Thursday, 31 August 2017

1st September: Numbers 1:1-54

'Every man able to go forth to war': This is the key phrase in verses 1-46. God is looking for 'soldiers': Soldiers of Christ! To live for Christ is to be engaged in warfare. It is spiritual warfare. We need 'the whole armour of God' (Ephesians 6:10-20). We must remember that 'the weapons of our warfare are not worldly'. They have 'divine power'. They are 'powerful weapons from God'. They are 'mighty through God' (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). The Levites were to lead worship (47-54). The battle is the Lord's (2 Chronicles 20:15). We will never be strong 'soldiers of Christ' unless we are learning to worship the Lord. Worship lies at the very heart of the life of God's people. Without worship, we are weak. Worshipping God, we will grow 'strong'. We will 'firmly resist' the enemy. We will 'take action' for God (Daniel 11:32).

31st August: Psalms 11:1-13:6

'The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven': We 'take refuge' in Him (11:4,1). We are to seek His face, confident that 'when He appears...we shall see Him as He is' (11:7; 27:8; 1 John 3:2). Seeking God's face, we learn to rest in His promises, we are protected, we are kept (12:6-7). We may face difficult circumstances (13:1-4). We can still trust in the Lord's 'steadfast love'. We can still 'rejoice' in His 'salvation'. We can still say with the Psalmist, 'I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me' - 'God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work (13:5-6; 2 Corinthians 9:8).

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

30th August: Leviticus 27:1-34

'Every devoted thing is most holy to the Lord' (28). We are loved by the holy God. We are precious in His eyes. In love, He has reached out to us - through the Cross of Christ (Romans 5:8). We are 'greatly beloved' (Daniel 9:23). The Lord takes great joy in every sinner who returns to Him (Luke 15:7,10). 'Most holy to the Lord' - This is how the holy God looks upon those who have 'faith in Jesus' (Romans 3:26). We are to be 'devoted' to the Lord: The Lord must come first - 'All the the Lord's' (30). The bringing of the tithe (tenth) to God was an outward sign of an inward commitment. Do you love God? - Let it show in your living and giving. Let it be Thanksgiving (I want to) - not Grudge Giving (I have to) or Duty Giving (I ought to): 'God loves a cheerful giver' (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

29th August: Leviticus 26:1-46

'Every spiritual blessing' is 'in Christ' (Ephesians 1:3). The moment you begin to feel superior - 'I am blessed because I am obedient' (There is too much of 'I' in this!) - , remember: 'in Christ'. We are blessed because God loves us and Christ died for us. It is His grace which changes us. Without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). Our obedience comes from Him. Our disobedience comes from ourselves. We do not deserve His blessing. We deserve His judgment. There is only one way to blessing: Humbly confess your sin, turning to the Lord in whom alone there is blessing. We must not 'be proud' of our 'obedience'. There is only one thing about which we should 'boast': 'the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ' (Galatians 6:14). Thank God for His 'new covenant' (42,44-45; Hebrews 8:8-13; 1 Corinthians 11:25).

Monday, 28 August 2017

28th August: Luke 5:33-6:16

There is such a difference between the 'old' legalism and the 'new' life in the Spirit (36-39; Romans 8:2-4). The question, asked in verse 2, springs from the dead hardness of strict legalistic religion. Christ is Lord (5) - not the 'Pharisees'. They try to control people's lives. With their kill-joy attitude, they only succeed in making everybody miserable - like themselves! The 'old' needs to be 'crucified', so that the 'new' can be born in us (Romans 6:6; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Some say, 'I don't need to be born again'. Jesus disagrees (John 3:3). Disciples, Apostles (13): We learn everything from Jesus - nothing from the 'Pharisees'! We are sent out by Christ for Christ - not by the Pharisees to spread Pharisaisam! God is interested in names (14-16): 'rejoice that your names are written in heaven' (10:21).

Sunday, 27 August 2017

27th August: Leviticus 25:25-55

Moral conduct is to be grounded in divine redemption. Throughout the detailed ethical instructions, there is the recurrent emphasis on God's salvation: 'I am the Lord your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt (Salvation) to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God (Sanctification)...For to Me the people of Israel are servants (Service) whom I have brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God' (38,55). Salvation; Sanctification; Service. We do not begin with the questions, 'How can I live a godly life? How can I serve the Lord?' We begin with the question, 'What must I do to be saved?'. God's answer is clear: 'Believe in the Lord Jesus ...` (Acts 16:31).

Saturday, 26 August 2017

26th August: Leviticus 24:1-25:24

'Pure' worship is to be offered 'continually': This is what God is looking for (1-8). 'Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? Who shall stand in His holy place?': No-one else but Christ - He alone 'has clean hands and a pure heart', He alone 'will receive blessing from the Lord' (Psalm 24:3-5). Our worship is offered to God - in the praise of His glorious grace' (Ephesians 1:3,6). This is our worship, this is our joy - We have been reconciled to God 'through our Lord Jesus Christ' (Romans 5:11). The 'jubilee' - 'fiftieth year' (25:11): Half a century is such a short time in the light of eternity (James 4:14). God has been good to us. How have we lived? How much do we love God? How much have we loved one another? Rededicate yourself to 'the Lord your God' (25:17).

Friday, 25 August 2017

The Upward Look And The Outward Look

God is calling us to move forward into His future. He's calling us to move forward with Him. He's calling us to move forward for Him. How are we to move forward with God? How are we to move forward for Him? If we are to move forward with God and for God, we must listen to those who have gone before us, and we must learn from them. Let us look back to the prophets and the apostles. Let us look back to our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us listen to them. Let us learn from them.
We begin with one of the prophets - Jeremiah. After that, we will look at the apostles, at the beginning of the book of Acts. Then, we will listen to Jesus, our Saviour, and we will learn from Him. After we have learned from the apostles, the prophets and the Saviour, we will return to the question: How are we to move forward with God and for God.
Jeremiah 1:4-8
Jeremiah's call to serve God seems to come as a bolt from the blue. He was completely taken aback. He was surprised. He was shocked. He was totally unprepared for this. He didn't know how to handle this. What was he supposed to say? What was he supposed to do?
To Jeremiah, it may have seemed completely new, but this was not new to God. He had been planning it for a very long time. God had a great future planned for Jeremiah.
Jeremiah looked at the past and the present. He said, "There's nothing special about me. I am only a child" (Jeremiah 1:6). God was already looking on to the future. He said, "Jeremiah, you will be a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5).
We look at what we are. God is already looking at what we are going to become.
Jeremiah said, "I do not know how to speak" (Jeremiah 1:6).
God said, "You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you" (Jeremiah 1:7). We look at what we can't do. God says, "This is what I am going to do." God says, "I am going to do a mighty work in you. I am going to do a mighty work through you."
What do we see in the call of Jeremiah? - We see the upward look and the outward look.
 * Jeremiah is looking up to the Lord. He is receiving his message from the Lord. He was a man with a message.
 * Jeremiah is looking out to the world. He is taking his message to the people. He was a man with a mission.
The upward look and the outward look - this is what we need today. We are not only to be the Church within these walls. We're to the be the Church without walls. We're to be the Church that is reaching out beyond these walls.
Acts 1:4-8
At the beginning of the book of Acts, we see the importance of the upward look and the outward look. We need both - the upward look: looking up to God, and the outward look: looking out to the world.
The book of Acts begins with waiting on the Lord - "wait for the gift My Father promised" (Acts 1:4). It moves on from there to witnessing to the world - "you will be My witnesses" (Acts 1:8).
There is, however, something else - something which lies between the waiting and the witnessing.
Here it is, in Acts 1:8: "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you."
Acts 1 is the beginning of a journey.
This journey begins in Jerusalem: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift My Father promised" (Acts 1:4).
The journey does not end in Jerusalem. It goes out to "the ends of the earth" - "you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
Waiting on the Lord and witnessing to the world - we need both, not one without the other. It's not to be all waiting and no witnessing; and it's not to be witnessing without waiting.
We must never forget the call to worship - but we dare not think that the call to serve the Lord is about nothing more than what happens within these walls of the Church. We're called to be a worshipping Church - and we're called to be a serving Church, a Church without walls, a Church that reaches out with the love of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
When we gather for worship, we should pray, "Lord, give us the upward look. Help us to reach up to You." We should also pray, "Give us the outward look. Help us to reach out for You."
Mark 1:34-38
Jesus was a Man of prayer. He was also a Man among the people. God heard His prayers - and "the common people heard Him gladly" (Mark 12:37).
In Jesus, we see the upward look and the outward look: looking up to God and going out to the people.
If we are to be true followers of Jesus, we must do what Jesus did - praying to God and working for God.
We must look at the life of Jesus, and we must pray, "Lord, help me to become more like Jesus."
In Jesus, we see both spiritual commitment and social concern, not one without the other.
How are  we to move forward with God and for God?
Our social concern is to be grounded in our spiritual commitment. It is to be shaped by our spiritual commitment. We are to tell people that Jesus loves them. We are to show them that Jesus loves them. We are to love people because we love Jesus. Our social concern is to be a way of expressing our spiritual commitment.
In today's Church and today's world, we need this loving and powerful combination - spiritual commitment and social concern.
 * Our spiritual commitment is always more than a spiritual commitment.
 * Our social concern is always more than a social concern.
We're called to understand the Word of God and to change the world of men and women.
We're to be set apart for God, but we're not be set apart from people.
God is calling us to believe the faith and to live the faith. We are to people who believe the Gospel. we are to be people who live the Gospel.
Let us pray for wisdom to know God's will and courage to do God's will.
Let us give ourselves to Jesus.
He will make the difference in our life - our whole life, not just a part of it.

