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October 17: Isaiah 62–64; 1 Thessalonians 5

Morning: Isaiah 62–64
       
     
       
          Evening: 1 Thessalonians 5
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Isaiah 62–64 Isaiah 62–64
     

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          Isaiah 62-64
Zion's Coming Salvation

62   For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,    and for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet,  until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,    and her salvation as a burning torch.  The nations shall see your righteousness,    and all the kings your glory,  and you shall be called by a new name    that the mouth of the LORD will give.  You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,    and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.  You shall no more be termed Forsaken,1    and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,2  but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,3    and your land Married;4  for the LORD delights in you,    and your land shall be married.  For as a young man marries a young woman,    so shall your sons marry you,  and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,    so shall your God rejoice over you.

  On your walls, O Jerusalem,    I have set watchmen;  all the day and all the night    they shall never be silent.  You who put the LORD in remembrance,    take no rest,  and give him no rest    until he establishes Jerusalem    and makes it a praise in the earth.  The LORD has sworn by his right hand    and by his mighty arm:  “I will not again give your grain    to be food for your enemies,  and foreigners shall not drink your wine    for which you have labored;  but those who garner it shall eat it    and praise the LORD,  and those who gather it shall drink it    in the courts of my sanctuary.”5

  Go through, go through the gates;    prepare the way for the people;  build up, build up the highway;    clear it of stones;    lift up a signal over the peoples.  Behold, the LORD has proclaimed    to the end of the earth:  Say to the daughter of Zion,    “Behold, your salvation comes;  behold, his reward is with him,    and his recompense before him.”  And they shall be called The Holy People,    The Redeemed of the LORD;  and you shall be called Sought Out,    A City Not Forsaken.
The Lord's Day of Vengeance

63   Who is this who comes from Edom,    in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,  he who is splendid in his apparel,    marching in the greatness of his strength?  “It is I, speaking in righteousness,    mighty to save.”

  Why is your apparel red,    and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?

  “I have trodden the winepress alone,    and from the peoples no one was with me;  I trod them in my anger    and trampled them in my wrath;  their lifeblood6 spattered on my garments,    and stained all my apparel.  For the day of vengeance was in my heart,    and my year of redemption7 had come.  I looked, but there was no one to help;    I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;  so my own arm brought me salvation,    and my wrath upheld me.  I trampled down the peoples in my anger;    I made them drunk in my wrath,    and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
The Lord's Mercy Remembered

  I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD,    the praises of the LORD,  according to all that the LORD has granted us,    and the great goodness to the house of Israel  that he has granted them according to his compassion,    according to the abundance of his steadfast love.  For he said, “Surely they are my people,    children who will not deal falsely.”    And he became their Savior.  In all their affliction he was afflicted,8    and the angel of his presence saved them;  in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;    he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

  But they rebelled    and grieved his Holy Spirit;  therefore he turned to be their enemy,    and himself fought against them.  Then he remembered the days of old,    of Moses and his people.9  Where is he who brought them up out of the sea    with the shepherds of his flock?  Where is he who put in the midst of them    his Holy Spirit,  who caused his glorious arm    to go at the right hand of Moses,  who divided the waters before them    to make for himself an everlasting name,    who led them through the depths?  Like a horse in the desert,    they did not stumble.  Like livestock that go down into the valley,    the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest.  So you led your people,    to make for yourself a glorious name.
Prayer for Mercy

  Look down from heaven and see,    from your holy and beautiful10 habitation.  Where are your zeal and your might?    The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion    are held back from me.  For you are our Father,    though Abraham does not know us,    and Israel does not acknowledge us;  you, O LORD, are our Father,    our Redeemer from of old is your name.  O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways    and harden our heart, so that we fear you not?  Return for the sake of your servants,    the tribes of your heritage.  Your holy people held possession for a little while;11    our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary.  We have become like those over whom you have never ruled,    like those who are not called by your name.

