Isaiah 57:1-2 A Reason To Be Removed

The righteous perish, and no one take it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. Isaiah 57:1-2

Death is something that most people have been around at least once or more times in their life. The older a person is, the more that he has seen death. As it occurs, often the question is asked, why?

Death is very hard on those who are still living. Those living are hurting from missing the loved one. Many go through struggles as to why the person had to die, especially when the person was very young, and maybe in great health.

It is even more difficult to see a person die young, who was a strong believer in Jesus and very active in being a witness. Looking at that person, others ask why God would remove that person because he was doing great work for God.

Although the reasons that God takes the life of a believer are as numerous as the stars in the sky and no one can fully understand the reason, Isaiah gives one good reason. That reason is to spare that person from evil, to give him rest and peace.

God knows the past, present and future of every person on this earth. He knows exactly what is going to happen to that person. As a human being, you do not know those things. you do not know how rough life will get for a person if he stays alive, but God does. God in His great wisdom and mercy will take the life of a person in order to spare them from a great evil.

Although as a human, you will miss the person, keep in mind where a dying believer will be when he dies. When a believer dies, he gets to go to Jesus and be at peace and rest for the rest of eternity. He steps into a world that is without pain, suffering or any evil.

As hard as it is to let someone go, let God’s wisdom prevail and let that person have the peace and rest God provides. Keeping a person here on this earth may be worse than the pain you are feeling in losing him. Trust God today and seek His peace and strength in your loss.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your life; that God will comfort any loss in your life; that you will know the joy of others going to heaven; and that God presence will be strong in your life.

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Isaiah 56:6-7 Joy In Prayer

And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant–these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. Isaiah 56:6-7

Some things that have to be done in life are not always the most exciting or joyful things to do. For each person that list is different. Some people find great joy weeding a garden, while the other person finds it an extreme torture. Some find it challenging to work with little children, while others get great joy in it.

Prayer is something that many believers find as a great chore, often with very little to no joy. When a pastor calls for a prayer meeting, often very few show up for it. It is common to hear of people say that when they try to make a prayer time with God, they end up falling asleep. You may find this challenge sometimes or, maybe, all the time.

Yet, God says that He will give them joy in His house of prayer. Keep in mind that you are the temple of the Lord. Your body is God’s house. And is house, is one of prayer–communication with Him.

Think about how much joy it gives you to talk to your best friend. Most people find great joy in that.

It should be the same way, and even more so, with God. God is better than your best friend could ever be. He truly knows every little detail about your life.

Prayer is just communication, talking with God. It is not some solemn, spiritual act. It is talking and listening to each other. You do not need to use fancy church words, speak in your own words. He does not need doctorate degree words.

As you talk and listen to God, you will find great joy. You will learn God’s heart for you and this world. You will learn what God has for you each day.

Spend time talking to God. Don’t look at it as  just prayer, but a time to chat with God. And do it all throughout the day and night, not just on Sunday and meals.

I pray today that you will find joy in prayer to God; that you will know God hears your prayers; that you will find time to talk and listen to God; and that God will work through your prayers.

Back To School Or Still In School

It is the season that school is starting up again all over the country. Within the next couple of weeks most children will be back in school. Along with the children many adults are starting up in college again or for the first time.

Some of those starting up with school are excited about it. Children, and adults, look forward to seeing their friends at school again. They miss the fun times they had with other friends in school. Children look forward to playing on the playground, or just hanging out with their best friends. Adults in college look forward to hanging out with each other and the parties that they have.

Education books.jpg

With school starting, there are also many sports starting up again. Many will play in the sports, while many others will go to watch and support their favorite teams. The excitement is high for many.

Along with the public school or college students going back to school, there are many that are homeschooled. Some of those homeschooled never fully stopped during the summer, while others took the break. The fear of the subject matter is often right there with the homeschooled child.

As much as the excitement is high for many, there are also many who are afraid of school. The reasons are many. Some it is the fear of the teachers, or fear of the bullies, or the subjects, or the crowds, or being away from home.

Love Hate School

Very few people in America get away without having to do some type of education. Outside of America, there are nations where getting a public education is a very high privilege that many do not receive.

Many people feel that education is only for the child or the person getting a college degree. They do not feel as though they need to keep learning. Despite whether one gets a public, private or homeschooled education or is not in a formal school program of any sort, every person gets an education every day, year round. This earth is a very large classroom. The process of living on this earth is a process of lessons and tests. There will be a final exam.

Learning begins when a person is born and does not stop, or should not stop, until he dies.

A child is born and begins to learn how to do things. Going through schooling children learn to read, write, do math, and other subjects. In college people learn a skill to work. After college, people learn how to work at a new job.

