Reaping what is sown…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 65:7b-16

 

because they made offerings on the mountains and insulted me on the hills, I will measure into their lap payment for their former deeds.”

Thus says the LORD: “As the new wine is found in the cluster, and they say, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it,’ so I will do for my servants’ sake, and not destroy them all.

I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and from Judah possessors of my mountains; my chosen shall possess it, and my servants shall dwell there.

 Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down, for my people who have sought me.

 But you who forsake the LORD, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny,

 I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter, because, when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not listen, but you did what was evil in my eyes and chose what I did not delight in.”

 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame;

 behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart, but you shall cry out for pain of heart and shall wail for breaking of spirit.

 You shall leave your name to my chosen for a curse, and the Lord GOD will put you to death, but his servants he will call by another name.

So that he who blesses himself in the land shall bless himself by the God of truth, and he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten and are hidden from my eyes.

 

We reap what we sow. These are God’s words to those who sow disrespect for Him and His Word. However, God is merciful; he grants grace and covers those who remain true to Him. We must beware of following the crowd. Jesus says ” narrow is the way and few there be who find it.” We must rely on the God of Truth to lead us.  He will call His servants by another name.  They will be blessed and their former troubles will be forgotten.  That is the mercy of God.  That is His grace.  And we say Thank you!

 

 

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Beware of the ways of man…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 65:1-7

I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that was not called by my name.

 I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices;

 a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and making offerings on bricks;

 who sit in tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat pig’s flesh, and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels;

 who say, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.” These are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns all the day.

 Behold, it is written before me: “I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will indeed repay into their lap

 both your iniquities and your fathers’ iniquities together, says the LORD; because they made offerings on the mountains and insulted me on the hills, I will measure into their lap payment for their former deeds.”

 

Signs follow those who obey the Lord and the same is true of those who do not. There is evidence given here of what becomes of God’s people when they leave the way of God and follow their own way. They begin to elevate themselves over God. –

“Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.”

is what they say to God.

This is not always obvious, it can be hidden and deceptive. What a fearful place to be. This comes in subtly with attitude, straying from God’s Word and substituting His Word with man’s word. They do as they will – eat what they want, live among graves and in caverns an example of living in darkness, living a spiritual death. There is no light.

“… a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and making offerings on bricks;

Isa 65:4 who sit in tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat pig’s flesh, and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels; …”

They are

“…a smoke in my nostrils, …”

God says. May we ever be careful to remain always in God’s way, careful to see the signs that his Word is being substituted by man’s word. May we ever heed the ample warnings given to us in his Word. Let us state “I believe God” in all that those three words say. Believing would be evidenced in doing.

 

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In whose ways do we walk…

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 64:1-12

 

 Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—

 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence!

 When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.

 From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.

 You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?

 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

 There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

 Be not so terribly angry, O LORD, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people.

Your holy cities have become a wilderness; Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.

 Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised you, has been burned by fire, and all our pleasant places have become ruins.

 Will you restrain yourself at these things, O LORD? Will you keep silent, and afflict us so terribly?

 

We are warned over and over again of the wrath of God. It comes to those who know him, are called by his name when they leave his ways. That is a fearful place to be. Jesus said to

…fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell…“Matthew 10:28

How many of us will continue to stand for him in his name should the persecution that is faced by other brothers and sisters around the globe be ours to face? Are we doing scripture or just hearing only? Do we know the word to be sure to follow it or are we dependent upon another to lead us? That is a place to use caution. The Bereans searched the scripture after hearing Paul. Be sure what we hear is accurate. As we can see from these passages in Israel God always has the last word. Let us not be found in the place spoken of here, facing the wrath of God

 

Be not so terribly angry, O LORD, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people.

Your holy cities have become a wilderness; Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.

Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised you, has been burned by fire, and all our pleasant places have become ruins.

Will you restrain yourself at these things, O LORD? Will you keep silent, and afflict us so terribly?

 

Rather let us be in the place of obedience to God Almighty. Let us say with the prophet

 

O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways.

 

Let us remember His ways and walk in them alone.

 

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Why meet?

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

 

Hebrews 10:25   not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

 

A Biblical reason to meet with fellow believers. The why of “church”.

 

1 Corinthians 14:26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

 

A Biblical plan for what meetings with fellow believers should include.

 

1Corinthians 14:12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

 

A Biblical purpose for the meetings with fellow believers.

