Isaiah 48:18 Never Ending Peace

If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:18

God was getting ready to free the Israelites from the bondage in Babylon. During the time of the bondage, they did not have any peace in their lives. God reminds them that the reason they had no peace was because they had chosen to disregard His commands. If they would have obeyed His commands their peace would have been like a river.

Rivers are a beautiful thing to watch and be near. Some rivers have fast flowing water, while others are slow-moving. In either case, the water is still moving and changing all the time. As it flows, the water moves the bad stuff out, while bring in fresh clean water.

Looking closely at a river, one will usually see a lot of life in it and around it. Fish will be swimming in the water. Animals will be near it to drink of its refreshing water. Trees and other plants will surround the edges.

All of these things show peace and harmony on the river. People go to rivers for this peace.

Many are looking for peace in this world. There are even believers who sometimes wonder where the peace of God is in their own lives.

Knowing and obeying God’s commands will bring about that same peace and harmony. Not following God’s commands is sinning against Him. When there is sin in your life, there is a separation between you and God. When there is separation, you will not have the peace that He is wanting to provide you.

Think about times when you know you are doing God’s will, when you feel you are in the presence of God. What do you feel? You feel His peace and love all around you, regardless of what is going on around you.

If you do not feel that peace of God, examine your life. Are you obeying His commands? Or are you doing your own thing?

Your past is already done, but you can change what your future looks like. Follow God and obey Him to bring His peace to your future on this earth. His peace is never ending like the water flowing in a river, and is always cleansing and bringing life to those it touches.

I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will obey all God tells you; that you will know God’s peace in your life; and that God’s peace will bring you the life you need.

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Isaiah 6:5 Seeing God

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Isaiah 6:5

In either a vision or reality, God allows Isaiah to see Him sitting on His throne. Isaiah cries out in fear, thinking that he was a dead man for having seen God. Most likely he knew about the verses where God had told Moses that no one can see God and live.

Isaiah was fearing for his life before God. The reason for the fear was that he knew how much sin was in his life. He knew the wrong words that he had spoken. He also knew the corruption of the people he lived around. With knowing this, he had a vision of how holy God really is. He saw angels bowing down and worshipping God, calling Him holy.

Not every person sees God in this way. It is common that a person sees God as just this big guy up in the sky. Or they see Him as just a great buddy who can help them. Others may see Him as just a harsh, mean judge against them.

As Isaiah looked upon God, he did not see any of these things. He saw the holiness of God and realized the blackness of sin in his own life.

People like to look at themselves as a good person. Most do not feel that they are really all that bad.

However, in view of God and His perfect holiness, no one is clean at all. Every person is filthy with sin, regardless of how much or how little the person has sinned. One sin is enough to blacken a person’s life as filthy.

The good news is that God is willing to cleanse you of that sin in your life. Jesus has paid the price for you and is willing to forgive you of all sin. Jesus will make your life white as snow, if you allow Him too.

How doe you see God?

Do you see Him in His holiness?

Or do you see Him as just a great big buddy?

I pray today that God will give you a vision of who He is; that you will see the holiness of God; that you will know the filth of your sin; and that you will know the cleansing Jesus can give you.

Psalm 51:10 A Pure Heart

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

In this psalm, David is asking God to cleanse him of all sin and make him new. He knew that he needed a pure heart and that only God could do that for him. Years later Jeremiah would make the statement that the heart is deceitful and that no one could understand it.

There are many people in the world who have very deceitful hearts. They say that they are friends with a person, but only to get something for themselves. Gangs lure a person into them by saying that they are family and care for them. The reality is that the person is being used for doing wrong. On the outside they appear to show caring, but in the heart they may be ready to kill.

It is easy for a person to be led wrong by his own heart and no one to see what is happening. People can do very good things for all the wrong reasons. On the surface it appears as if they are really serving God and others, but on the inside it is for selfish reasons. These are things that come from an un-pure heart.

Man is born into sin with a dirty heart. God has to come in and give a person a new heart that is pure. Once this happens, the person will have a steadfast spirit in him. He will stay strong and true to God for all of the right reasons.

Getting a pure heart is not an easy process. It takes you letting go of your own self and your own desires. You must release your control and let God have complete control of your life. Allow God to have all the glory and praise for everything. After all, everything is about Him, for Him, and by Him.

How does your heart look today?

Is it filled with the wrong desires and motives?

Or is it filled with the desires of God?

Ask God to create in you a new heart. He wants to give you a new heart of flesh with a new spirit. He can make you a new creation.

I pray today that God will give you a pure heart; that you will allow God control of your heart and life; that you will stand strong and true for God; and that you will be a new person for God.

Hebrews 9:14 A Greater Cleansing

“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” Hebrews 9:14

Throughout the Old Testament high priests had to offer goats and other animals as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. It was looked upon as a great thing. Yet, all it did was cover up the sins of the people. Those sacrifices were unable to remove the sins.

When Jesus came, He came as the High Priest. He had to offer a sacrifice, not for His owns sins, but for the sins of all the people of the world. The sacrifice He chose was the perfect one–Himself.

