WEEK 38, Day 1, Monday, 17 September 2018

DBRP – WEEK 38, Day 1, Monday, 17 September 2018

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Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 17 September 18:

1. Isaiah 25:1 — “O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.” From your heart, do you exalt and praise God because God is working “all things work together for good,” for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose? (Romans 8:28) Is God’s truth so real to you that you can have joy even through trials? Likely, there are times when you don’t feel like praising His Name. During those times draw closer to God in prayer and Bible study. In honest, humble prayer, praise His Name anyway, confess your sins, give thanks for the many blessings He has bestowed upon you, and presents your requests to Him. God will meet you where you are, strengthen you, and carry you through the hard times as He works His good plan in your life.

2. Isaiah 25:9 — “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.” When Jesus returns, will you be able to say you waited faithfully for Him? Jesus describes His church as a betrothed waiting for the wedding day. He describes worldliness and sin as adultery. Be found faithful on your wedding day.

3. Isaiah 25:11 — “The Lord will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands.” The LORD will put an end to the pride of those who put their trust in self.

4. Isaiah 25:11 – “The Lord will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands.” All the wondrous things people and nations have done for themselves will be meaningless when the Lord returns. We were created to serve Him, not self. Be faithful to your purpose.

5. Isaiah 26:3, 4, 11, 12 — “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. 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. O Lord, you will ordain peace for us.” Perfect peace comes from focus and trust in God. Both Isaiah and Hebrews speak of the need for perseverance in faith and obedience in order to have “perfect peace” and “rest” in the Lord. It is the mind that is ‘stayed’ on the Lord that has security. Both books also warn against the opposite path of rebellion, going astray due to a hardening of the heart – “As the Holy Spirit says, ’Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore, I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’” Paul warns, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Paul is not speaking to unbelievers; he is earnestly cautioning ‘brothers’ to dauntlessly guard their hearts, ever mindful of the deceitfulness of sin which slowly erodes faithfulness and causes people to fall away. Paul commands the church to “exhort one another every day.” The church is in great peril today because we have taken sin so lightly. Exhorting others is seen as judgmental and unsophisticated. We think too little of sin because we have lost perspective on the Holiness of God and the Fear of the LORD. Therefore, the church is largely unpeaceful, restless, and powerless. “O Lord, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see it.”

– Hebrews 3:18 — And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?

7. Isaiah 26:8 — “O Lord, we wait for you.” Faith involves waiting in obedience on God when comfort doesn’t come immediately.

8. Isaiah 26:9 — “For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” God judges to bring glory to Himself, not simply to bring comfort to the persecuted. Do you see offenses to God as more terrible than the persecution of people? Do you hate sin mostly for the fact that it dishonors the Almighty or because of its negative consequences on earth? Much of the “social justice” movement today is merely a battle between special interest groups over who should get what from whom and finger pointing with one group demonizing the other.

– Luke 12:13-15 – “Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But he said to him, ‘Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?’ And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’”

9. Isaiah 26:9 – “My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.” What does your soul long for at night? Are you earnestly (with all of your might) seeking Jesus today?

10. Isaiah 26:10 – “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.” God does not bless unrighteousness because He wants people to seek Him, not just His blessings.

11. Isaiah 26:19 — “Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.” God’s people have life after death.

12. Proverbs 17:13 – “If anyone returns evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.” You haven’t truly repented of your sins from your heart if you turn right around and commit the sins for which you know Jesus died to pay – repentance would make that unthinkable to you. If you are repeating the same sins over and over again (we all do in some way, such as in the case of anger), prayer that God will give you a more genuine heart of repentance from a greater perspective of Jesus and the reality of His grace. Pray the God will cleanse you of ALL unrighteousness.

– 1 John 1:9 — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

13. Proverbs 17:16 – “Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no sense?” Wisdom comes only from God. You can pay to get a great education, and you can acquire great knowledge, but knowledge is not the same as wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge rightly applied. You cannot buy wisdom or study harder to obtain wisdom. Only God can reveal to you what is right. To educate someone who is not Spirit-led is to create a more capable sinner, more skilled at doing sinful things. In fact, the secular humanist essentially worships knowledge and “science” (which is really a false science). Secular humanist knowledge is just a complicated lie, grounded on the assumption that God is irrelevant. This false knowledge has corrupted our culture in so many subtle ways that many Christians unwittily have blended it into their concepts of God and His will. Be very careful to test what is commonly called ‘good’ with the truth of the Bible.