 

Colossians 3:12Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

Col 3:13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Col 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Col 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Col 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

A Biblical pattern for ‘church life’ with fellow believers.

 

What does ‘church’ as in the meeting of believers look like? What is its purpose? Why do believers meet? How do they relate to one another? The scriptures are plain in answering those questions.

Why – Hebrews states we are to meet to be active in

encouraging one another.

What – 1 Corinthians 14:12 states we are to

strive to excel in building up the church.

How – 1 Corinthians 14:26 states we each have something to contribute to the meetings:

each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

Who – Colossians 3:12-17 states this pattern for relating to one another and meeting with one another is for all believers –

as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, and is to include the following:

Evidence of the fruit of the Spirit – – This shows up in our attitudes as we relate to one another

compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

Methods to settle differences – When differences arise or if one is offended there is a scriptural manner to deal with the difference by

bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Jesus states

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Treatment of one another -How we treat each other demonstrates to the nonbelieving world that we are truly disciples of Christ

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.

Actions – this is to include teaching, admonishing in wisdom.

  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,

It also includes a form of worship -worship will include singing, leading the body into an attitude of praise and thanksgiving

singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

In what spirit should this be done? With thanksgiving –

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Now the question is; When we meet is this what we see? Can this be accomplished in the “way we do ‘church'”?

Our churches are esteemed ineffective when:

  1. The laws of the land are created contrary to God’s Word
  2. A town of 40,000 has 4,000 attending church
  3. The general tone or attitude on the street is self-oriented

We can say in this place the ‘church’ is ineffective and that is not due to a lack of ability – perhaps we have “harnessed” the Holy Spirit? This is also known as quenching the Spirit. Whose will do we follow? Our own? Mankind’s? Or God’s? Who do we trust to do the work? Where is our faith?

 

The church, speaking here of the body of believers, must rise up as an army of believers and begin to act like scripture paints the believing church, the bride of Christ. In that place it will begin to have an impact on those around it as it did in the early days of the church. God added to the church daily. The church was dispersed and each believer grew in the word, sharing what they had received with those around them.

 

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What have we become!

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

 

Isaiah 63:11-64:1

 

 

 Then he remembered the days of old, of Moses and his people. Where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? Where is he who put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit, 

who caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for himself an everlasting name,

 who led them through the depths? Like a horse in the desert, they did not stumble.

 Like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name.

Look down from heaven and see, from your holy and beautiful habitation. Where are your zeal and your might? The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion are held back from me.

For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.

O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways and harden our heart, so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage.

Your holy people held possession for a little while; our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary.

We have become like those over whom you have never ruled, like those who are not called by your name.

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—

 

Begin at

“…Adonai, why do you let us…” Complete Jewish Bible translation.

Other translations say

 “…O LORD, why do you make us wander…”

When researching the ‘let’ and the ‘make’ it will be noted that what is found is a translation of ‘wander’ and ‘hardening’. The rest of that statement is,

“…so that we fear you not?…”

There is an apparent growing lack of fear of God and the result of that is a wandering and a hardening in our church families. Note that this could easily have been written recently of many of our churches today, yet it was written by Isaiah of ancient times.

“…We have become like those over whom you have never ruled, like those who are not called by your name….”

Mankind has not changed its ways even though it has the Word of God. Perhaps because there is a lack of genuine search for truth from the Scripture? Where is the fear of the Lord? We present a soft God, loving, caring, and forgiving; which He is through His mercy and the gift of redemption by way of Jesus Christ, but…also a God of wrath for those who carry His name but do not walk in His Word. This is often presented as the wrath of God directed at the non believer. Read Isaiah, read Ezekiel and others. Read the words of Jesus;

 

“…Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people….” -Jesus  Luke 21:23
[Jhn 3:36 ESV] 36 “…Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him….”

this wrath is directed at the people who carry His name! This side of God is ignored at our peril for it leads to arrogance and the attempt to replace God with one of our own! For that He has always passed judgment. Beware! He did not spare the Israelites; he will not spare us today if we find this to be true in our assemblies. This does not negate salvation and eternity; it has an effect upon the quality of our life here. Many lack the abundant life; is it possible that this could be one cause? Let us not give up the search for the truth; let us not be satisfied with only what we have received in our one hour sessions one day a week. There is a hunger in the land for truth, for the Word of God rightly given. It is time to get on our knees and pray for our leadership; there is rampant arrogance from the top and God states

 [Hos 4:6 ESV] 6 “…My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children….”

