Who Turned Out The Light?

Today’s Passage – Isaiah 9 – 13 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 19 – 20Psalms 1 – 5Proverbs 1)

Scripture Memory for July – John 3:1 – 21

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –Isaiah 40:31

Note – this is a repost from 2010, but there is another post that immediately follows this one that was written this morning.

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)

The verse of Scripture referenced above deals with the birth of Christ. When Christ was born in the earth, he poked a huge hole in the darkness of a world that had been without light for a long time. Christ is light, and light equals righteousness and holiness; and it is also synonymous with spiritual understanding. The Bible says of God:

“Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:”(Psalm 104:2)

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Light is not something that God has or something that God can produce; it is what He is. Peter, James, and John saw a glimpse of this light on the Mount of Transfiguration. John saw it again when he was on the Isle of Patmos and given theRevelation. Paul saw this light on the road to Damascus when the Lord gloriously saved him. All of these examples were actual physical manifestations of the light of God. However, when He came, He revealed to the world more than just Physical light: he delivered to the world a spiritual brightness that many had seen and received; and many more continue to receive to this day.

My thought for the day is: if Christ came and delivered this light to us 2000 years ago, and many millions have received this light from Him via the Holy Spirit; then why is this world still very dark. Jesus told us to shine the light to the dark world around us:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

You would think with all of the millions of lights out there that should be shining, the world would be pretty bright; yet it continues to dwell in darkness. Why? Because God’s people are not allowing the light of Christ to radiate and reflect through them to the world around them. They are covering their candles with a bushel instead of elevating it on a candlestick. Three thoughts regarding the failure of the Christian to shine the light of Christ:

1  We fail to shine the light when we fail to separate from the darkness. Instead of increasing our light, we often participate in things that are very dark: things that are inconsistent with light. Light repels darkness; they cannot dwell together. So in order for the Christian to dwell in darkness, He has to douse His light. He has to quench the Spirit of God that dwells within Him.

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)

By the way, unfortunately, the verse above oftentimes applies to the Christian as well as to the world.

2   We fail to shine the light when we fail to saturate ourselves in the light of the Word of God.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130)

3  We fail to shine the light when we shield the light from reaching those around us. This has more to do with fear than anything else. We have the light, and we desire to shine it; but we are so intimidated by the world around us that we conceal it. It is time that we decide to take a stand, and decide once and for all whose side we are on. We belong to God. We owe this world nothing but the light of Christ. Get out of the way, and let His light shine through you.

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” (Philippians 2:15)

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His Rest Shall Be Glorious

“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” – (Isaiah 11:10)

If you haven’t done so already, I would encourage you to read all of  Isaiah 11. This is the passage of Scripture that really caught my attention this morning, but I thought the truth from the first post, which was originally published in 2010, would be more helpful.

Thr rest that the title infers has to do with the Millenial Kingdom, which will be established on the earth after the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be a wonderful time of peace and prosperity, and the earth at that time will have some similarities to the original creation of God in the Garden of Eden. Even the animals, which hunted and killed each other, will be like they were originally created, and will be vegetarians rather than meat eaters. It seems that even though the presence of sin will still be there, it will be under much greater control. Sin will not be irradicated, however, until we are in the new Heaven and the new earth, which does not take place until after the Millenium.

I look forward to the Millenial Kingdom. I also look forward to the New Jerusalem. Recently, I became convicted about the fact that are homes should be a reflection now of what life will be like then. Our homes should be little pictures of Heaven: a place where there is “nothing that offends”; a place where there is no strife; a place where the Word of God is preeminent, and the God of the Word is glorified. Our family started a new practice just this past Sunday that, hopefully, we will be faithful to continue. What we are doing is this: we are carving out the hours between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Sunday afternoons. We will enjoy a special meal together that is prepared on Saturday, so it just has to be heated up on Sunday. We are shutting off the T.V., as well as the computers and smart phones. I will not be working on Sunday night’s message. It will be a time where family, and a few close friends, are gathered together, enjoying the goodness of God, as well as each other’s fellowship. For those three hours, we will be resting, and relaxing. Perhaps, we will all take a walk together; perhaps, we will do nothing; but hopefully it will be something that we look forward to every week, just as we look forward to going home to Heaven.

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Where Are The Men?

Listen to the message preached by Issan Acosta on Wednesday Night – “Learn To Look Up”

Today’s Passage – Isaiah 1 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 15 – 16Psalms 141 – 145Proverbs 30)

Scripture Memory for July – Hebrews 1

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Listen to the Clark Family sing “A Few Good Men”

“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” (Isaiah 3:12)

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” – (1 Corinthians 16:13)

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” – (Ezekiel 22:30)

Isaiah is writing at a time when the people of Israel and Judah were in economic prosperity but spiritual and moral depravity. The end of chapter 3 records that the people were very proud, they were full with possessions and pleasure; but they were far away from God. God warns them through the writing of Isaiah that judgment will come. It is important to keep in mind as we read this Book of Isaiah that God is often dealing with the present condition of Israel and Judah 800 years or so before the time of Christ; but he also speaks prophetically regarding Israel and others in the last days. He speaks much about the future Millennial Kingdom of Christ. Here in chapter 3, He is specifically speaking of Israel; but the application can be made to us today.