64   Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,    that the mountains might quake at your presence—  12 as when fire kindles brushwood    and the fire causes water to boil—  to make your name known to your adversaries,    and that the nations might tremble at your presence!  When you did awesome things that we did not look for,    you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.  From of old no one has heard    or perceived by the ear,  no eye has seen a God besides you,    who acts for those who wait for him.  You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,    those who remember you in your ways.  Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;    in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?13  We have all become like one who is unclean,    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.  We all fade like a leaf,    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.  There is no one who calls upon your name,    who rouses himself to take hold of you;  for you have hidden your face from us,    and have made us melt in14 the hand of our iniquities.

  But now, O LORD, you are our Father;    we are the clay, and you are our potter;    we are all the work of your hand.  Be not so terribly angry, O LORD,    and remember not iniquity forever.    Behold, please look, we are all your people.  Your holy cities have become a wilderness;    Zion has become a wilderness,    Jerusalem a desolation.  Our holy and beautiful15 house,    where our fathers praised you,  has been burned by fire,    and all our pleasant places have become ruins.  Will you restrain yourself at these things, O LORD?    Will you keep silent, and afflict us so terribly?

Footnotes
[1] 62:4 Hebrew Azubah

[2] 62:4 Hebrew Shemamah

[3] 62:4 Hebrew Hephzibah

[4] 62:4 Hebrew Beulah

[5] 62:9 Or in my holy courts

[6] 63:3 Or their juice; also verse 6

[7] 63:4 Or the year of my redeemed

[8] 63:9 Or he did not afflict

[9] 63:11 Or Then his people remembered the days of old, of Moses

[10] 63:15 Or holy and glorious

[11] 63:18 Or They have dispossessed your holy people for a little while

[12] 64:2 Ch 64:1 in Hebrew

[13] 64:5 Or in your ways is continuance, that we might be saved

[14] 64:7 Masoretic Text; Septuagint, Syriac, Targum have delivered us into

[15] 64:11 Or holy and glorious


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: 1 Thessalonians 5 1 Thessalonians 5
     

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          1 Thessalonians 5
The Day of the Lord
5 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers,1 you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children2 of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Final Instructions and Benediction
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,3 encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
Brothers, pray for us.
Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Footnotes
[1] 5:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 4, 12, 14, 25, 26, 27

[2] 5:5 Or sons; twice in this verse

[3] 5:14 Or disorderly, or undisciplined


(ESV)

Source: October 17: Isaiah 62–64; 1 Thessalonians 5
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Devotions & Studies / October 16: Isaiah 59–61; 1 Thessalonians 4
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 17, 2017, 06:07:52 AM »
October 16: Isaiah 59–61; 1 Thessalonians 4

Morning: Isaiah 59–61
       
     
       
          Evening: 1 Thessalonians 4
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Isaiah 59–61 Isaiah 59–61
     

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          Isaiah 59-61
Evil and Oppression

59   Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,    or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;  but your iniquities have made a separation    between you and your God,  and your sins have hidden his face from you    so that he does not hear.  For your hands are defiled with blood    and your fingers with iniquity;  your lips have spoken lies;    your tongue mutters wickedness.  No one enters suit justly;    no one goes to law honestly;  they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,    they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.  They hatch adders' eggs;    they weave the spider's web;  he who eats their eggs dies,    and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.  Their webs will not serve as clothing;    men will not cover themselves with what they make.  Their works are works of iniquity,    and deeds of violence are in their hands.  Their feet run to evil,    and they are swift to shed innocent blood;  their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;    desolation and destruction are in their highways.  The way of peace they do not know,    and there is no justice in their paths;  they have made their roads crooked;    no one who treads on them knows peace.

