Isaiah 6:8 – Here Am I; Send Me

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

-How do you serve the Lord?  Some people have the opportunity do big things that grab a lot of attention while others busy themselves in small matters that no one else notices; rest assured that both are equally important in the Kingdom of God.  I find in the Christian race, however, another group that seems to grow larger every day; those who simply do nothing.  When asked why, they will say that no one asked them to do anything.  Take a moment and reflect on Isaiah’s call in this section of scripture.  The Lord called for someone to go and Isaiah answered the Lord.  Why would we wait for someone to ask before we busy ourselves with the Lord’s business?  We should serve the Lord because He asks us to.

Hebrews 6:17-20 – True To His Word

Hebrews 6:17-20
17
Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
-Someone giving their word is a sign of good faith in our culture.  How far a person is willing to go and what they would sacrifice to keep their word defines that person’s integrity.  How far would you go to keep your word?  God gave us His Word; He promised that He would save us from ourselves. (Genesis 3:15)  How far did He go to keep His Word?  He went to Earth, He went to the cross, and He went to the death to keep it.  He “magnified [His] word above [even His] name” (Psalm 138:2) and in doing so, He made His word the most important thing in the universe.  When the Lord makes a promise, you can count on it.

1 Chronicles 29:11 – Power and Pity

1 Chronicles 29:11
11
Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

-As the Creator and Lord of the entire universe, it stands to reason that everything in the universe should bow down before God and show Him the fear and reverence He deserves.  If He says “jump”, our only response should be “how high?”  But God is not a “jump, how high” God; for as “a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.” (Psalm 103:13)  God will tell us why we need to jump; He will tell us what bad things will happen if we don’t jump and what blessings await for those whose do.  He will give strength to those who are having trouble jumping and He even provides mercy to those who decided not to jump.  He offers us more than we deserve and He gives us every chance to accept what He offers.

Genesis 7:21-22 – The Breath of Life

Genesis 7:21-22
21
And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

-Imagine the solemnity in the Lord’s voice as He inspires the words in verse 22.  Almost the entire human race has just died and this is their epitaph. The Lord is reminding us that it was He Himself who breathed life into each of them. (Genesis 2:7)  He is reminding us that although humanity had become wicked beyond imagining, they were more than just pieces of trash to be tossed away.  Judgment must come, but the Lord does not take vengeance with joy.  “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?”  (Ezekiel 33:11)

Matthew 7:21-23 – After this, the Judgement

Matthew 7:21-23
21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

-Do you believe that there is a judgment coming on the other side of life?  That the Lord will open the books and judge both the quick and the dead?  (1 Peter 4:5)  Imagine the Lord asking you one question: “Why should I let you into Heaven over Hell?”  What do you plan to say to Him on that day?  I’m certain that many of us could tell of great things we’ve done and how our good should outweigh our bad, but can we really expect the Creator of the universe to be impressed with even our grandest achievements?  So the question remains, Heaven or Hell, why should you get in?  If your answer is anything other than (or anything in addition to) the blood of Jesus Christ when that day comes, the result for you can only be Hell.  “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)

Proverbs 6:27-33 – If You Play With Fire…

Proverbs 6:27-33
27
Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
28 Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

-Imagine holding an open flame to your body.  In only a moment, you would be permanently marked as the heat seared your flesh.  Apply that same idea to the consequences of the choices we face every day.  In only a moment, our actions can leave a permanent mark on our lives.  While it hopefully goes without saying that sin can quickly lead to bad consequences, consider that there is nothing inherently sinful or evil about fire.  So it is with many things in life that end up hurting us; while certain things may not be inherently sinful, traveling unwise paths can still be very risky.  What is just as dangerous is trusting your own sense of reason when determining which way to go in life.  How then can we know which way to go?  “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)

Psalm 115:3-7 – Beautiful Feet

Psalm 115:3-7
3
But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.

-They have feet, but they can’t walk; why would anyone want to serve a “god” that can’t walk?  Think about how far Jesus walked for us:  He took on human feet and walked the earth to reveal the truth of God’s Salvation and “preach deliverance to the captives” of sin (Luke 4:18); He walked into the mountains and deserts to pray for strength to finish the job He alone could finish (Luke 5:16); and when the time was right, He walked the hill to Golgatha and laid His life down on the cross (Matthew 27:31).  There is no beauty in the feet of a lifeless idol, but “how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isaiah 52:7)

Proverbs 25:16 – Moderation

Proverbs 25:16
16
Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

-Honey is sweet and can be very satisfying.  While on the surface there doesn’t appear to be a downside, anyone who has ever overindulged on honey (or any sweet for that matter) understands how uncomfortable it can be.  The same truth applies to anything we find in this world; even the things that genuinely are sweet and good should only be enjoyed in moderation.  Too much of anything, even a good thing, will inevitably lead to problems.

Matthew 5:17-20 – Outwardly Appear Righteous

Matthew 5:17-20
17
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

-In order to inherit the Kingdom of God, our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.  What did Jesus mean by this?  Consider His appraisal of the scribes and Pharisees in some of their other encounters and we’ll get the proper perspective.  In speaking to these groups in Matthew 23, Jesus proclaimed, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:27-28) Despite their apparent holiness, the Scribes and Pharisees had nothing but an outward appearance, a show of piety.  A show of piety cannot inherit the Kingdom of God and so we must do better.  Righteousness must go beyond our countenance or presentation and be manifested in our hearts.

Isaiah 43:1-2 – Thou Art Mine

Isaiah 43:1-2
1
But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Verse 2 is very important for the truth it reveals; the Bible does not say if we pass through water and fire, but rather when we pass through water and fire.  It is certain that trial and difficulty will come and even the redeemed are not exempt.  If anything, the Redeemed are more likely to be attacked.  That may sound disheartening, but there is another truth revealed in verse 2:  the waters will not overcome those who belong to the Lord neither will the fire consume them.  Deuteronomy 31:8 tells us that it is the Lord “that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”  There is no place we can go where the Lord cannot protect; “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)