Monthly Archives: August, 2013

Isaiah 59-63

Isaiah 59-63

Click here for today’s reading: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2059-63&version=NIV;AMP

One of my wonderful mentors pointed out to me that SIN = Self Indulgent Nature and God does NOT like this. A GREAT way to remember what SIN means. HE wants ALL our LOVE, focus, heart ALL on HIM.

Today was a challenging read for me, some of it so very beautiful and some brought deep tears of the heart. I am sure each of you have experienced ONE thing that forever changed your life. This is not the first time a “ONE thing” has forever changed my life (marriage, birth, new pets, death, job losses, health, betrayal, car accidents, doctor reports, and the list could go on and on). My husband’s recent job loss and retirement after 21 years of being a highly esteemed employee is causing drastic changes in our lives. We KNOW our God is BIGGER than our challenges, health, job and financial needs, dreams, desires, hopes, our sins, and ourselves. WE KNOW HE can open doors no one else can open and close doors no one else can close. However, reading today’s reading hit me hard ….. almost as if all the air and words have been sucked right out of my body, and mind. Ever have one of those days? I am so very thankful that the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ intercede on my/our behalf …because there are days when I simply don’t know what to pray.

I am praying for strength to remain faithful and accountable. I deeply apologize that I miss posting some days and ask your forgiveness (again.) I also pray I have not harmed your faithfulness. I may miss more days…but one this is for sure… I will finish the entires for 365 days…even if it means if takes me 400 days to complete it.

CHAPTER 59 — So in this part of Isaiah, the prophet points out to Israel (and to us) that our sin is what is separating us from God. They seek Him but cannot find Him. Why? SIN!! Why can some hear, feel, see God yet some ….. not at all? Yes, we ALL have sinned and will sin. However, the Lord is pointing out that each of us has to make a CHOICE between one of two paths. One is the road you are on, the other is to acknowledge the sin (confession) and REPENT, agree with God that the sin is wrong and CHANGE our lives accordingly. The GOOD NEWS is in verse 20:

“The Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who REPENT of their sins, DECLARES the LORD.”

HALLELUJAH!!!! is all I can say on that one.

CHAPTER 60 gives a picture of a transformed Jerusalem (and us!!!) Verse 5 was awesome: “THEN you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and sell with joy; and the wealth on the seas will be brought to YOU, to YOU the riches of the nations will come…” Beginning in verse 17 I LOVE some of the WORDS: “I will make peace your governor, and righteousness your ruler.” Verse 19: “…for the LORD will be your everlasting light and your God will be your glory.” Verse 20 “…your days of sorrow will END.” And the last verse….can you say REVELATION?? “I am the Lord; and in its time I will do this swiftly!!” All of this is about the NEW JERUSALEM…HEAVEN…NO darkness EVER…NO sun or moon will be needed because the LIGHT will be WITH US ALWAYS….God’s GLORY is the LIGHT!!

CHAPTER 61 — WHAT if I told you that JESUS read THIS very Scripture in the Temple??? Go to Luke 4:

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
”The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

He is READING from the book of Isaiah, a PROPHECY of the coming SAVIOR (of HIMSELF!!!) Can you picture it?

Jesus in EVERY verse of this chapter! Can you see it? A Righteous Oak, a Double Portion, a Crown of Beauty, a Robe of Salvation!

Verse 3 — reminded me of a song with the words from THIS verse!! “HE gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, and peace for despair.” WHAT PEACE that brings!!!

Verse 7 spoke so very loudly to me today — “…my people will receive a double portion…” A double portion of ALL GOD has through HIS son Jesus Christ. I pray for a double portion because OUR LIVING GOD is BIGGER than everything we have going on in our lives and I KNOW HE wants to bless us so we may be a blessing to others for HIM!!

CHAPTER 62. Many of you know the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done”.. Now read 62:1: “For the Kingdom’s sake (Zion) I will not remain quiet!!” THY WILL BE DONE…powerful words. THY will is God’s will yet HE is such a loving, merciful, gracious God that when we align our desires up with HIS will…..our desires come to pass as well. The great commission… “GO” and tell others about what God/Jesus Christ has done for you….a personal story of truth so others may come to KNOW HIM requires that our actions are to NOT keep silent so others may see HIS GLORY in me and in all I do. God has placed a fire that burns deeply within each of us to do something to further THE KINGDOM here on earth. And, when HE has given you a fire that will not burn out within you….you HAVE to share it….know what I mean?

