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Witness, Am I? Are You?

Isaiah 43:1-28 KJV

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.

[3] For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

[4] Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

[5] Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

[6] I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

[7] Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

[8] Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

[9] Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

[10] Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord , and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

[11] I, even I, am the Lord ; and beside me there is no saviour.

[12] I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord , that I am God.

[13] Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

[14] Thus saith the Lord , your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.

[15] I am the Lord , your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.

[16] Thus saith the Lord , which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;

[17] Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.

[18] Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

[19] Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

[20] The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

[21] This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

[22] But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

[23] Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense.

[24] Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.

[25] I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

[26] Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

[27] Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me.

[28] Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.


Commentary from study bible..

43:1ff Chapter 42 ends with God’s sorrow over the spiritual decay of his people. In chapter 43, God says that despite the people’s spiritual failure, he will show them mercy, bring them back from captivity, and restore them. He would give them an outpouring of love, not wrath. Then the world would know that God alone had done this.

43:1-4 God created the people of Israel, and they were special to him. God redeemed them and called them by name to be those who belong to him. God protected Israel in times of trouble. We are important to God, too. If we claim to belong to God, we must never do anything that would bring shame to him.

43:2 Going through rivers of difficulty will either cause you to drown or force you to grow stronger. If you go in your own strength, you are more likely to drown. If you invite the Lord to go with you, he will protect you.

43:3 God gave other nations to Persia in exchange for returning the Jews to their homeland. Egypt, Ethiopia, and parts of Arabia (Seba) had attacked Persia, and the Persians defeated them.

43:5, 6 Isaiah was speaking primarily of Israel’s return from Babylon. But there is a broader meaning: All God’s people will be regathered when Christ comes to rule in peace over the earth.

43:10, 11 Israel’s task was to be a witness (44:8), telling the world who God is and what he had done. Believers today share the responsibility of being God’s witnesses. Do people know what God is like through your words and example? They cannot see God directly, but they can see him reflected in you.

43:15-21 This section pictures a new Exodus for a people once again oppressed, as the Israelites had been as slaves in Egypt before the Exodus. They would cry to God, and again he would hear and deliver them. A new Exodus would take place through a new wilderness. The past miracles were nothing compared to what God would do for his people in the future.

43:22-24 A sacrifice required both giving up a valuable animal and pleading with God for forgiveness. But the people presented God with sins instead of sacrifices. Can you imagine bringing the best of your sins to God’s altar? This ironic picture shows the depths to which Israel had sunk. What do you present to God—your sins or a plea for his forgiveness?

43:25 How tempting it is to remind someone of a past offense! But when God forgives our sins, he totally forgets them. We never have to fear that he will remind us of them later. Because God forgives our sins, we need to forgive others.

Prepare Spiritually – something is coming

Saturate yourself in the word of God.

John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
COMMENTARY
Jesus is addressing the disciples about how he must return to His Father in Heaven. His hope for them is that they have peace knowing that He is not abandoning them. Jesus was returning to the Father to allow the Holy Spirit to come upon the disciples at Pentecost. Trouble came to many of the disciples after that, and most were persecuted and killed because of their faith in Him. Like the disciples, trouble will come our way. Because Christ has overcome the world, we do not have to fear those troubles. We have an inheritance in Christ Jesus who reigns victorious forever!

Verse/Commentary courtesy of ‘Verse-A-Day’ android

IMPORTANT MESSAGE

Checking Yourself Daily

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Commentary -don’t leave it to chance, ask the Lord to search your heart and show you everything you need to clean up.
Jesus is the narrow gate. The path through Christ the road that leads to life. Whatever path you choose must bring you upon an encounter of our great Messiah Jesus; and out of that encounter you must receive Him and accept that He saved you from the cost of sin. Jesus offers reconciliation and forgiveness of sins no matter what path we are on in life. As we accept His offering and repent, we live differently and no longer walk a path that leads to destruction. Abandon all roads of destruction and run with Jesus; He is everything.

