Daily Reading: December 11th


#DailyDevotion You Made A Covenant With Death. Jesus Can Annul It

December 11th

Read Is 28:14–29

Isa 28:14-16  Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem!  (15)  Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement, when the overwhelming whip passes through it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;  (16)  therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’… 21 For the LORD will rise up as on Mount Perazim; as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused; to do his deed—strange is his deed! and to work his work—alien is his work!  (22)  Now therefore do not scoff, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord GOD of hosts against the whole land.  (23)  Give ear, and hear my voice; give attention, and hear my speech.

 

Do you think the Israelites and the Jew thought they were making a pack with death and Sheol as they turned away from the Lord their God?  Probably not.  They probably didn’t give it a second thought.  Just like many Christians today who have turned away from their faith and adopted strange beliefs and teachings which are not scriptural and many times perversions of Scripture.  They don’t think what they are doing is making a covenant with death and hell.  Yet they like the Israelites before them are doing just that.

 

These people probably think they’re good people.  Most people do think they are good people.  They go to work, take care of their family and help their neighbor.  Most people probably think those people are good people.  They haven’t wronged them yet.

 

But most people think nothing of breaking the commandments: You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.  Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Why is that?  Because we don’t see anyone getting hurt by breaking these commandments. But it does hurt someone.  It hurts God.  It breaks his heart to see his creation following false gods, not keeping his name pure and worshipping creation instead of his Son Jesus.

 

For those who refuse God’s Son, Jesus of Nazareth, God will do his alien work.  That work is to punish and destroy.  He doesn’t desire the destruction of man or see him perish in the fires of hell.  That’s why he sent Jesus.  But he will do it though it is alien for him to do so.

 

So that we may not perish and so we may trust in the Lord our God, our Father in heaven has sent his rock.  He has “has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’”  This is Jesus Christ our Lord.  See his promise.  Whoever believes in him will not be destroyed but will live forever.  This promise is for you.  You can trust in it.

 

Heavenly Father, turn away your anger from us, your alien work and do your proper work among us, granting us faith in your Son Jesus Christ, that we may receive from you grace, mercy, peace, forgiveness, salvation and life.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: December 10th


#DailyDevotion Jesus, The Lord, Will Punish Leviathan

December 10th

Read Is 26:20—27:13+

Isa 27:1-6  In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.  (2)  In that day, “A pleasant vineyard, sing of it!  (3)  I, the LORD, am its keeper; every moment I water it. Lest anyone punish it, I keep it night and day;  (4)  I have no wrath. Would that I had thorns and briers to battle! I would march against them, I would burn them up together.  (5)  Or let them lay hold of my protection, let them make peace with me, let them make peace with me.”  (6)  In days to come Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots and fill the whole world with fruit.

 

Who or what is this Leviathan or dragon? Some commentators think these are actually three different creatures representing different world powers at the time. Yet the Church’s, our struggle is not against flesh and blood. John sees and I think better identifies this beast in Revelation: Rev 12:9 “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Satan may have seen to have won the battle in the garden, yet that was only the beginning of his ultimate defeat. It may seem to us, with all the craziness in the world that the devil is winning the war. Yet John sees Michael and his angels cast Satan out of heaven. He is doing his worse here now for he knows his time is short. At the end of the age, Satan and all those who follow him, his angels and humanity who put their hats in with him will be cast into the lake of fire which is the second death. Rev. 20:10, 13, 14

 

Ah, but what of the Lord’s vineyard? The Lord Jesus Christ sings over his vineyard. That vineyard is his Church. It is the visible Church, which includes ancient Israel and Judah, the Church as we see it today. It is full of hypocrites, liars, thieves, adulterers and murderers. Yet God’s holy people reside inside. It is a field of wheat and tares, of wheat and chaff. The Lord keeps, waters and cares for his Church. Mat 16:18 Jesus said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus does not battle with his Church or even the tares and chaff that fill it. He calls to them to make peace with him. How do the members of the visible Church make peace with their Redeemer and Savior? But trusting they have been redeemed and saved. Of course in that act, they confess they have need of being redeemed and saved from their sins.

