Friday, April 08, 2016

Need Encouraging? Want Hope? Behold Our God!

Need Encouraging? Want Hope? Behold Our God!

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
    that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord's hand
    double for all her sins….

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.”  (Isaiah 40:1, 2, 28-31 - ESV)

            Thankful the LORD restores and renews rebels, like us,


Be Comforted by our Great God
Behold, Our God Renews and Restores Rebels - Isaiah 40

                How does God treat those whom He has chastened? Does He give us any hope of getting out of His doghouse; even serial idolaters, spiritual adulterers?  Isaiah 40 more than answers that. This first chapter of Isaiah’s third section is a peak among peaks; Everest!  Written to restored-rebels, it is a hurricane blast of hope, comfort, and encouragement. The Lord – who has every right to be done with His erring people – gloriously keeps His word; He forgives and renews them. Unlike idols, Our mighty Creator, judge of all the earth, revives those who trust in Him. Take comfort in and from Him.  

Be Encouraged by our Gracious God!  (40:1, 2 & 28-31)
  • God calls:  be tenderly comforted (cf. Matt. 11:28; 23:27)
  • Receive His peace, pardon, restoration  (Rom. 5:1-11; 8:1)
  • Hear the Calls, the Voices of His Comfort  (vs. 3, 6, 9)

Ø  His Glory Will be Revealed; again (vs. 3-5;  cf. John ---6)
  • Get ready, The King is coming – back - in glory! (Ezk. 43)
  • Jesus! His birth and return (Matt. 3:1-8; John 1:23; Rev. 20-22)

Ø  His Good Word Will be Accomplished (vs. 6-8)
  • Our lives, glory is fading, temporal, in His hands (1 Pet. 1:24, 25)
  • His Word, His will is eternal, will be accomplished (cf. Is. 55)

Ø  His Greatness is Unequaled (vs. 9-31;  cf. 43)
  • Here is our God! The powerful, sovereign LORD (vs. 9, 10)
  • He is a tender Shepherd; sensitive (cf. Ps. 23; Jer. 31; Ezk. 34)
  • Who has…?  He is unequalled in: (vs. 12-20; Job 38-41)
                “Size”, power, ability
                Wisdom, knowledge  (cf. Rom. 11:34; 1 Cor. 2:16)
                Rule, weightiness, glory  (Is. 43)
  • Don’t you know…? He is incomparable! (21-26)
  • “He doesn’t care?” He gives strength and hope (vs. 27-31)

  Be encouraged by, comforted in Him!  Who is like Him? (Ex. 20:1-7)
  Receive His chastening AND restoring; out of the doghouse!  (Heb. 12:4-11)
  Does Isaiah 40 sound like your view of God; His grace, greatness...?
  Wait on Him; have eager, confidence in Him  (29-31; Ps. 37:1-9)
  Trust in Him & trade your tiredness for His empowering (vs. 31; Ps. 9:10)
  Jesus makes the same offer!  See Matthew 11:28; 23:27;  John 15:1-7

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Worship the Lord’s Exalted Servant - Easter in Isaiah

“He is Risen.”
“He is Risen Indeed!”
        Easter Greetings in the Name of the Lord’s Servant, Jesus. His resurrection is the foundation of our faith. If Christ is still dead, we are still in our sins, and are to be pitied for false hope. But Christ has been raised (1 Cor. 15). Jesus’ victory over death, His vindication in humiliation was written about 100’s of years beforehand. One of many examples is the majestic Isaiah 52:13-15.
10 “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.   (Is. 52:10-12 - NIV)

        Worshiping and celebrating the Risen Servant with you,

Worship the Lord’s Exalted Servant
He Suffered for Us, Yet Is Alive Again – Isaiah 53:10-12
        It would take a work of God for the glory of Easter to surpass gory Good Friday. Who has ever been as mistreated as Jesus was that day? But that is the good news of the gospel. Jesus was not only slain for us – the Righteous for the unrighteous – He was raised, vindicated. He is now to be celebrated, worshiped.
        That is the message of Isaiah’s fourth “Servant Song” (52:13-53:12). In this miraculous prophetic passage, Jesus, the Lord’s Servant, is shown as both despised and exalted, dead yet alive again. He can offer us new life, a future resurrection.  Is He your King?