If a person does not go to college, there is learning going on all the time. Learning a new job skill, learning to be married, learning to pay bills, learning to be a parent, and the list goes on. Education never stops.

World Education

As a believer, this is even more true. Once a person becomes a believer, the education of what it means to follow Jesus and what it means to be like Jesus has begun.

James 1:3 New International Version (NIV)

because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

God is going to test your faith in Him. He wants to know what you learned about Him. In order for that to happen, you must have been taught something. Think about how it would be if you were in a classroom and the teacher chose to give you a test on something you have never even heard of. How would you do on it? Most likely you would fail. God will not test you in something you have never been taught in.

The training of a believer happens in various different ways and methods. Each time you go to a church service, you will receive some training in some area of life as a believer. Each time you open the Bible and read a portion of it, you will get some more training. You will learn who God is, what He expects, and how to be like Jesus.

As you learn things about God, you are expected to apply them to your life. This is where the testing comes in. You may read or hear about how God provides all of your needs. Suddenly you find yourself in a position of needing something and do not see a way to get it. Faith in God must step in and trust that God sees your need and will meet it in His way and time. Doing all of this is a test to see how much you trust God.

Outside of the testing that God will put you through, there is just learning about God and what it means to live for Him. It is probably easy to tell a person everything you know about God. The hard question is what do you not know about God? You can probably list a few things that you do not know about God, but there are probably many things that you do not even realize that  you do not know that you do not know about Him.

Think about it, if you were asked what do you know about algebra, what would you answer? You could probably say a few things, depending upon your experience with it. However, if you are like most people, that list of what you know is probably very short. You do not even know the question to ask, because you have never dealt with it. You do not know the extreme high levels of algebra, because you have never even seen it or heard of it.

God is greater than anyone or anything that you can imagine. There is more to Him to be learned than you could possibly learn in a life of one hundred and ten years on this earth. This life is the classroom to learn about Him.

Knowing_God

As you are going through life today, whether you are in a formal school or not, allow your learning to continue. Get into the Bible, read and study it. Learn who God is. Learn what God wants. Learn what God expects. Learn how to apply all of that to your life.

Be ready to take the test God has in store for you and pass it with a perfect score.

Genesis 28:15New International Version (NIV)

15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

God is with you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 New International Version (NIV)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Do not be afraid.

When you pass the test in the end and you graduate, you will hear God say:

Matthew 25:21 New International Version (NIV)

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Get out into your classroom today and see what you can learn. Be excited, there is more to learn!

Isaiah 55:1-2 Eat And Drink The Best

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?” Isaiah 55:1-2

Being hungry and thirsty is something that every person has to deal with, some more than others. At times one will be more thirsty, in the hot summer time in the south, while at other times one may be more hungry. Most people can satisfy their physical hunger and thirst without too much problem, but both will return very soon.

However, there is another hunger and thirst that many people have that is much harder to be satisfied. It is hunger for meaning and satisfaction in life. Some people are always seeking a bigger, better thrill in life to keep them moving forward. Many turn to drugs and alcohol to be satisfied. Others may seek better jobs and positions, or maybe seeking peace, quiet and solitude to find meaning.

While all of these things can satisfy for a short time, they will not sustain a person in the long haul of life. Each of these things are temporary and wear off. After a time, the thrill of one thing will not be enough and more will be sought out.

God is calling people to take what He is giving to be satisfied. The life that Jesus is offering does not cost in the manner of money or hard labor. All it costs is accepting and giving your life to Him. In return you gain eternal life, peace, and satisfaction regardless of what is going on in your life or in this world.

In order to eat and drink what God is offering, you must get into His Word, the Bible. Read it and get to know who God is and what He has for you. Then step out in trust and do what His word says.

As you do these things, you will find satisfaction that will stay with you and not end in a few hours. As you continue to live for God, you will find purpose and meaning for your life that will satisfy better than anything this world has to offer.

Don’t labor for what does not satisfy, try God.

I pray today that you will know God; that you will hunger for His Word; that you will be satisfied with God alone in your life; that you will find purpose in serving God; and that God will meet all of your needs.

Poem: The Unravelling of a Christian Marriage

Here is a great post about marriage that I think you will appreciate and everyone needs to hear:

Marry the wrong person, everyday is Martyrs Day. 
Marry a lazy person, everyday is Labour Day.
Marry a rich person everyday is New Year’s Day.
Marry an immature person, everyday would seem like Children’s Day.
Marry a cheater or liar, everyday will become April Fool’s Day.
And if you don’t get married, everyday is Independence Day!

Marriage is the only school where you get a certificate before you start.
It’s also a school where you will never graduate.
It’s a school without a break or a free period.
It’s a school where no one is allowed to drop out.
It’s a school you will have to attend everyday of your life.
It’s a school where there is no sick leave or holidays.
It’s a school founded by God on the foundation of love.
The walls are made out of trust.
The door made out of acceptance.
The windows made out of understanding
The furniture made out of blessings
The roof made out of faith.

