Isaiah 54:1-57:14 ~ Ephesians 6:1-24 ~ Psalm 70:1-5 ~ Proverbs 24:8
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Old Testament - Today we read Isaiah chapter 55, which is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible! I went to a wedding several years ago in Napa, California and God led me to a church in that town on a Sunday morning where the pastor preached an incredible sermon from Isaiah 55. It is a beautiful chapter for all of us who are Thirsty. Let us drink deeply of God’s Word today! Verse 1 tells us - "Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink--even if you have no money!" Are you drinking freely of the Bible this year? Even if you have no money, do you believe that God is inviting you to drink deeply of his True and Holy Water, His Word? Are you thirsty?
Verse 6 is fantastic... Will you seek? Will you call?
In verses 10-12 we read:
“10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.”
How do these above verses resonate with you, based on our One Year Bible readings? Particularly verse 11 above – is God’s Word accomplishing something in you this year through reading the Bible each day? Is the Bible “watering” you? Are you Thirsty? Do you feel that you are going out in joy and being led forth in peace? Have the mountains and hills burst into song before you? Are the trees of the field clapping their hands in your life today?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Isaiah chapter 55 titled "God's Exhortation to Receive His Grace" is at this link.
New Testament - We wrap up Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus today! His letter to the church in Philippi begins tomorrow! Ephesians chapter 6 verse 7 stood out to me today - "Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." I realize the context of this verse is that Paul was writing it to slaves. However, I think this verse works very well today for any of us that work a full time job. I'm sure you've probably seen movies or TV shows that make fun of working and basically encourage folks to work as little as possible when they are on the job. I think this is a horrible idea! I had a friend tell me once that if you are acting like a slacker at one job - perhaps a job you really don't like and are trying to get out of - you'll end up acting like a slacker at your next job, even if your next job is your dream job. You'll goof up that dream job because it will be hard to break habit the habit of being a slacker... So - I think each of us would do well to take to heart Paul's words here in verse 7. Are you working at your job with enthusiasm? Are you working each and every day as though you are working for the Lord? As such, are you not "stealing time" from your employer by surfing the net, socializing excessively, doing errands, arriving late, and this list could go on... If Jesus was your boss, would you act the same way at work that you do now? Well, is Jesus perhaps really your "boss" even if he isn't the one signing your pay checks per se...?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Ephesians titled "Spiritual Warfare" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 70 verse 4 is awesome - "But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness.
May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, "God is great!"" Indeed, I think as Christians we should be filled with joy & gladness. Yes, there will be tough times. And suffering. But overall, I pray we are filled with joy and gladness. And then the second sentence in this verse reminds me of an older Relient K song with lyrics that go something like this - "Your voice has broken my defense. Let me embrace salvation!" I like that thought. Let us embrace salvation. Let us love salvation. Let us literally cling to salvation...
Proverbs - Proverbs 24 verse 8 today is a great reminder that we should not get in the habit of planning evil.... :) - "A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker." Okay, so I put a smiley face there, because probably none of us consciously decide we're going to plan something evil. However, I wonder if any of us maybe do get in the habit of planning things that really are outside of God's will for our life? This isn't evil on the surface. And we may not get a reputation as a troublemaker. But, if we are planning things and doing things that are outside of God's will for our life and how He wants us to spend our time, then we are essentially going against God's will. God's perfect will. I will confess that I all too often plan and do things that I know are outside of God's will for my life. And maybe I do these things so I get a good "reputation" among people... Well, perhaps my good reputation among people is actually a bad reputation to God because I'm doing things outside of his will... And I guess I've been thinking about this lately and thinking about how often I'm wasting God's time that he has blessed me with. And so maybe I'm getting the reputation of being a troublemaker in heaven... How about you? What's your reputation in heaven? Forget about your reputation here on earth... that really does not matter at all. What's your reputation with God? Let us pray that our reputation with God is not:
Worship God: My comments in the Proverbs section above today reminded me of the great Aaron Shust song called "Give Me Words to Speak." His song includes this lyric: "Calloused and bruised. Dazed and confused. My Spirit is left wanting something more. Than my selfish hopes. And my selfish dreams. I’m lying with my face down to the floor. I’m crying out for more!" Awesome song! Here's a live version with Aaron on the keys!
Has God ever given you words to speak? Click here and speak to God!
Please join me in memorizing 3 verses of Scripture today:
"Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near." Isaiah 55:6 NIV
"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:11-12 NIV
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you from today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
Grace, love, peace, and joy!