The Lord’s Servant will Succeed!  (52:13-15; cf. 53:10-12)
·         Like Palm Sunday, this “Servant Song” begins with exaltation
·         He will be Rightly Exalted though Appallingly Abused

The Lord’s Servant is Humiliated for Us (53:1-9; Rom. 5:1-11; 10:16)
·         We despised, rejected, disrespected Him (1-3; John 1:10-13)
·         He suffered, faced God’s wrath for our sins (4, 5; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24)
·         God’s sacrificial Lamb, slain for, by us sinners (6-8; Acts 8:32, 33)
·         He died with sinners, but was buried with the wealthy (9; Matt. 27:57-60)

Why Did God Treat His Servant So?  (vs. 10-12; Acts 2:23)
 For His Vindication.  Killed, He lives Again  (vs. 10)
…the Lord makes his life an offering for sin (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10)
he will see his offspring and prolong his days  (Ps. 22:30; Rom. 1:18; 6:9)
the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand  (52:13; Phil. 2:7-11)  

 For Our Justification. He is Satisfied to Save us (vs. 11; Rom. 5:18, 19)
After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied (Heb. 12:1, 2)
my righteous servant will justify many… bear their iniquities (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:1-11)

 For His Exaltation: Now, Ultimately  (vs. 12; cf. 9:7; Rev. 20-22)
“a portion among the great… divide the spoils with the strong” (Is. 42:1; Rev. 5:8-10)
“he poured out his life… bore the sin… made intercession…  (Rom. 8:1)

  •  Easter is the Greatest “Success Story”; HIS!  (52:13, 53:10)
  •  Through His suffering and death, Jesus paid for our sins, conquered death & provides justification
  •  Jesus, the Lord’s Servant, is completely vindicated, satisfied, rightly glorified.
  •  Are you in submission to Him? Is your life given to Him? (John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 10:17, 18)
“He is Risen.”
“He is Risen Indeed!”

Your attitude should . . .

Your attitude should . . . 

Humility is easy when you already feel inferior to others. 

But what about those times when 
- let's be honest -
you are superior, smarter, stronger, more mature...? 

Its not as easy to serve "underlings". 
Is it? 

See that theme played out here in Paul's letter from jail to a church:

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death
 even death on a cross!

Philippians 2:5-8 ~ NIV ~

No one has ever stooped down as far as Jesus did. 
No One! 
God becomes a man - a servant 
- one willing to die as a condemned criminal for our sins.

He humbled Himself to serve others & honor God. 
He calls on us to do the same - humbly reach down. 

In reality, this is not usually very far down for us,
& probably more of a horizontal reach. 

So, what's your attitude? 

Haughty or humbly helping those in need?
Arrogant or assisting those around you? 

We do recall - do we not -
that we are certainly not better than Jesus, 
God's suffering Servant? 

 Kerry S. Doyal
Making disciples of Jesus
who love God & others
by living & sharing His truth

"Keep it up..."

"Keep  it  up..." 
Did you hear that when you were growing up?
I did. 
It may sound like an urge to press on, to persevere. 

Where I came from it was a warning, a threat.
  • It was a call to wisdom.
  • It was an indirect command to cease & desist 

"Keep it up  (this stupid behavior)...  &  I'll pound you,  give you a ticket, end this friendship..."

"Keep it up"
  came to mind when I read Proverbs 17:9 

Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends. (ESV) 

To be an insensitive repeat offender is to abuse the forgiveness spoken of in the first half of Prov. 17:9.
To carelessly push your luck,
okay, presume on grace,
can build barriers between the best of buds.
Certainly life and relationships call for forgiveness;
overlooking and covering up things that hurt. 
Love leads us to purposefully push aside offenses. 
Tragically, some people break relationships over the smallest of matters. 

