Psalm for the Day

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spiritual Virgin…………..


Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?


Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.”    Psalm 24:3-4  NLT

What is a spiritual virgin?

One who “follows the Lamb wherever He goes.”   Rev. 14:4

As in the physical sense, a spiritual virgin is one who is utterly and completely given to the one for whom he or she is intended.

The spiritual virgin not only has known no other, but longs for and desires no other.   He is a first fruit and is blameless in his loyalty to his one Master.

Spiritual virginity is a spiritual quality that God greatly desires in all His people.  It has nothing to do with salvation because, in that case, who among us could be saved?  

Nor does it have to do with service, for the Bible is full of men and women who did exploits in the name of their God who, nevertheless, showed the human weakness of sin and disobedience.   King David is an example.

A virgin is not a representative of a certain class of elite, but the one who manifests a quality of spiritual devotion to God that He finds enormously pleasing and delightful. 

Too often God has to deal with us as Hosea dealt with Gomer, his unfaithful wife.  God graciously forgives our unfaithfulness, brings us back home, and restores us to His service. 

How comforted I am by Your mercy, O God!

Lord, I covet spiritual virginity, the quality of devotion that never tires, grumbles, deviates or adulterates.  

My example in this is He who never faltered or hesitated but who in all things did Your will and followed Your way perfectly.  He who has planted His virgin life in me will propel me in the virgin way.

“Awake, north wind!
Rise up, south wind!


Blow on my garden
and spread its fragrance all around.


Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits.”  Song of Solomon 4:16 NLT

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sacrifice……… at what cost?


Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.                      Mark 10:43-44 NIV

“Teach me, Lord, how to forsake without being forsaken.  I know You will never forsake me, but I am not sure I can pass the test of forsaking what I should forsake?

I greatly admire the decision of Moses, who “forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king.”   Heb. 11:27   He forsook the spirit of Egypt, the wealth of Egypt, and the claims of Egypt.    But I am fascinated by the fact that he did all this while still in the land of Egypt.

I have forsaken many things that did not count for God’s sake.  I was happy to give up things that no longer had any meaning for me.  It is so easy to sacrifice what you no longer desire!

But Moses sacrificed Egypt for God’s sake while still surrounded by its immense charm and magnetism.  

Lord, how hard it is to make a decision for You when surrounded by wealth, popularity, position, charm, self-centeredness and power. 

To see God then is to have the eye of faith indeed; and to decide for God then is to forsake this world even as Jesus forsook it when He denied Satan’s offer of its kingdoms.

Lot was forced to forsake the riches of Sodom, while Moses gladly gave up Egypt.

Lord, I know You will separate me from every clinging thing in Egypt; but first You will ask me to do it voluntarily.

It is God’s intense desire to mole us into a “man” of God and not a pampered “saint”.

He wants to make us a steadfast believer and not a warmed over replica of Egypt.  

“Lord, please make me a voluntary forsaker, not a forced one.”   

 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Love is…………


Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].” I Cor. 13:4-7 AMP

A person who truly knows love is selfless, a servant and putting others above themselves.

The heart of “Abba Father” is love.  If we really know His heart to the degree that we can identify it so we can tell people they have “Abba Father’s” heart then we would be less adapt to hurt others.

Love is actions. Our actions speak louder than our words. We can say we love and yet treat others out of selfish emotions, anger, pride and selfishness.

The Father’s heart is love----- ““nonnegative”” love. That means it is not controlled by emotions, anger, selfishness or double-mindedness.  Either you love or you don’t.

James describes double minded as: “[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].” (1:8 AMP)

How can a person trust you with their heart if you do not walk in love?  You can say you love, you can write it but unless your actions show it, love is meaningless.

“With it (mouth) we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness!

Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not to be so.

Does a fountain send forth [simultaneously] from the same opening fresh water and bitter?  (James 3:9-11 AMP)

 

The depth of the Father’s love is revealed when things go wrong, when you’re angry, selfish or controlling. This is when the meter reveals how much of “Abba Father’s” heart is in you.

Love is not selfish.

Love is not control and manipulation.

Love is not prideful.

Love is not jealous.

Love is not deceiving.

Love is not rude or mean.

Love is not judging.

Love is not vengeful.

This type of love is from the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy.

We have a choice: “Will I be the vessel that is used by Satan to kill, destroy and hurt others?”

