Today’s Reading: Isa 55:1–57:21, Luke 21:25–22:23, Job 12:13–25
Today’s Theme: Free Grace
Today there is no clear theme, although the first point about God’s free grace is in some way connected to all other points about faith, repentance and our conduct before God. It all starts and is empowered by the free grace of God, found in Jesus Christ.
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1 (ESV)
God makes an urgent appeal, without discrimination, for all men to come and find satisfaction in Him. This free grace offered to all men is fulfilled in Christ as we read in John 4:10–14 and John 7:37–39.
God bids us to come and buy although the price has been paid by Christ. This indicates that a transaction must take place, action is required on our part. The buying is faith and repentance in Jesus Christ’s finished work.
We do not need to labour and spend ourselves on things that will not satisfy or sustain us, instead we should throw ourselves on God’s free and abundant grace.
Whilst water speaks of our necessity (the need for salvation), the milk and wine speak of God’s abundant life and blessing, freely offered in Christ. Thank God for His grace today.
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6–7 (ESV)
This is linked to the first set of verses, this is the buying without money spoken of. God now calls all men everywhere to repent.
We must repent quickly because repentance is not just given, it is a grace granted by God which will not always be available, so we must not take it for granted or have the mentality that ‘I’m going to sin and then repent’.
There is a window of opportunity in all our lives, to seek the Lord, and we must do it now. This not only speaks to those lost but also to those who have gone astray… Notice it says ‘return to The Lord’.
God’s thoughts are higher
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares 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. Isaiah 55:8–9 (ESV)
We can trust in God, His thoughts are so far beyond anything we can begin to comprehend. He sees and knows everything, He knows the past, present and future, He is full of wisdom and knows the outcome of every possibility. By His intellect He created the physical universe and all its inhabitants, by His power He created the spiritual realm, heaven and the Angels.
Consider the greatness of our God, He is so much greater than us, so much higher than us, He knows everything. We know so little, we are not on par with God, He is infinitely great whilst each one of us and even collectively as humans, are finite in our minds and ways of thinking.
This serves as a rebuke to humanistic reasoning, which men try to apply to God’s word, and the notion that we know more than God and the bible, found in the aggressive secular humanism characteristic of atheism, and so called scientific ideas like evolution and the big bang theory.
God’s active word
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 (ESV)
The words of men are impotent but God’s words are active, full of power and because this is the very universe that He spoke into existence, His words have great creative force to the point that His word, like guided missiles, hit their target and accomplish His mission without fail.
We can trust in God’s word, it is not like the words of man, God’s word is sure and true.
A house of prayer
these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Isaiah 56:7 (ESV)
God desires to save people from all nations and desires that we come together to pray. This was God’s desire for the house of God in the OT and in the church today. In this sense, everything is secondary to prayer. When we pray things actually change, God will go to work in bringing that which we believe Him for, to pass.
We had a powerful prayer meeting at Church on Tuesday where we prayed for our Christian brothers and sisters around the world and the needs here at home.
If you do not attend prayer meetings or regular prayer with other believers, it is something that must be remedied in your life today.
For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15 (ESV)
God, who is Himself rightly high and lifted up, dwells with those who are humble, who are low in their own estimation and broken in spirit. The paradox is that by humility, we dwell in the high heavenly places with God, whereas exalting ourselves in pride will bring us to the low place of the flesh.
The lesson is simple; be humble and God will revive and strengthen you.
Jesus will return
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Luke 21:27 (ESV)
We are reminded that Jesus will return and His return will not be quiet or private, but very public.
This single verse destroys the argument of Rastafarians. When Jesus returns, it will not be through a woman, He will come in the clouds and everyone will see it.
We look forward to that day, living in hope and readiness.
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. Luke 22:19–20 (ESV)
Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus and was actually based on part of the Passover meal.
When we keep communion, we are obeying the words of Jesus and in a special and symbolic way, by faith, remembering His body that was broken for us and His blood that was shed for us, in thankful reflection and worship.
Jehovah Witnesses do away with communion, which is against the teaching and command of Jesus.
With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. Job 12:16 (ESV)
Sound wisdom comes from God.
This statement and all the others in this section, speak of God’s position of power, influence and His ultimate sovereignty.
We must be careful with Job as he is speaking in the anguish of his soul and his understanding is not perfect – some of his examples make God sound capricious.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.