The remainder of the chapter is filled with HOPE….REDEMPTION…”SEE YOUR SAVIOR COMES….” “HOLY PEOPLE”….!!

CHAPTER 63 — God’s Vengeance and Redemption. Read verses 7-19 over, read them out loud. It reviews our reading for the past 200+ days and it tells us so much about God’s character….how HE LOVED Israel and us even in the rebellion…..HE still planned to send a REDEEMER!!! EVERY ONE of God’s prophecies WILL come to pass…..LOOK at HOW MANY already HAVE!!! There is one BIG one left…..Jesus’ 2nd coming….The NEW Jerusalem….The NEW Eden…HEAVEN…forever and ever……and it too will come to pass….IN HIS TIMING!!!!

Sharing HIS love,

Advertisements

Isaiah 54-58

Isaiah 54-58

Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2054-58&version=NIV

In our small group bible study that we have in our home on Wednesday evenings, we were discussing this last week. We were talking about all the LOVE we would KNOW, NO FEAR, no pain, no suffering, NOTHING but WORSHIPING GOD for all HE is!! We talked about the song: “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me” (incase you want to hear it click here http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0xwzItqYmII

CHAPTER 54 –Now, here we are in Isaiah. We read about HEAVEN!! Most High God of all the earth…. what an awesome picture you have blessed us with in Isaiah!! Turquoise….sapphires, rubies, crystals, and all precious stones….what a sight it will be to behold!!! Before we got to the heaven description we saw HIS unfailing love for us, HIS covenant of Peace, and HIS compassion…..and you KNOW ALL that is going to be in heaven too right?? HIS presence, HIS peace, HIS love, HIS character is what will make is shinier than a new penny….and then whatever shape our bodies take on….they will be FILLED with HIM for all to see. I know this song I am about to mention is not a “church” song….but I can just IMAGINE…the trees, the grass, the oceans, the winds, the flowers, the animals….all singing “CELLLLLLLEBRATE OUR GOD…COME ON.” The original song (not the same words) was performed by KC and the Sunshine Band back in the 70s……but can’t you just imagine ALLLLLLLL creation SINGING that TO HIM…trees already have their “arms” lifted to HIM and they’d be swaying as they praised HIM as would ALLLLLL creation. OK…enough….but I have to tell you my mind can see it so clearly as such a joyous, Spirit filled, love and joy and peace filled time. All the “free love” in the 60s can’t fill a thimble (and all the earthly “free love” and “free choice” and “sexual freedom” of the 60s to this day was NOT nor will they ever be free) just compare it to GOD’s unconditional FOREVER love. STILL… with my vivid imagination….it is hard to imagine how I will react when I am standing in HIS presence (like the “I Can Only Imagine” song describes).

I loved verse 17 as well: “…no weapon formed against you will prevail. and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.”

In this chapter, Israel is compared to a Baron woman. In these days, this was a disgrace. Children were the only way for a family to continue and survive. He promises to restore them and redeem them, and compares that promise to the promise He made Noah. We know that every promise God makes is bound forever, never to be broken. So we know that everything in Chapter 53 WILL happen.
CHAPTER 55 — We begin this chapter with “Come ALL you who are thirsty, come to the waters, and you who have no money come, buy, and eat….” Verse 6 says ” ….Seek The Lord while he may be found, call on him while HE is near.” BOTH of those are words for us TODAY. Then we have verse 8 & 9 — “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares The Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” So HOW do we become made more in HIS image, take a look at Romans 12:1-2…. we get rid of “all of our junk” by replacing it with HIS WORD. Romans calls this being TRANSFORMED!! And verse 11–God promises us that HIS Words never return void!! This last verse is yet another reminder to speak, sing, sign, clap or shout HIS Words. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17. HOW do we hear the Word of God, without someone SPEAKING them, or us reading them out loud, or listening to them on a recording, or if you are hearing impaired….through signing them, if you are vocally impaired you can listen and clap to the Words, right? Bottom line…God KNOWS our hearts and our desires and KNOWS what is best for us and WANTS the best for us. Bottom line in being made more in HIS image….we have to CHOSE to let go of the old junk that does not have any place with Christ to die….let it go and FILL the VOID with the Words of God. As we get rid of “each layer of the onion” with the old stuff, the old motives, thoughts, desires, habits, then it leaves room for God to FILL us with HIS good stuff…like joy, peace, comfort, and love.
CHAPTER 56. Salvation is for ALL the nations! See once again we see that the GENTILES were included for salvation from the beginning!! WE are ALL going to be in “HIS HOUSE OF PRAYER.” That just floats my boat!! God addresses the accusations of the wicked. Wicked through the lens of God, in this sense it not like what we tend to think about when we think about Halloween. The wicked God is referring to are the people who plan and scheme to get all they can WITHOUT ANY FOCUS on the ONE TRUE GOD. These people may be known as self reliant, self centered, selfish, self sustaining, “I can do it all….MY WAY,” loving money, loving power, loving things of this world, not caring if the poor get poorer go unfed or need clothing and housing, etc. There is a WHOLE LOT of that going on in our world today, wouldn’t you say? Makes me even more aware of why Jesus tells each of us to “Go” and tell others about HIM. HE IS THE ONLY WAY.