“Will I be the one who reacts out of my emotions or will I run to “Abba Father” to seek His heart in the matter?”

God’s love is:

Consistent…….Never changing! Dependable!

Forbearing and forgiving……Gives mercy and grace!

Patient…..Not quick to strike out!

His love goes the extra mile…… Puts the feelings of others first!

His love seeks the good in others………Looks at their heart!

We too, should let the good outweigh the bad.

I want all who reads my post to know I love you and appreciate you!

I understand my posts can be strong in words but I share my heart with you out of love. I am the first one convicted when I write them, long before you read them.

I spend a lot of time in prayer and fasting regarding my posts and I share because I want others to know Jesus and have an awesome relationship with Him.

Sometimes we can get off track and need a loving reminder that we need to repent and return back to the Father.

Believe me, I could use this time for more fun things and sometimes wish I had more time to do other things but I feel I am doing what He ask.

I just wanted you to know, I do post with love and prayers!

Love is speaking the truth even when it hurts. Guess I could choose to be a phony and live my life as all holy on fb and another way in real life.  But what you see and read is who I am.

I apologize if I have hurt or offended anyone with my posts.

Love you all!

Kathy

“A brother offended is harder to be won over than a strong city, and [their] contentions separate them like the bars of a castle.

 A man’s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil].           Proverbs 18:19-20 AMP

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

You can run but you can’t hide………………


When we fail to do what we ought, then we ought to expect the consequences.


Consequences are a fact, and regardless of what we may think about them, at some point “The Hammer” falls. The consequences are applied regardless of our feelings about their fairness. 

A good example of delayed consequences can be found in Exodus 32:33-35: “The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.

 Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”

And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.”  (NIV)


God may put off momentarily what we have coming, but oftentimes the delayed consequences are far worse than they might ever have been if we would have just taken them as originally prescribed. When we run from God we are engaged in a futile flight.

God does give us abundant opportunities to repent and turn from our sins before He sends the consequences for our disobedience.


With all of the wonderful blessings that have been bestowed upon us, why do we always try to look beyond Him and to what man has to offer?

Why is man’s approval, affections and accolades more important than obedience to God?

God delivered His chosen people from the Egyptian bondage in such a spectacular fashion and yet within a short period of time, while Moses was receiving the Law, they began the process of making an idol made by the hands of men to worship.

Why, when we have the presence of God do we chose the mediocrity of mankind?

I wanted to present a few thoughts to meditate upon as we begin the journey of Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah chapter two.

 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fair or unfair?


Isaiah 2



As we continue to look at the words of Isaiah we can say it is a book that deals with choices and the consequences of those choices. It is interesting that if the consequences are in line with our desires then we usually proclaim the system that calls for those consequences as fair. If, however, the consequences go against our desires, we tend to call the system unfair.


Isaiah is proclaiming the message of God, who miraculously delivered His chosen people, and the basis of this message only has their best interest at heart. They defy God’s Word, they ignore His messengers, and they belittle His name and His power. Isaiah is proclaiming that there are consequences for their actions and those consequences will be upon them soon.


In the prophecies of Isaiah are the foretelling of the hope of the future, the birth, the life, the ministry, the death and the resurrection of their awaited Messiah.  Just as the people during Isaiah’s time failed to heed the message, so too did many during the earthly ministry of Jesus. Now as we grow closer to the time of His returning, people are failing to hear once again.

The consequences will be handed out and this writer believes the time of this occurring is just around the corner.  Although we may not be able to convince everyone of their need for repentance, however, we must do all, that God has called us to do.


Quick question: “What is the main reason that we established a relationship with God?

I am going to say that for a good portion of us, we began our walk with the Lord in an effort to pull our “behinds” out of the fire. 

At the time we heard about the wonderful things that Jesus had to offer and we chose to grab that for ourselves. We found ourselves in a hopeless situation and in a last ditch effort we looked to God for the answer.

Do not be ashamed of the reason for our initial contact with Jesus, the important thing is how we have developed our relationship since then. The problem is that many of us take that quick rescue and fail to go deeper into our personal trust in Jesus and as a result loose what we had attained in the beginning, regardless of how selfish the motives might have been.  We began hoping there would be better times ahead.


What were some of the reasons that we decided to seek Jesus? I am sure the fear of an eternity in hell might be a motivating factor. Perhaps a certain hope of mercy in regards to our consequences regardless of how guilty we might have been. Perhaps there was a desire of better health or perhaps some blessings that were unrealized.

