Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Highlights from Isaiah...


I finished the book of Isaiah a week or so ago so I wanted to share a few highlights from it... there's so much in the book of Isaiah to learn, I'll try to narrow it down to just a few things that God taught me. :D

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Something I notice throughout the book of Isaiah, and it's in other books of the Bible as well, is that sometimes a chapter or section will end with "for the Lord has spoken" or "This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies". (Is. 1:2, 3:15, 14:23, 17:3, 22:25, and so on). To me it's as if it's showing that His Word is final. God's Word is final. God's Word never changes. God's Word remains forever.

Isaiah 40:8 says, "The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever."

Matthew 24:35, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away."

Psalm 33:4, "For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is trustworthy."

Isaiah 14:27 says, "The Lord of Armies Himself has planned it; therefore, who can stand in its way? It is His hand that is outstretched, so who can turn it back?"

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Isaiah 1:7-8 says, "Your land is desolate, your cities burned down; foreigners devour your fields right in front of you - a desolation, like a place demolished by foreigners. Daughter Zion is abandoned like a shelter in a vineyard, like a shack in a cucumber field, like a besieged city."

Sounds like a pretty depressing picture, right? Let me skip ahead to Isaiah chapter 61.

Isaiah 61:4, "They will rebuild the ancient ruins; they will restore the former devastations; they will renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations." 

Isn't that comforting? I love how you can see where they were, and where they will be.
In our world today we see darkness, destruction, and chaos... but one day Jesus is going to come back again and He will renew and restore.

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Isaiah chapter six is pretty well known for verse eight:

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking: 
Who should I send?
Who will go for us?

I said:
Here I am. Send me."

Wow. Isaiah stood in the presence of God and when God asked who will go for us Isaiah said, "Here I am. Send me." At the time I'm sure he didn't know how much he would suffer for His Name, but I'm willing to guess he did know the cost.
How do we respond to God's calling?

Let me back up a few verses to Isaiah 6:5, "Then I said: Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Armies. 
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said: 
Now that this has touched your lips, your iniquity is removed and your sin is atoned for." 

Isaiah saw the glory of God. He saw it and recognized that he was a sinner. But his lips were touched with a glowing coal and his sins were atoned for. 
When we see the glory of God we see how sinful we are compared to His glory. But God has forgiven us, our iniquity has been removed and our sins atoned for.  

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Isaiah 17:10 says, "For you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and you have failed to remember the rock of your strength;"

When we forget about what God has done for us, when we forget Who He is, we are taking our eyes off of Him and onto other things. We need to focus on Him and remember.

Isaiah 26:13, "but we remember Your name alone."

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Isaiah 31:6, "Return to the one the Israelites have greatly rebelled against."

The Israelites had a tendency to turn to idols and away from God... but here Isaiah tells them to return to Him.
Isaiah 44:22, "I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."





Hah, remember how in the beginning of this post I said I'll try to narrow it down to a few? I think those were a little over a few.... ;). And I barely made it halfway through the book! I may share some more next week. 

So what is one of your favorite verses from the book of Isaiah? What's God been teaching you through His Word recently? What's a lesson from Isaiah God has taught you?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Jesus, More than Words



His love is so amazing.
Even a second of His love is more than anyone could ever love you in a lifetime.
His love is so beautiful that I cannot describe it.
He is more than words.

His grace overflows.
All the waters combined couldn’t amount to His grace.
His grace is breath-taking.
He is more than words.

His mercy is plentiful.
His mercy is beyond measure.
His mercy is majestic.
He is more than words.

His glory shines.
All of His glory cannot be captured in a single moment.
His glory is everywhere.
He is more than words.

Jesus. He is more than I or any other person could ever describe. I can only say a few things to the beginning of who He is.
He is more than words.

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That’s a poem I wrote a while back... Jesus is indescribable. I can’t even begin to find words that describe Him.


Psalm 24:1-2, "The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord; for He laid its foundation on the seas and established it on the rivers."

Psalm 86:15, "But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth."

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A Contradicting World



We live in a world of contradictions.
Think about it. Our world says one thing and then goes and says another.


The world says you're beautiful, then tells you how to lose weight and look beautiful.

The world says be yourself, then tells you how to live.

The world promotes being real, while putting on a fake mask.

The world says that life matters yet millions of babies have been aborted.

The world says you can make your own choices, but scorns Christianity.


But think about it even more. How often do we contradict ourselves?


We tell people to open up and share what they're going through, but we hide it all inside.

We say that we're a follower of Jesus, then we go do something contrary to God's Word.

We say that our words have impact, but throw them out carelessly.

We tell people to pray and read the Bible, but Monday through Saturday we don't do those two things.


How does any of that make sense? I'm not going to go into all of that, instead I want to emphasize another point.
God never contradicts Himself. His Word is never contradicting. 