CHAPTER 57 –An awesomely comforting Scripture starts this chapter that will often be needed to answer a HARD WHY question…

Good people pass away;
the godly often die before their time.
But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand
that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
FOR THOSE WHO FOLLOW GODLY PATHS
WILL REST IN PEACE WHEN THEY DIE.(Verse 1-2, NLT)

This chapter also discusses rebels, idols, idol worship, ….FORSAKING HIM…and the consequences of those sins

CHAPTER 58 — This chapter dealt a LOT with fasting. NOTICE the IF and the THENS. Isaiah talks about what fasting is NOT and what it IS plus content is given on “If you do this”…”Then this will happen”. SO as you read it, if you want to have the “Thens” jot down the “Ifs”. But don’t expect one without the other!

Isaiah 58:6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter —
when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear;then your righteousness will go before you, AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD WILL BE YOUR REAR GUARD. 9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I…. ‘

We end the chapter with IF you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger, and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed THEN your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD WILL GUIDE YOU ALWAYS…..

Sharing HIS love,

Isaiah 49-53

Isaiah 49-53

Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2049-53&version=NIV

WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!! Today’s read was totally awesome!!! SOOOOO much HOPE and SOOO much about Jesus…… at least 700 YEARS BEFORE HE CAME!!! That my friend is prophecy and we are alive in a day to KNOW it all came to pass!!!

Something that GRABBED by heart today was the use of the word “SHOUT”…we have read over an over in scripture the importance of SPEAKING forth God’s Word, God (the Trinity) spoke with WORLD, the galaxies, ALL creation, ALL the heavens, man, EVERYTHING into existence. We are told to SPEAK, to ASK, to PRAY, to SING, to SHOUT to The Lord, to CLAP our hands in joy to HIM, to SOUND the trumpets (remember what happened after they walked around Jericho for 7 days —6 days they walked in silence and walked around the massive Jericho one time per day…on the seventh day they walked seven times and at the Lord’s command on the seventh time…they SOUNDED THE TRUMPETS, THEY SHOUTED PRAISE TO HIM…and the walls came tumbling down!!) God touched my heart concerning the word “SHOUT” today because I believe there is a deeper message there… SHOUTING, CLAPPING, and SPEAKING and SINGING HIS Word all do something POWERFUL in the heavenlies. Somehow a connection is made that although we can’t feel it or touch it….it causes good things to begin because we are following HIS instructions. I’m not saying go out in public and SHOUT at the top of your lungs (unless you KNOW The Lord is telling you to that)…but we can SHOUT the Word, SHOUT in joy, SHOUT in singing, SHOUT in despair, SHOUT an alarm, SHOUT for all the good things God has done in your life. You can shout in your house, speak in your car, sing in your house and car, or even walk around your house speaking a prayer over your home, your land, your job, your children, God’s direction for your life, and anything else on your heart. Today with all the mobile devices….everyone within ear shot will simply think you are speaking to some one on your cell!! Think about it <<<<smile>>>>>

There was SO much good that we read to day that I feel like the ONLY way to do it justice is to print it all in the blog….but I won’t do that (I know you are relieved <<<smile>>>)!!!

