ figures.  They would both claim the headship of Christ thereby denigrating Jesus Christ and His ministry.  They become pictures of anti-Christs thereby denying both Jesus Christ and God the Father.

If two women were to “marry” then there would be two Churches.  They would be picturing two false religious systems.  These systems would not exist for the saints to worship God but rather to enslave and destroy them instead.

And if a man and his wife divorce…?

They were one flesh when married.  Divorce tears painful gashes in the picture of Jesus Christ and His bride.  God is not glorified.  The world only laughs.  This not God’s will. Marriage exists as a perfect example of the fellowship that exists between the Son and the Church.  It is an intimate relationship.  To seek divorce is blasphemous.

Application

There is only one Christ that gave His life that I might have eternal life.  I worship as a part of His Church.  The two joined together is a glorious thing that witnesses to the world.  Never seek divorce from that which is meant to show that relationship.  Let God be glorified.

Prayer

Lord, help me to part of that which You created to show the world Your Son and Your Church in relationship.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Add Water

Scripture

“But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Matthew 17:21 NASB

Observation

Jesus taught about prayer.  His disciples saw and heard Him pray.  They saw Him fast and pray.  He encouraged and admonished them about faith[lessness].  They saw Him doing miracles — healing, feeding, casting out demons, etc.  His disciples wanted to do them too.  But they couldn’t.  Why?  I think it was because they didn’t do the preparatory work that would have led to success.  When they asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out a demon He said it was because of their lack of faith.  Then He unwrapped it further and said prayer and fasting were missing.  Prayer and fasting are essential to developing faith.  “…faith without works is dead.”  James 2:26b (NASB)  We grow our faith with prayer and fasting.

Application

Have I become so entrenched in the world that I expect results the way the world does?  I want it now.  So, add water.  Or microwave it.  Or hire someone to do it for me.  Look it up on on my PHONE!  There is little effort but great expections of getting results I want.  To lose weight I need to eat healthy and excercise.  Sitting at my desk looking up how to lose weight is not going to get the results I want.

Jesus said I need to work to get results I expect.  My faith is small and weak.  But with prayer and fasting it will grow.  And then I will get results I expect and want.

Prayer

Lord, help my unbelief and faithlessness.  Encourage me to consistently pray.  And to fast.  Not for my will to be done, but for Your will to done.  For Your Glory.

In Jesus’ Name I pray…Amen.

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