 

Jesus calls out to the members of his body, the Church to lay hold of his protection for Peter tells us, 1Pe 4:17-19 “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  (18)  And ‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’  (19) Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”  In the meantime, Jacob takes roots and Israel blossoms, the Church fills the whole earth as the Spirit gathers to Jesus people of every language, tribe, nation and people to be his holy Church. He has declared it. It will happen. Be at peace with Jesus your King and God.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, ever protect your Church from all her enemies, especially the devil and make her to grow upon the face of the earth and make us members of the same, protecting and perfecting us until the day you reveal yourself and your Church to the world. Amen.

Daily Reading: December 9th


#DailyDevotion We Are Kept In Peace, When We Trust Jesus Christ

December 9th

Read Is 26:1–19

Isa 26:1-4  In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks.  (2)  Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.  (3)  You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.  (4)  Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock… Isa 26:9-12  My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.  (10)  If favor is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly and does not see the majesty of the LORD.  (11)  O LORD, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed. Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.  (12)  O LORD, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works.

 

In Isaiah chapter 1-39 there so much doom and gloom that the brightness and gospel messages in Isaiah 40-66 make some people think that two people authored this particular book.  But here in Isaiah 26 we see gloom and doom of the Law and the brightness of the good news of God.

 

In that day, Isaiah says.  What day is that? The last day of this created world, the day of judgment is what Isaiah is referring to.  On that day we will sing a song of rejoicing and praise for all the Lord God our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us.  In the meantime, Isaiah says, our soul yearns for the Lord in the night and our spirit earnestly seeks him.  By his divine judgments we learn the righteousness of God, namely the forgiveness of our sins.

 

But those who refuse to believe this free gift of God in Christ Jesus, they learn nothing.  They in their unbelief cannot understand anything, so like fools they mock those who in innocence and simpleness trust in the Word of the Lord and his merits for their salvation.  Those who choose to live in unbelief will face the fire of God’s wrath.  The iniquity of their lack of faith shall be exposed on that day and all the works that proceeded from it and they shall be ashamed.  They shall feel the full brunt of God’s wrath which he had previously laid upon his son Jesus in their stead.  But since they refused his pardon they shall get what they want, what they deserved.

 

But for those who trust in this free gift of pardon found in Christ Jesus, peace with God is now theirs.  It is for you today.  When God is our peace he becomes the One who does all good things in and through us.  He performs the good by us and graciously gives us credit for doing it.  But we give him the credit and acknowledge it.  And finally on that day, we shall awaken from the dust of the earth and be changed.  He gives birth to us, his dead and raises us to everlasting life to live with him forever.  It will be great day of joy and rejoicing in the salvation of our God in Christ Jesus.  You do want to be in that number.  Trust me. More than that, trust God’s promise.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, you promise that all who trust in your merits, your death, your resurrection shall be raised from the dust of the earth to everlasting life with you and the Father.  Grant us such faith and preserve us in that faith that on that day we may rejoice in seeing you face to face everlasting unto everlasting. Amen.

Daily Reading: December 8th


#DailyDevotion On The Day Of The Lord There Will Be Judgment And Grace. Choose Which One Today

December 8th

Read Is 24:14—25:12

Isa 24:21-23  On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth.  (22)  They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished.  (23)  Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, for the LORD of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders.
Isa 25:6-9  On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.  (7)  And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.  (8)  He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.  (9)  It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

 

There are two aspects to the great and terrible day of the Lord.  One is the judgment of the inhabitants of the earth as seen in chapter 24. The redemption of God’s chosen ones is seen in chapter 25.

 

Revelation chapters 18-22 also give another view of this day several times. In any case, judgment day will not be pretty, a party or a general good time for those who rejected the grace and mercy of Jesus during their earthly lives. Death and destruction, no worse terror awaits them on that day. It will be far worse than anything Hollywood ever produced. People will seek to escape but they will fall into another trap. Everyone who persecuted Christians will see the fruit of their labor. The great and powerful, kings, ceo’s, the middle class and the poor all alike will be gathered for the day of destruction.

 

On the other hand, everyone who trusted in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ will be gathered together on the mount of the Lord. The day of judgment for most people will be like a wedding banquet for Jesus’ people, the Christians. On that day Death is swallowed up forever. No more will death’s dark veil cover us. No longer will death cause us to fear (though it shouldn’t for us now either). The Last Day is a great day of joy for Christians. Every tear shall be wiped away. Eternal joy shall be ours. Most importantly, we shall see our God and our Lord Jesus Christ. We shall receive him fully as we are fully received by him.