Up till now in Isaiah we have read about 5 major themes

THE LORD IS SOVEREIGN. God is the Lord, Isaiah repeats it over and over. There are NO other gods but HIM.
GOD IS HOLY. Isaiah said in Chapter 6 “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is filled with his Glory”. God is like NO other, HE is set apart. Remember this is WHO GOD IS. It is repeated only one other time in Revelation!!! Profound!!
THE DOCTRINE OF SIN. Isaiah knew that sin separated us from the Lord, However, he also knew that meaningless sacrifices, and/or useless idols were not the remedy. Only turning our hearts to the Lord, was/is the key.
TO PLACE FAITH IN THE LORD. Faith is not seeing there is a Lord, but TRUSTING in the Lord. When we put God as the commander of our ship, it will get where it needs to get, regardless of the path it takes.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE REMNANT. This Word, REMNANT has been used MANY times in our readings. God’s judgement would be so severe that all that would be left would be a remnant in Judah. We KNOW this had to be absolute truth!! WHY?? Because we know that since Genesis the Lord says He will bring a Savior through the line of Judah!!

NOW our reading is oh so critical to “the rest of the story!!” The Prophecy’s of these chapters were written 7 centuries BEFORE the event of Calvary, yet through Isaiah God was able to lay out His plan for Salvation. This is NOTHING BUT PURE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FROM GOD FOR HIM TO DO ALL OF THIS JUST FOR YOU AND FOR ME!!

As you read these chapters….do whatever it takes to allow the WORDS to sink into your heart. I promise you something will jump off the page for you. I personally LISTENED and read along at the same time using http://www.biblegateway.com Do what ever you need to do to soak up the goodness in today’s reading. As each chapter gets closer to 53 the cross references will have more and more New Testament References. Luke, Matthew, Romans, John, 1 Peter. Actually you will see cross references in these 4 Chapters with everything from Genesis to Revelations!

CHAPTER 49 — We are reminded that God created us. He chose the Hebrews as HIS CHOSEN ones SO THEY COULD BE A LIGHT TO THE GENTILES (again I point out that God included the GENTILES from the beginning….we were never an after thought!!) HE is Redeemer, the Holy ONE, the Restorer, the Comforter, The Compassionate God, HE will NEVER forget us, HE has ENGRAVED us on the palms of HIS hands, we are HIS bride, our Savior, ummmm, ummmmm, GOOD!!

CHAPTER 50 — We are reminded that separation from God comes from our sin (verse 1 — because of the Israelites sin they were sold into slavery/exile, captivity.) I LOVE Isaiah’s words showing us that God woke him each morning….HE wakened Isaiah’s EARS because he was not rebellious to HIM and Isaiah did not draw back from God. I found that an interesting statement. Have you ever known what God wanted you to do but drew back in fear because you felt maybe you didn’t hear right, or what you hear was impossible for man, or you simply were afraid? LOOK at ALL that God told Isaiah to share with a Nation who was refusing to listen yet Isaiah said it anyway. WOW!! It give me encouragement to push forward with a dream I have had since childhood. I have been afraid for years to “open that book” …but now…..I will “NOT draw back from God!!” Make sense for anyone else??

CHAPTER 51 — We are told to look to the ROCK from which we are cut….. on THIS side of the CROSS we are cut from JESUS CHRIST our ROCK!!. We are reminded that Abraham and Sarah were blessed with a son when they were 100/90 respectively!! I mean come on….how many people do YOU KNOW that have had children at that age? And then from the lineage of Isaac would one day come Jesus. God kept HIS promise to Abraham and Sarah and HE will KEEP HIS PROMISES to us!! We are encouraged to HOPE with EXPECTATION of things that are to come (healing, answered prayers, miracles, great jobs and incomes when there was no hope, dreams God has placed on our hearts coming true, and so much more but ESPECIALLY…. the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ the Messiah!!!

Verses 11-13 are all about the REMNANT returning!!!

