Isaiah 56:5 – An Everlasting Name

Isaiah 56:5
5
 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

-You’ve no doubt seen posters or pictures that list several names and titles for Jesus Christ.  The Lord carries so many names because there are so many different parts He plays in the universe and, more importantly, in the lives of His people.  If the multitude of ways that the Lord is described in the Bible is supposed to be important to us, wouldn’t the many ways that the Lord describes us in the Bible be just as important to Him?  Did you know that there are over 175 different names and titles for Believers in the New Testament alone?  Consider the following list which is by no means exhaustive.  Consider what they mean to you and whether or not you are fulfilling these roles.  If the Lord called out one of these names, would you be able to answer to it?

Believers (Acts 5:14), Brethren (Matthew 23:8), Children of the Living God (Romans 9:26), Chosen Vessels (Acts 9:15), Disciples of Christ (John 8:31), Faithful (Psalms 12:1), Fellow-servants (Revelation 6:11), Friends of God (James 2:23), Godly (2 Peter 2:9), Holy People (Isiah 62:12), Lively Stones (1 Peter 2:5), Salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13), Sojourner (Psalms 39:12), Witnesses (Isaiah 44:8)

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Isaiah 6:1-5 – Worthy is the Lamb

Isaiah 6:1-5
1
 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Then said I, 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 mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

-Isaiah, the mighty man of God who faced down soldiers and kings, upon entering into the presence of God Himself completely lost it and could only pronounce woe and doom on himself.  He was right to react this way, just as the Seraphim are right to continuously cry Holy, Holy, Holy.  Not because they’ve been ordered to do so, but because when faced with God Himself, this is the only reaction they can have.  Such glory and majesty is unmatched anywhere in the universe.  Who could possibly be worthy to enter into such a presence?  I’m glad you asked.  The Bible tells us that “no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13)  Jesus is worthy to enter into the presence of God the Father because Jesus is the Beloved Son in whom the Father is well pleased.  (Matthew 3:17)  But Jesus doesn’t enter empty-handed, He makes provision for all of us as well.  “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)  Seeing that we have such a High Priest, Jesus Christ, “let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

1 Peter 2:18-20 – Not Only To The Good…

1 Peter 2:18-20
18
 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

-The mind of God inevitably defies conventional wisdom.  We are told by the Lord to “love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).  Here in 1 Peter we are told to respect those in authority over us.  But not just the good ones, which would make sense, but also the bad ones; the ones that drain our energy and can make our lives miserable- reverence them.  While you’re at it, make sure to show patience when you suffer wrongfully because that is acceptable with God.  It’s a lot to ask, but don’t forget who’s asking.  The Lord knows a thing or two about loving His enemies (Romans 5:8) and He certainly wrote The Book on being patient when He suffered wrongfully (1 Peter 2:23).  So why is it important to follow these principles in the Bible?  “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:45)

Matthew 15:32 –

Matthew 15:32
32
 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

-The Lord in His mercy shows great compassion for these people who have traveled so far just to hear Him and, in doing so, He gives us all a great spiritual lesson. Even though this verse is talking about physical food, Jesus knows better than anyone that “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)  The Christian walk is long and hard and is not to be taken lightly, but just as with the multitude here in Matthew 15, the Lord promises to provide nourishment and sustenance from His Word to every single person who follows Him.  Where there is no bread the people may grow faint, but “where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)

Philippians 2:5-8 – He Humbled Himself

Philippians 2:5-8
5
 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

-What would the Lord do for His people?  How far would He go?  The Bible tells us here in Philippians 2 that He set aside His Divine Glory to wear human flesh.  We are told elsewhere that he faced the temptations of Satan (Matthew 4:1-11) and unjust condemnation at the hands of men. (Matthew 26:57-68)  Most importantly, the Lord carried the weight of sin, faced the wrath of God the Father, and died to finish the work of Salvation. (Matthew 27:33-54)  When you are making the choice on who or what deserves your trust and reverence, never forget that Jesus hungered (Matthew 4:2) so we might be filled, He became sin “who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21), and He died that we “might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

1 Chronicles 28:3 – Soldiers and Veterans

1 Chronicles 28:3
But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.

-The Lord did not allow David to follow his desire of building God’s house because, being a warrior, he was not fit for the task.  God limited David here due to his service as a soldier even though God Himself was the one who sent Israel to war.  This is a very important aspect of being a soldier that we should never lose sight of.  A soldier’s life is not one of privilege or high societal standing, rather, it is a duty that is shouldered by a chosen few who pledge their lives for the safety and freedom of the rest of us.  Their job is thankless, but they do what needs to be done.  Lord, we pray for our Soldiers and Veterans and ask that you would ease their unique burdens, guard their lives, and most importantly, save the souls of those who have not trusted in you.  We ask these things in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Mark 2:5-12 – The Son of Man Hath Power to Forgive Sins

Mark 2:5-12
5
 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

-“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)  Jesus may have been speaking to the scribes in Mark 2, but this miracle is for anyone who has ever doubted their salvation; doubted whether the Lord Jesus could truly be the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.  If you need proof of Jesus’ divine power, just tell a paraplegic to get up and go.  When that person is still unable to move you’ll realize that not just anyone can work the works that God does.  Jesus tell us in verse 9 that healing is just as hard as saving a soul and by doing one Jesus is proving to all of us that He can do both.

Revelation 12:9-11 – They Overcame Him By…

Revelation 12:9-11
9
 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

-The Bible teaches that the Satan is the great accuser.  He stands in the presence of God day and night trying to convince God that we are all worthless and rotten.  What do you have to argue against him?  If you show your good deeds, Satan could pull out a dozen bad for every one good; if you brought up your cheerful demeanor, he could answer with every time you’ve lost your temper.  The devil has an answer for anything we can say because he’s right about us- we are worthless and rotten.  But notice verse 11; when we start bringing up the Blood of Jesus, the Devil doesn’t have an answer; when we offer our testimony, Satan loses his ground.  What is the testimony of everyone who has ever overcome Satan?  That Jesus Christ is faithful.

Romans 15:4 – Written For Our Learning

Romans 15:4
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

-Have you ever wondered why the mistakes of God’s men and women are recorded in scripture?  David had a nearly unblemished record, why mention his adultery? (2 Samuel 11) Abraham had great faith, why tell us about his attempt to pass his wife off as his sister for fear of an Egyptian Pharaoh? (Genesis 20) The answer is found right here in Romans 15:4.  Often in life we have to learn from our mistakes and God is giving us the gift of learning from the mistakes of others so that we can avoid the same snares.  A man tempted with adultery can see the end of David’s sin and steer clear.  Someone who is acting out of fear of man can feel Abraham’s shame and learn that God is faithful.  Just think of all the terrible experiences we can avoid simply by respecting biblical insight.

Luke 9:51-56 – Wilt Thou That We Command Fire?

Luke 9:51-56
51
 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

– John reacts here in a seemingly uncharacteristic manner when compared with his actions elsewhere in scripture.  It would be easy to be critical of John for his notion to pass judgment on the Samaritans, but his actions really need to be framed in the proper light.  How many times have we passed judgment on someone and may have even carried out the sentence if we had the power.  What did John do?  He didn’t pass judgment, he asked if it was the Lord’s will for judgment to be passed.  John had to take the rebuke from Jesus, but he also had the privilege of taking a lesson in mercy from Jesus.  The next time we decide to stand in judgment, we would do well to ask the Lord if it’s His will for us to condemn.  As with most cases, the difference between Godliness and sinfulness comes down to taking the time to talk with Jesus.