25th August: Luke 5:12-32

'You can make me clean...I will; be clean' (12-13). Look at Christ's death for you - Can you doubt His desire to save you? Look at His resurrection - Can you doubt His power to save you? The Lord 'desires all people to be saved' (1 Timothy 2:4). We are saved through 'the Gospel' which 'is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith' (Romans 1:16). Jesus can save. Jesus will save. 'The power of the Lord' (17) is available to all: 'Whoever wishes' may 'come' and receive 'the free gift' of salvation (Revelation 22:17). To each one, Jesus says, 'Follow Me' (27). We must not think of ourselves as 'righteous'. Each one must come as a 'sinner' to Jesus, the Saviour of sinners (32). Through prayer, the Lord's saving power can be released among us (16-17; John 14:13-14; 1 John 5:14-15).

Thursday, 24 August 2017

24th August: Leviticus 22:17-23:44

God says, 'I am the Lord' (22:30-33): Let Him be 'your God' (23:14,22,28,40,43,). We are to 'worship in Spirit and in truth' - 'in the Spirit on the Lord's Day' (John 4:24; Revelation 1:10) When Christ died - This was the day of atonement. We worship Him, 'our Passover Lamb' (22:28; Exodus 12:13; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8). After 'fifty days' came the Day of Pentecost - What a day that was (Acts 2:4,16-21,41)! Bring 'the first fruits of your harvest' (9): 'What can I give Him? - my heart' (Church Hymnary, 178). Blow the trumpet (23:23; Joel 2:1,15) - It must be a 'clear call': 'Get ready for battle' (1 Corinthians 14:8). On the 'day of worship' (3), God is preparing us for the rest of the week: 'Be strong in the Lord' (Ephesians 6:12). Pray for the 'fire' of God (8,18,25,27,36-37; Acts 2:3-4).

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

23rd August: Leviticus 21:1-22:16

We are sanctified by the Lord (21:8,15,23; 22:9,16). It is His doing - God's call to holiness is founded in His gift of holiness: 'the Holy Spirit...has been given to us' (Romans 5:5) - 'every virtue we possess...every victory won...every thought of holiness, are His alone' (Church Hymnary, 336). When we are so conscious of our own weakness, God says, 'I am the Lord' (21:12; 22:2-3,8). He is more than sufficient for our justification, sanctification and glorification. Between our justification (the forgiveness of our sins) and our glorification (heaven) there is our sanctification ('conformed to the image of His Son'). This is God's doing. From beginning to end, it is the work of God (Romans 8:28-29). We lack faith, we lack holiness, we lack perseverance: In this we rejoice - 'Salvation is of the Lord' (Jonah 2:9).

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

22nd August: Luke 4:31-5:11

'His Word was with power' (32). Where there are hindrances, obstructing the flow of God's Word, we must pray that God's Word will be heard for 'what it really is' - 'not the word of men but the Word of God' (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Our hearing of God's Word is not to be a superficial thing - Here, the people of Capernaum 'tried to keep Him from leaving them' (42). Later, Jesus said, 'You, Capernaum...shall be thrust down to hell' (10:15). We must hear the Word of God and act on it (1,3). We may feel, 'it's a waste of time'. We must be obedient to God: 'at Your Word I will let down the nets' (5). We are to be 'partners' in the Lord's work (7): 'workers together with God' (2 Corinthians 6:1). All the glory belongs to the Lord: We are 'sinful' - Through His grace, we can win others for Him (8,10).

Monday, 21 August 2017

21st August: Leviticus 20:1-27

The life of holiness is not an expression of our own moral virtue. It is an expression of the holy character of God being reproduced in us: 'I am the Lord who sanctify you' (8). God wants us for Himself - This is why we must not live the world's way: 'I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine' (26). God has a great purpose for us: 'You shall inherit their land...I will give it to you, a land flowing with milk and honey' (24). 'You prepare a table before me in the presence of my cup overflows' (Psalm 23:5). 'The grace of our Lord was poured out on me Christ Jesus' (1 Timothy 1:14). This is the pathway to holiness: 'By grace you have been saved through faith...for good works' (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Sunday, 20 August 2017

20th August: Leviticus 18:24-19:37

Holiness and love - the two belong together (1,18,34). God calls us to live a life of holiness, a life of love. Through His Spirit - the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love - , He enables us to live this life. We need His promises. We need His commands. Take them both together - not one without the other! Promises without commands - We take God for granted, we presume on His blessing. Commands without promises - Our 'obedience' becomes a legalistic thing which has nothing to do with the Gospel of grace. We are to 'be holy...before Him in love' (Ephesians 1:4). 'The holiness without which no one will see the Lord' (Hebrews 12:14) is to be accompanied by the 'love' without which we are 'nothing' (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). The Lord has redeemed us: By His grace, we shall 'be love' (34,36).

Saturday, 19 August 2017

19th August: Luke 4:1-30

Jesus was 'tempted by the devil' (2). He was rejected by His enemies (28-29). When we look around us, we see nothing but temptations and rejection - What a negative way of looking at things! There is something more positive here - the presence of the Holy Spirit (1,14,18). Do not be afraid. There is no need to be discouraged. We need not be defeated. The temptations may be many. The opposition may be fierce. We can 'pass through the midst of them' (30): 'God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control' (2 Timothy 1:7). Satan is persistent - They did not rest until they had crucified Him. Faced with such opposition, we - like Jesus - must walk in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:12,17-18).

Friday, 18 August 2017

18th August: Leviticus 17:1-18:23

We are to be devoted 'to the Lord' (17:4-6,9): 'You are not your own; you were bought with a price' (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Underlying Christ's atoning death, there is this principle: 'the in the blood...I have given it for make atonement...' (17:11). Christ has shed His blood: He has given His life that we might have life. God looks upon His Son, crucified for us: He 'has commanded the blessing, life for evermore' (Psalm 133:3). We confess our sin, acknowledging that 'without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins' (Hebrews 9:22). With grateful thanksgiving, we rejoice in our Saviour, 'the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world' (John 1:29). 'Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power...' (Mission Praise, 671).

Thursday, 17 August 2017

17th August: Leviticus 16:1-34

God is 'holy': We cannot 'draw near' and 'come' to Him without a 'sin offering' (1-3). We cannot bring 'a sin offering' to Him. We can only bring our sin: Our righteousness is 'like filthy rags' (Isaiah 64:6). There is a 'way' for sinners to 'draw near' to God: Christ is the true and living Way (John 14:6; Hebrews 10:19-22). In verses 20-22, we have a great picture of Christ bearing the sin of the world: 'Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned He stood...Full atonement, - Yes it is! Hallelujah! What a Saviour!' (Church Hymnary, 380). Atonement has been made for us...We have been cleansed from all our sins (30): What a perfect atonement! What a perfect Saviour! - 'God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ' (Galatians 6:14).

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

16th August: Luke 3:1-38

John's message came from 'God' (2). He did not begin with love. He preached about sin and divine judgment, warning his hearers to 'flee from the wrath to come' (7). He called for 'repentance' (3,8). This was not what people wanted to hear. Before we can rejoice in the Good News concerning salvation, we must recognize our sin and our need of salvation. John prepared the way for Jesus. 'All have sinned', 'The wages of sin is death' - This is the 'bad news' which prepares us to receive, with joyful thanksgiving, 'the Good News': 'the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Like John, we are to point to Jesus, God's 'beloved Son' : Before 'Adam' was, He is. Pray that the 'Holy Spirit' will bring people to Christ (22,38; 8:58).