The condition of our nation is very similar to Israel and Judah prior to the judgment that came through the nation of Assyria, and later Babylon. We are a very proud and prosperous people. This prideful attitude permeates our society. We scream out with our lives that we don’t need God; and we certainly aren’t going to submit to Him. Notice in the verse above that the women are ruling. I don’t think that this is a slap against women as much as it is a statement that the men were not fulfilling their God given roles as leaders. We have the same problems in our society today. The men are abdicating their responsibility as the leaders in the homes, and in the nation. Our churches are also full of women that will volunteer for anything; but where are the men? Why are their so few men who will take on the responsibility of leadership?

We need men that will lead their families. So many homes today are without fathers. Statistics have shown this to be absolutely devastating to the lives of the children. We need some strong men who will be leaders in our communities, and in this nation. We need men who will lead, teach, and mentor in our churches. I praise the Lord for the woman who have stood in the gap and taken on some leadership positions. Many of these ladies are doing a great job; but we need men to step up to the plate and assume the responsibilities intended to them by God.

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Keep Not Silent

Today’s Passages – Isaiah 58 – 62; Proverbs 12

(Second Milers also read – John 17 – 18; Memorize Mark 11:24)

“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem,which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,”(Isaiah 62:6)

The context of this chapter and many of the concluding chapters of  the Book of Isaiah is the Millennial Reign of Christ on the earth. Things will be radically different in Jerusalem and on the entire planet during this period. There will be a new sheriff in town: one that will reign in righteousness and holiness. The people of God will no longer be a persecuted and oppressed people; and the land itself will be completely safe from any kind of danger.

The above verse tells us that the watchmen that God has placed upon the walls should keep not silence concerning the Lord. Verse 7 says, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. The day is coming when the earth will be devoid of evil and filled with the presence and holiness of the Lord; but until that day comes God’s watchmen are to be shouting His praises and His principles from the walls.

I don’t think that I am doing the Scripture injustice by stating that we ought also to be telling everyone that we can about the Lord until He comes back to bring His bride (the Church) up to Heaven with Him. We are often guilty of keeping silent when God wants us to speak. We should not be ashamed of our Lord. This lost world needs to hear about our wonderful Saviour. The Scripture admonishes us,”Let the redeemed of the Lord say so”. Let’s open up our mouths boldly and proclaim the goodness of the Lord to the world around us.

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Look Beyond the Cross

Today’s Passages – Isaiah 53 – 57; Proverbs 11

(Second Milers also read – John 15 – 16; Memorize – Mark 11:24)

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” – (Isaiah 53:6)

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” – (Isaiah 53:10)

This passage in Isaiah has always amazed me for a number of reasons. First, I am always in awe of the accuracy of the Word of God. Here the prophet Isaiah is writing several hundred years prior to the birth of Christ, and yet paints such an accurate picture of the events surrounding Christ’s death. No wonder the Jewish people have removed this passage from their Scripture. It proves perfectly that Jesus is their Messiah.

Secondly, I have often thought about the phrase from verse 10: “it pleased the Lord to bruise him”; and then in verse 11: “he shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:” I can’t completely wrap my head around these verses. How could the horrible, agonizing death of His Son please and satisfy God? On a human level, I look at these verses and think to myself that there is no possible way that anything could be worth putting my son through the agony that Christ faced on the cross. But God saw something that made it all worthwhile. He saw you and me; and He saw a way that your sins and mine could be atoned for. He saw a way for fellowship to be restored between us and Him. To be sure, God was not pleased with the Cross in itself. I am sure it was the hardest thing for Him to endure; but beyond the Cross was salvation for you and I; and that pleased and satisfied God greatly. Thank you Father for being willing to watch your Son die for me. Thank you Jesus for being a willing participant in my redemption.

On a practical level, I want to offer one additional thought about the cross that you may be bearing right now in your life. You may be going through a difficult time in your life that is anything but pleasing or satisfying. By faith, look beyond the cross to what God is going to ultimately accomplish through your trial. God may be using you to help bring about the eternal redemption of somebody else, which makes all of the temporary  suffering worth it. He may be refining you a little through the process; or He may be just glorifying Himself somehow. I know that He has a wonderful plan, and the cross that you are bearing today is part of it, and will be used by Him to “work all thing together for good.” You may not be able to see it now, but someday God will reveal something beautiful; something very pleasing and satisfying. All because you carried the cross that God placed in your life.

I just thought of another verse:

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – (Hebrews 12:2)

Jesus looked beyond the cross too.

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