Month: September 2017

Isaiah 9-10, Ephesians 3

Isaiah 9:6-7
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

One of the greatest prophecies about Jesus. Notice that He is the great and Wonderful Counselor. In a day and age when we are inundated with counselors, we must look to Jesus whose counsel will never fail.

Isaiah 10:11
As I have done to Samaria and her idols, Shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols? ’”

This is written after the fall of Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. It fell at the hands of the Assyrians. They were expecting to do the same to Jerusalem. However, it was the Babylonians that eventually conquered.

Isaiah 10:20
The Returning Remnant of Israel 20 And it shall come to pass in that day That the remnant of Israel, And such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, Will never again depend on him who defeated them, But will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

Isaiah speaks here of “that day” which is the day of the Lord that begins with the Great Tribulation.

Isaiah 10:24-25
Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: “O My people, who dwell in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrian. He shall strike you with a rod and lift up his staff against you, in the manner of Egypt. 25 For yet a very little while and the indignation will cease, as will My anger in their destruction.”

We need not be afraid of anyone who threatens us, for the Lord is our defense. It didn’t matter what the Assyrians were saying, unless the Lord granted them permission, they would bring no harm to the Southern Kingdom.

Ephesians 3:8
8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

I love how Paul describes the riches of Christ here. The are unsearchable! They are so vast that they are past finding out. This is one of the great joys of our faith. We will never discover all that He has made available to us.

Ephesians 3:13
Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Everything Paul did, he did for the glory of God. Even in his tribulations, God was glorified. We can glorify the Lord through our tribulations as long as we cling to and trust Jesus.

Ephesians 3:20
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

Do we believe this? He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think. Not only what we ask, but what we think about as well. He knows what we need and will provide according to the power of Him who works in us. What a great verse!

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Isaiah 7-8, Ephesians 2

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

This is one of the great prophecies of the Old Testament. Imagine, 700 years before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah writes about it. The odds of this happening are astronomical. I read of a mathematician who once calculated the odds of only eight prophecies coming to pass about one man to be 10 to the seventeenth power, or one in one hundred quadrillion (100,000,000,000,000,000). That’s a very big number. In the Bible there are approximately 100 prophecies of Jesus of which many have already taken place.

Isaiah 8:8
He will pass through Judah, He will overflow and pass over, He will reach up to the neck; And the stretching out of his wings Will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel.

Immanuel is translated from a Hebrew word which literally means, ‘God with us’. What a comforting thing to know that God is with us because Jesus was willing to come and live among man and then die that we might be with God. Praise His wonderful name!

Isaiah 8:16
Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples.

Isaiah is told to seal up this prophecy, to put it away that it might be used as a reference later on. What a glorious thing it is that we can use it as a reference for encouragement close to three thousand years later.

Ephesians 2:1
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

Hallelujah! I can hardly believe how wonderful this verse is. Daily I am aware of how dead I was in my sin, how I deserved nothing from a holy God short of hell, and then because of his unconditional love for me, He made me alive. Praise God! I thank Jesus for this every time I think about it. And, I think about it a lot.

Ephesians 2:7
that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

This is why God sent His son Jesus, in order to show the exceeding riches of His grace. All through Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

We must never forget that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. It is purely a gift from God. Paul said in Romans 11:6, And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Ephesians 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Before our faith in Christ, we were eternally separated from our Creator. However, in Christ, we are brought near. Oh the power of Jesus’s blood!

Isaiah 5-6, Ephesians 1

Isaiah 5:1
1 Now let me sing to my Well- beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well- beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill.

The reference to the vineyard here is a reference to Israel. Israel was God’s vineyard.

Isaiah 5:5
And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.

This is a reference to Jerusalem being destroyed, burned, and the walls being torn down.

Isaiah 5:20-21
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!

Whenever I read these verses, I realize that what we read here perfectly describes the society we are living in today. We are in a lot of trouble when we call evil good and good evil. We are in a lot of trouble!

Isaiah 6:1
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.

This is one of the most powerful accounts in Scripture. Imagine what Isaiah must have felt see the Lord in all of His glory. He gives us a picture of that in this chapter.

Isaiah 6:5
So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”

I believe that when I stand before the Lord God almighty, I will immediately fall on my face in awe of His amazing holiness. I will be aware of my unworthiness before a holy God, and then immediately aware of my righteousness through Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord!