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

15th August: Leviticus 14:33-15:33

You can get 'dry rot' in people - as well as houses (14:34; Hebrews 12:15)! Sin is like 'a wasting disease' (Psalm 106:13-15). It will only get worse - unless something is done about it! Sin spreads. and spreads, and... Can anything be done about this sad situation? Look into yourself, and you will find that the situation is hopeless (Romans 7:14-20). Look to Christ, and there is hope: 'where sin increased, grace abounded all the more' (Romans 5:20). Sin is not to be taken lightly. Don't underestimate the power of sin. Little by little, it will lure you away from Christ. Keep close to Jesus, rejoicing in this: 'He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world' (1 John 4:4). God calls for holiness: 'your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit'; 'present your God' (1 Corinthians 6:19; Romans 12:1).

Monday, 14 August 2017

Don’t Let Familiarity Breed Contempt!

“The impressive thing here is the respect shown to Jeremiah by the pagan authorities. Strange, is it not that the outsiders seem more able  to recognize the worth of God’s servants than God’s people do? Familiarity, they say, breeds contempt. A prophet is not without honour save in his own country.”
(Rev James Philip, Notes on Jeremiah 40:1-6, Gardenstown Church, Wednesday 22nd August 1956)

The Return Of God's Blessing

"Once the stroke of God is past, the air clears and a better spirit pervades the community,under Gedaliah's kindly governorship. God's blessing on the land again appears (Jeremiah 40:12). How quick He is to turn His anger away. He doth not willingly afflict the children of men. Slow to chide, and swift to bless is our God!"
(Rev James Philip on Jeremiah 40:7-16, Gardenstown Church, Thursday 23rd August 1956).

A Word Of Warning

"It was jealousy that moved Ishmael to murder Gedaliah. The Bible has a habit of revealing the fateful consequences of human passions. Who amongst us really believes that that jealous spirit within is capable of this? Believe the Bible rather than your own feelings, and be on your guard. Root it out!" 
(Rev James Philip on Jeremiah 41:1-10, Gardenstown Church, Friday 24th August 1956)

Watch Where You're Going!

"Now see where one man's jealousy has led! The remnant feel themselves forced to go down to Egypt. Egypt has ever spelt doom to God's people, from Abraham downwards. There is a pull towards Egypt in all our hearts. That is where the battle lies for us. Resist!"
(Rev James Philip, Notes on Jeremiah 41:11-18, Gardenstown Church, Saturday 25th August 1956)

Do we really seek the Lord's guidance?

"Notice the deceit - they pretend earnestly to seek the Lord's guidance, but at heart they simply desire God to approve a course they had already decided upon. All too often this is how we deal with God.We make up our minds, then close them to God's mind. Is it a wonder that we go astray?"
(Rev James Philip, Notes on Jeremiah 42:1-22, Gardenstown Church, Sunday 26th August 1956)

Make Sure You're Not Arguing With God!

"Here is a favourite trick people have, when they resist God's will - they do not dare oppose God openly, they take it out on the Lord's servants. Many honoured and faithful servants of God suffer agonies when the spleen of convicted Christians vents itself upon them, Friends, your quarrel is not with the servant, but with servant's God. Beware!" 
(Rev James Philip, Notes on Jeremiah 43:1-13, Gardenstown Church, Monday 27th August 1956)

Are We Learning To Turn From Sin And Turn To God?

"If people do the same in Egypt as they have done at home, the same punishment will overtake them. One marvels at the perversity of their hearts, to have learned so little from the sack of Jerusalem. But do we learn from the judgments God sends upon us? Do they make us repent, and learn righteousness? (Isaiah 26:9)." 
(Rev James Philip, Notes on Jeremiah 44:1-19, Gardenstown Church,  Tuesday 28th August 1956)

Whose Word Are We Listening To?

"Study the end of verse 28 - 'My word, or theirs, saith the Lord.' This is the ultimate test. In darkness or shadow, it is always God's Word that stands. Heaven and earth will pass away, but not His Word. It is our wisdom to remember this all our days!"
(Rev James Philip, Notes on Jeremiah 44:20-30, Gardenstown Church, Wednesday 29th August 1956)

Do We Seek Great Things For Ourselves - Or For God?

"Amidst his ministry to the nations, this spiritual giant has time  for a penetrating word for his scribe. Often the larger affairs of national prophecy can conceal petty ambitions in lesser men. Baruch wanted to be something - and instantly the discerning prophet pierced his heart with these searching and challenging words, "Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them." (5). Is this a word for you today?"
(Rev James Philip, Notes on Jeremiah 45:1-5, Gardenstown Church, Thursday 30th August 1956)

Are You Under A Cloud Today? ...

"Jeremiah's horizon stretches to the heathen nations - here it is Egypt, and the outlook is dark, as it is for every God-forgetting nation. But in verses 27-28, there are promises full of comfort to God's people - 27 “Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid. 28 Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant, for I am with you,” declares the Lord. “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.” Are you under a cloud today? Then this is your word from God. Grasp it with both hands and rejoice!"
(Rev James Philip, Notes on Jeremiah 46:1-27, Gardenstown Church, Friday 31st August 1956)

Don't Lose Hope!

"“‘Alas, sword of the Lord, how long till you rest? Return to your sheath;  cease and be still.’
But how can it rest when the Lord has commanded it, when he has ordered it to attack Ashkelon and the coast?” It is all very well to complain about desolation and judgment in the land - but it is God who brings these things, and only He can turn our captivity around. Think how little men, even Christian men, heed God's dealings, then you will see how impossible it is for His sword to be quiet. It has more work to do yet, before blessing comes." 
(Rev James Philip, Notes on Jeremiah 47:1-7, Gardenstown Church, Saturday 1st September 1956)

Everything Can Be Turned Around - By God!

"This chapter reads like a whirlwind! And the Lord is in the whirlwind. What has angered God at Moab? See verse 26 - “Make her drunk, for she has defied the Lord. Let Moab wallow in her vomit;     let her be an object of ridicule." - this is the sin of sins. Judgment inevitably falls upon it, in man or nation. Yet God's mercy can cure it and remove it - “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come,”declares the Lord." (47). There is nothing too hard for the Lord."
(Rev James Philip, Notes on Jeremiah 48:1-17, Gardenstown Church, Sunday 2nd September 1956)

Sunday, 13 August 2017

14th August: Leviticus 13:47-14:32

We read about skin disease. Remember: there is also the sin disease - and we're all suffering from that!. Sin is a deadly 'cancer' for which there is only one treatment: 'Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus' (Redemption Hymnal, 333). The new birth - like physical birth - is a unique, once-for-all, experience: it is the beginning of the Christian life (John 3:3-6). Many times over, we will need to be 'washed a second time' (58). Justification (Romans 5:1) happens in a moment: 'The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment a pardon receives'. Sanctification (Romans 6:13,19). lasts a lifetime: 'Take time to be holy...(Mission Praise, 708,625). God loves us: He will help us to 'be holy' (1 Peter 1:16).

13th August: Proverbs 4:20-27

'Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you' (25). Living the Christian life is like 'walking a tightrope' - We must 'not swerve to the right or to the left' (27; Deuteronomy 28:14; Joshua 1:7; 23:6). Looking straight ahead, 'let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith...'(Hebrews 12:2). In the face of life's many difficulties, you may ask, "Can I 'run with perseverance the race marked out for me' (Hebrews 12:1)?". Keep your eyes on your own capacity for perseverance - and you will be filled with thoughts of your own weakness. Keep your eyes on Christ and His preserving power (1 Peter 1:5; John 10:27-29; Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:37-39). You will grow strong - strengthened by Christ's Word: 'My grace is sufficient for you' (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Saturday, 12 August 2017

12th August: Luke 2:21-52

Jesus 'fulfilled all righteousness' (Matthew 3:15). His circumcision and presentation to the Lord was 'according to the law of Moses' (21-24; Leviticus 12:1-8). Jesus' obedience was always more than mere conformity to 'the written code'. He was walking 'in the Spirit'. He was filled with 'the Spirit of the living God' (2 Corinthians 3:3,6). His obedience came 'from the heart' and His 'praise' came 'not from men but from God' (Romans 6:17; 2:29). What joy there was for Simeon and Anna! This was 'salvation', 'redemption' (30,38). As you journey through life, don't 'lose Jesus' (43-45). Keep close to Him! If you do 'lose Him', where will you find Him again? - 'In the temple' (46). Have you lost your way? Find your way back to 'the sanctuary of God' - and things will start to fall into place again (Psalm 73:16-17)!

