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.

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Isaiah 12:2 God Is My Salvation

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2

Isaiah had been speaking about how God was going to punish and destroy Judah. The destruction of the nation was going to be great and the people were going to be sent into exile. This destruction was going to last for nearly 2,000 years as a nation.

As with every destruction of a nation, it would be horrible. People would be killed, imprisoned, tortured, enslaved, separated from families, and ridiculed. It would be a war upon the nation, and no war is pretty.

Yet, Isaiah gives praise to God and speaks of God being his salvation. Isaiah knew that in spite of everything that was going to happen, God would be with him and keep him. The ultimate salvation was to be found in Jesus. Jesus would save from the sins for all eternity.

Today there is destruction and war going on all around a person. Economies are failing, disease is rampant, hatred is high, and fear is everywhere. Looking at this world it is difficult to see any hope of a good future.

Believers look on the way their nation is going and are often in fear for their children. In many places, being a Christian is harder now than it was when a person was younger. Violence against Christian belief keeps rising.

Yet, in spite of all that is happening and seen in this world, if you are a believer in Jesus, you can know the salvation He has for you. There is a freedom in knowing that your sins are forgiven and you are in the right standing with God that the world cannot know. There is freedom from fear in knowing that you will live for eternity with God.

You do not have to be afraid of the way things are going in this world. Jesus has already overcome this world when He rose from the dead. No power is greater on this earth than death, yet Jesus conquered death.

Jesus is your strength, defense and salvation. Trust in Him and do not fear this world, despite what is going on around you. In the end you will win!

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your salvation; that you will not fear this world; that you will not fear destruction; and that you will know the hope and salvation you can have in Jesus.

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.

Isaiah 9:6 A Promise As Though Now

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

As Israel is walking away from God and is being punished, Isaiah makes a prophecy of great proportions. It is about a child that is born that will be in control of the government and will be God while being a man. Looking back, now several thousand years later, one can see that he was talking about Jesus.

At the time Isaiah spoke these words, Jesus was not walking on the earth. He was not born yet as a human being. Still Isaiah speaks as though it has already happened. The actual birth of Jesus would not occur for several hundred more years.

From God’s perspective, time does not really mean anything. He is outside of time. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are all the same to Him. When God makes a statement it is as though it has already happened.

As you think about this you may wonder how this can help you today. God has made many promises. A lot of promises are made to every believer, while God may make some directly to you and your situation in your life.

Often you may hear of a promise of God and wonder if you really heard it, because nothing seemed to change. God promised to meet your needs, yet the bills keep piling up and the car breaking down. You may have heard a prophecy over your life about something and yet nothing seems to come to pass.

You have to claim that promise and believe in God to fulfill it in His time and in His way. Just as Isaiah prophesied about the birth of Jesus and had to wait for it to occur, so you may have to wait for God’s prophecy to you.

Believe the prophecy as though it has occurred and move forward with it. God’s word is alive and active. God will never break a promise to you, only you can break or stop that promise by rejecting it.

Just as Jesus did finally come to this earth, so God will fulfill every promise to you.

I pray today that you will know God’s promises to you; that you will trust God’s word to you; that you will wait for God’s promises to be fulfilled; and that you will not lose hope in Jesus.

Isaiah 8:12-13 Conspiracies And Fears

Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one  you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread. Isaiah 8:12-13

In every nation and throughout all of history, people have come up with many stories of government conspiracies. Stories are made to explain away different events. Usually they are centered around a group of people who are planning to do some type of illegal work to take over and destroy someone or something.

Some of the conspiracy theories are widespread and many people believe in them, while others are not so well-known. Among those that get well known, there are some that bring about a great fear among the people. The people start to fear the big government takeover, where the government controls everything.

God tells Isaiah not to fear these conspiracy theories that the people are believing in.

Nothing has changed since the time of Isaiah. It is easy to get caught up in the media world and begin to believe in conspiracy theories. When something happens, many people start talking about it and put their own twist on to what actually happened. In the process, fear is often raised.

In current times, many people fear a Muslim takeover, or terrorists attacks. Theories as to who is behind the attacks are numerous. Fear among people is very high. Dread of people from middle-eastern countries is high.

Yet, the only one that you should fear is God. Despite all the efforts that people or a government may be making to do something illegal or for a takeover, it is God who is really in control. No terrorist or criminal can do anything without God allowing it to happen.

Always keep in mind that God created everything, so He has absolute power. Jesus defeated death, so nothing can defeat Him. Both God the Father and Jesus are on your side, if you are following Jesus, and will not allow anything happen to you that is not to your benefit in the end.

As the world trembles in fear, you can walk in peace knowing God is in control and on your side. You can then show the world the truth in Jesus and the peace they may have.

I pray today that you will know the peace Jesus provides; that you will know the truth of God; that God will remove all fear in your life; and that you will be a witness for Jesus to this world that is living in fear.

