Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Welcome to Day 199 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: Isaiah 32; Isaiah 33; Isaiah 34; Isaiah 35; James 2 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
It’s my opinion that it’s important to consult a commentary while reading the prophets. It can be difficult to discern what is “prophetic” in terms of the future Kingdom and what is referring to an upcoming event or earthly kingdom. Isaiah 32 seems to refer primarily to Hezekiah’s reign and the eventual invasion by Assyria, although much could apply to the future Kingdom (of the Messiah) as well, in terms of the prophetic… See 2 Kings 18-20 for historical perspective, records Isaiah prophesying to Hezekiah in 2 Kings 19:20-34.
John MacArthur’s “Grace to You” website gty.org has some great resources regarding what I am talking about. His attention to detail and thoughtful outlining of scripture is un-paralleled.
Isaiah 32:17, “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. 18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”
Isaiah 33:14, ““Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?” 15 He who walks righteously and speaks what is right…”
Isaiah 34, judgment against nations of peoples who are against God.
Isaiah 35, as usual, after an oracle of judgment, comes a promise of great mercy! This is a pretty standard Old Testament model of the prophetic.
James 2:18, “But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”
I am now officially worn out by reading the constant judgment of the Old Testament! (Even with the promise of mercy!)
It’s so easy to land on the judgment and our shortcomings versus God’s love and mercy.
Fortunately, if you fast forward 700 years to Christ, he became “the Lamb of God who takes (took) away the sin of the world!”
He was crucified and we were crucified with him, then raised to life with him!
So what do we do with that?
I go back to one verse that has been my true north for a long time. “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” Matthew 4:10, when Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:13.
Worship and serve.
I can do that.
I serve out of my love for him… the by-product of my faith. Not to earn anything, but out of my love for him and my desire to see others come to Christ. To model a life of serving…
I worship him for who he is and for all he has done. Not from a viewpoint that he is the King and I am his servant, but he is my father and I am his son!
Galatians 4:6 states, “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
Pretty incredible. God calls us his sons and daughters!
I can come to him as a son, not as a slave! (I get that even Jesus took on the form of a servant, humbling himself, taking on the very nature of a servant” Philippians 2:7) But that is a mindset, his willingness, not his position. He is clearly the son, sent to serve mankind by setting us free!
Our works are meant to prove our faith. It goes on to say, “Faith without works is dead.”
What does that say about works without faith? Those are just works. Can’t buy our way into heaven.
Lots of good people do good things, but the issue still comes down to Christ and who do people say that he is. Our hope has to be in him and the work he did on the cross, not on our works.
I much prefer being a son, not a slave!
Thank you Lord for paying my debt! I will serve you with a glad and sincere heart for all my days!