Friday, 11 August 2017

11th August: Leviticus 12:1-13:46

How can I be made clean (12:8)? - This is the vital question to which the Gospel gives its emphatic answer. We ask, 'What can wash away my stain?'. The answer is given, 'Nothing but the blood of Jesus'. We ask, 'Has atonement been made for my sin' (12:8)?'. The answer is clear: 'Christ has for sin atonement made'. You can be 'washed in the blood of the Lamb'. What water cannot do, Christ does for us. The water used in baptism - 'a little' or 'a lot'! - cannot wash away our sin. It can only point beyond itself to Christ's Cross, where we hear the Good News: 'There is wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb' (Redemption Hymnal, 333,615,309,288). Confess your sin - 'Unclean, unclean' (13:45). Christ will change you - beginning with your 'heart' (12:3; Romans 2:28-29).

Thursday, 10 August 2017

10th August: Leviticus 11:1-47

God sees only two types of people: 'clean' and 'unclean'. All of us are 'in Adam' (sinners). Not all are 'in Christ' (saved) (Romans 5:12-21). How about you? - Are you cleansed, forgiven, born again, saved, committed (1 John 1:7,9; John 3:7; Acts 16:31; 2 Timothy 1:12)? Or, are you still in your sins, guilty of neglecting God's great salvation, not far from - yet still outside of - God's Kingdom, almost persuaded but still uncommitted (John 8:24; 9:41; Hebrews 2:3; Acts 26:28)? Before the call to holiness (45), there is the call to salvation. Give your heart to Christ. This is where holiness begins (Mark 7:14-23). Holiness is not our own achievement - 'God is at work in you' (Phillipians 2:13). Remember: Our holiness is grounded in His redemption (45). Feed on His Word - and let holiness grow (Psalm 119:9-11).

Satan has no power over Jesus.

Isaiah 36:1-37:20
We read, Lord, about Hezekiah, facing a very powerful enemy – ‘Sennacherib, king of Assyria’ (Isaiah 36:1). We read his prayer for deliverance – ‘O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand’. He prays for salvation – ‘O Lord our God, save us…’ (Isaiah 37:20). We face an even more powerful enemy – Satan, ‘the ruler of this world’, ‘the god of this world.’ We pray for deliverance. We look to You, Lord, for salvation. Help us to pray with faith in Jesus Christ. Satan ‘has no power over’ Jesus. When Jesus was ‘lifted up from the earth’ (crucified), He won a mighty victory over Satan. Jesus died for us so that Satan, ‘the ruler of this world’ might be ‘cast out.’ We thank You, Lord, that Satan’s power is broken when ‘the light of the Gospel of  the glory of Christ’ shines ‘in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’ We pray for deliverance. We look to You, Lord, for salvation. Help us to pray with faith in Jesus Christ. Satan ‘has no power over’ Jesus. When Jesus was ‘lifted up from the earth’ (crucified), He won a mighty victory over Satan. Jesus died for us so that Satan, ‘the ruler of this world’ might be ‘cast out.’ We thank You, Lord, that Satan’s power is broken when ‘the light of the Gospel of  the glory of Christ’ shines ‘in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ’ (John 14:30;12:31-33; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

Praying Through God’s Word: Isaiah

Isaiah 1:1-31
We thank You, Lord, that You invite us to “come” to You and receive salvation – “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Along with Your promise, there is also Your warning: “if you refuse and rebel … ” (Isaiah 1:18-20). You call us to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. With the Gospel promise, there is also the Gospel warning: “Whoever does not believe is condemned already because he does not believe in the Name of the only Son of God” (John 3:17-18). Help us, Lord, to receive Your “great salvation” – and to remember the Gospel warning: “How shall we escape if we neglect or ignore such a great salvation/” (Hebrews 2:3). 

Isaiah 2:1-22
Lord, You’re calling us to worship You – “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.” You’re calling us to walk in Your ways – “Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:3,5). We’re moving towards the Day when “the pride of men shall be humbled and brought low”, the Day when “the Lord alone will be exalted” (Isaiah 2:11-12,17). How, Lord, are we to get ready for the Return of our Lord Jesus Christ? You’re calling us to keep on worshipping You and walking with You. As we worship You and walk with You, may our pride be humbled, and may our Saviour be exalted.

Isaiah 3:1-26
Lord, You call us to make our choice. Will we follow the way of “the righteous” or the way of “the wicked” (Isaiah 3:10-11)? We recall the words of Jesus: “Enter by the narrow gate … only a few find the narrow gate, the hard way that leads to life. His words are not popular. Many don’t like it when Jesus says, “the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Help us, Lord, to listen to all that Jesus is saying to us – and not only the ‘nice’ things that we like to hear.

Isaiah 4:1-5:17
“Those who are left … will be called holy” (Isaiah 4:3). Lord, we hear worldly people speaking of ‘the holy people who need to learn to live in the real world.’ They speak with contempt. When You, Lord, call Your people “holy”, You speak with affection. You look upon us in love. You tell us that we are special to You. You tell us that we are precious in Your eyes. Lord, You’re calling us to be holy. Help us to look beyond this world, to catch a glimpse of “the things that are unseen and eternal”, and to “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:18; Philippians 3:14).

Isaiah 5:18-6:13
Lord, You reveal Your holiness: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.” In Your holiness, we see our own sinfulness: “I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:3,5). Lord, You are perfectly holy: “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil” (Habakkuk 1:13). When we look at ourselves in the light of Your perfect holiness, we see ourselves as we really are: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Help us, Lord, to confess our sin and pray for your forgiveness: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Help us to hear Your Word of forgiveness – “your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.” Help us to speak our words of commitment – “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:7-8).

Isaiah 7:1-25

We thank You, Lord, that Jesus, Your Son, is “Immanuel” – “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). We look forward to the Second Coming of Immanuel: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them” (Revelation 21:3). When our thoughts turn to the Return of Christ, may we think of His urgent call to faith: “When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). Lord, give us strength to “stand firm in our faith”, to “believe and be saved” (Isaiah 7:9; Hebrews 10:37-39).

Isaiah 8:1-22

“Immanuel … God is with us” (Isaiah 8:8,10). Lord, we read these words – and we thank You that Jesus has come to be with us so that we may go to be with Him. He has come from heaven to earth so that we might go from earth to heaven. He died for us so that we might live with Him. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, our great Saviour.

Isaiah 9:1-10:4

Lord, we read the words of prophecy – “To us a Child is born, to us a Son is given … ” – and we rejoice in the fulfilment of prophecy – “Today in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you.” What a great Saviour Jesus is – He is our “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 2:11). Lord, this is “Good News of great joy” – for “all the people” and for “all generations” (Luke 2:10; Luke 1:46-50). Thank You, Lord.

Isaiah 10:5-34

“A few, the remaining few of Jacob, will return to the mighty God” (Isaiah 10:21). So few people make time for worshipping You, Lord. Are we to become discouraged? No! We must take encouragement for  Your Word: “The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame” (Isaiah 10:17). Lord, give us grace to “truly rely on” You, “the Lord, the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 10:20), to keep on believing that You will, again, send Your blessing – even in the difficult times when disappointment and discouragement threaten to engulf and overwhelm us.

Isaiah 11:1-12:6

We thank You, Lord, for Jesus Christ – ” a Banner for the nations”, “the Saviour of the world” (Isaiah 11:12′ John 4:42). We thank You that He has “died for the sins of the whole world.” This is “Good News” for “all the world.” It’s a call to receive the “forgiveness os sins.” It’s a call to become His “disciples” (1 John 2:2; Mark 16:15; Luke 24;27; Matthew 28:19). As we look to Jesus, our Saviour, may our personal faith – “I will praise You, O Lord … God is my Salvation … The Lord is my Strength and my Song …” – become our public testimony – making Christ “known among the nations,” telling “all the world! what the Lord has done for us (Isaiah 12:1-2,4-5).