That spoke to the leadership; it came from the top down… Praying for our leaders in all places, government, church, family, work is needed. There is a dearth of prayer for it is evident in the lack of God-oriented, Bible-oriented, value-oriented leadership. Pray!

“…Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—…”

“…For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name….”

It is encouraging that this is being noted at the top of some of our churches:

“…I could not help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable…” David Platt, pastor of Church at Brook Hills, from “Radical”

“…As I reread the Gospel passages, Jesus’ words are much harsher than I remember. There’s a tone in some of the things that he said that are really difficult to stomach, and he says things in a way that I would not have.

Because we in America read certain passages over and over to the neglect of others, we start to believe that Jesus had a friendly tone all the time. And that there isn’t any wrath or anger or judgment. When you read it all like you are reading it for the first time, you walk away going, “Wow, he was pretty hardcore.”

Here’s what I had to repent of: I had felt the need to soften a lot of Jesus’ statements, because in my arrogance I think, “Okay Jesus, I’m not going to say that like that. Trust me, people will like you more and be more willing to accept you if I say it like this.” Obviously I’ve never said that to God. But that’s the attitude I’ve taken, and it made me sick. Who in the heck do I think I am? To think that I can make God more palatable or attractive if I try and change the tone in which he says some things. I know people say, “Well it’s just cultural this or that.” That’s garbage. People back then had a much deeper reverence for God than we do. Especially the religious community. Yet it’s to those people whom he speaks so harshly.

What in the world would he say to us today? I don’t think it’d be a softer message. I had to come before God and say, “Lord I feel sick.” And I confessed to Mark [Beuving, who edited the book] and Preston [Sprinkle, the coauthor] as we were working on the book, “I confess to you guys, I confess to the church, I know I have backed away from certain things because of my arrogance. I thought I could attract more people to Jesus by hiding certain things about him.” I had to confess my arrogance….” Francis Chan, whose books Crazy Love and Forgotten God are still on bestseller lists, is a somewhat surprising addition to the pack with Erasing Hell. (Chan’s coauthor, Preston Sprinkle, is associate professor of biblical studies at Chan’s Eternity Bible College.) Christianity Today senior managing editor Mark Galli is the author of another of the response books, God Wins, and interviewed Chan, July 5, 2011

There are others who could confess the same…let us pray for our leadership that they stay true to the truth of the Word; that they begin a similar journey as these two have and we will see revival sweep this land.  Our churches are esteemed ineffective when we see that the laws of the land are created contrary to God’s Word and when a town of 40,000 has 4,000 attending church.  Pray!

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Christ foretold.

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

 

Isaiah 53:1-9a

 

Isa 53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

Isa 53:2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.

Isa 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isa 53:4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

Isa 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

Isa 53:8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

Isa 53:9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death

 

Christ foretold. Do we see he was not one who drew people because of his charisma, or his dream, or his beauty? He drew because he was the living Word of God, love personified and he gave sacrificially for us who did not deserve it. We accept and are blessed because he was willing. Why would we complain about anything?

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“There are others I will gather…”

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

 

Isaiah 56:812; 57:1-2

 

The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”

All you beasts of the field, come to devour— all you beasts in the forest.

His watchmen are blind; they are all without knowledge; they are all silent dogs; they cannot bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. But they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all.

“Come,” they say, “let me get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure.”

The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness.

The Lord does the gathering. We are the workmen – we share our knowledge of Him; then He does the gathering, He draws them into Himself. Those who should be watching, warning, seeing the signs and sharing the information, the warning are instead complacent, comfortable in their place of duty, sleeping, missing the signs and then saying all is well.

 

Those shepherds, entrusted with the watch over the sheep, sleep, do not understand and love their own comforts, lack the desire and will to do the work of the shepherd; therefore they are left behind for their focus is not on the sheep but on their own well-being. And so they say all is good when it is not, the righteous who see and know leave and no one notices the back door’s swinging.

Jesus said we will worship in spirit and in truth. We do not need a physical place to begin worship. We will see, understand and worship in the truth of the times. There are those who see, who understand and they are being gathered to a place of peace in the Lord, a place without boundaries, a place of understanding and truth. There are those who know who God is and what He says; they know what He can do; they know His Word will not return void but will accomplish what it sets out to do. They know what He says about them and what He says they can do. Their strength is drawn from His strength and spiritual bread. His Word abides within them and is active within them. They have no need of a physical structure and they know the truth of which He speaks.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie