Isaiah 33:10-36:22 ~ Galatians 5:13-26 ~ Psalm 64:1-10 ~ Proverbs 23:23
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Old Testament - Today we read Isaiah chapter 35, which is a wonderful glimpse of God's Kingdom Come! The preceding Chapter 34 is a message of judgment to the nations during the end times. And then Chapter 35 is a message of hope for those who love, believe in and are obedient to the Lord. I love verse 8 in chapter 35: "And a main road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-hearted people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God's ways; fools will never walk there." I like that concept! The Highway of Holiness! If you could take the Highway of Holiness right now, would you? Do you look forward to walking on the Highway of Holiness in the future? In the midst of our often chaotic and un-holy world, will you seek only the Highway of Holiness for your life today and forevermore?
As I mentioned above, Isaiah chapter 34 is a message of judgment. An interesting thing to note about the "the horned owl, the hawk, the screech owl, and the raven" listed in verse 11 and the owl and the vulture in verse 15 is that these are all unclean birds per Deuteronomy 14:11-18. In verse 8 today we read - "For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, the year when Edom will be paid back for all it did to Israel."
In Isaiah chapter 36 today you probably noticed that we've read this story about Sennacherib threatening Jerusalem before. In fact, much of Isaiah chapters 36 through 39 are sometimes verbatim of Second Kings 18:13 through 20:19. The compiler of Second Kings may have utilized Isaiah chapters 36 through 39 as a source, or it is also thought that both may have drawn from another common source. Today in chapter 36 we are in the year 701 B.C., and we get some bold boasts before the walls of Jerusalem by King Sennacherib of Assyria's representatives... Verse 20 includes this boast, which didn't make God too happy: "What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? Name just one! So what makes you think that the LORD can rescue Jerusalem?"
New Testament - I love Paul's teaching in Galatians 5 verses 22 & 23 today - "But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." It is incredible I think for each of us to really meditate on this question - does the Holy Spirit control your life? I think so often - even after coming to faith in Christ - we still try to hold onto the controls of our life! I know I do. And yet, when I finally realize that I should instead "let go, and let God", my life gets 100 times easier. I don't stress and worry about things any more. When I let myself be controlled by the Holy Spirit I finally realize that this is where true LIFE is at! It's not in hanging on so tightly to the steering wheel... Then, as we truly let the Holy Spirit control our lives, we begin to see amazing fruits being born in us! Do you see these fruits in your life today? Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faithfulness? Gentleness? Self-control? How are you doing on letting the Holy Spirit control your life these days? Who is holding on to your steering wheel - you or the Holy Spirit? Will you now let go of that steering wheel? Will you "let go, and let God." Will you let the fruits of the Spirit fully grow in your life?
Bible.org's terrific commentary on today's readings in Galatians titled "The War Without And the War Within" is at this link. Below is a great image for Galatians 5:16 from today's readings!
Psalms - Psalm 64 verse 10 is beautiful - "The godly will rejoice in the LORD and find shelter in him." Do you consider God a shelter for your life? When storms come into your life, do you find shelter in God? How about the Bible? Is the Bible a sort of shelter in your life? Do you find refuge in the Bible?
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs 23:23 we read: “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” What does this Proverb mean to you? Can you “buy the truth” or is this perhaps a metaphor? Why shouldn’t you sell it? Why get wisdom, discipline and understanding? Why is discipline good to get? What is truth? Where can you find truth? Is the Bible Truth? Will you learn from this Truth in some way each day for the rest of your life?
Worship God: The "Haven in a Storm" image above in the Psalms reflection reminded me immediately of the incredible Casting Crowns song "Praise You in This Storm." I don't know what it is about all these storm songs on the radio that are resonating with me lately - MercyMe's "Bring the Rain" being my current favorite song - other than I know this: It's not a matter of "if" storms will come in our life. It's a matter of "when." Storms will come. And when they do, we have the option to try to weather the storms all on our own. Or we have the option to invite God into the storms with us. Well, I believe God's already there with us in the storms even if we don't realize it - so, I think we can simply open our hearts and praise God in the storms! He will never abandon us or leave us. Even in the midst of the worst storms this fallen world might bring, God is there with us. Will you praise God in the storms?
Do you believe there is a God who is worthy of being praised even in the midst of storms in your life? Click here to get to know God of heaven and earth who is worthy of being praised in the storms!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
Prayer Point: Pray that you are demonstrating the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life today. Pray that you have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control through a saving faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!