Archive | March 2018

Psalm 42:5 ” Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

The whole of mankind hoped with eager anticipation…awaiting the promise of the fulfillment of the coming Messiah…only to watch Him die a terrible and horrific death on the Cross.  The day after that shocking event, the human soul was holding its breath…struggling to remember the words of Jesus  while despair tried to crowd out any shred of hope.  Human life hung in the balance between hope and hopelessness that fateful day.  But God is the God of hope, (Romans 15:13) and we have this hope as an anchor. (Hebrews 6:19)  So if today,  you’re facing the impossible, the incurable, the irreversible…put your hope in God and fix your eyes on Him.  For if God can raise Jesus from the dead, He can breathe life into your sick, dying body, revive a struggling marriage, or break the chains of addiction off a loved one.  For as long as there is hope, there’s life.

Isaiah 49:6 ” I will also make You a light for the Gentiles, that You may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus told His Disciples, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)   And for Believers, the Great Commission holds true for us today.  The Lord is the God of salvation and the Gospel message, the Good News of Jesus, is to be brought to the scattered children of God. (John 11:52)  We are to take this light – this truth –  to every man (John 1:9)…for it gives revelation. (Luke 2:32)   God’s plan and purpose is for the Gospel message to be brought to the ends of the earth by the feet of His Believers…for as the truth of His light is spread abroad, darkness must flee.

Isaiah 42:6-7 ” I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness; I will take hold of Your hand. I will keep You and will make You to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”

God’s plan was to save the nations through the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.  In this Scripture, Isaiah foretells of this plan and purpose…or what we call the New Covenant.  Jesus explained this plan and purpose to Paul on that fateful road to Damascus in Acts 26:18 when He said, “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”  And God has faithfully maintaining that covenant with all mankind…offering salvation and life… and the chance to break free of the chains of bondage that hold us prisoner.

Isaiah 52:13-14 ” See, My servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at Him – His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness -“

Here the Prophet Isaiah speaks of the punishment Jesus endured…the flogging, beating, and bludgeoning He bore at the hands of the priests, elders, scribes, and Roman soldiers. (Mark 14:65)  The Son of Man was battered beyond identification…disfigured beyond human semblance…for you.  He endured it all for you… that you may have fellowship with God and the gift of eternal life.

Isaiah 42:2-3 ” He will not shout or cry out, or raise His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.”

It says in Matthew 26:62-63,  ” Then the High Priest stood up and said to Jesus, ‘Are you not going to answer?  What is this testimony that these men are bringing against You?’  But Jesus remained silent.”   In this hastily assembled kangaroo court, the  priests, scribes and elders gloated in the fact that they finally had Jesus where they wanted Him.  They had lined up false witnesses to testify against Jesus…but He wasn’t taking the bait.  The High Priest believed that he was in total control of the situation…but he had no idea that he was simply a pawn being used by God within the annals of eternal redemptive history.  Jesus had no reason to answer the High Priest… no need to justify or defend Himself.  For the plan of salvation, created before the dawn of time, was playing out perfectly.

Zechariah 11:12 ” I told them, ‘If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.’ So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.”

When Judas approached the High Priests offering to betray Jesus for them…He basically asked them, “What’s it worth to you?”  In observance of the Law,  which stated in Exodus 21:32, “If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave.”…the High Priests counted out thirty pieces of silver…considering Jesus no more important than a slave.

Zechariah 9:9 ” Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. “

The Prophet Zechariah spoke of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem that Palm Sunday…right down to the details of what He’d be riding.  And when the crowds saw Jesus, they laid their clothes on the road before Him and waved palm branches, shouting “Hosanna!”   The Prophet Isaiah echoed this prophetic word in Isaiah 62:11, “The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: ‘Say to the Daughter of Zion,  See, your Savior comes!’ ”  The Word ties this all together as we look at the Hebrew word for salvation which is Yasa.  The name Jesus is derived from this root word.  The word “Hosanna” that the crowds were shouting is also directly traceable to the word Yasa.  That Palm Sunday,  Jesus may have entered Jerusalem seemingly as a meek and mild man…but who really rode in was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords…our Messiah and the Savior of our soul.

Psalm 122:1 ” I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’ “

There is much to be said about gathering together  as a Body of Believers to worship our Heavenly Father.  Whether it be in a huge sanctuary, or a quaint clapboard place of worship, or the darkened confines of an underground Church …it’s a chance for all come together.  But that’s not the only “house” that God lives in…for the Lord’s spirit lives within us. (I Corinthians 3:16)  And Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three come together in My name, there am I with them.”  So if you think about it, we don’t need a “Church building” to have the Lord among us.  We simply need to come together in His name.   For when we do, God will act, according to His character and purpose, on our behalf.

I Corinthians 1:27 ” But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

God could easily use the powerful and super-intelligent to move His Kingdom forward…but He doesn’t.  He could utilize those who are  idolized and obsessed over…but He chooses not to.  God would rather select those who the world would view as ridiculous to direct the course of redemptive history.  Verses 28-29 go on to say, “He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.”    God uses everyday, common, ordinary people to do extraordinary work for Him on a regular basis.  He takes the nonsensical and creates the incredible.  All He needs is a willing heart and spirit.

Acts 10:47 ” Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.’ “

Peter and the other Believers with him couldn’t dispute what they witnessed in the house of Cornelius.  The Holy Spirit was super-naturally  poured out on the Gentiles while Peter was still mid-sentence, telling them about Jesus.  Now Peter could have questioned this…”But Lord, these people are very different from us!  We don’t have anything in common with them.  They’re a different race and culture from us!  Are You sure You know what You’re doing?”  Sometimes, as fellow-Believers, we can find ourselves asking the same questions of those we find different from us.  Yes, we may not share a lot…but we do have a common denominator…faith in Jesus Christ.  Together we are one Body…one Church…united in our trust of our Savior…joined together eternally by our faith.