“It’s All About Him!”

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Photo Credit: Wallpaper4god.com

 

“Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I,” Isaiah 52:6, KJV

The taunting of the enemy was too much to bear at times.  Captivity kept them bound and ridicule and defeat kept them shackled in despair.  God’s people have suffered under bondage due to their own spiritual neglect, but God in His grace and mercy, showed them a compassionate heart and sought for their redemption.  He was going to bring them back.  All hope was not lost, He will redeem.

Reading this, I know there are times when we seemed locked in my life.  If things are going okay and we are dwelling in peace, well then, that’s okay, lock me in!  But when we feel defeated by burdens and enemies, it’s hard to believe deliverance is on the horizon.

In Isaiah 52:6 God displayed His personal investment in His people’s redemption.  When He brought them out there was going to be no doubt in their mind that He is the one that fought for them, loved then and redeemed them.

Doubt is the enemy of our faith.  We often try to walk by faith and not by sight but it is the very things we see that make us question.  How is this going to turn out?  Will I ever see the light of day?  Doubt is a killer of dreams.  Doubt already erases the possibility of something better because it doesn’t see it.  Doubt is a robber of paradise and a hinderer of what can be.

But God is looking to change the focus of His people from their circumstances to their God.  Four times He refers to Himself in this verse as the One who orchestrates and fulfills all for them.  “My people . . . My name . . . I am He . . . It is I,” and He wants His people to know it.

  • My people:  “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture,” (Ps. 100:3, KJV).  A shepherd’s job is to care for, lead and guide, and supply for the sheep.  Isn’t it wonderful that despite their disobedience God was not ready to relinquish ownership of His own?  Israel may have gotten themselves into captivity but they were still His people and because of that God was still willing to take a leading role in their care and in ours.  Being identified as God’s people is a special privilege but it only comes to those who are under a covenant with God.  Galatians 3:29 says, “And if ye be Christ’s, then ye are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise,” (KJV).  Abraham was under a covenant with God (Gen. 15:18-21).  Those that come under Christ now receive the same benefits as His “people,” (see also Rom. 8:17; 1 Cor. 3:23).  You are God’s people, therefore, He wants you to know that He wants to take care of you and love you as His own!
  • My name:  “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into, and is safe,” (Pr. 18:10, KJV).  There’s something about applying God’s name to deliverance.  When someone puts their name on something it signifies ownership.  People also sign their names to documents to state that they will perform a deed stated therein.  His people shall “know my name.”  His name will be glorified and remembered for their deliverance.  He signed it and He declared it!
  • I am He that doth speak:  God is the author of all.  In the beginning “I am He” spoke things into existence and it obeyed.  That which He called forth manifested itself into reality.  It went from a holy thought to a physical appearance because “I am He” spoke.  When God speaks people better pay attention.  Especially when He is speaking of your deliverance, as He was with His people.  “For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I speak shall come to pass …,” (Ezekiel 12:25, KJV).  His word is infallible and “I am He’s” word will be fulfilled in your life and you better know it!
  • It is I:  This takes me back to the time when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and commanded Moses to go to Egypt.  Moses asked, “What shall I say unto them?” (Ex. 3:13, KJV).  God’s response, “I AM THAT I AM . . . I AM hath sent me unto you,” (Ex. 3:14, KJV).  When one is waiting on deliverance they have to realize it’s all about God!  His mark of sovereignty is over His whole plan.  God referred to Himself as the total of all they needed to know!

Difficult times are never pleasant but when we know who it is that is on our side, we have nothing to fear in waiting for our deliverance.  “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31, KJV).  Isaiah 52:6 claims He is there with you; He’s the one fighting for you; He’s the one planning your deliverance; He’s the one speaking it over your life; He’s the one that owns all of this and will redeem His people out of it.  It’s all about Him!  In the midst of it all, He’s got you covered!  It’s all about Him, in the midst of it all, He will be glorified!  It’s all about Him!

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Jesus said, “I have overcome the world!”

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Words to Live By – “Forgive as the Lord forgave you!”

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Forgiveness is not optional. Christ gave all that we might be free from the condemnation of our mistakes. It is our job to walk in His footsteps and do the same.  “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:13

Devotional Reading – Accept God’s Forgiveness

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“. . . Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more,” John 8:11

 Guilty or not guilty, that is the question?  Early one morning Jesus was in the temple teaching His followers a lesson or two.  Suddenly, there arose a commotion in the crowds.  Religious leaders began to furiously push their way to the front of those assembled there that day.  As they broke through the crowd, they pushed in the midst of all a woman.