 

Independence Versus Dependence

Fourth of July is a time in America in which people celebrate the independence of America. It celebrates when the young nation had broken away from England to become its own country. They did not want to be controlled by or depend upon any other nation in the world. This new country wanted to be self-sufficient, self-sustaining–independent.

Parents push their children for independence. Once a child gets past the initial baby stage, they strive to work with their child to gain independence. The child learns to hold the bottle himself. Later the child is taught how to walk without holding a hand. Learning to eat with a spoon and fork is taught.

Learning to be independent does not end as a person grows up. It continues as an adult. People have to learn how to work a job and manage their money so that they can live on their own. Most do not want to be dependent upon others to supply their needs and desires.

While it is good to be able to work on your own and provide for your own needs, it is not totally correct.

Just working a job for money, means you are dependent upon someone else. You are dependent upon the boss providing the job with a paycheck. You are dependent upon people purchasing the services of  your boss, so that he can provide the job and the paycheck. You are dependent upon the job that the people have that purchase the services that of your boss so that he can provide you a job and a paycheck. And the connection goes on indefinitely.

No one can really survive completely independent of anyone else. The person who lives alone deep in a forest is still dependent upon others to some degree. Most likely he has a gun or a frying pan that he did not make himself. He relied on someone else to make. He was dependent upon that other person.

Most people will not try to live alone in the forest and may say that this illustration does not apply to them. How many people drive a vehicle to work? Each person that does, is dependent upon those who made the vehicle. They are dependent upon those who made and maintain the roads.

The ultimate dependence a person can have is on God. While people can provide some things and can meet some of the needs of a person, only God can provide absolutely everything. He is the One who gives each person the ability to provide something for someone else. He is the One who provides the materials for anyone to make anything.

Think about it, without God there would be no earth or air. Without the earth or air, you could not exist. God provides the very air you breath and the ground you walk on.

God gave you life when you were born. He breathed life into the body you are now using on this earth.

While independence sounds good, it is not a reality. Everyone is dependent upon someone else. No person is truly independent of anyone else, whether they allow God into the picture of their life or not.

Believers know that they are supposed to be dependent upon God for everything. However, many do not live in that dependence. Many try to do things on their own, and only when it gets really ugly do they cry out to God for help and guidance.

How many times do you try to do something on your own, and then after you fail, you pray to God for His help and favor?

It is easy to think that you can do it. That is the way the world has trained you to think. And there is actually an element of truth in saying that you can do it. You can do all things. However, do not forget the reason why you can do all things. It is because God is with you.

In Christ Jesus you can do all things, because it is He who gave you the ability and power to do them. Again, you are dependent upon Jesus, it is not your own doing or power.

Rely on God to give you the strength, wisdom, and power to do what needs to be done. Do this for everything you do. Live this way each day.

Without God you really cannot do anything. As you rely upon Jesus for your forgiveness of sin and your salvation, so also rely on Him to provide you for your daily needs and guidance.

God is there for you and is not kicking you out to have you be independent. He is not raising you up to be independent. He wants you to be dependent upon Him.

As you celebrate, if you live in America, the independence day of America, remember that you, and America, are still dependent upon others. Keep your dependence upon God, the only One who has absolute power in this world.

Song Of Solomon 1:15 You Are Beautiful

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. Song Of Solomon 1:15

Love scenes are portrayed in many books and movies in many different ways. The description of love between two people can be described in many ways, depending on the culture of the people involved.

One of the things that is common for a man to say about a woman he loves is that she is beautiful. A young man in love with a woman cannot stop telling her how beautiful she is. When first falling in love with someone, a person does not see any faults in the person. All they see is love and beauty.

It is only when a person gets closer to another person, do they often see faults and problems in the person. Many people will at that point walk away, realizing the person is not as good as they thought. People get married quickly, then a few short years later get divorced because one spouse was not as beautiful as was originally thought.

Solomon tells a story of the love between a man and a woman. It is a deeply felt love and the process of it growing more and more.

This love can be seen between God and every person. God sees you as a beautiful person. Not necessarily a beautiful person right now, but who you are and can be in Jesus. Before you are forgiven of your sins, you are seen as a person dressed in filthy rags that is dirty. There is little beauty to be seen at that point.

Once you come to Jesus, however, and are forgiven of your sins, you are clothed with His beauty and righteousness. God’s love for you has always been there. If He did not love you, then why did He send His only son to die on the cross for you?

People often look at themselves as only filthy dirt and unworthy of any love. God sees you as His bride, that is lovely and beautiful.

Allow yourself to be cleaned up by the forgiveness that Jesus provides. Accept the love God has for you. He is looking at you and saying that you are beautiful. Do you believe that in your own life today?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus provides you; that you will know how beautiful God is; and that you will love God as He loves you.