He went into God’s presence as the High Priest to offer His sacrifice. He laid Himself upon the altar of God–the cross. There He shed His blood for every sin of every person throughout all time.

The author of Hebrews now is saying think about this. If the blood of those animals was great, even though they really did not do anything of eternal value, how much more valuable is the blood of Jesus?

His blood does not just cover up your sins, it removes your sins. It not only removes the sins, it clears your guilty conscience so that you may serve God.

Many believers condemn themselves because of past sins. They feel guilty about committing some sins over and over. Jesus shed His blood to remove the guilt and to cleanse your past. You may now stand holy and righteous before God.

Since you are now holy and righteous, you may also stand before God to serve Him. What does God want you to do for Him?

Kings have servants who clean floors, provide food, provide entertainment, and many other things. God wants you to reach His lost children, be the witness of Jesus, and be His hands, feet and voice in this lost world.

You may be small in the world’s and your own eyes, but to God you are a great servant if you are doing what He wants you to do.

How are you serving God today?

I pray today that God will reveal ways He wants you to serve Him; that God will provide the strength to do His work; that you will be willing to do what God wants; and that you will be holy and righteous in Jesus.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Purifying The Body And Spirit

“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1

Paul had just finished telling of some promises God had made. These were that believers will be saved, that God will be their God, and that they will be His people. In light of these promises he now tells people to purify themselves from everything that contaminates both body and spirit.

Believers in the church will readily see the need to purify the soul of any sin. They know that sin is bad in the spirit of a person. The challenge for many is knowing what is sin and what is not sin. The world has influenced the church so much that many sins are watered down and are no longer seen as sin.

Often believers will overlook what they are thinking in their thoughts because they feel it is not sinful to have bad thoughts since there is no action to it. Others often refuse to forgive someone else of a wrong done. These and many other things are still sin in their spirit.

The other area that is often overlooked is the body. People will eat junk foods continually, or drink bad drinks, or take drugs that are bad for their body, or refuse to exercise their body. This is not taking care of the physical body God has blessed the person with.

Your focus should not be on anyone of these things or of many other things that may need to be done or not done. Your focus needs to be on Jesus and what He wants for you.

Are you taking care to not contaminate your spirit in any way? Are you trying to be pure and holy before God? Jesus paid the high price of death for you. Will you abuse the price He paid?

Are you striving to take care of the body God has blessed you with? What contaminates are you putting into it? What nutrition are refusing to give it?

God had fearfully and wonderfully made you the way your are. Do not mess up His good work. Be a good steward and take care of your body and soul. The best way to do that is focusing on loving and serving Jesus with all of your mind, body, soul, and strength.

I pray today that God will reveal what contaminates you are allowing into your body and soul; that God’s Holy Spirit will fill your life to clean out the sin; that your focus will be on Jesus; and that you will honor God with your body and soul.

Hebrews 9:14 Better Cleaning

“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” Hebrews 9:14

Under the Old Testament Law, goats and bulls were sacrificed and their blood was sprinkled to cleanse those who were unclean from sin. This cleansing was only an outward cleansing. Thus on the outside the people were clean, but on the inside their hearts and consciences were still full of sin. The blood of the animals was unable to cleanse their conscience. Each person still knew that they had sinned and deserved to die. Even the high priest had to offer these animal sacrifices for his own sin. There was a fear when he went into the Most Holy Place that his sins would not be completely covered by the blood.

Right before this verse there is a description of how Jesus entered into the Most Holy Place of God by His own blood, not the blood of goats and bulls. Jesus had no fear of entering the Most Holy Place. He had never sinned and had shed His own blood for all sin. His blood was perfect and still alive.

Since the blood of Jesus was perfect and unblemished it can fully cleanse us today from all sin. It can enter into our hearts and cleanse our conscience of sin because it can remove the sin, not just cover it up. This cleansing of our conscience is not just for our own sake. It is not just to make us feel good about ourselves, or to shine as a “good” person before others or God. It is so that we may serve the living God!

Each one of us has sinned many times, in many ways in the past, and continue to do so in various ways.  Often we cut ourselves down and say because of a past sin I can no longer do any service for God. But here in this verse it shows that because of the blood of Jesus, we now have all the more reason to serve God. It gives us more strength because we know that we are clean before Him. We do not have to worry about some past sin that God is going to kill us over. All sin has been wiped away from our lives when we confess our sins and believe in the saving power of Jesus and His blood.

With this in mind, go out and do a service for God. Seek God and find all that you can do for Him and do it all with everything that is in you. Remember, God is not against you. If God was against you He would not have provided for salvation for you. Today joyfully seek to do all you can for God because the blood of Jesus has purified your soul for these services.

Today I pray that God will reveal how much He has cleansed you from sin; that God will reveal to you how pure you are in Jesus; that God will open doors for you to serve Him more and more each day; that God will help you to forgive yourself of past sins; and that God will continue to make you more like Jesus each day.