Life, What Does It Offer? 

Isaiah 48:18-19
“Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Your descendants also would have been like the sand,
And the offspring of your body like the grains of sand;
His name would not have been cut off
Nor destroyed from before Me.”


The Word of God is given to the child of God as a light to guide us through life’s darkness. Whatever we are facing, we should learn to look to the Bible for guidance. Isaiah details some of the benefits of living life like that.

First, he declares, this will lead to having peace like a river. Rivers have a constant flow that keeps the water fresh. A life lived in accordance with the teaching of Scripture, will be flowing with peace, even in the most difficult times. Jesus spoke of this peace being unlike anything the world could ever provide (John 14:27). In contrast, Isaiah writes,

Isaiah 48:22 “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

Second, Isaiah declares, a life lived in accordance with the ways of God will experience righteousness like the waves of the sea. Waves are an interesting phenomenon, they are created by storms; the larger the storm the larger the wave. Waves also develop by traveling over great distances. Strong winds, and lots of time, are what make waves bigger and better. In the same way, God will use the difficulties of life, and the time we spend walking with Him, to produce righteousness in us. This is only true, however, when we use the time to apply the Word of God. I remember hearing, as a kid, “Practice makes perfect.” As time went on, I also learned that practicing something incorrectly only makes it more difficult to re-learn correctly, later. In our trying times, we want to look to the Lord, and do things His way.

Finally, Isaiah speaks of the impact this will have on the next generation. He speaks of our offspring and our descendants being positively impacted by Our right living. I don’t think the impact our lifestyle has on the next generation could ever be overstated. If we want to see our children and grandchildren love, honor, and follow Jesus, we must set the pattern for them.

Remember, no matter what the past looks like, it is not to late for you to commit to Christ and live for His glory.

Pastor Jim

 

The Book

Hebrews 10:7
“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God. ’”

Years ago I had a friend who worked in a local book store. Part of his job was to be familiar with the books so he could answer questions and make recommendations. The problem was he really did not enjoy reading. His solution was to read the book jackets which often gave a brief summary of the content of each book. While that did not make him an expert by any means, it did give him a good idea of what to expect if and when he ever ventured into reading one of the books. If the Bible contained an inspired summary of its content it would be but one word: Jesus.

John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”

While the Bible touches on, and even addresses, a wide variety of topics, it is primarily a book about salvation. The Old Testament is filled with promises of a savior coming to provide atonement for sin, and the New Testament tells the story of the Savior. The more you know the pages of your Bible, the more you will know Jesus. He is found on every page and in every story. Sometimes He is the main character of the event, other times He may rest in the shadows in the form of a type or illustration, but He is always is there. As you read the Word, be careful to observe the context so as not to make the Bible say something it does not mean, but also be careful to look for Jesus.

As you continue through Hebrews, keep in mind one of the key themes of this letter is that Jesus is better. That is why He is being contrasted with the Old Testament laws, covenant, priesthood and sacrifices. They all served the purpose of pointing to Christ, He serves the purpose of fulfilling the Law and sacrifices. As a result, we no longer live under them, but live in a relationship of grace.

Pastor Jim

 

Life, What Does It Offer?

Isaiah 48:18-19

“Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Your descendants also would have been like the sand,
And the offspring of your body like the grains of sand;
His name would not have been cut off
Nor destroyed from before Me.”

The Word of God is given to the child of God as a light to guide us through life’s darkness. Whatever we are facing, we should learn to look to the Bible for guidance. Isaiah details some of the benefits of living life like that.

First, he declares, this will lead to having peace like a river. Rivers have a constant flow that keeps the water fresh. A life lived in accordance with the teaching of Scripture, will be flowing with peace, even in the most difficult times. Jesus spoke of this peace being unlike anything the world could ever provide (John 14:27). In contrast, Isaiah writes,

Isaiah 48:22

“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

Second, Isaiah declares, a life lived in accordance with the ways of God will experience righteousness like the waves of the sea. Waves are an interesting phenomenon, they are created by storms; the larger the storm the larger the wave. Waves also develop by traveling over great distances. Strong winds, and lots of time, are what make waves bigger and better. In the same way, God will use the difficulties of life, and the time we spend walking with Him, to produce righteousness in us. This is only true, however, when we use the time to apply the Word of God. I remember hearing, as a kid, “Practice makes perfect.” As time went on, I also learned that practicing something incorrectly only makes it more difficult to re-learn correctly, later. In our trying times, we want to look to the Lord, and do things His way.

Finally, Isaiah speaks of the impact this will have on the next generation. He speaks of our offspring and our descendants being positively impacted by Our right living. I don’t think the impact our lifestyle has on the next generation could ever be overstated. If we want to see our children and grandchildren love, honor, and follow Jesus, we must set the pattern for them.

Remember, no matter what the past looks like, it is not to late for you to commit to Christ and live for His glory.

Pastor Jim

Power

Psalms 62:11
“God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.”

A number of years ago, I came home from a long day of work, at the end of an even longer week. I was worn out and hungry. Since I was the only one home at the time, I was facing a battle within. My stomach insisted on being fed, but the rest of me demanded rest. Too broke to order out, and too tired to fix a meal, I laid down on the couch and began flipping the channels. I stopped on a show called, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” This a series that displayed the possessions of extremely wealthy individuals. If memory serves me, this was the only time I had ever seen the show. The episode followed the life of a the king of a small Middle Eastern country, whose name I have forgotten. While his subjects lived in poverty, he was one of the wealthiest men alive. They showed his palace, which was the size of a small college campus. What really got my attention, however, was when he traveled to the U.S. He wanted to stay in a particular room in a hotel in Beverly Hills, but the room was booked. Instead of finding another room, or another hotel, he bought the hotel, remodeled it to his liking, and stayed in the room of his choice. Lying there on the couch, I was struck by two contrary things. The first was this man’s great wealth, the second was how it had no effect on me whatsoever. I was still too broke to go out and too tired to cook.

The Psalmist speaks of the wealth of God’s power. He declares, “power belongs to God.” His power is infinite. There is nothing too hard for God. It required no more effort from Him to create the world, than it did for him to heal Peter’s mother-in-law from fever. He spoke the world into existence, and holds it together by the Word of His power. When the time has come, He will fold this one up, and speak a new heaven and earth into being. However, unlike the wealthy prince, God’s power does have direct effect upon my life.

Jesus promised, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

The power of God is available to the child of God. A power that will enable us to successfully walk with, please, and serve, the Lord. This power is received by simply asking and obeying. If you feel too weary to overcome the trials or temptations you are facing, the solution is to look up, and ask God to pour out His Holy Spirit upon you. The God to whom this power belongs, promises to empower us through His Spirit.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 62

  1. What is the key word in verse 1 and 5 that becomes the theme of this Psalm?
  2. How many times is the word salvation repeated?
  3. Who should we pour our hearts out to?
  4. Look at verse 8 and 10.   Who are we to trust in and what are we not to trust in?