We began with high hopes but few of us become actual partakers. Many fall back into the old patterns of behavior and forget that the only true peace is through Jesus.


This is clearly the saddest ending to a relationship with Jesus. He takes us regardless of how we came to Him. He is responsible for the forgiveness if we honestly and earnestly repent of our sins. He is serious enough about wanting us to spend an eternity with Him that He bled and died to pay the price in our place. If we fail to grow in our understanding of God’s desires for each and every one of us, our love for Him grows cold and where we once relied on His direction for our lives we begin to take control of our own destiny and find that the end of self-reliance is self-destruction.

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Simply seek Him……….


O God, do not remain silent.
Do not turn a deaf ear to me.
Do not keep quiet, O God.”   Psalm 83:1 GW

 

There is yet another way in which I may lose the presence of Jesus, one that is difficult to understand and accept, but nevertheless true.

It is the voluntary withdrawal of Jesus Himself.   There are times when He seems to withdraw Himself from us without any discernible reason.   Yet the reason may be suggested in the Song of Solomon, where the Shulammite bride of Solomon complains twice about the absence of her lover.

“I sought him whom my soul loves….but did not find him; I called him, but he did not answer.” (Song of Solomon 3:1)

The bride had done nothing to offend her groom; yet he was gone and could not be found.    She said, “My Beloved had turned away; he was gone!”  And again she sought him and called to him, but he did not answer.   (5:6)   

What is the Lord saying to me here?   “That the love of Jesus to me is discerned in both the partings and the fellowship, in both His presence and His apparent absence.”  

I can understand how His presence enhances the love relationship between us, but how can His absence do so?   Perhaps we will never know all the answers, but His seeming absence sharpens our awareness of Him and crushes the tendency to take Him for granted.

Very few, if any, of the disciples of Jesus enjoy the continual, unbroken realization of His presence and power in their lives.

Many times we call but He does not answer; we seek Him but He withdraws from us.  The reason is not always due to sin, carelessness, or indifference, for sometimes He is hiding His face to make us yearn all the more for Him; His absence should make our love grow sharper and fonder.

If I lose Him for that reason, I must simply seek Him with my whole heart until I find Him again.

I must do as the Shulammite did, “….seek him whom my soul loves” and soon I will be able to say with her, “I found him whom my soul loves.”  (3:2, 4)

When you look for me, you will find me. When you wholeheartedly seek me,  I will let you find me, declares the Lord……..”  Jer. 29:13-14a  GW

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I can lose……..


You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.
I am determined not to sin in what I say.”    Psalm 17:3  NLT

I must distinguish between my union with Jesus, which is secure, and my communion with Christ, which is extremely fragile.

I must not delude myself into thinking that while my relationship with Jesus is secure, so is my awareness of His presence and power.

There are things I can lose.

I can lose the presence and power of Jesus as easily as Mary and Joseph lost Him in the caravan returning home from Jerusalem. (Luke 2:41-19)

By neglecting Him I can allow the weeds to grow in our relationship, choking out the fruits of a close, sweet walk with Him.   Neglect needs no overt action, no sharp disobedience, just a dulling of the finely tuned relationship we once had.  Then He is gone!

Or I can lose Him as Mary Magdalene lost Him, in the mad chain of circumstances that led Him to His death on the cross.  The swirling turn of events that snatched Him from her was beyond her understanding, but her loss was just as real and painful.  

So God can send a series of devastating losses in my life, involving friends, loved ones, opportunities, or whatever.   If I turn my attention to my losses and take my eyes off Him, I will lose Him in the flow.

I can also lose Him by my sin and indifference, and hear Him say, “Your sin and iniquities have separated…….you and your God.”  (Isa. 59:2)

Of all the reasons for losing Jesus, that is the most reprehensible, because it indicates a deliberate evaluation and a choice: “I want sin, not Jesus.”

If I choose sin, Jesus withdraws and I am left only with my immoral choice.

“Thank You, God, that You will never be untouched by my tears of repentance.”

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”  Psalm 51:17 NLT

Let the joy of Your saving power return to me. And give me a willing spirit to obey you.”   Psalm 51:12 NLV

Monday, February 11, 2013

A militant warrior……….