Isaiah 6:8
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Oh how I pray that this would always be my response to the Lord. Here am I! Send me. What a glorious privilege to be sent by The Lord to do His work.

Ephesians 1:3-6
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

What an amazing sentence this is! I marvel at the thought of what we have been blessed with as a result of knowing Christ. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. We have been adopted as sons through our faith in Jesus. “Oh Lord help us by Your Holy Spirit to grasp this most amazing truth!”

Ephesians 1:13-14
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

If there was any doubt about who you belong to, just remember this verse. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance. He is constantly reminding our spirit of this magnificent truth.

Ephesians 1:22-23
And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Jesus is the head over all the church. Any church that does not wholeheartedly accept and embrace this is a false church.

Isaiah 3-4, Galatians 6

Isaiah 3:8
For Jerusalem stumbled, And Judah is fallen, Because their tongue and their doings Are against the Lord, To provoke the eyes of His glory.

Why did they fall? Because they did their own thing. And our thing will always be against the Lord until His thing becomes our thing. We must do everything possible to make sure that we are living a life that does not provoke the Lord. This is only possible through trusting in Christ and the living in His strength.

Isaiah 3:25-26
Your men shall fall by the sword, And your mighty in the war. 26 Her gates shall lament and mourn, And she being desolate shall sit on the ground.

Isaiah is prophesying that Judah will fall because of their rejection of God’s ways and their refusal to repent.

Isaiah 4:2
2 In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing For those of Israel who have escaped.

In that day is a reference tithe eventual return of Jesus, of the Messiah. What a great and glorious day that will be. Jeremiah 23:5-6 also speaks of that day, “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Galatians 6:1
1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

We must guard our hearts from the harsh treatment of those who have been overtaken by sin. We, as mature Christians, must seek to restore such an individual with great care. One never knows when they might find themselves in the same place…God forbid.

Galatians 6:7-8
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

Just like the physical law of gravity and ‘what goes up, must come down’, so it is with spiritual laws. We cannot expect to sow to the flesh and then reap of the Spirit. It just doesn’t work that way. You become what you invest in. This is how a person can easily tell if a person is living in the flesh or in the Spirit.

Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

It is easy to grow discouraged while doing good. Don’t do it. Victory is just around the corner. My dad shared a quote with me one day that I will never forget. It speaks to this truth: “upon the plains of hesitation lie the bones of countless millions who upon the dawn of victory laid down to rest, and in their resting died”.

Isaiah 1-2, Galatians 5

Isaiah 1:1
1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Isaiah is known as the Messianic prophet because he speaks so clearly of Jesus the Messiah. He prophesied to the southern kingdom of Judah while the a northern kingdom was under the threat of Assyrian captivity. Isaiah’s whole life was spent under the shadow of the threat of Assyria, and he himself witnessed the ruin of his entire nation at their hands, except Jerusalem.

Isaiah 1:14
Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.

God’s heart was grieved by the fact that his chosen people had given themselves over to idols. Idol worship is still alive and well today,and it still grieves the Lord. What is so tragic is that God’s creation has the provision to be set free from these idols (through Jesus) and yet they insist keeping that. God hates this.

Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.

I love this picture of what the Lord Jesus does for us. He makes our filthy sin as white as snow. Only God could do such a thing, and He did it through His son Jesus.

Isaiah 2:8
Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands, That which their own fingers have made.

This is such a picture of what we see all around us today. People worshipping the things they have made for themselves. They work all week and go into debt to purchase toys that will bring them pleasure. Sports and entertainment abound to the point that they are nothing less than little gods to be worshipped.

Isaiah 2:17
The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low;
The Lord alone will be exalted in that day,

I heard a pastor once say, by God’s law when a man lifts himself up, God must bring him down. This is evident throughout the Bible. However the day is coming when absolutely every knee and every tongue will bow before Him (Philippians 2:10-11).

Galatians 5:4
You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

You cannot be bound to Christ and the law at the same time. As we have learned, the law points us to Jesus. Once we are in Jesus, we are no longer bound by the law.