Verse/Commentary courtesy of ‘Verse-A-Day’ android app.
http://www.verse-a-day.com/Apps

Set Apart (feel alone?)

As the days tick away and I feel we are growing closer to the return of our Father,  our Creator,  our King,  our  Lord,  our God, I find it ironic that I feel more alone and distanced and set apart from this place where we currently live. Even from the people in my own family. Then again, the word of God speaks and tells us why.

1 John 3:1
3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Thank You Lord, thank You for giving us Your word,  Your truth, so that we might better understand what is going on around us.  We gain strength from the knowledge and wisdom You make available for all who ask and who seek You.  We praise Your most holy name!

Word of God Speak

When we read He speaks.  Are we listening?

Psalms 46

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

3 Though it’s waters roar and foam,  though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.

4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

8 Come behold the works of the Lord,
what desolations he hath made in the earth.

9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Thank You Mighty God. ..thank You for all that You are.  We praise your most holy name!   We exalt You oh Lord God Almighty! We praise You.  Speak to us, teach us, show us the way.  Your people are listening.

Your Word

Thank you Father for not just Jesus out Savior but also for your written word.  Your word tells us what we need to know.  Your word tells us what to expect. What is coming.  What to watch for.  Not to fear when we see these things.  We simply need to read it, pray, seek you. In that we find comfort in the midst of chaos.  Thank You Lord God Almighty, our King!

Isaiah 9:6-7
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. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Commentary
The word “zeal” is defined as: fervor for a person, cause, or object. Our God is zealous for us. We are the object of His fervor…the recipients of His amazing love. To those who believe in Christ, eternal life and everlasting peace is the promise. Praise God that through Christ He has secured our future in His loving arms for eternity, and ushered in a kingdom that can never be overthrown or destroyed.

Verse/Commentary courtesy of ‘Verse-A-Day’ android app.
http://www.verse-a-day.com/Apps

We Exalt You

Exodus 15:11-13
Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you — majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?  “You stretch out your right hand, and the earth swallows your enemies. In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.
Commentary
There is no one like the Lord God. There are only pretenders who would build thrones of lies within your heart. The Lord though, He is the truth that drives out any lie and brings light to any darkness. Joseph was sold into slavery…no problem, because the Lord was with him. Through God’s favor and wisdom, Joseph rises to 2nd in command of Egypt, and is later reunited with his family. Later, the Egyptians make slaves of the Israelites, and they cry out to their God, who is the Lord. He responds. He calls a man named Moses to demand the Lord’s people be released, and though many signs and wonders they eventually are released. Through many more miracles and with His presence leading them, He leads His people to the land He promised. His love endures forever. God’s love never fails! There is no one like the Lord God.

Verse/Commentary courtesy of ‘Verse-A-Day’ android app.
http://www.verse-a-day.com/Apps

The Year of the Lord’s Favor!

Isaiah 61:1-11 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,because the Lord has anointed meto proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim freedom for the captivesand release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favorand the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beautyinstead of ashes,the oil of joyinstead of mourning,and a garment of praiseinstead of a spirit of despair.They will be called oaks of righteousness,a planting of the Lordfor the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruinsand restore the places long devastated;they will renew the ruined citiesthat have been devastated for generations. Strangers will shepherd your flocks;foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the Lord,you will be named ministers of our God.You will feed on the wealth of nations,and in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shameyou will receive a double portion,and instead of disgraceyou will rejoice in your inheritance.And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,and everlasting joy will be yours. “For I, the Lord, love justice;I hate robbery and wrongdoing.In my faithfulness I will reward my peopleand make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be known among the nationsand their offspring among the peoples.All who see them will acknowledgethat they are a people the Lord has blessed.” I delight greatly in the Lord;my soul rejoices in my God.For he has clothed me with garments of salvationand arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come upand a garden causes seeds to grow,so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousnessand praise spring up before all nations.

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Give Thanks Today to our King!

Psalms 46
1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.
Selah

4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Selah

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Selah