Isaiah 1:18 – A Reasonable God

Isaiah 1:18
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

-There are times when it is important to simply follow the Lord no questions asked.  Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t hold us to such a standard when it comes to developing our belief in Him.  Instead, He asks us to come to Him and reason the whole thing out.  Bring your doubts, bring your concerns and talk them out with Him.  He doesn’t forbid your questions and doubts and He isn’t afraid of them either.  A faith that stays quiet and conforms is no faith at all.  if you really think about God and His word, you will have questions sooner or later.  Talk them out with the Lord; you’ll find that believing Him is perfectly reasonable.

Advertisements

Romans 12:19 – Vengeance Belongs to God

Romans 12:19
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Hebrews 10:30

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

-How satisfying it would be to claim retribution when a wrong has been committed; to pass judgment on those we perceive as desperately in need of judging.  But to have such a personal stake in judgment would be wrong and is the reason why God alone is able to judge.  Our actions would inevitably be tinged by our own convictions and morals; and no human’s moral compass truly points perfectly north.  We all rank transgressions and see some as better or worse than others- but how can someone be guilty of a “better” sin?  God can judge and still be no respecter of persons regardless of whether they are a liar or a thief or a murderer (Romans 2:11). God can take vengeance and still maintain His holiness because He sees all sin for what it really is.  More importantly, only the Lord can truly measure the value of the Blood of Jesus; because the guilty are not those who transgress, but rather are those who do not repent and accept Christ.

John 13:3-11 – Continual Cleansing

John 13:3-11
3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

-Jesus, our Lord and Creator Himself, uses a great act of humility and service to illustrate an essential doctrine of Christian faith.  Even for those who have been washed in His Blood, the very act of walking in the world stains us.  We must continually seek the Lord to scrub away the filth represented here by dirty feet.  Upon realizing that we must be continually cleaned to remain close to Jesus, our zeal could lead us, just as it did Peter, to request a full cleansing all over again.  But once you have been fully cleaned-once you have been saved, you never need to be fully cleaned again.

1 Peter 4:12 – 4:19 – The Lord is Longsuffering

1 Peter 4:12 – 4:19
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

-Suffering exists due to man’s rebellion and the curse.  God could end the all of it by returning and setting up His kingdom, but that would cut short the chances of many to be saved.  God allows evil and ungodliness to continue because He “is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)  In the time that God continues to show forth mercy, suffering will continue. But, if we want the Lord’s will to be done, we should suffer gladly just as His Son chose to suffer; not for His sake, but for the sake of others.  “Knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:3-5)  Be mindful never to mistake God’s longsuffering for slackness, just as Peter warns, for the day is drawing near that God will return in power and glory and end the pain and tears of His own while sending those who rejected Jesus into eternal torment.

Psalm 12:6 – Honey Sweet Words

Psalm 12:6
6
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times

Psalm 119:103
103
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

-Oh to have a mouth like the Lord; a mouth free of lies, free of spite, free of foul language.  When the Lord speaks, you can count on righteousness to proceed forth; you can expect wisdom and instruction and edification.  How unlike the lowly human race, our “tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:9).  Have your words ever cut like a knife?  Have you ever said something that you regret?  The Lord can forgive and cleanse us from those indiscretions.  We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13), that means there is no reason why we cannot have pure and honey-sweet words of our own.

Hebrews 11:1 – The Substance

Hebrews 11:1
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

-What is substance?  The dictionary defines it as “the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists and which has a tangible, solid presence.”  The most important things in life, the things of God, cannot be touched, tasted or held in the same sense as non-spiritual things.  Faith exists to bridge the gap between what is known and what is seen.  It is more than just an acknowledgment that “God is up there”; rather faith enables us to hear the voice of God in His scripture, it gives us the assurance that God walks beside us in our darkest night, it makes us so certain of His abiding presence, that we could almost reach out and lay our head on His bosom.

Psalm 62:1-8 – God is our Rock

Psalm 62:1-8
1
Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.
3 How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.
4 They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.
5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah

-Do you see the progression of David’s faith here?  In verses 1 and 2 he begins to place his confidence in the Lord and decides that his problems may move him, but they won’t move him greatly.  He starts thinking more on his situation in verses 3 and 4, but by verses 5 and 6 he is dwelling on how great and high the Lord is, and his confidence peaks; where once he was resigned that his problems may affect him slightly, now he is certain that they won’t move him at all.  His problems didn’t change; the only difference was a firm grasp on the fact that the Lord is a defense from all trouble.  Next time you feel like telling God how big your problem is, try telling your problem how big your God is.

Matthew 27:15-16, 21-26 – Jesus Died Our Death

Matthew 27:15-16, 21-26
15
Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.
16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.
22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

-The Romans didn’t know that Jesus was going to be crucified that day and yet they had a cross prepared.   The cross had to belong to someone who was already condemned; this could only have been Barabbas, the man who was set free in Jesus’ place.  The scripture tells us that Barabbas was guilty of murder and sedition (Mark 15:7).  That means that Jesus died on a murderer/seditionist’s cross.  When Adam and Eve rose up against God in the Garden- that was sedition and by eating of the fruit they brought death upon all mankind- that was murder.  To Roman eyes, that cross may have belonged to Barabbas, but to God’s eyes that cross belonged to every single man and woman from Adam and Eve right on down the line.

1 John 4:2-3 – Jesus Christ is Lord!

1 John 4:2-3
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

-It’s not enough to be a religious person; it’s not enough to even be a “godly” person with a general awareness and acknowledgment of “God”.  If you choose to serve the God of the Bible, you must believe and confess Jesus Christ Himself.  There is no general god that’s watching over and taking care of us; there is only one specific God, and His name is Jesus.

Daniel 6:21-23 – Long Nights

Daniel 6:21-23
21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
23 Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.

-What a morning Daniel had; pulled out of the lion’s den without harm while his God was honored and his enemies learned the gravity of defying the Lord.  But before Daniel could enjoy this glorious morning, he had to first endure the night with the lions.  How many of you are in a dreadful, unspeakable place right now?  It could be that when the dawn breaks, you’ll have a morning of rejoicing just as Daniel had; but you won’t get to see it until you first persevere through the night.