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

Peddling the Word of God?

Scripture

For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God; we speak in the sight of God in Christ.  2 Corinthians 2:17

Observation

Paul preached Christ’s gospel.  All else that happened was in the wake of that.  He preached Him crucified — died for our sins, rose for our new life.  Paul pointed out sin for repentance sake and encouraged godly living.  He had a low view of peddling, or “adulterating for gain,” God’s word.

Application

When a preacher preaches about Jesus and all the “good stuff” but not about obeying Jesus (His first command was to “repent…”) or when he baptizes but fails to ask if the person has repented, he is peddling the word of God.  And it cooks my grits!  The whole gospel needs to be preached and not just the ooey-gooey feel good parts.

Prayer

Lord, raise up men of God that will preach Your gospel.  Stop the peddling of Your word…

Crucified

Scripture

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with it’s passions and desires.  Galatians 5:24

Observation

Works of the flesh are evident (v. 19-21).  The list is twice as long as the fruit of the Spirit (v. 22-23).  To crucify means a long tortuous process.  It will be agonizing.  It will be painful.  And my spirit will die.  But God…even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:4,5).

Application

My passions and desires are dead.  Christ’s live in me now.  Sometimes the “zombie” version of my passions and desires try to come out.  That is why I must repent daily.  It is not I that lives but rather it is Christ.  By his resurrection He has conquered death that I may live.  His resurrection is my hope and assurance.  And with great power [I will give] witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Acts 4:33a).

Prayer

Lord, Thank your for crucifying my flesh.  Help me to walk in the Spirit (v.26)…

 

The Transformed Wife

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