Isaiah 13:1-22

“The Day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty … The Day of the Lord is coming – a cruel Day with fierce anger … “; “When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven … He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord … ” Lord, we read these words, and we wonder, “Is this what lies ahead of us?” We thank You, Lord, that You speak to us of something else, something very much more wonderful – the Day of Christ’s Return, the Day of our salvation: “the Day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marvelled at among all those who have believed” (Isaiah 13:6,9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).Why, Lord, do You speak to us about judgment? Does this have anything at all to do with the Good News of our salvation? you show us, Lord, what we have been saved from – so that we might appreciate more deeply, more truly and more fully, the wonder of Your great salvation. You speak to us Your warning, ‘Don’t let the Day of the Lord “surprise you like a thief” – to bring us to “Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath,” and to lead us on to the Day of “salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4,9; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

Isaiah 14:1-23

We read, Lord, about “the king of Babylon” (Isaiah 14:4) – and we see Satan. He is full of pride – “I will climb to the highest heaven and be like the Most High.” He is fallen – “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer.” He will be brought to nothing – “you will be brought down to the pit f hell … ” (Isaiah 14:12-15). We look at the king of Tyre – and, again, we see Satan – “you were on the holy mountain of God … you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God … your heart was proud … you have come to a dreadful end … ” (Ezekiel 28:12-19). We look beyond Satan (the devil) – and we see Jesus, our great Saviour. By “the authority of Christ,” Satan “has been thrown down.” In Christ, we have the victory over Satan: “they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb … “(Revelation 12:7-12). Thank You, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus – and the great victory over Satan that He has won for us.

Isaiah 14:24-15:9

“My heart cries out for Moab” (Isaiah 15:5). Lord, we read these words – and we catch a glimpse of Your loving heart. You take “no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” You do “not want anyone to perish.” You long for “everyone to come to repentance” (Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9). When, Lord, we look at Your Son, Jesus – our Saviour, we see your loving heart: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:27). When we look at Paul, the Apostle, we see Your loving heart. Paul saw the nation of Israel, turning away from You – and he was filled with compassion: “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart” (Romans 9:2). Help us, Lord, to feel for the lost, to look upon them with Your love, and to long for them to be saved.

Isaiah 16:1-17:3

‘In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a Man will sit on it – One from the house of David…’ (Isaiah 16:5). Lord, we read these words, and we look beyond David – to Jesus, ‘the Son of God’ (Romans 1:4). David was the king of Israel. Jesus is the King of kings. In Jesus, Your Perfect Son, we see Your love and Your faithfulness. Thank You, Lord.

Isaiah 17:4-18:7

‘You have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge’ (Isaiah 17:10). Lord, we find is so easy to forget – and so hard to remember. You have loved us so much. We should remember to say, ‘Thank You, Lord’. Very often, we forget. When Jesus healed ten lepers, only ‘one of them came back’ to say ‘Thank You’. Far too often, we are like ‘the other nine’ (Luke 17:11-19). We forget to thank You for Your love. We take Your love for granted. We should be celebrating. We should be letting You know how much we love You. We forget ‘our first love’ (Revelation 2:4). Help us to let Jesus be our first love, our only love – for the whole of our life.

Isaiah 19:1-20:6

‘The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt My people, Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel my heritage”’ (Isaiah 19:25). ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek… you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28). How, Lord, can people who seem to be opposites be brought together? Jesus Christ brings them together. He breaks down ‘the barrier’. He removes ‘the dividing wall of hostility’. We are brought ‘near’ to one another through ‘the blood of Christ’. Help us, Lord, to come to ‘the Cross’ of Christ. There, at ‘the Cross’, we will find each other. We will discover what it means to be ‘one body’ in Christ (Ephesians 2:13-16). When Satan comes, creating misunderstanding, filling our minds with suspicion  and undermining our hopes of peace, help us to remind him of Your Word, ‘You are all one in Christ Jesus’.

Isaiah 21:1-17

Lord, we live in a situation of conflict. We are at war with the enemy. Satan is Your enemy. Satan is our enemy. Satan is a very determined enemy. Satan is a defeated enemy. ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon…’ (Isaiah 21:9). We read these words,  repeated again in Revelation 14:8; 18:2. You, Lord, are assuring that Satan will not prevail over You and Your people. The victory is Yours, Lord. You give Your victory to us. When the going gets tough, when Satan seems to have the upper hand, Help us to remember this: ‘Fierce may be the conflict, strong may be the foe, but the King’s own army none can overthrow. Round His standard ranging, victory is secure, for His truth unchanging makes the triumph sure’. May we never hesitate to commit ourselves to Christ: ‘Joyfully enlisting, by Thy grace divine, we are on the Lord’s side; Saviour, we are Thine.’

Isaiah 22:1-25

We read, Lord, about ‘the Valley of Vision’ (Isaiah 22:1,5). You are to be our Vision: ‘Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art, Thou my best thought, by day or by night, waking or sleeping Thy presence my light.’ When we’re down in the valley, the mountain-top experience seems a long way off. What are we to do when everything seems to be hard-going? When there seems to be no way out of the valley, no way back to the mountain-top, help us to keep on ‘looking to Jesus’ (Hebrews 12:1-2). When we’re in the ‘valley’, help us to say, ‘My goal is God Himself, not joy nor peace, nor even blessing, but Himself, my God’. May our ‘valley’ become Your ‘valley of vision’, the place where we are learning to ‘turn our eyes upon Jesus.’

Isaiah 23:1-18

‘Look at the land of the Babylonians, this people that is now of no account!’ (13). We read these words, Lord, and we wonder, “What about our nation? Is there any hope for our nation?” To the nation which turns to You, Lord, You  speak Your promise of blessing – ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord …’ (Psalm 33:12). To the nation which turns away from You, You speak Your warning of judgment – ‘For lack of guidance a nation falls’ (Proverbs 11:14). We must choose. Help us, Lord, to choose to listen to You, to submit our lives to You,, to follow the guidance You have given to us in Your Word.  Your way leads to blessing – ‘Righteousness exalts a nation.’ The way of self leads to judgment – ‘sin is a disgrace to any people’ (Proverbs 14:34). Raise us, Lord, above the way of “the Babylonians” – to the better way, the way that brings glory to You:  ‘They will see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven’ (Matthew 5:16).

Isaiah 24:1-23

‘They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty. Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord, exalt the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: “Glory to the Righteous One”’ (Isaiah 24:14-16). Lord, this is such a beautiful picture of a land that is enjoying Your blessing, praising You and giving glory to You. Looking around us, we see a very different picture – ‘The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws… therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt’ (Isaiah 24:5-6). Can the dark picture of sin and guilt be turned into the brighter picture of salvation and rejoicing? Lord, You are ‘able to do so much more than we can ask for, or even imagine’ (Ephesians 3:20). Help us, Lord, to be bold – and keep on praying that You will send revival in our time.

Isaiah 25:1-26:9

‘O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your Name… You have done marvellous things’ (Isaiah 25:1). We remember what You, Lord, have done for us. You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour. We rejoice in Jesus. He died for us. We rejoice in Jesus. He rose again for us. We look forward to His Return. We look forward to the Day when You, Lord, ‘will swallow up death for ever.’ On that Day, ‘the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces.’ On that Day, we will look back and say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us.’ On that Day, we will ‘rejoice and be glad in Your salvation’ (Isaiah 25:8-9). Here and now, help us to ‘trust in’ You. May we know that we can trust in You ‘for ever.’ You are ‘the everlasting Rock’ – ‘the Rock of our salvation’ (Isaiah 26:4; Psalm 95:1).

“This is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us …Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation” (Isaiah 25:9). 
Lord, we remember what You have done for us. We remember Your  Son, Jesus Christ. We rejoice in Him. He died for us. He rose again for us. We look forward to His Return – the Day when ‘He will swallow up death for ever.’ On that Day, Lord, You ‘will wipe away the tears from all faces.’ On that Day, we will say, ‘Lord, You are our God; we have trusted in You, and You have saved us.’ On that Day, we will ‘rejoice and be glad in Your salvation.’ Here and now, may we learn to trust in You. May we know that You are ‘the everlasting Rock’ – ‘the Rock of our salvation.

Isaiah 26:10-27:13

We thank you, Lord, that Jesus is our Saviour – ‘Lord, You establish peace for us’; ‘We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’. We cannot save ourselves. We can only look away from ourselves to Jesus – and be saved by Him: ‘all that we have accomplished You have done for us’; ‘By grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God’ (Isaiah 26:12; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8). We thank You that Jesus is our Lord – ‘Lord, our God… You alone are our Lord’. How are we to live once we have received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? – ‘Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him’. Help us not to ‘keep on sinning so that You, Lord, can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness.’ Help us to live a life of ‘good works’ (Isaiah 26:13; Colossians 2:6; Romans 6:1; Ephesians 2:10).