 

Heavenly Father, ever grant us greater faith that we may persevere unto the day of your Son’s second advent, that we may escape the judgment of the earth and enter into his eteranal kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: December 7th


#DailyDevotion God Has Given Us Advent That We Might Repent And Believe

December 7th

Read Is 24:1–13

Isa 24:1-5  Behold, the LORD will empty the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.  (2)  And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the slave, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor.  (3)  The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered; for the LORD has spoken this word.  (4)  The earth mourns and withers; the world languishes and withers; the highest people of the earth languish.  (5)  The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, and few men are left.

 

Well, no good news in that reading. Isaiah is speaking of the last day here and much that is here can be seen also in Revelation chapter eighteen. Perhaps we already see much of this happening in our lifetime. Calamities and the like will continue until the last day. Things will get more intense until it is utter destruction. It will come upon all people in all levels of society, every age, every nation, language, tongue and people. Destruction will be upon the world for Rom 3:10-12 “None is righteous, no, not one;  (11)  no one understands; no one seeks for God.  (12) All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

 

The Lord speaks, “The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.” The law of God is written on the hearts of mankind. No one, not even the little ones have kept it. Even or babes do not come into this world trusting in the Lord of Hosts. Everyone has broken the covenant God made with the world at the time of flood.

 

You’re probably looking around the world, seeing how crazy it is and wondering why does God allow all this stuff to happen. Well we are under a curse, a curse we have brought down upon ourselves and the world we live in. We are suffering for our guilt. God allows this stuff to happen because he is calling us to repent. He calls us to turn from our sin, iniquity and faithlessness and to turn and look to his son Jesus Christ. We are to look to his cross and see the guilt of the world, our guilt there and know there and only there that God still loves us and makes a new covenant with us. From that cross of Jesus Christ, redemption for mankind is won and proclaimed and the redemption of creation has taken place. There is good news, Rom 8:19 “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God…:21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God…23  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”

 

Heavenly Father, forgive us our iniquity. Grant us faith in your son Jesus Christ and give us your Holy Spirit that we may truly repent of our sins and trust you in all things. Preserve us in the true faith until the day we see our hope, the redemption of our bodies and all creation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: December 6th


#DailyDevotion The Spirit Of The King Of Babylon Will Be Cast Down And Christ Lifted Up

December 6th

Read Is 14:1–23

Isa 14:1 For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob… (12)  “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!  (13) You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north;  (14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’  (15) But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.

 

The mystery of Christ that St. Paul talks about, i.e. that Gentiles will be grafted unto Israel, is manifested here in verse one. It is amazing that as the Lord has compassion of Jacob and Israel, he converts his people to having faith in Christ. On top of that, with that same message, the Gentiles are also converted to having faith in Christ and are attached to Israel. (Rom. 9)

 

Yet we move on to verses 9 and following and we come across a passage that once was thought to refer to Lucifer aka Satan because of verse 12, the Day Star in Latin is translated Lucifer, which means bringer of light. In Isaiah’s prophecy, he is actually referring to the king of Babylon, who will not be on the scene for another hundred years or so. Like the kings of Assyria, the kings of Babylon will think they won for themselves kingdoms and subjected peoples. Yet the Lord, the King of the Universe, is the cause of both the Assyrian and Babylonian, not to mention the Greeks, Romans, French, Spaniards, English, Germans and Americans rise to power. Like many kingdoms many of these are infected with the spirit of Babylon, a desire for world power and uniting mankind under one of its rulers. Ultimately, the king of Babylon and all worldly leaders who do not give credit or have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be received in the fashion of verse ten. Ultimately, at the end of time, the final worldly king or antichrist will raise his head and desire to be like the Most High. He may be one who comes the closest to fulfilling Babylon’s desire for the world. As close as he gets, he, the devil and his false prophets will be cast down to the far reaches of the pit.

 

For their can only be One King and that King is Jesus. He is the king that sacrifices himself on behalf of his people, all those that will humble themselves and put their trust in him alone. All those who give all glory to Jesus because they believe that salvation is won by Christ and his sacrificial work and glorious resurrection will join Christ in his kingdom, the New Jerusalem, the new heavens and new earth. We will find our rest in him then even as we only find our rest in him now.