Love requires repenting of pettiness, pickiness. (17:9a)
Love also requires laying aside things that offend as well  (17:9b). 
To seek to stop saying or doing things that are painful to others.
Want to ruin a friendship, marriage, partnership:
realize a relationship ruining behavior and "keep it up"
- persist in being selfish, insensitive. 
Such living ends or hinders multiple relationships. 

In Him who covers, atones for our sins
and calls us to lay aside folly,

Kerry - Pastor CCF 

As the NET Bible, a great free on-line Bible study tool has it:
17:9 The one who forgives an offense seeks  love,
but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Been Restored? Proclaim It; Him!

Reunions are can be great, but restorations; even sweeter. Few things match the joy of having blown it, to be estranged, face consequences, and then be brought back into fellowship. No one does this better than the Lord.
        In many ways, that is the point of 1 & 2 Chronicles. More than just a 65 chapters chronicling their sin-filled history in the land, it ends with God using a pagan king to restore His people, again.
        “… the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:… ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.’”  (2 Chron. 36:22-23 – ESV)
        In an earlier story of restoration from 1 Chronicles 13-16, King David writes a song, prompting God’s people to thank, trust and tell about Him. Take note & join the song.
            Humbled to proclaim His grace with you to others,
God’s Loved & Forgiven are to “Tell it!” Amen?
- from  1 Chron. 13-16
        No wonder King David wrote a song of thanks and gave it to the Worship Team! After deadly, sinful spiritual sloppiness with the ark of God, the Lord again received David & the people worship. Though they were unfaithful to the Lord’s covenant, He stayed true. He still does, even for unfaithful ones like us. This, He, is to be proclaimed.  
Context:  Doing God’s Work BUT Ignoring God’s Word
Ø  Great Motives: “Let’s bring the ark to Jerusalem”  (1 Chronicles 13)
Ø  +  Sinful Methods:  Didn’t obey His Word (Ex. 25:12-15)
Ø  =  Deadly & Demoralizing Consequences (Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 8:6-8)
Ø  A holy re-do! His will + His way (1 Chron. 15:11ff)
Ø  = Rejoicing, worship, thanksgiving (15:25-16:6)
David’s Calls the Restored People to Proclaim:
            “And they brought in the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God… Then he appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the Lord, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel… Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the Lord by Asaph and his brothers.  (16:1, 4, 7)
Proclaim to Him Thanks and Praise!
    “Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
     make known his deeds among the peoples!”  (16:8-10; cf. Ps. 105:1-15)

Proclaim to Yourself His Character, Truth:
Ø  Seek Him; He is powerful, does wonderful works (11-12)
Ø  He chose us & keeps covenant with us  (13-18)
Ø  He is our Lord, sovereign over all  (14)
Ø  He keeps, restores and protects His people  (vs. 15-22)
Proclaim to the World Him!
Ø  He saves, rescues, delivers (23, 33; cf. Ps. 96:1-13;  Jn. 3:16, 36)
Ø  He is glorious & does marvelous works (24, 27-29;  Rom. 1:18-23)
Ø  He is great, above all gods, who are mere idols (25-27; cf. Isaiah)
Ø  He is majestic, strong and the source of joy (27; Ps. 28:7; Neh. 8:10)
Ø  Worship, reverence & give Him His due, credit  (vs. 28-31)  
        “Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD. So David left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister regularly before the ark as each day required…  Then all the people departed each to his house, and David went home to bless his household.” (36, 37, 43 - ESV)
  •  God delivers, restores so we can proclaim Him (35; Ps. 106)
  •  Will you say “amen” to the task of proclaiming Him? (36)
  •  Our praise and worship should make you a blessing (43)