Here Am I
July 2, 2020
"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
In my June 25th post, I noted that an important factor in walking with and serving God is coming to know Him as He has revealed Himself in the Bible – “grow in…the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” (2 Peter 3:18). This involves allowing a grasp of God’s perfections to change the way we respond to life.
In that same post, we looked at the example of Isaiah, who responded to the call of God (Isaiah 6:5-8) because of what he first saw and accepted of God (Isaiah 6:1-4).
How did knowing those three aspects of God’s character impact the way Isaiah responded to God?
For someone who has never accepted God’s free gift of salvation, this is an important reminder of the need to settle that eternal transaction (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13).
It is also important for someone who has already experienced God’s forgiveness. Salvation does not eradicate the sin nature. It pays the price for sin and frees us to live a life of victory. But the battle between God’s indwelling Spirit and our own desires to sin is ongoing. When we give in to our own desires, we do not “lose our salvation.” However, sin does impact the state of that relationship.
An understanding of God’s holiness reminds us of our continual need for the Gospel and His enablement to have practical, day-to-day victory.
Worship is not just an action (e.g., singing; praying; studying Scripture; etc.). It is an ascription of worth and value to something. When you worship someone/something you prioritize your relationship to them, making it a point to clear out anything that would get in the way (or even replace) them.
Isaiah’s awareness of his sin grieved him, and he sought God’s means to clear away the barriers to a vibrant walk with Him – worship.
It is interesting to note that, at this point, God does not even reveal what He needs done. But Isaiah’s commitment to, and trust in, his King is so strong that he volunteers, even without knowing the task.
What does your day-to-day walk reveal about your “knowledge” of God? Is it so vibrant that it provides a consistent foundation for EVERYTHING that you do, or is it so limited that it barely invades your thinking – much less impacts how you live?
Praying for You
June 30th, 2020
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
One of the most encouraging things someone could say to me is they were praying for me. It let’s me know that they were thinking about me. But also they cared enough to petition our Heavenly Father on my behalf. In the first chapter of Colossians Paul lets his readers know exactly how he’s been praying for them. So following this template, I hope to encourage you and let you know I’m praying for you.
I’m praying you’ll be wise - filled with all the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
I’m praying you’ll bear fruit – being fruitful in every good work
I’m praying you’ll grow – increasing in the knowledge of God
I’m praying you’ll be empowered – strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power.
I’m praying you’ll endure - unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness
I’m praying you’ll give thanks to the Father – hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light
May you be able to face this day knowing God loves you and I’m praying for you.
That I May Know Him
June 25, 2020
"And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Recently, God has been reminding me that an important factor in walking with and serving Him is coming to know Him as He has revealed Himself in the Bible. In my own imagination, I can come up with a lot of ideas of what I want God to be. But it is only after I grasp what He is genuinely like that I will see my circumstances as they are and respond in trust. This is what is meant when we are told to “grow in…the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” (2 Peter 3:18). It is not about merely having an intellectual knowledge of God – being able to recite a list of His perfections. It is allowing a grasp of those perfections to change the way I respond to life.
Isaiah 6 is probably best remembered for Isaiah’s willingness to follow God wherever He would lead: “here am I: send me,” (Isaiah 6:8). But Isaiah responded to the call of God (Vv.5-8) because of what he first saw and accepted of God.
Acceptance of one as king results in submission and obedience to him.
God sent Isaiah into a war zone, knowing that he wouldn’t be very “successful,” (Vv.9-13). But Isaiah willingly went because the King had commissioned him.
When one worships something, he makes that object the center of his life and promotes its “glory” any chance he can.
We see the same beings, in Revelation 4:8, doing the same thing – ascribing glory and worth to God.
For Isaiah, it did not matter the outcome of his mission. God was worthy of glory, no matter the response of others.
“In God, holiness is certainly absence of evil, but it must also include a positive righteousness and all of this measured against Himself as an absolute standard,” (Charles Ryrie, A Survey of Bible Doctrine, p.19).
If the one we worship is holy, it re-shapes the character and motivation of our service.
Isaiah was willing to give his whole self in service because God is holy.
I would encourage you to start a Bible study in the attributes/characteristics/perfections of God. Select one of those attributes and focus on what God, Himself, has to say about it in the Bible. Memorize some of the accompanying verses and meditate on them throughout the day. Then, ask yourself, “How does knowing God is __________ change the way I look at and respond to what I am facing right now?”
Next Thursday, we will look, in more detail, at how Isaiah responded to God’s revelation of Himself.
June 23, 2020
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
As each month winds down and I look ahead to the next, one of the things I try to do is set aside a few verses that I want to meditate on and memorize for that month. While I may not always be successful in completing the list it is certainly helpful to have Scripture regularly on my mind. It always amazes me how often one of the verses on my list ends up being relevant to the unexpected things that come up or an encouragement to someone else. So if you don’t have any verses that you’re currently working on feel free to try some of these over the next couple weeks.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
II Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
II Corinthians 5:20-21
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
I Thessalonians 5:15-18
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
March / April 2020
May / June 2020
July / August 2020