Isaiah 28:1-22

We thank You, Lord, that Your Son,  Jesus Christ, is ‘the precious Cornerstone’. He is ‘the sure Foundation’ (Isaiah 28:16). Jesus is the Name of our salvation – ‘Salvation is found in no-one else… there is no other name… by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:10-12). There is only one ‘Foundation’ for our faith – ‘Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 3:11). He is the ‘chosen and precious Cornerstone’ – ‘to you who believe, this Stone is precious’ (1 Peter 2:6-7). Help us, Lord, to build our life on Christ, ‘the solid Rock’ – ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; no merit of my own I claim, but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name. When weary in this earthly race, I rest on His unchanging grace… When earthly hopes are swept away, He will uphold me on that Day. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand’ (Matthew 7:24-27).

Isaiah 28:23-29:16

‘The wisdom of the wise will perish’ (Isaiah 29:14). As, Lord, we read these words, may we know that there is another ‘wisdom’, a ‘wisdom’ which shall not perish, a ‘wisdom’ which is ‘wiser than man’s wisdom’. Christ is ‘the Wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24-25). May we know that, with Christ as our Saviour, we ‘shall not perish.’ Through faith in Him, we receive the ‘wisdom’ which brings ‘salvation’ (John 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:15). He is ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life’ (John 14:6). He is the Way to true wisdom. He is the Truth upon which true wisdom is based. He is the Life which is based on true wisdom. He is true Wisdom. Help us, Lord, not to seek wisdom apart from faith in Jesus Christ  – ‘the world did not know God through wisdom.’ May we know that there is one true wisdom which does ‘not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God’ – faith in ‘Christ crucified’ (1 Corinthians 1:21-23; 2:1-5).

Isaiah 29:17-30:17

‘In returning and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, “No!”’ (Isaiah 30:15-16). Lord, You want to bless us. You want to be our ‘salvation.’ You want to be our ‘strength.’ How do You bless us? How do You become our ‘salvation’? How do You become our ‘strength’? We must want Your blessing. We must want Your ‘salvation.’ We must want Your ‘strength.’ We must return to You and rest in You. We must quietly listen to Your Word, putting our trust in You. There is no ‘salvation’ without ‘returning and rest.’ There is no ‘strength’ without ‘quietness and trust.’ You, Lord, do not force Yourself upon us. We can say, ‘No! I will have none of it’. You want to bless you. Help us, Lord, to say, ‘Yes, Lord! I want You to be my “salvation.” I want You to be my “strength.”’

Isaiah 30:18-31:19

‘Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!’ (Isaiah 31:1). Lord, we can so easily forget You. We try to go it alone, and we forget to look to You for help. Even when we forget You, You do not forget us. When we turn our back on You, You call us to ‘return to You’ (Isaiah 31:6). You remind us that our true help is found in You: ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth’ (Psalm 124:8). We need not look around here, there and everywhere for an answer to the question, ‘Where does my help come from?’ There is only one true answer to this question: ‘My help comes from You, Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth’ (Psalm 121:1-2). Thank You, Lord, that You are our God – our Maker and our Helper.

Isaiah 32:1-20

‘Abandoned… deserted… a wasteland…’ (Isaiah 32:14). Lord, we read these words, and we wonder,”Can such a desperate situation be turned around?” Your answer is “Yes!” – When ‘the Spirit is poured upon us from on high… the wilderness becomes a fruitful field’ (Isaiah 32:15). Help us not to lose heart. May we keep on calling on You. Help us to keep on believing that You, Lord, are able to turn things around. When the situation seems hopeless, help us to put our trust in You,  ‘the God of hope.’ Help us to keep on praying that You will send Your blessing: ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope’ (Romans 15:13).

Isaiah 33:1-24

‘O Lord…Be our strength every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble’ (Isaiah 33:2). Help us, Lord, not only to pray to You ‘in the time of trouble.’ Help us to pray to You ‘every morning.’ May we not keep You at a distance, calling on You only when things are going badly. When we keep You at a distance, our life tells its own sad story – ‘O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear – all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’ When we draw near to You, Lord, You draw near to us, and everything becomes very different – ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!’ (James 4:8). Lord, let Your  ‘love’ come to us ‘new every morning’ – ‘fresh as the morning , as sure as the sunrise’ (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Isaiah 34:1-17

Lord, You call us to ‘draw near’ to You. You want us to ‘pay attention’ to You. Help us to ‘listen’ to His Word (Isaiah 34:1). Your Word is not always what we want to hear. It will always be what we need to hear. ‘The Lord is angry with all nations’ (Isaiah 34:2). We don’t like to hear about Your anger. We prefer to be told ‘You’re doing fine.’ We need to hear about God’s anger. We need to hear about how far we have wandered away from God – ‘We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us turned to his own way.’ We are sinners. We have turned away from You, Lord. We have chosen our own way rather than Your way. We must hear this ‘bad news’ before we can really appreciate the ‘Good News’ – ‘the Lord has laid all our sins on Jesus’, ‘Christ died for us while we were still sinners’, ‘Christ died for our sins’ (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3).

Isaiah 35:1-10

What blessings are given to those who draw near to You, Lord – ‘Your God… will come and save you’ (Isaiah 35:4). The Good News of Christ comes to us as a call to faith – ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’ (Acts 16:31). We have been saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot remain the same. You have called us to live a new life. You call us to travel on the Your ‘highway’ – ‘the Way of Holiness’ (Isaiah 35:8). This is ‘the Way’ which leads to ‘everlasting joy’ (Isaiah 35:10). This ‘Way’ is so different from the world’s way. The world has no time for those who seek to live a holy life. Help us to remember what Jesus says about the world’s way of life: ‘the gate is wide and the way is wide that leads to destruction’ (Matthew 7:13). Whatever the world may say, may we never forget this: ‘Without holiness, no-one will see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14).

Isaiah 36:1-37:20

We read, Lord, about Hezekiah, facing a very powerful enemy – ‘Sennacherib, king of Assyria’ (Isaiah 36:1). We read his prayer for deliverance – ‘O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand’. He prays for salvation – ‘O Lord our God, save us…’ (Isaiah 37:20). We face an even more powerful enemy – Satan, ‘the ruler of this world’, ‘the god of this world.’ We pray for deliverance. We look to You, Lord, for salvation. Help us to pray with faith in Jesus Christ. Satan ‘has no power over’ Jesus. When Jesus was ‘lifted up from the earth’ (crucified), He won a mighty victory over Satan. Jesus died for us so that Satan, ‘the ruler of this world’ might be ‘cast out.’ We thank You, Lord, that Satan’s power is broken when ‘the light of the Gospel of  the glory of Christ’ shines ‘in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the faceworld’, ‘the god of this world.’ We pray for deliverance. We look to You, Lord, for salvation. Help us to pray with faith in Jesus Christ. Satan ‘has no power over’ Jesus. When Jesus was ‘lifted up from the earth’ (crucified), He won a mighty victory over Satan. Jesus died for us so that Satan, ‘the ruler of this world’ might be ‘cast out.’ We thank You, Lord, that Satan’s power is broken when ‘the light of the Gospel of  the glory of Christ’ shines ‘in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ’ (John 14:30;12:31-33; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

Isaiah 37:21-38:8

“Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here… By the way that he came he will return… I will defend this city to save it” (Isaiah 37:33-35). This, Lord, was Your answer to Hezekiah’s prayer for salvation. What a great God You are! You are the God of our salvation. You will answer our prayer for salvation. You love us: ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…’. Your Son, Jesus, died for us: ‘God made Him who knew no sin (Christ) to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God’. Jesus promises to receive all who come to Him for salvation: ‘I will never turn away anyone who comes to Me’ (John 3:16; 6:37; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Thank You, Lord.

Isaiah 38:9-39:8

‘The Lord will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our life in the House of the Lord’ (Isaiah 38:20). Lord, we hear many people saying, ‘I can be a Christian without going to Church.’ You’re teaching us  something very different. You’re showing us that believing in You leads to worshipping You.. It doesn’t make sense. for us, to say, ‘I believe in You, Lord’ but  I’m not interested in worshipping You.’ We believe in Jesus. He has saved by us. We Have received a new Spirit of worship: ‘God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Father, my Father!”’ (Galatians 4:4). Help us, Lord, never to rest content with being believers without also being worshippers.

Isaiah 40:1-31

‘The Lord is the everlasting God… He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak… those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…’ (Isaiah 40:28-31). Far too often, Lord, we say, ‘I can’t’ when we really mean ‘I won’t’. ‘I can’t’ – This, Lord,  is an insult to Your power of God. You call us to do something special for Him. We say, ‘I can’t’. What are we really saying? We’re saying – ‘Lord, I don’t believe Your promise – “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”’. Help us, Lord, to stop saying, ‘I can’t’. Help us not to get so busy with other things that we fail to wait upon You, Lord, and renew your strength. When You call us to serve Him, help us to say, ‘Yes, Lord, I will wait upon You. I will renew my strength. I will do Your will’.

