Today’s Reading: Isaiah 55-56
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Key Verses: Isaiah 55:7-11
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it…”
This is the longest emphasis on key verses for this daily blog. We often hear Isaiah 55:8-9 along with a statement such as, “We can’t understand the ‘thoughts’ of God, nor can we keep His ‘ways,’ because His thoughts and ways are up there in Heaven and ours are down here on earth.” This takes these words out of context. Isaiah is not telling us that the separation between God and us cannot be overcome. Verses 10 & 11 tell us how we learn to think the “THOUGHTS” of God, and how we learn to walk in the “WAYS” of God!!! Let us ask ourselves this simple question, “How would we get wet when it is raining?” It’s obvious; go out in the rain and get wet. Take down the umbrella! How does one get covered in snow? Lie down in it. Roll around in it. The result of being soaked in the rain of God’s “THOUGHTS” (our daily readings), and covered in the snow of His “WAYS,” will be life, spiritual growth, a healthy daily diet, and God’s Word accomplishing all He desires in us!!! Go ahead! Get drenched in His Word and His Ways. It’s guaranteed by God’s promise that we will experience “JOY” and “PEACE.” As illustrated in the Sound of Music movie, “The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing” (Isaiah 55:12). Listen! He’s communicating His thoughts and giving grace to walk in His ways. Don’t leave His “THOUGHTS” and “WAYS” up there in the heavens. Make them ours!!!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, my thirst is quenched in the waters of Your Word. I pray that You will give me the grace and the consistency to be in Your Word daily, without fail! Thank You for Your promise to “abundantly pardon” me as I ask forgiveness with repentance, forsaking my sinful ways and thoughts. I receive Your mercy! In the Name of the Jesus, Who said from the Cross, “Father forgive them!” Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
As I consider Isaiah 56, I cannot miss the fact that Jeremiah identified some people in places of leadership by words such as blind, dumb, asleep, lazy, greedy, self seeking, ignorant and gluttonous drunkards. No doubt this was true and no doubt this was a part of the reason that Jeremiah was put in prison by these people. I’ve heard it said that we define a fanatic as someone who is more passionate about their cause than we are about what we believe and practice. Recently at church there was a man sitting behind me who insisted on shouting with a loud voice words such as “Hallelujah!” and “Glory!” and sometimes he sounded as if he just wanted to make a noise. It bothered me, and I know why. He was more fervent than I was. Actually, I was shouting inside. In fact, when I’m alone, and no one but God can hear me, I have often shouted His praises very loudly indeed! As I read back over what I’ve just written, I don’t know where my musings are going here. I do know that I want to serve God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and also I want to love my neighbour as myself. Therefore, I may tone it down while standing right behind my neighbour in church. Maybe? It occurs to me that all of us should experience a church service where people shout for God! Check it out! After all, on the birthday of the Church, Peter had to explain the actions of Spirit-filled believers by saying, “These are not drunk as you suppose!” (Acts 2:1-21).
Yours for all that God wants us to be!
P.S. In his autobiography, President Bill Clinton said that everyone needs to visit a church service such as the one I described. It occurs to me that he might have avoided impeachment if he had stayed in such a church. The rain of God’s “THOUGHTS” surely will help us overcome some of those thoughts which are sinful and destructive. Amen???