If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ, blessed [are you—happy, fortunate, to be envied, with life-joy, and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you.

On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.  I Peter 4:14 AMP

 

I must realize that Jesus is not only a great tension reliever, but also a tension “bringer”.

If I expect Him to relieve all my tensions, I have a vain expectancy.  Merely, to know and follow Jesus will create all kinds of problems for me. 

Mary, His mother, received that word when she gave Him birth; “A sword will pierce even your own soul.”  (Lk 2:5)

Have I felt the piercing of my soul because of my commitment to Jesus?

Have I lost friends, seen families divided or seen increasing bitterness among acquaintances because I determined to make Him my all?

Mary must have gone through a thousand agonies once Jesus was born.   There must have been tension in the home.

“For his own brothers did not believe in him.”   John 7:5 NIV

How did Mary manage to referee between her holy Son and her other natural children?  How could she stand their hatred of Him, knowing all the while who He was?

When Jesus later said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his home town” was He referring to the daily snubs of His half brothers and sisters?  (Matt. 13:57)

Jesus said He “did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”  (Matt. 10:334)  He came to make mothers and daughters and fathers and sons one another’s enemies. (vs 35)

I am a very poor disciple indeed if I cannot name one person who has been offended because I chose to follow Jesus.   But I must be careful that it is for His sake that enemies are made, not for my own.

When my own rights and privileges are concerned, I must be as harmless as a dove; but when His rights and privileges are concerned, I must be a militant warrior.

Lord, give me wisdom to discern when I must be militant; then give me the assurance of Jeremiah:

But the Lord is with me as a mighty and terrible One; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not overcome [me]. They will be utterly put to shame, for they will not deal wisely or prosper [in their schemes]; their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.   Jeremiah 20:11 AMP

A warning and a promise….


Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong.
 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.


If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land…”            Isa. 1:16-19  NIV

 

What a warning!

We can remove ourselves so far from God that we no longer recognize Him, we no longer hear Him speak in fact we can reach the place where we no longer even care about Him, or realize the heartache our rebellion and disobedience causes Him.

That is a sad and desperate situation to be in: not able to respond to the God who is the source of our life; without hope, without Jesus we are lost and isolated on the sea of life.


Isaiah talks about the rebellion of God’s people, and their rejection of their creator. In Isaiah 1:10 he even refers to them as Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities famous for their wickedness, which were destroyed in the days of Abraham.

We have a people who have gone so far in rebellion and disobedience to their God that they are no longer able to recognize Him or respond to Him in anyway and whose sin is as great as that of Sodom and Gomorrah.

This is a sad picture and a dire situation to be in.

Sadly, it gets worse. He even calls their worship of Him sin, because they are offering Him sacrifices, but with rebellious hearts. They were going through all the motions of worship, but they did not really mean it.

They were offering sheep and goats, but not themselves, still in disobedience and with a spirit of sin and rebellion. When that happens, worship ceases to be worship, and becomes sin. God was not accepting their worship or listening to their prayers.

This is a horrible, solemn warning that we can create for ourselves, by our rebellious hearts and attitudes……….. so alienated from God that we are completely removed from Him and our worship of Him is worse than useless.

But then, in verses 16-19, we have the promise.

Suddenly, in the midst of describing their hopeless state God reveals His heart of compassion to give them a chance to repent. When final condemnation looked like it was coming, mercy came instead. Though their sins were scarlet, though they were guilty of disobedience and murder, He would purify them. He didn’t just forgive them, but He cleansed them, made them clean again, He restored the Father-Son relationship that they had deliberately and wantonly broken.

Their repentance would bring pardon. It was God making the initiative in restoring the relationship had come from Him.

Later in Isaiah we hear how this was achieved.  Isaiah 53:4-6 looks ahead to the death of Jesus, who took the blame for our sin and rebellion.

The promise went on to say that IF they were willing AND obedient, they would eat the fruit of the land and share in the good things.  But there came a further warning, death by the sword if they persisted in their rebellion.

All this applies to us as much as to the Israelites of Isaiah’s day. Our natural state is to be in such open habitual rebellion and disobedience to God that we are no longer able to respond to Him or to recognize Him or His voice.

But the promise is to us as well. He has made the initiative, and no matter how filthy our sins are, He will purify them through the blood of Jesus. 

 But the warning of death also applies if we reject Him.