Galatians 5:9
A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

We mustn’t ever kid ourselves, a little sin affects the whole body. This is why The Lord provides an escape from every temptation which comes our way (1 Corinthians 10:13). He understands the danger of the smallest amount of sin and the importance of staying away from it.

Galatians 5:13
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

It is tragic to me, the number of professing Christians who have been set free from sin and then use their liberty to fulfill the lusts of their flesh. I don’t understand why any born again believer would want to do this. It grieves the Lord.

Galatians 5:16
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

God has mad a way for us to keep from fulfilling our flesh. Walk in the Spirit. I have never heard of anyone getting themselves into trouble while reading the word, praying, or meditating on the things of God.

Song of Songs 6-8, Galatians 4

Song of Songs 6:6
Your teeth are like a flock of sheep Which have come up from the washing; Every one bears twins, And none is barren among them.

This is a poetic way of saying she had beautiful teeth and that none her teeth were missing.

Song of Songs 7:10
I am my beloved’s, And his desire is toward me.

Faithfulness is such an important part of any marriage. Our desire must be for one another and one another only. We must protect our marriages from any and all temptations that would try to fight against that. This is possible only through looking to Jesus Christ.

Song of Songs 8:14
The Shulamite 14 Make haste, my beloved, And be like a gazelle Or a young stag On the mountains of spices.

I love the passion and desire for one another in this book. It is a picture of what we see in the courting stages of a relationship. Most will ask, what happened after we got married? Where did the passion go? I am convinced that God intends that the passion would never leave, it would just be redirected in a manner that strengthens the marriage. I heard someone one say that it would be impossible to keep the passion alive at the level it is during the initial stages of the relationship and marriage. I would agree. All too often we put too much stock in the passion at the expense of being committed for the long haul. As we focus on the Lord and commit ourselves to one another, the passion returns, in the form of a lifelong commitment to stand with one another…no matter what.

Galatians 4:6-7
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

When I think of being God’s son I am overwhelmed with joy. However, when I think upon the truth that as God’s son, I am a co-heir to the all heavenly riches with Jesus Christ I can hardly comprehend it. Thin about it! Because of our heavenly adoption into the kingdom, every thing that Jesus has will be available a to us. Wow!

Galatians 4:22
For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.

This is a reference to Abraham’s sons, Isaac and Ishmael. One was born of a bond woman, Sarah’s maidservant (Ishmael) and the other was born of a free woman, Sarah (Isaac).

Song of Songs 4-5, Galatians 3

Song of Songs 4:1-2
The Beloved 1 Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove’s eyes behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats, Going down from Mount Gilead. 2 Your teeth are like a flock of shorn sheep Which have come up from the washing, Every one of which bears twins, And none is barren among them.

You had better know your mate pretty well before you lay a couple of these kinds of compliments on her. I am not sure how well it would go fI the next nit me Jenny had her hair done and she asked my if I liked it I said, “Your hair is like a flock of goats.” On the other hand, I do know how that would go.

Song of Songs 4:9
You have ravished my heart, My sister, my spouse; You have ravished my heart With one look of your eyes, With one link of your necklace,

It is important to keep the love alive in our marriages. We mustn’t get so busy in the course of our day to take the time to appreciate one another. It is far easy to let things go by without reminding one another of how much we mean to each other.

Song of Songs 5:10
The Shulamite 10 My beloved is white and ruddy, Chief among ten thousand.

We must seek to compliment our spouses. Telling one another how much we appreciate them is so important. Chances are, if we aren’t doing this, we are more concerned about what we are getting out of the relationship than what we are putting into the relationship.

Galatians 3:3
Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

It is a great danger to try to take over for the Holy Spirit. We get all excited about something that He has done in our lives and then before you know it, we are trying to perfect that work in our flesh. Any work done or perfected in the flesh will fail in that it will never become what God intended it to become. We mustn’t be so foolish!

Galatians 3:17
And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.

This is such an important distinction to make between the law and the promise, the covenant. The promise of the Messiah through Abraham, came 430 years before the law. Jesus was the fulfillment of the law. We must always keep the law in its proper place.

Galatians 3:24-25
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

This verse perfectly sums up the purpose of the law, “to bring us to Christ”. Once we have come to faith in Jesus, we are no longer under the law. It does not mean that the law isn’t helpful, but we are no longer bound by it. Christ sets us free from the bondage of the law.