This woman was no ordinary woman.  She was not considered like everyone else.  She was a woman of ill-repute.  She was an adulterous woman and there she stood, broken in spirit.  Her eyes were down knowing that if she looked up she would see her shame in the angry faces glaring back at her.  So there she stands, in the midst of her mess, knowing this time she has gone too far.  This time there is no way out.  Nobody here would dare to give her second chance.  Why should they?  She is just an adulteress, not worthy of anything from anybody.  She was guilty.

As she continues to stand she can hear all the murmuring going on against her.  She can feel the heat of people staring at her as her shame is displayed before all that are present.  Her time has come to a close as she hears the gathering of stones that are sure to end her story today.  Silent tears begin to roll down her face as she remembers every mistake she has ever committed.  She begins to remember every failure, every time she didn’t measure up.  Those same silent tears begin to flow a little harder – the pang of guilt is too much to bear.

All the angry voices are yelling at her.  They are shouting all the reasons she should be convicted.  More people gather close carrying with them, even more, stones.  The noise is rising higher as everyone seems to be emotionally charged with great anger.  Feeling faint with her own emotions, barely holding on, she glances at the one writing on the ground.  Then, with her guilt pressing all the more on her she lowers her head again.  The shame is too much to bear.

A shuffling coming from where the Teacher was stooped.  Perhaps He will be the one to cast the first stone at her.  She’d heard others speak of this man.  Some called Him the Son of God.  Surely her demise is at hand for she will not find a pardon here.  But, as He stood, the unimaginable happened.  He spoke, but not to her.  He lectured those who had gathered against her, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” (John 8:7).

In shock, she lifted her tear stained face to see eyes that could penetrate a marred soul.  But, those eyes, they were looking at the others.  Just as before, He stooped once again.  Behind her, she heard not a murmur – not a mumbling word.  What she did hear amazed her.  Thumps!  Thump-thump; thump-thump.  The very stones that were ready to take her life lay motionless on the ground.  The crowd dispersed.

“When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said to her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?  She said, No man, Lord.  And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more,” (John 8:10-11).  She didn’t question Jesus but she accepted the forgiveness He offered and went.  Jesus didn’t justify what she did but He forgave her.  Let me make this very clear, God will never, ever condone our sin or pat us on the back for it, but we can be free from them.  Like that woman, we could be standing in the midst of our mess but He is ready, holding the keys to your release.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).   Turn to Him in all humility of heart, confess and accept it today!

Today, if you are not born again and you want to finally be free from all of those mistakes that you are standing in the midst of it, I urge you to take care of it immediately.  Above, I quoted 1 John 1:9 which was written to a church of believers who already knew Christ as their Savior.  If you want your confession to work you must be born again, then like the woman we too can find release and forgiveness.  “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” (John 3:5, KJV).  “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,” (Acts 2:38, KJV).  Be blessed, turn to Him and accept His forgiveness today!

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“Praise ye the LORD!” Sunday School Notes and Activities, Psalm 148

This week’s Sunday School helps and activities are available once again, just in case you missed it. Enjoy!

“It Should Be Me!”

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It should be me there on that tree

to perish for all eternity.

Bearing the burdens of all my wrongs,

crying and wailing the sinner’s song.

 

It should be me who suffered on that night

bearing the brunt of the whipper’s stripes,

but when He looked down through the ages,

passing by the kings, wise men and sages,

He saw something special in me

that compelled Him to still mount that tree.

 

It should be me who readily paid the cost

because I was the one that was truly lost.

But Jesus didn’t see it that way,

which is why on this earth He could not stay.

Doing all at the Father’s holy will,

mounting higher and higher on Calvary’s hill,

He was lifted up that we might be free,

to draw men to Himself, that was the key.

 

It should be me is what we need to say,

because we are the sheep that have gone astray,

doing everything in our own stubborn way,

far from the King’s heavenly highway.

But Jesus stepped in looking down from the cross,

viewing with battered eyes all that were lost,

He and His Father they did agree,

for the world to be saved, it should be Me!

 

Thank you Jesus for stepping in for me!

 

John 3:17  “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

“FRAGILE!”

 

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Handle with care I wish I could post,

a stick it note to remind of what matters the most.

 

Distractions, directions unprofitable and robbing;

relentless in their unfocused pulling and prodding.

 

But my days are few upon this earth,

to make an impact of valued worth.

 

The reins have to be taken back;

no longer the less valuable plans to detract.

 

Focus, you only have one life to live.

Frail, is this only life to give.

 

Here today, and gone tomorrow;

let me cherish each one without resentment and sorrow.

 

Life is fragile and can break like a dam.

So, Lord teach me to measure my days, that I may know how frail I am.

 

To gain the worth of each day given.

This time on earth; this limited edition.

 

Invest in the works, the love and matters of the soul.

To fulfill His glory is our heavenly goal.

 

“LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am,” (Psalms 39:4).