Isaiah 11:1-3 What You Have

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him–the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD–and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. Isaiah 11:1-3

God had promised David that he would have a son on the throne of Israel forever. At the time of Isaiah, the nation had been split and was about to be destroyed. It did not look like there would be anyone to sit on that throne.

In this passage, Isaiah gives a prophecy about one, who was from the lineage of David (Jesse was David’s father), who would sit on the throne again. This one would have God’s Spirit resting on him, giving him wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, and knowledge of God. He would delight in fearing God–following and obeying God. The one to come was Jesus.

As Jesus walked on this earth, all of these things described Him very well. The people saw that He was one who delighted in God. Jesus became the root for those who would come after Him.

One of the things that Jesus said was that He was the vine and you are the branches. Jesus is the original branch, and you are to be like Him.

This means that everything that Jesus has, you can also have. You are attached to Him and are nourished by Him. When Jesus left the earth, He sent His Holy Spirit to be upon you, just as He was on Him.

Having God’s Holy Spirit on you gives you wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, and knowledge of God, just as it gave all those things to Jesus.

Do not rest your wisdom, understanding, counsel, power and knowledge on yourself, or in that of other people. Look to God’s Holy Spirit to guide you. God is with you and wants you to be just like Jesus. Jesus was the perfect example of how to live a life for God.

How are you living your life today?

Are you living it in the ways of this world, under your own power?

Or are you living and walking in the Spirit of God?

I pray today that you will know God’s Holy Spirit in your life; that you will trust in God’s counsel; that others will see God’s Spirit in your life; and that you will delight in serving and obeying God.

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Psalm 142:1-2 Where To Bring Complaints

I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. Psalm 142:1-2

People like to complain about many different things. They complain about their work, their health, their spouses, their children, their co-workers, the weather, and the list goes on. Some people love to complain so much that it appears as if they are unhappy with everything in life.

Complaining constantly often will drive friends away. People do not like to hear about other people’s complaints. They only want to hear the good news.

Life does have its challenges and problems. It is not that one life is better or worse than another, but all have separate challenges.

David was going through an extremely difficult time. He had done nothing wrong and Saul was chasing him to kill him. He was being hunted like a criminal. At the time he wrote this psalm he was in a cave hiding from Saul. Instead of crying out to people about his problems, he brought them before God.

Think about his problem: he had been told by God that he would be the next king of Israel, and now the current king was seeking to kill him. Many people would be calling attorneys to fight for their right to be the king. They would complain to their friends about their vision and problem. Yet, he did none of this. David called out to God.

God is there to hear every complaint that you may have. He will listen with a patient ear. After hearing of your complaint, if you allow Him too, He will also give you His Holy Spirit to comfort you and guide you on the journey you are on.

Jesus had promised that you would have troubles in this life, but He also promised that He would be with you through them.

Instead of complaining to people in this world, who really cannot do anything for you, talk to God. Let Him know your feelings and thoughts. Then trust His Spirit in guiding you and giving you strength to continue forward in life.

In the end, David did become king. In the end, if you do not give up, you will win the battle in this life.

Who are you complaining to?

Who are you trusting in?

I pray today that you will bring all your cares to God; that you will not be known as a complainer; that you will speak words of hope and trust in God; and that God will strengthen and guide you in the troubles you are going through.

Psalm 139:17-18 God Is Thinking About You

How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand–when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:17-18

One concern that many people have is wondering what other people are thinking about them. Fear of what other people are thinking is one of the largest factors that keep a person from doing something.

The fear comes from the thought that the other person does not like or agree with what a person is doing or saying. This often paralyzes a person. While most people don’t have any real thoughts on what is happening, there are some that will be very negative about it. There are some that will openly condemn or cut down a person for what he is doing or saying.

Since people tend to be like that, many also feel God is the same way. There are people who will not turn to God out of fear of what He might say because of all the bad things that they had done.

David had caught the idea that God has a lot of thoughts about Him. He knew that God knew him very well, and in spite of knowing him that well, still loved him. God had so many thoughts about David that David felt they would outnumber the grains of sand. That is a lot of thoughts.

He is not alone in God’s thoughts. God is thinking about you. He has plans to help you become the best that you can be. He wants you to prosper and survive for all eternity.

Since God knows you perfectly well, inside and out, do you not think that if He was really against you that you would not be already destroyed?

God is not out to destroy you or condemn you because of your sins. He wants to forgive you and make you into the man or woman who is after His own heart. God’s goal is to get rid of all the sin in your life and make you like Jesus.

Do not fear His thoughts for you. Accept them and grow in Jesus. Realize how precious those thoughts are and how well they will help you, if you will let Him do His work in you.

I pray today that God will reveal His thoughts about you to you; that you will not fear what God thinks of you; that you will know God’s love for you; and that you will keep God in your thoughts all the time.

Psalm 132:4-5 Finding A Place For God

I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Might One of Jacob. Psalm 132:4-5

In the busyness of life, people are moving so much and so fast that they cannot find the time or place to slow down. Along with not finding the own personal need to slow down, they do not have much room for God in their lives. Work, school, families, spouses, repairs, cleaning, gardening, yard work, vehicle work, and the list goes on indefinitely of things that take their place in their lives.

The world is seeking to have a place for wealth, health and fame in their lives. If any one of these are missing, they strive for more.

Not only is this a problem in the world, it can be a problem with those in the church. Focus on the things of this world can easily push out a place for God in the lives of a person. Not only does a believer have all the same challenges that the world has, he may even have added in the challenges of ministry inside the church.