CHAPTER 52 — AWAKE and clothe yourself with strength and put on your garments of splendor (verse1)….now that’s a great way to wake up!!! Verse 3 — “WITHOUT MONEY YOU WILL BE REDEEMED!!” Other verses discuss…OUR GOD REIGNS, SHOUT for joy….and I LOVE verse 12: “THE GOD OF ISRAEL WILL BE YOUR REAR GUARD.” I always pray for The Lord to clothe me in HIS armor from Ephesians 6: 10-18 “10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Several years back I became aware and asked The Lord what was covering my back…..and HE showed me Isaiah 52:12 — I….the God of Israel will be your REAR Guard.” So HE has our back. IF any of you have been in the military or have come from military families you know there is comfort when someone says “I’ve got your six”……WELLLLL….LOOK WHO has our “six”!!! And of course HE also give us a garment of praise that we will soon read about in Isaiah 61:3

OH MAN….does all that not just bring you into HIS peace that passeth understanding?? Remember whenever we see a word (from the KJV) that has “eth” added to it….. it means it happens OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER….TO INFINITY AND BEYOND….AGAIN!!! WHOOOOOOO HOOOOO!!!!

LOOK at all the verses that deal with the description of SALVATION in Chapter 52 and 53, and it ALL begins with a reminder of HOW much HE loves us. We are told that “HIS appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness.” Jesus was despised and rejected. He was OUR substitute. A SUBSTITUTE for people who went their own way!

In Chapter 53, Oppressed and Afflicted in Hebrew means He was tormented, humiliated, belittled, mocked and shamed! He was stripped down naked like a sheep being led to the slaughter, and He did not say a word! WHY?? He was giving Himself…they were not taking him. Repeat that, He GAVE HIMSELF FOR US. Three men on the day of His sacrifice asked him to give words to defend himself:

Caiaphas
Pilate
Herod
Jesus KNEW HE was fulfilling scriptures and the plan of Salvation. In 53 verse 8 it was over. Finished. Cut off from the living, FOR the sins of his people.

Jesus in 53 verse 9 was assigned a grave with the wicked (the two criminals with Him) but was given the tomb of the Rich? What? Yes! Matthew 27:57

As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock.

If you want more detail about what happens in the NT concerning Isaiah’s prophesy…. take a look at the entires I made for “Holy Week”. If you look on the right side of this page under CATEGORIES, you will find one for “Holy Week” that was done during Easter. If you have not read that and want to know more….be sure to check out the details all tied back to Isaiah!!

Finally in 53 verse 10 we read about how this was all the Lord’s will and He makes His offering on the altar And I have to stop and think…How much does he Love us?? How much??

CHAPTER 53 — And we end today’s reading ALL about JESUS!!!! Don’t know if anyone you remember a song that went “J-E-S-U-S- He’s my Lord and KIng.” THAT is what I’m singing right now. The Scriptures that stood out to me were: Verse 5 “BY HIS WOUNDS WE ARE HEALED.” Verse 6 ” We all like sheep have gone astray each of us has turned to his own way; and The Lord HAS LAID ON HIM THE INIQUITY OF US ALL.” Notice…. God’s Word does NOT say…. only the iniquity of certain people, certain people of certain incomes, people with ONLY certain sins, or ANY other EXCEPTION. HE said ALLLLLLLLLLL of OUR iniquity has been laid on HIM!!! WHEW!!

Last year and this year I was reminded of Isaiah, Enoch, Jesus, and my relationship with Jesus. Can you imagine how close in relationship Isaiah was to The Lord to have received ALL of this from HIM? And Enoch from Genesis 5:23-24 –“Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch WALKED WITH God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” Once again I literally began to have tears stream down my face…reading this prophesy from Isaiah, reading the NT, and praying that God make me more like Him. And, Enoch kept coming to mind … HOW close was his walk to have been able to be rescued from the flood and released from ANY sting of death!!! I am now speechless… and in awe that God loves us so much and WANTs a deep relationship with EACH of us. PRAISE GOD!!

I can ONLY say read Chapter 53 (or any other chapter today) until something literally jumps off the page for you!! There is soooooo much there. AND our sweet Abba Father, Daddy God…..has a special Word for EACH of us….take it in…climb into HIS lap….let HIM show you what HE wants you to know. HE knows where each of us are and what each of needs to hear….what my eyes have been opened to today maybe totally different as to what HE has shown you…and that is TOTALLY AWESOME!!

As always I’d love to hear what you learned today, what God showed you, or what touched your heart. You can always respond in the blog space below or you can send me an email at gbsmudski@nc.rr.com and be SURE the SUBJECT in your email is BLOG to make sure I don’t trash it by accident. And…if any of you are wondering what I do with your emails…. I do nothing with them but try to respond and then delete them. I do not share them with anyone, sell them to anyone, or anything else that would break a trust.

Sharing HIS love,