Isaiah 41:1-29

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you… I am the Lord your God who… says to you, Do not fear; I will help you… I Myself will help you, declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel’ (Isaiah 41:10-14). When, Lord, we have something important to say, we repeat ourselves. We want to make sure that our message gets across. We say, ‘Do you get the point? Do you see what I mean?’ This, Lord, is what You are doing. Three times, You say, ‘I will help you’. You want us to get the point. You  want to leave us in no doubt. You want us to be sure of this: ‘I will help you’. You don’t want us to go around thinking, ‘I wonder if God will help me?’ You really do want to help us. You say it once. You say it twice. You say it three times: ‘I will help you’. Thank You, Lord.

Isaiah 42:1-25

‘Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, my Chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations’ (Isaiah 42:1). Lord, these words turn our thoughts towards Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. At His baptism, we hear Your voice – ‘This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased’. At His baptism, we see ‘the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on Him’.  Jesus is the fulfilment of Your Word of prophecy: ‘All mankind shall see the Saviour sent from God’. After His resurrection, we hear Jesus Himself speaking. He says, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…’ (Matthew 12:15-21; 3:16-17; 28:18-20; Luke 3:6). Help us, Lord, to bring Christ to the nations. Help us to serve You in the power of the Spirit.

Isaiah 43:1-28

‘I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour… I am the Lord, apart from Me there is no saviour’ (Isaiah 43:3,11). Lord, these words turn our thoughts towards Jesus, our Saviour. The Name of Jesus is the Name of our salvation: ‘Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved’

Isaiah 44:1-28

‘I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants’ (Isaiah 44:3). Lord, we hear You speaking to us of  the mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost – ‘They were all filled with the Holy Spirit…’ (Acts 2:4). We thank You for the Spirit. He brings ‘streams of living water’ into our lives. We thank You for the Spirit. He sends ‘streams of living water’, flowing out from us to others (John 7:37-39). Help us, Lord, to ‘be filled with the Spirit’. ‘Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ’ – May our lives be full of praise to You: ‘filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18-20).

Isaiah 45:1-25
‘I am the Lord… I will strengthen you’ (Isaiah 45:5). How, Lord, do You strengthen us? You strengthen us with salvation. You come to us as our ‘God and Saviour’.  You call us to come to You and receive salvation: ‘Turn to Me and be saved…’. Through faith in Christ, we are ‘saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation’ (Isaiah 45:15,17,21-22). We are strengthened with ‘everlasting salvation’. We look ahead to Christ’s Return ‘in power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). We thank You, Lord, that, on that Day, the glory of Jesus, our Saviour, will be fully revealed: ‘At the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father’. Jesus is our Saviour. His ‘Name is above every name’. We thank You that our ‘strength’ comes from Him (Isaiah 45:23-24;  Philippians 2:10-11).

Isaiah 46:1-47:15

‘I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me… I am bringing My righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed’ (Isaiah 46:9,13). We thank You, Lord, that You don’t keep Your distance from us. You come near to us – ‘The Word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the Word of faith which we preach). God does not delay His salvation. He comes to us with His promise: ‘If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved’ (Romans 10:8-9). Jesus is the Word of God. He is our Saviour. He is our Lord (John 1:1,14; 20:28,31). Help us, Lord to worship Jesus. He is ‘the Holy One of Israel’. He is ‘our Redeemer’. ‘The Lord Almighty is His Name’ (Isaiah 47:4). ‘O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord’.

Isaiah 48:1-22

‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go’ (Isaiah 48:17). Lord, You know what’s best for us. You help us to say, ‘As for God, His way is perfect’ (Job 23:10; 2 Samuel 22:31).How do You help us to see that Your way is best? You invite us to consider Your love. We are to think about all that You have done for us – ‘the mercies of God’. You call us to dedicate our lives to You – ‘present your bodies, as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God’. Dedicating our lives You, Lord – This is ‘our ‘spiritual worship’. We are not to live for this world – ‘Do not be conformed to this world’. We are to live for the Lord – ‘be transformed by the renewal of your mind’. ‘God’s will is good, pleasing and perfect’. May we learn this for ourselves as we learn to dedicate our lives to You (Romans 12:1-2).

Isaiah 49:1-26

‘I, the Lord, am your Saviour, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob’. Help us, Lord, not to keep this to ourselves. You want ‘all mankind’ to ‘know’ (Isaiah 49:26). ‘Jesus, the Name to sinners dear, the Name to sinners given, it scatters all their guilty fear, it turns their hell to heaven’ – This is not something to keep to ourselves. We must make Christ known to others – ‘Oh, that the world might taste and see the riches of His grace! The arms of love that compass me, would all mankind embrace. His only righteousness I show, His saving truth proclaim: ‘tis all my business here below to cry: “Behold the Lamb!”. Happy, if with my latest breath I may but gasp His Name: preach Him to all, and cry in death: “Behold, behold the Lamb!”’ (Mission Praise, 385). Help us, Lord, to be obedient to Your call to ‘go into all the world and preach the Good News’ (Mark 16:15).

Isaiah 50:1-51:8

‘The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught’ (Isaiah 50:4). Help us, Lord, to listen to You. Help us to speak for You. Teach us that we cannot speak for You unless we are listening to You. Before we can speak for You, we must speak to You. We must pray, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening’ (1 Samuel 3:9-10). Listening to You, Lord, comes before speaking for God. First, we wait on You – ‘I waited patiently for the Lord’. Then, we witness for You – ‘He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God’. Waiting on You, Lord, and witnessing for You, we will win others for You – ‘Many  will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord’ (Psalm 40:1-3).

Isaiah 51:9-23

‘Awake, awake!… O arm of the Lord; awake, as in days gone by… The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them… I am the Lord your God… I have put My words in your mouth…’ (Isaiah 51:9,11,15-16). Teach us, Lord, to pray for revival in this generation. Help us to pray for a revival of joyful worship and a revival of powerful preaching. Where will revival come from? It comes from You, Lord. You hear the prayers of His people – ‘Awake, awake!… O arm of the Lord; awake, as in days gone by’. You answer the prayers of His people – ‘The ransomed of the Lord will return… Gladness and joy will overtake them’. Revival comes when You send Your Word of power – ‘I am the Lord your God… I have put My words in your mouth’.

Isaiah 52:1-12

We thank You, Lord, for Your ‘Good News’ – Help us to ‘shout for joy’. As we receive ‘Good News’from You, may we sing ‘songs of joy’. We thank You for the Good News of Your reign – ‘Your God reigns’ and the Good News of our redemption – ‘The Lord has redeemed’ us. Help us not to keep the Good News to ourselves. This ‘news of happiness’ is to be shared with everyone. May we let ‘all the ends of the earth see the salvation of our God’. ‘Christ died for our sins’ – This is Good News. Christ was ‘raised on the third day’ – This is Good News. ‘Jesus is Lord’ – This is Good News. This is the Good News we must ‘pass on’ to others. In our world, Lord, there is so much bad news. Help us not to let the Good News be drowned out by the bad news. Help us to make sure that the people hear the Good News – loud and clear (Isaiah 52:7-10; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Mission Praise, 249).

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

We thank You, Lord, that You have given to us words of prophecy, wonderful words that point us to Jesus Christ, crucified for us – ‘the Lord has laid all our sins on Him’ – and risen from the dead – ‘After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life’ (Isaiah 53:6,11). ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’ (Mission Praise, 745). We might put this question to Isaiah. In one sense, he wasn’t there. He lived long before the time of Christ. In another sense, he was there. You, Lord, opened his eyes. You gave him a glimpse of what was going to happen in the future. ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’ In one sense, we weren’t there. These things happened long before we were even born. In another sense, we were there. It was our sins which Christ took with Him to the Cross. It was our sins which He left behind Him when He rose from the dead (Romans 4:25). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, our Saviour. Thank You for all that He has done for us.