The events in a person’s life get so overwhelming that Jesus has no real dwelling in his life, except on Sunday morning for maybe one to two hours…maybe. Even then many are thinking about things after the service while in the service.

David said he would not sleep until he found a place for God to dwell. Although he was talking about a physical dwelling place, believers today need to find a place for God in their lives.

In your busyness of life, are you finding a place for Jesus in your life?

Allow God to be on the throne of your life. He should be the One who is at the center of all that you do, not just someone you think about on Sunday morning or in a crisis moment.

When something is important to you, you will find a place for it in your life. Is Jesus important to you?

Does God have a dwelling place in your day-to-day life?

I pray today that you will make time for God every day; that God will have the highest place in your life; that you will never sleep without God dwelling in your life; and that you will seek God all day every day.

Psalm 59:11 Do Not Kill Them

But do not kill them, Lord our shield, or my people will forget. In your might uproot them and bring them down. Psalm 59:11

Saul had sent men to kill David and David cried out to God for help. He was trusting God to deliver him from his enemies. In asking God for help, David asked that they would not be killed because then his people would forget what God had done for them.

One of the most common prayers for a lot of people is that God completely destroy their enemies. People would often love to see a bad dictator or some other evil person be destroyed to get them out of the way of living safely. Many rejoice when a bad person dies.

David had used great wisdom in asking God not to destroy his enemies. Destroying the enemy completely removes the need for God’s protection. Where there is no threat of an enemy, there is very little trust in God. The appearance of a need for God is diminished.

Every believer needs to live his life in complete dependence upon God. When things start going “good,” it is common for people to stop depending upon God. They often become self-sufficient and forget what God can do or has done in the past.

God is allowing enemies in your life for several reasons. One is to build your trust in Him to protect you. Another is to allow you to be a witness to them. And to allow you to live your life like Jesus–giving you a chance to love your enemies as Jesus did.

When you are faced with an enemy, ask God for strength to endure what is happening. Ask God to show you ways to love your enemy and be a witness to them. And do not be afraid to ask God to frustrate the plans of the enemy to attack you.

God allows people to rise up and He removes people from position. He does that with believers and with non-believers. God is in control. Allow Him to be in control with your life and enemies.

How loving are you to your enemies today?

I pray today that God will fill you with His love for all people; that you will know God’s protection in your life; that God will remove all fear of the enemy; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to your enemies.

Psalm 35:12-14 Extreme Love

They repay me evil for good and leave me like one bereaved. Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother. Psalm 35:12-14

It is very easy for a person to pray for someone who they love, such as a family member or close friend. They have great compassion for the loved one when that person is sick or going through a difficult time. Not only will they pray, they will ask many other people to pray for their friend or loved one.

Many times it is a different story when the person sick is an enemy or someone who has done the person wrong. Yes, believers pray for the enemy, but it is usually for their salvation or for God to strike them down and remove them.

David acted differently. He acted as Jesus did a few thousand years later. Jesus had loved the enemy and had compassion on them. Jesus healed the hated Roman soldier’s daughter from a major illness. Ultimately, Jesus provided salvation for every one who hated Him. He called the enemy to come to Him and learn from Him.

You are told by Jesus to love your enemies and do good to them. David had fasted and wept over his enemies when they were sick. He had done this in a way as though they were his mother.

No matter who you are or what you do, there will always be someone who treats you wrong. There will always be someone who is an enemy to you.

You need to show the love them as God has shown His love to you. Jesus died for you, while you hated Him, showing extreme love. He went the extra mile for you.

How are you showing love to your enemies?

Are you praying a two second prayer for them?

Or are you spending time in fasting and prayer for them?

Show the extreme love God has shown you to those who have harmed you today.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will have God’s love for those who hate you; that you will show extreme love to your enemies; and that God will strengthen you in your witness of His love.

Psalm 32:3-4 Keeping Silent

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Psalm 32:3

In the verses right before these quoted, David talks about the person whose sins are forgiven are blessed. Now he is talking about when he was silent, he suffered greatly day and night.

Sin will weigh heavy on a person, because sin is what will bring about death. It also brings about separation from God.

People often wonder why they cannot sleep and why they have no strength from day-to-day. If those people are believers, it can be that they have sin in their lives that they have not repented of. They are silent about what they have done.

God cannot be around sin and will not honor one who is living in sin. He allows His Holy Spirit to touch the life of someone to draw them closer to Himself. In order to get closer, all sin must be removed. During the time of David, sin was covered up by the sacrificing of animals. Today, sin is removed by the blood of Jesus.

Jesus had become the perfect sacrifice to remove all sin, because He not only died, but also rose from the dead to take away all sin. Believers who have chosen to not repent of a sin, have chosen to move away from God’s presence. Not being in God’s presence removes His peace and rest.

Those in the world who purposely live in sin, are always having to watch their back. They are always having to cover themselves of wrongs being done. There is no peace in their lives.

As a believer, you can have that peace that passes all understanding. That peace is the peace that comes when you are forgiven and are in right standing with God. It is peace between you and God. When you are at peace with Him, you will be able to be at rest and will have all the needed strength you need.

God will be able to give you what you need, because you are in right standing with Him.

Do not allow yourself to be silent before God. Admit what you have done wrong and repent of it. Accept the forgiveness Jesus offers and receive His peace and rest.

I pray today that you will be open with God about your sin; that you will not be silent before God; that you will know the rest that God can give you; and that you will allow Jesus to remove all sin from your life.