I find that thought very comforting.

Our world is contradicting, but God never contradicts Himself.

Our world is ever changing, but Jesus is the same forever.

Our world is full of lies and deceit, but Jesus is truth.


I find those truths very comforting.

Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

John 14:6, "Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

Matthew 24:35, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away."


This post isn't as long as most, but I want to encourage you with this fact: Jesus is the same forever. He will never change. He will never say a lie and always speaks truth. His Word is never contradicting. In our chaotic world, cling to Him.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Beauty in Jesus



While writing this, I'm sitting on my bed, still not quite sure what to write. I'm prewriting this post, trying to write it before I leave in two days.

I've always tried to show myself as I really am on this blog, be real in my writing. And right now I'm just going to try to let the words flow.

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This summer has felt weird to me. I guess you could say it's been a bit of a roller coaster - except it's going in circles, not moving ahead. I'm not exactly sure why this summer has felt this way. I mean it's been a pretty great summer (of course its flown by - though that's what I say all the time) but it's just felt different than past years. I think I'm in a time of waiting right now. I gotta confess something: I hate waiting. I've heard - and even said - that there's beauty in waiting. And that's true, it's just that while waiting it's harder to see the beauty.

Now I'm going to bring in good ole dictionary.com. One of the definitions for wait is, "to be available or in readiness". To wait is being available and ready. A question I have to ask myself while waiting right now is this: am I making myself available and ready for what God has in store for me next? Now, let me get one thing straight, it's only by Jesus that we're ready for what God has planned for us, but we need to make ourselves available for Him to work through us. It's like if you were trying to teach a kid math (don't ask me to teach math though, I'd probably make the kid hate math forever), you can't teach the child if the child isn't willing to learn. You can't take a dog on a walk if it doesn't get up and move. We need to be available for Him to work in and through us, we need to be willing to learn from Him and willing to get moving. 

One of my favorite scriptures (I've probably shared it on here a couple of times) is Psalm 27:14, it says, "Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord." I love that. It repeats the phrase "Wait for the Lord" and between it it says "be strong and courageous".
We've gotten the wrong idea of strong and courageous in our world today. We've twisted it and think that a strong person doesn't show emotion, is ready for anything and everything, locks up everything inside and doesn't let anyone in, and is basically our idea of perfect. That's so not it. A strong person doesn't necessarily have to be strong. The strongest people I admire aren't strong because of their own doing, but because of Jesus Christ in them. A strong person is willing to admit their weakness.
Courage is similar. True courage isn't being brave and fearless 24/7 (because come on, who is?), it's continuing on despite  of being afraid.
So where does courage and strength fit in with waiting on the Lord? While waiting on Jesus we need to continue to rely on Him, to continue on despite the fact that we may not always feel like it.

I don't know about you, but personally I don't normally like waiting because I have no idea how long I'm going to have to wait for. I like to know what I'm doing, when I'm doing it, and where I'm doing it. Waiting doesn't fit into that ideal lifestyle. But waiting is apart of life, and it's apart of our walk with Jesus too.
So where is the beauty in waiting? I'm not even completely sure if it's in the waiting. I think a lot of the time we want to find beauty in the waiting, beauty in the ashes, beauty in the broken, beauty in the sorrow, beauty in the pain. Those are pleasing sentences, but do they really mean anything? Now, while I do think that beauty can be found in those things sometimes then I believe that true beauty is found in Jesus Christ.

We seek beauty in our ugly, messed up world. We seek peace in a world of chaos. We seek joy because this world brings sorrow. We seek contentment in a world of dissatisfaction. We seek love in a unloving world. We seek light in a dark world. We seek redemption in a unforgiving world. We seek healing because of our broken world.  But when did we forget to seek Jesus?
We want saving, healing, peace, joy, contentment, love, light, redemption, and more yet we forget that those things are found in Jesus.
Peace and joy have always been two things I've struggled with. I've prayed for those things, I've sought out those two things. But what I really need to do is seek Jesus. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with praying for joy, peace, ect.... what I am saying is that we shouldn't get so caught up in those things that we forget to seek Jesus.

We may not always find beauty in waiting, so let's instead find beauty in Jesus. Waiting is still  not my favorite thing to do, but in periods of waiting I need to just keep my focus on Jesus.


There's a song I love by Natalie Grant called More Than Anything. Click here to listen to it. It has a beautiful message that goes along with what I just mentioned.


I hope that somewhere in those scattered thoughts were a comprehensible message.
Just remember this: you aren't always going to find beauty in waiting, so instead find beauty in Jesus. Remember to seek Him.




So what are your thoughts? What are your favorite scriptures about waiting? Do you find beauty in waiting? What do you do when waiting on Jesus?

I hope you have a great week!