These chapters in Isaiah have some less than encouraging words but then as we read down to chapter 9 verse 6 the mood changes, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” These are great descriptions of our Savior. His government described here includes both heaven and earth. He is our everything, He is more than words can describe. He is worthy of our praise and honor.
Today’s reading: Isaiah 7-11
After Job had lost most everything, he then was suffering with sores from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head. His friends came to see him. Their intention might have been to help and encourage Job, but it did not end up that way. Eliphaz implied that Job was being paid back for some sin that he had committed. “As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.” (Job 4:8) We can read and know things that Eliphaz did not know, but he still could have done better in trying to help Job. The last thing Job needed was someone falsely accusing him of something that they had no idea about. We need to be careful when passing judgement on others. “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Matthew 7:1-5)
Today’s reading: Job 3-4
David had the best sleeping medicine known to man. In Psalms 4:8 we read “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” We can know just as David did that no matter what happens, God is in control. He gives us life on this earth, but even more wonderful is the life we can have with Him in heaven one day if we follow His word. (Psalms 3:8) “Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people!…”
Today’s reading: Psalms 3-5
In Joshua chapter 6 we read of God’s command to Joshua on how to take the city of Jericho. They were to march around the city once a day for six days. Then on the seventh day they were to march around it seven times. How would that help win a battle? It won the battle because God is in control. It won the battle because Joshua and the Israelites followed God’s plan exactly how He spelled it out to them. In Hebrews 11:30 we read that the walls fell down by faith. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” Let us all have faith that strong.
Today’s reading: Joshua 6-10
At times we don’t understand all the details of God’s plan. I would say Noah also had some unanswered questions as he was building a huge boat with no way to float it. Genesis 6:22 tells us “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” It didn’t say “Noah did the parts of God’s commands that he liked.” It says he did ALL that God commanded him. If we want to serve Him, we have to follow all of His commands not just the ones that we pick.
Today’s reading: Genesis 4-7
In Matthew chapter 4 we read of three times that the devil tempted Jesus. All three times Jesus resisted. The final time He said “Be gone, Satan!” (Matthew 4:10). Even though He came down from heaven, He was here living as a man and “…has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) What a great example for us on how to thwart the devil’s plans. James also tells us what the devil will do if we are living like that perfect example, Christ. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
Today’s reading: Matthew 3-4
Have you ever been ashamed of something? There are things that should cause us to be ashamed, but as Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans, the Gospel is not one of them. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) In the next chapter he shares with us that along with that believing the Gospel of Christ, we must also live for Him. “He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” (Romans 2:6-8)
Today’s reading: Romans 1-2
God made a promise in Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” But that promise was not unconditional. The verses that follow describe the difference in the two paths that could be chosen. Today we also have His promise of having our sins cleansed. Our Savior made that possible. The promise for us today is still conditional. The words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 7 make that very clear. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
Today’s reading: Isaiah 1-6
Do you ever feel like things just aren’t going your way? Maybe you receive some bad news that really gets you down? In one day Job lost most everything he had. Four separate messengers, one right after the other, brought him terrible news with the last one telling him that all of his children had died. What did Job do? In 1:22 we read “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” As we read on it becomes obvious that the people in Job’s life were not very encouraging to him. But Job knew no matter what happened, God was in control. How did Job’s life end? “…the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning…” (Job 42:12). No matter what the world around us may say, from God’s Word and passages like Romans 8:28 we can know that if we live a life in service to God, everything will work out for good.
Today’s reading: Job 1-2
“Blessed is the man…”. The book of Psalms begins with these words. Don’t we all want to be blessed? What does it take to be that man? The first verse tell us to not walk, stand or sit with those who are living a life contrary to God’s word. A gradual progression is seen here. It begins with just walking along with a bad influence. Then slowing down and stopping to stand with them to finally sitting down and settling in with the scornful. Most change doesn’t happen drastically, but by gradual movements in one direction. You have probably heard the analogy about the frog in a pan of water. If you drop him in boiling water he will jump right out. But put him in warm water and then gradually turn up the temperature and he will stay until he is boiled to death. What keeps us going in the right direction as we live our life? Verse 2 has the answer. Delight in God’s Word and keep it in your mind day and night.
Today’s reading: Psalms 1-2