 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  I John 1:9 NIV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The foes of God………


But wrong-doers and sinners will be crushed together. Those who turn away from the Lord will come to an end.   For you will be ashamed of the oaks where you worshiped.

You will be ashamed of the gardens you have chosen.   For you will be like an oak tree whose leaf dries up, or like a garden that has no water.   The strong man will become easy to burn, and his work also a fire. They will burn together, and there will be no one to put the fire out.”  Isa. 1: 28-31 NLV


We live in a society that regardless of its outlook has an idea of consequences for bad behavior.

Isaiah gives the Lord’s consequences to those who would rebel.

 

For Isaiah’s people, judgment would be swift and it would be sure. For those that were living in wealth and comfort and glory and honor at the expense of others and in defiance of the Lord, those times would end. The ending, as described by Isaiah is brutal by all accounts.


Let us take that warning of consequence and bring it into the context of the world that we live in today.  For those that pass from this life without repenting from the sins that they have committed and failed to establish that relationship with Jesus, they will pass into an eternity of torment.

It is interesting when we look at the very last section of this Scripture that those who are the foes of God will be undone at their own hands.


As we come to the close of Isaiah chapter one, we have all in one way or another related to the words of the prophet Isaiah.  We are all aware of the circumstances of the world that we live in and how America has floundered in its relationship with God.

In light of all that what are we to do as the body of Christ?


We are certainly commanded to bring forth the Word of God to those that we have in our sphere of influence.  That includes those who dislike us as well as those that will and have done us harm. It is how we bring the Word of God to them that can be of the utmost importance.


We must realize that as hard as we try in some situations, there will be those that have their heart hardened through the many encounters with sin in their lives and they will resist any further moving towards Jesus who holds the key to their forgiveness. They know the choices that they are making – never allow that disappointment to dull your hunger to lead others to the throne of grace.

 

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Painful Restoration……………….


And I will bring My hand again upon you and thoroughly purge away your dross [as with lye] and take away all your tin or alloy.

 And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning; afterward you shall be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.

 Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and her [returned] converts with righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God).”  Isa. 1: 25-27 AMP

 


Just as time for punishment came again and again for God’s chosen people, we may well see a turn in our conditions, too.

Look at the description of God’s impending actions in the above verses:
• God will turn His hand against Judah
• He will burn off the dross
• He will remove the alloy or the impurities


This is a description of God taking the matters that should have been easy decisions for His people and taking care of business Himself.  Instead of His hand of protection, He will heat things up in an effort to purify His people. The description of the purifying process can be frightening when we consider He is talking about His chosen people that will be put through this process. 

He is talking about our nation as well. It is through the extreme heat that the impurities of an ore is separated and then at an appropriate time scrapped off and discarded. The alloy can be seen as things that are added in that seemingly add to the strength but are considered impurities by God.  If it is contrary to God’s Word then it must be removed from our lives.


There is hope in this section of Scripture, and it is this hope that I wish for us to focus in on. After the cleansing, as difficult and horrible as it may seem, there is restoration ahead.

We know that at a time in the future Jesus is going to return and the final restorations will commence, but in the meantime, we cannot sit idly by and just wait.

We need to cry out in repentance and it needs to begin now before the consequences of our separation as a nation from God becomes even greater than it already is.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Friends Become Adversaries and Foes…………….


There was a change occurring in Isaiah’s people and the message that Isaiah was trying to bring to them hit on the mark.

“Your rulers have turned against what is right. They are the friends of robbers. Everyone loves to get pay in secret for wrong-doing, and they run after gifts.  They do not stand for the rights of those who have no parents.  And they never hear the cry for help of the woman whose husband has died.

 So the Lord God of All, the Powerful One of Israel, says, “I will put an end to those who fight against Me. I will punish those who hate Me.”    Isaiah 1: 23-24    (NLV)

 

Here are the charges that were being brought against the leaders of Judah, and let me ask you to keep in mind the changes that have taken place in America over the last half century.  These words could apply to our nation and to a lot of the Church leaders today.


The rulers have become rebels.

The rulers were once the anointed men of God and now they are rebelling against the very God that had placed them in power to begin with.

We look at the foundation of this nation, and those that came to the New World, came here in search of the ability to freely worship God. There was a predominant spirituality among those that founded our nation.  The constitution set religious standards as the basis of this Nations laws. It was because of the obedience to the God and the things of the Lord that allowed this nation to see the wonderful blessings that it had seen.


We also need to realize that in Isaiah’s time there was a greater degree of religious connection between the rulers and the Temple. It was the high priest that was used to anoint the king as the chosen one of God.

We don’t have religious and spiritual leadership combined in this nation however we can see the rebellion in some of the Church leaders.

We can look at all of the sexual improprieties that are running rampant in the Church of today.  There are denominations that are diluting the Word of God so that the black and white of righteousness has blurred to a grey area of personal choice.


The leaders of Judah were being accused of being in the company of thieves.  

How many charges of  “fleecing the flock” or sex scandals or promises of answered prayers or healings if you send in a certain amount of money or send a specific dollar amount to buy junk trinkets to support a T.V. ministry have been linked to our Church leaders?   It is almost impossible to find anyone in a political office who has moral convictions of their own and on their own?  A lack of integrity is rampant in our nation!


Isaiah issues an outcry for the treatment of the orphaned and the widowed.  Notice that this is a call by God to the people of God to care for the less fortunate of God.

He is not some high profile personality calling on the government to create another program that is paid for by tax dollars that are largely eaten up by oversized staff salaries in order to care for the needs of those that are less fortunate.  I am not against the government programs they have become needed because the body of Christ has lost its focus on caring for the needs of its own.

When the Church cries out against the government and the way that it gives handouts and in the process promotes unbiblical living, the same church should look at what has happened to its very own programs of tending to the needs of the unfortunate.  The parallel between Judah and this nation grows more frightening with each example.

Judah had lived in contrary to God’s Word for so long that the relationship between God and His people were about to change.   Look again at the 24th verse: “Therefore, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the Mighty One of Israel, says, “I will take revenge on my enemies and pay back my foes!”

The words that the Lord gave to Isaiah in description of His people are no longer the chosen people of God but “adversaries and foes.”

They have fallen from a “friend of God” to “adversaries and foes” of God.

That sounds like a scary place to be.

Repentance and obedience is the only way out of this situation!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Diluted wine……………


“Oh! Can you believe it? The chaste city has become a whore!
She was once all justice, everyone living as good neighbors, And now they’re all
at one another’s throats.
Your coins are all counterfeits.
Your wine is watered down.
Your leaders are turncoats who keep company with crooks.


They sell themselves to the highest bidder and grab anything not nailed down.
They never stand up for the homeless, never stick up for the defenseless.”            Isa. 1: 21-23  Message Bible

 

Knowing the cycle of disobedience to God and the loss of blessings that Judah and the people of Isaiah experienced time and time again, it would not seem like much of a risk in predicting that the very same fate awaits this nation of ours. There will be suffering ahead for all of us, regardless if we are being obedient, because we cannot help but be affected by the lost blessings of our nation as a whole.

I believe it is clearly made plain to us and the text out of Isaiah is as applicable today as the day that it was brought forth to Isaiah’s people.

There is one thing to be said for Old Testament Scripture reading, it does not mince words and it definitely falls outside of what we would look at as political correctness.

Let’s read, again the words that describe Judah’s relationship with God in verses 21 and 22:  Oh! Can you believe it? The chaste city has become a whore!
She was once all justice, everyone living as good neighbors, and now they’re all
at one another’s throats.   Your coins are all counterfeits.
Your wine is watered down. Your leaders are turncoats who keep company with crooks.”

The Word of God pronounced to the chosen people, where you were once faithful in your relationship to God Almighty you now spend your time “whoring” around. 

Now, that is a serious allegation!  It is however, very fitting because they went from a people that were dedicated to God to a people that worshipped in the places of false gods.

One of the greatest factors in some of the rituals in the temples of idolatry were the services of the temple prostitute.  The people were told, “If you want a fertile field for the crops – see the temple prostitute. You want a greater harvest – see the temple prostitute.  Is there anything that you desire – see the temple prostitute.”

Not only was there the running to false gods, they were defiling their very bodies in the process.


The chosen people were once righteous and now they are murderers.  Instead of being like silver, a very precious metal, they are like the slag that is burned off of it in the purifying process. You can see the concept of opposites at play in this text.

Isaiah goes on to describe their situation as diluted wine.

Let me put this into perspective for today –our communion wine is diluted! 

False gods, disobedience and religious spirits can make us a diluted vessel for God’s kingdom.