14. Proverbs 17:20 – “A man of crooked heart does not discover good.” Again, good only comes from God. If you want to do good, you must be united with Jesus.

15. Hebrews 3:1, 2 — “Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.” Consider Jesus today; consider His faithfulness to the cross; now, model His faithfulness today.

16. Hebrews 3:6 — “And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.”

– Will you confidently boast about Jesus today?

– Christians with faith and hope are known for their confidence and joy.

17. Hebrews 3:7, 8 — “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness…'”

– Today, you will be faced with decision points, whether you will do what God commands in a particular situation or whether you will do what is most comfortable, self-serving, or expedient. Don’t harden your heart. Do not resist the Holy Spirit’s conviction on your heart — obey! A failure to obey hardens your heart, making it harder for you to hear and obey the Spirit in the future.

– Today’s readings have much to say about the relationship between the heart and obedience. Isaiah 26:7-10 describes the righteous who walk in the ways of His laws and wait for Him because He is the desire of their hearts. Meanwhile, the wicked reject the grace of God and continue to do evil because they “regard not the majesty of the Lord.” Their hearts have become hardened by their rebellion so that they have no perception of God. Hebrews says that when a person hears God’s Word and fails to obey it, that person’s heart becomes hardened because they have “turned away from the Living God.” The sin of disobedience comes from unbelief – ultimately, the sinner does not really believe that God is who God is (“I am who I am” – Exodus 3:14). The person who continues in sin cannot experience the peace, rest, and joy that comes from a harmonious relationship with the Lord – “And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So, we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3:18, 19).” Jesus said, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete…. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you (the ways of God). You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:10-17).” Today’s readings from Hebrews say that we are to “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness (Hebrews 3:13).” So, let me encourage you as I remind myself to grow in your faith by remaining obedient to God out of love (not fear, pride, or guilt) so that your joy may be complete. Wait on the Lord and walk in His ways as the desire of your heart – Today.

18. Hebrews 3:10, 11 – “Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’” Once again, you can’t enter God’s rest if you continually go astray. Walk with Jesus and remain in His rest.

19. Hebrews 3:12, 13 — “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

– The fight against temptation is a daily struggle that never ends and that requires your maximum effort. Also, it is a fight you shouldn’t fight alone. You need accountability partners in your life.

– Be very careful! Sin deceives you.

20. Hebrews 3:16 — “For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses?” We must remember that most of the warnings in the Bible are not for unbelievers but rather for believers. Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep is a message to those who are already His but who have strayed away. The Israelites chose to take a leap of faith and follow Moses, but their faith quickly waned. It is not how you start the race that counts, it is how you finish. Run the race to get the prize — the prize is Jesus Himself.

21. Hebrews 3:19 – “So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” If you stray, it is because of unbelief. All Christians are like the man in Mark 9:24 who said to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief!” We need the power of the Holy Spirit to grow in our faith and obedience. Will power is never enough. You grow by growing closer to Jesus. Pray for a closer relationship with Jesus, seek Him earnestly. Don’t just focus on good behavior, focus on the Son. The more you love Him, the more faithful you will be naturally. As a Christian you are a new creation, but none of us have been perfected in love. “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.” (James 3:2) “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So, we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:15-21) Your true belief in God and your true level of love for God will be revealed by how much you love others from your heart. If you have trouble loving others, particularly those who are hard to love, your problem is your relationship with Jesus. It is impossible not to love Jesus more and more if you are truly seeking to grow closer to Him, and if you are truly seeking Him, it will be impossible for you not to love others more and more. Consider your relationships today.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 17 Sep 18: “Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.” (Hebrews 3:1, 2) Consider Jesus today; consider His faithfulness to the cross; now, model His faithfulness today. “And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” Hebrews 3:6) Confidently boast about Jesus today!

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