 

Gracious God, Heavenly Father, cast down all who are proud in their hearts and those who seek power apart from you and grant them and us repentance from our sins and faith and trust in the merits and works of your Son, Jesus Christ, our only King and Lord. In his name we pray. Amen

Daily Reading: December 5th


#DailyDevotion The New David Has Come. Now We Wait For His Return

December 5th

Read Is 11:1—12:6

Isa 11:1-2  There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.  (2)  And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.  Isa 12:1-3  You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.  (2)  “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

 

And there’s a lot of other good stuff between 11:4 and 12:1 but let us focus on this today.  David’s house shall be cut low down to the stump with is his father, Jesse.  The shoot coming forth is a new David.  The fullness of the Holy Spirit shall rest upon him.  He will not judge as others judge.  Verse 10 tells us not only is it a shoot from the stump of Jesse but the root of Jesse as well.  So he comes before Jesse and after Jesse.  This of course is Jesus who is of the house of David according to the flesh but who is the Son of God who precedes all creation and is its author, that is, God, the Lord Almighty.  The Holy Spirit rested upon him at his baptism by John and we see the action of his wisdom in his earthly ministry.   We shall see it fully at his return when he judges the earth.

 

Jesus is raised up as a signal to the nation in his crucifixion and in his lifting up he draws all to himself.  All Israel, all men, all creation are drawn into Christ and is redeemed by him on the cross.  Even now we see this as Jesus gathers his people from all nations into his body the Church.  We shall see this even more clearly at his return.  And at Christ Jesus’ return those who looked to him shall be raised or changed to everlasting life and those who refused his love, forgiveness, and mercy shall be raised to everlasting perdition.

 

Which is why “in that day,” we will be giving thanks and praise and honor and glory; for he has turned away his wrath and anger.  Even now we sing, (2)  “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Even now we sing, “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.  (5)  “Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.  (6)  Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”  But then we shall sing it even more gloriously and with more forever.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, we give you thanks that you have drawn us from all nations by your crucifixion that we may know, understand and believe that in that action God’s wrath has been set aside and is now our salvation, strength and song.  May all who hear our praise of your name become fellow partakers of our song in that day to everlasting salvation.  Amen

Daily Reading: December 4th


#DailyDevotion There Are Only Two Kingdoms. Which One Do You Belong To?

December 4th

Read Is 10:12–27a, 33–34

Isa 10:12-19  When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes.  (13)  For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I remove the boundaries of peoples, and plunder their treasures; like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones…(15)  Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!  (16)  Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors, and under his glory a burning will be kindled, like the burning of fire.

 

There is a double fulfillment at work here in today’s text from Isaiah.  One points to a fulfillment in the time of Isaiah, the other to the last day when Christ returns.  First we see how the Lord, the God of Hosts views the attitude towards the king of the Assyrians.  The king is boastful and full of pride.  He believes it was his skill, power and the like which has won him much of the earth he has conquered.  But the Lord rebukes him accosting him and reminding he that he is simply the tool of the Lord’s wrath against his people Israel and Judah who have turned against faith in the Lord.

 

Because of his pride and arrogance the Lord is going to bring the king to ruin and of his reign who will tell of it.  Of his descendents, do we even know, can we even tell who they are?  And indeed, the Lord eventually brought about the ruin of the Assyrians.  The Babylonians would take their place eventually, then the Persians and Medes, followed by the Greek and then the Romans.  The Holy Roman empire, the Spaniards, French, English and Germans, the Russians, the Americans, the Chinese have all had their empires and they all thought their own hand, power, might and wisdom had gotten them where they were at some point in time and they likewise fall away.  It is and was the Lord our God, Jesus Christ, who guides the fates of nations and empires.  There are two more great kingdoms left to be brought to bear.  It is our Lord who lifts both up.  There is the kingdom of the World, which is always the same kingdom no matter the name, which is the original world kingdom, Babylon, which man thinks he creates and there is the kingdom of God which uses Babylon for Jesus’ own purposes and glory.  In the end, as Isaiah says, (17)  “The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame, and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day.”  Jesus is the Holy One who will defeat the kings of this world with the breath of his mouth and turn all those who fight against him and his Church into food for birds. (Rev. 19)  But to those who trust in the gift of Jesus’ merits, righteousness, forgiveness and life, they are his Israel whom he gathers to himself eternally.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, may pride have no place in our minds nor in the minds of those who lead our country that we may continually give glory and praise to you for all temporal and eternal goods.  Amen.