Isaiah 54:1-17
Lord, You are not only ‘the Holy One of Israel’. You are ‘the God of the whole earth’ (Isaiah 54:5). We thank You that the Gospel is for ‘all nations’. The ministry of Christ’s apostles began in ‘Jerusalem’. We thank You that it did not end there. The Gospel was to be taken ‘to the ends of the earth’ (Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8). Taking the Gospel out from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth was not easy. The apostles faced much opposition. We thank You that they stood upon Your promise: ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper’ (Isaiah 54:17). When, Lord, we face opposition, help us to our stand on Your Word: ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31). Even when our words seem to fall on stony ground, give us the strength that we need to keep on speaking the Word of Your love: ‘With everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer’ (Isaiah 54:8).
Isaiah 55:1-13

Lord, You call us to return to You: ‘Seek the Lord while He may be found…’ (Isaiah 55:6-7). No one seems to be listening. What are we to do? Help us to remember Your promise: ‘My Word will not return to Me empty’ (Isaiah 55:11). We do not see all that You are doing. You are doing much more than we realize – ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts…’ (Isaiah 55:8-9). We may be feeling very despondent – ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything’ (Luke 5:5). You still come to us with His Word of encouragement: ‘You shall go out with joy…’ (Isaiah 55:12). Before there is joy, there may be many tears. When there seems to be nothing but disappointments, help us to remember Your promise: ‘Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy…’ (Psalm 126:5-6). When we feel discouraged, help us not to ‘judge before the time…’ (1 Corinthians 4:5).

Isaiah 56:1-57:10

‘My House will be called a House of prayer for all nations’ (Isaiah 56:7). Lord, You are  gathering Your people together ‘from every tribe and language and people and nation’ (Revelation 5:9). ‘Salvation comes from the Jews’. We thank You, Lord, that it doesn’t end there – ‘The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile (the rest of the world)’ (John 4:22; Romans 1:16). We were ‘foreigners’. Now, we are ‘no longer foreigners…’(Isaiah 56:6; Ephesians 2:19). We thank You that Christ has ‘broken down the dividing wall of hostility’. ‘We are no longer Jews or Gentiles’. ‘We are one in Christ Jesus’. Christ has ‘made the two one’. We thank You that we ‘have been brought near through the blood of Christ’. We are ‘one body’ – Jews and Gentiles brought together ‘through the Cross’ of Christ (Ephesians 2:13-16; Galatians 3:28). Thank You, Lord, for our great Saviour – Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 57:11-58:14

‘To the far and to the near’, Lord, You speak Your Word of ‘peace’ (Isaiah 57:19). Christ is Your  Word of ‘peace’ (Ephesians 2:13-14). Christ is for ‘the Jews’. He is for ‘the Gentiles’. There is one way of salvation. Jesus Christ is our Saviour. Help us to put our ‘faith’ in Him. It’s through Him, Lord, that we have ‘peace with You’ (Romans 3:29-30; Romans 5:1). Your  Word invites us to ‘call upon Your Name and be saved’ (Isaiah 58:9; Acts 2:21). We thank You that, in Christ, there is true ‘joy’ – ‘I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation…’ (Isaiah 58:14; Isaiah 61:10). We rejoice in Jesus Christ. He is ‘the High and Exalted One’. He has come from His ‘high and holy place’. He has become ‘Emmanuel’, ‘God with us’. He is our peace and joy, our Saviour and our God’ (Isaiah 57:15; Matthew 1:21, 23; John 20:28). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. He’s such a great Saviour.

Isaiah 59:1-21

Lord, what are we to do ‘when the enemy comes in like a flood’? Help us to look away from ourselves to Jesus Christ. He has ‘come’ as our ‘Redeemer’. Trusting in Him, we pray that ‘the Spirit of the the Lord will come like a rushing stream’. We pray that ‘the wind of the Lord’ will come sweeping through us with much blessing (Isaiah 59:19-20). In ourselves, there is no blessing – ‘salvation… is far from us’. ‘Our sins have separated us from God’. We need to receive ‘salvation’ from You, Lord (Isaiah 59:11,2,17). May we not delude ourselves. Satan is stronger than we are. We have no hope of victory over Satan – until we put our trust in Jesus Christ. Without Christ, we are helpless and hopeless. With Him, we shall be victorious. He is ‘the Rock of our salvation’ (Matthew 7:24-27; 2 Samuel 22:47; 1 Corinthians 10:4). We thank You, Lord, that, in our battle against Satan, we are not alone. Jesus is with us – every step of the way.

Isaiah 60:1-22

‘Arise, shine; for your Light has come… the Lord will be your everlasting Light’ (Isaiah 60:1,19-20). We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus Christ is ‘the Light of the world’. When we ‘follow Him’, we ‘will not walk in darkness’. We ‘will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). We are living in difficult times. We are surrounded by much darkness. Help us, Lord, not to become discouraged – ‘the lamp of God has not yet gone out’ (1 Samuel 3:3).  When the darkness threatens to overcome the Light, may we take encouragement from Your Word – ‘The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John 1:5). When the darkness seems to be everywhere, help us to put our trust in the Lord – ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?’ May ‘Your Word’ be ‘a lamp to our feet and a light to our path’ (Psalms 27:1; 119:105).

Isaiah 61:1-11

‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me… to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour’ (Isaiah 61:1-2). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus has fulfilled these words (Luke 4:18-21). Jesus has come, ‘proclaiming the Good News of God’. He tells us that ‘the time has come’. This is the time of opportunity, the time for making our response to Jesus Christ. He calls for our response – ‘Repent and believe the Good News!’ Help us, Lord, to make our response now  – ‘now is the acceptable time… now is the day of salvation’ (Mark 1:14-15; 2 Corinthians 6:2). There will come a time when the time of opportunity comes to an end. When Christ returns ‘with power and great glory’, it will be ‘the Day of vengeance of our God’. We do not know when Christ will return. He calls us to get ‘ready’ for His Return. Help us to put our ‘faith’ in Him (Isaiah 61:2; Matthew 24:30,36,44; 25:13; Luke 18:8).

Isaiah 62:1-12

Lord, You have given us ‘a new Name’. It is ‘the Name which is above every name’, the Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (2; Philippians 2:9-11). Christ loves us. He has given Himself for us. He calls us His ‘Bride’ (Ephesians 5:25-27; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 21:2,9). We thank You that, through faith in Christ, we have become ‘the Holy People’. Through Him, we are ‘the Redeemed of the Lord’. We have been ‘Sought After’ by the Lord. In Him, we are ‘the City No Longer Deserted’ (Isaiah 62:12; 1 Peter 2:9-9-10; 1:18-19; Luke 19:10; John 14:18).

Isaiah 63:1-19

We thank You, Lord, for Your power. You are ‘mighty to save’. We thank You for Your love. You have shown Your ‘steadfast love’ to us. You have become our ‘Saviour’. ‘In Your love’, You have ‘redeemed’ us (Isaiah 63:1,7-9). What love You have for us – ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…’ (John 3:16)! What power there is in Your Gospel of love – ‘The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes’ (Romans 1:16)! What a ‘Saviour’ we have – Our Lord Jesus Christ is ‘able to save to the uttermost all who come to God through Him’ (Hebrews 7:25)! We think of Jesus Christ. We think of His love, His power, His salvation. We thank You, Lord, for all that Jesus has done for us – ‘Alleluia! What a Saviour!’

Isaiah 64:1-65:12

We confess our sins to You, Lord – ‘We sinned… All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags’. We look to You for forgiveness – ‘Do not remember our sins for ever’ (Isaiah 64:5-6,9). We know that You hear and answer our prayer. Jesus Christ is Your Answer to our prayer. He has ‘come down’ from heaven to earth. ‘The Son of the Most High’ has been ‘born’ into our world. Jesus Christ is Your way of saying ‘Here am I! Here am I!’. He is ‘God with us’ (64:1; 65:1; Luke 1:32,35; Matthew 1:23). ‘The blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin’. Help us, Lord, to ‘confess our sins’. ‘The blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin’ – Help us to come to You with faith, believing that You ‘will forgive our sins’. (1 John 1:7,9). May we rejoice in Jesus, our Saviour!

Isaiah 65:13-66:4

Help us, Lord, to see clearly the great contrast between those who belong to Christ – ‘My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts’ – and those who have refused to come to Christ for salvation – ‘You will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit’ (Isaiah 65:14). You are preparing a great future ‘for those who love Him’ – ‘I will create a new heaven and a new earth’. You are calling us away from our sins – ‘Past things will  not be remembered. They will not come to mind’. You are calling us to Your ‘holy mountain’.  How can we enter into our full enjoyment of God’s eternal salvation? Your Word tells us: ‘I will pay attention to those who are humble and sorry for their sins and who tremble at My Word’ (Isaiah 65:17,25; Isaiah 66:2; 1 Corinthians 2:9). Help us to make sure that we belong to Christ. May we put our faith in Him (John 3:18,36).

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Walking with God - on into His eternal glory

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