Be reminded that God is the only Principal and you are a student,
Even in times of storms, don’t be unwise and run outside.
Keep in mind that, this school is the safest place to be.
Never go to sleep before completing your assignments for the day.
Never forget  to communicate with your classmate and with the Principal.
If you find out something about your classmate (spouse) that you do not appreciate.
Remember your classmate is also just a student, not a graduate.
God is not finished with him/her yet.
So take it as a challenge and work on it together.
Do not forget to study the Holy Book (the main textbook of this school).
Start each day with a sacred assembly and end it the same way.

Sometimes you will feel like not attending classes, yet you have to.
When tempted to quit find courage and continue.
Some tests and exams may be tough but remember,
the Principal knows how much you can bear and yet it’s a school better than any other.

It’s one of the best schools on earth;
joy, peace and happiness accompany each lesson of the day.

Different subjects are offered in this school, yet love is the major subject.
After all the years of theorising about it, now you have a chance to practice it.

To be loved is a good thing, but to love is the greatest privilege of them all.
Marriage is a place of love, so love your spouse.

Whether you’re married, engaged, or still single, we hope that you have found wisdom and encouragement in this poem about marriage. 

 

Source: Poem: The Unravelling of a Christian Marriage

Isaiah 54:17 Your Heritage From God

“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this will be their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 54:17

Israel had been in exile and bondage because of the rebellion against God. Through Isaiah, God was telling them of a time when they would be redeemed and set free again. When this happens, God says that there will be no weapon that can be brought against them and that they will be able to refute every accusation. All of this is what they will inherit from the Lord and it will be God’s way of getting back at the enemy.

The world looks at physical weapons as very powerful and able to destroy anyone or anything. The reality of any physical weapon is just that it is physical. Something physical cannot destroy anything that is not physical.

The body of a person is physical, but that is not what makes the person who he really is. It is his soul that makes the person who he is. The soul is spirit and cannot be destroyed by anything that is just physical.

As a believer, your spirit is in God’s hands. He is the only one who can destroy it. Man can kill your body, but your soul will live forever.

Israel was also given the ability to refute any accusations. Satan will try to accuse you of many sins, all of which probably did happen. However, Jesus, in His great love and mercy, has forgiven each and removed them. Satan can no longer accuse you of those sins.

Many believers, also remember their sins and accuse themselves. Often an individual is his own greatest accuser. One knows himself the best and what he has done in the past. Do not accuse yourself of a sin that Jesus has removed. Reject the devil and his thoughts.

You have a heritage from God that says that you are a child of God, who is pure in the eyes of God through the work of Jesus on the cross. The sins of your past are no longer remembered. There is no more accusation against you. God is on your side, claim your heritage.

I pray today that you will know the forgiveness Jesus provides; that you will know that you have been cleansed by Jesus of all sin, that you will not fear any weapon; and that you will refute all accusations. 

Isaiah 53:7 Quiet In Affliction

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7

The passage that this verse is found in has the most direct prophecy about Jesus of any of the verses in the Old Testament. It gives the reason that Jesus came to the earth. He came to give His life as a sacrifice for the sins of every person.

Here it talks about how Jesus was silent as he was being led to the slaughter. The word slaughter brings about the picture of something being mutilated very badly. He was not just killed in a simple clean way. Before Jesus was even put on the cross, He was beaten and whipped severely, and then had a crown of thorns forced on His head. After all of the extreme brutality done to Him, He was nailed to the cross to hang upon and die. Even while on the cross the people ridiculed Him.

In all of this torture He was silent, because Jesus knew that going through all of that was God’s will for His life. There was a purpose and He hung onto that purpose. That purpose was to bring a full, abundant life to every person on the earth. It had nothing to do with Himself, but everything to do with everyone else.

Being silent is not something easy to do when others are doing wrong to you. People today are very quick to draw up a lawsuit in slander or abuse. Quick to call on authorities to get an arrest made. Quick to throw people in prison or give the a fine.

As you are going through a situation in which someone is slandering you or being rude to you, seek out God’s direction for your actions. Is what is happening occurring because of your belief in God? Or did you actually do something wrong?

If it is because of your belief, ask God to strengthen you to allow Him to be in control. Allow Him to get the vengeance. As Jesus did, show love and mercy. Keep silent while under affliction for Him. Don’t strike back with words that will hurt. Speak in love or keep quiet.

I pray today that you will know the love Jesus has for you; that God will strengthen you to love your enemies; that God will guide you when in affliction; and that you will be a witness of the love of Jesus to everyone.