  Therefore justice is far from us,    and righteousness does not overtake us;  we hope for light, and behold, darkness,    and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.  We grope for the wall like the blind;    we grope like those who have no eyes;  we stumble at noon as in the twilight,    among those in full vigor we are like dead men.  We all growl like bears;    we moan and moan like doves;  we hope for justice, but there is none;    for salvation, but it is far from us.  For our transgressions are multiplied before you,    and our sins testify against us;  for our transgressions are with us,    and we know our iniquities:  transgressing, and denying the LORD,    and turning back from following our God,  speaking oppression and revolt,    conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.
Judgment and Redemption

  Justice is turned back,    and righteousness stands far away;  for truth has stumbled in the public squares,    and uprightness cannot enter.  Truth is lacking,    and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

  The LORD saw it, and it displeased him1    that there was no justice.  He saw that there was no man,    and wondered that there was no one to intercede;  then his own arm brought him salvation,    and his righteousness upheld him.  He put on righteousness as a breastplate,    and a helmet of salvation on his head;  he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,    and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.  According to their deeds, so will he repay,    wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;    to the coastlands he will render repayment.  So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west,    and his glory from the rising of the sun;  for he will come like a rushing stream,2    which the wind of the LORD drives.

  “And a Redeemer will come to Zion,    to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD.
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children's offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.”
The Future Glory of Israel

60   Arise, shine, for your light has come,    and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.  For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,    and thick darkness the peoples;  but the LORD will arise upon you,    and his glory will be seen upon you.  And nations shall come to your light,    and kings to the brightness of your rising.

  Lift up your eyes all around, and see;    they all gather together, they come to you;  your sons shall come from afar,    and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.  Then you shall see and be radiant;    your heart shall thrill and exult,3  because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,    the wealth of the nations shall come to you.  A multitude of camels shall cover you,    the young camels of Midian and Ephah;    all those from Sheba shall come.  They shall bring gold and frankincense,    and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.  All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you;    the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;  they shall come up with acceptance on my altar,    and I will beautify my beautiful house.

  Who are these that fly like a cloud,    and like doves to their windows?  For the coastlands shall hope for me,    the ships of Tarshish first,  to bring your children from afar,    their silver and gold with them,  for the name of the LORD your God,    and for the Holy One of Israel,    because he has made you beautiful.

  Foreigners shall build up your walls,    and their kings shall minister to you;  for in my wrath I struck you,    but in my favor I have had mercy on you.  Your gates shall be open continually;    day and night they shall not be shut,  that people may bring to you the wealth of the nations,    with their kings led in procession.  For the nation and kingdom    that will not serve you shall perish;    those nations shall be utterly laid waste.  The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,    the cypress, the plane, and the pine,  to beautify the place of my sanctuary,    and I will make the place of my feet glorious.  The sons of those who afflicted you    shall come bending low to you,  and all who despised you    shall bow down at your feet;  they shall call you the City of the LORD,    the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

  Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,    with no one passing through,  I will make you majestic forever,    a joy from age to age.  You shall {Please choose a better word} the milk of nations;    you shall nurse at the breast of kings;  and you shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

  Instead of bronze I will bring gold,    and instead of iron I will bring silver;  instead of wood, bronze,    instead of stones, iron.  I will make your overseers peace    and your taskmasters righteousness.  Violence shall no more be heard in your land,    devastation or destruction within your borders;  you shall call your walls Salvation,    and your gates Praise.

  The sun shall be no more    your light by day,  nor for brightness shall the moon    give you light;4  but the LORD will be your everlasting light,    and your God will be your glory.5  Your sun shall no more go down,    nor your moon withdraw itself;  for the LORD will be your everlasting light,    and your days of mourning shall be ended.  Your people shall all be righteous;    they shall possess the land forever,  the branch of my planting, the work of my hands,    that I might be glorified.6  The least one shall become a clan,    and the smallest one a mighty nation;  I am the LORD;    in its time I will hasten it.
The Year of the Lord's Favor

61   The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,    because the LORD has anointed me  to bring good news to the poor;7    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,  to proclaim liberty to the captives,    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;8  to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,    and the day of vengeance of our God;    to comfort all who mourn;  to grant to those who mourn in Zion—    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,  the oil of gladness instead of mourning,    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;  that they may be called oaks of righteousness,    the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.9  They shall build up the ancient ruins;    they shall raise up the former devastations;  they shall repair the ruined cities,    the devastations of many generations.

  Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks;    foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;  but you shall be called the priests of the LORD;    they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;  you shall eat the wealth of the nations,    and in their glory you shall boast.  Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion;    instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;  therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;    they shall have everlasting joy.

  For I the LORD love justice;    I hate robbery and wrong;10  I will faithfully give them their recompense,    and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.  Their offspring shall be known among the nations,    and their descendants in the midst of the peoples;  all who see them shall acknowledge them,    that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed.

  I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;    my soul shall exult in my God,  for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,  as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,    and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,  so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise    to sprout up before all the nations.

Footnotes
[1] 59:15 Hebrew and it was evil in his eyes

[2] 59:19 Hebrew a narrow river

[3] 60:5 Hebrew your heart shall tremble and grow wide

[4] 60:19 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Targum add by night

[5] 60:19 Or your beauty

[6] 60:21 Or that I might display my beauty

[7] 61:1 Or afflicted

[8] 61:1 Or the opening [of the eyes] to those who are blind; Septuagint and recovery of sight to the blind

[9] 61:3 Or that he may display his beauty

[10] 61:8 Or robbery with a burnt offering


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: 1 Thessalonians 4 1 Thessalonians 4
     

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          1 Thessalonians 4
A Life Pleasing to God
4 Finally, then, brothers,1 we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification:2 that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body3 in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
The Coming of the Lord
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,4 that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Footnotes
[1] 4:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 10, 13

[2] 4:3 Or your holiness

[3] 4:4 Or how to take a wife for himself; Greek how to possess his own vessel

[4] 4:15 Or by the word of the Lord


(ESV)

Source: October 16: Isaiah 59–61; 1 Thessalonians 4
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Devotions & Studies / October 15: Isaiah 56–58; 1 Thessalonians 3
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 16, 2017, 06:07:24 AM »
October 15: Isaiah 56–58; 1 Thessalonians 3

Morning: Isaiah 56–58
       
     
       
          Evening: 1 Thessalonians 3
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Isaiah 56–58 Isaiah 56–58
     

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          Isaiah 56-58
Salvation for Foreigners

56   Thus says the LORD:  “Keep justice, and do righteousness,  for soon my salvation will come,    and my righteousness be revealed.  Blessed is the man who does this,    and the son of man who holds it fast,  who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it,    and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

  Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say,    “The LORD will surely separate me from his people”;  and let not the eunuch say,    “Behold, I am a dry tree.”  For thus says the LORD:  “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,    who choose the things that please me    and hold fast my covenant,  I will give in my house and within my walls    a monument and a name    better than sons and daughters;  I will give them an everlasting name    that shall not be cut off.

  “And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,    to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD,    and to be his servants,  everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,    and holds fast my covenant—  these I will bring to my holy mountain,    and make them joyful in my house of prayer;  their burnt offerings and their sacrifices    will be accepted on my altar;  for my house shall be called a house of prayer    for all peoples.”  The Lord GOD,    who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,  “I will gather yet others to him    besides those already gathered.”
Israel's Irresponsible Leaders

  All you beasts of the field, come to devour—    all you beasts in the forest.  His watchmen are blind;    they are all without knowledge;  they are all silent dogs;    they cannot bark,  dreaming, lying down,    loving to slumber.  The dogs have a mighty appetite;    they never have enough.  But they are shepherds who have no understanding;    they have all turned to their own way,    each to his own gain, one and all.  “Come,” they say, “let me get wine;    let us fill ourselves with strong drink;  and tomorrow will be like this day,    great beyond measure.”
Israel's Futile Idolatry

57   The righteous man perishes,    and no one lays it to heart;  devout men are taken away,    while no one understands.  For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;    he enters into peace;  they rest in their beds    who walk in their uprightness.  But you, draw near,    sons of the sorceress,    offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.  Whom are you mocking?    Against whom do you open your mouth wide    and stick out your tongue?  Are you not children of transgression,    the offspring of deceit,  you who burn with lust among the oaks,1    under every green tree,  who slaughter your children in the valleys,    under the clefts of the rocks?  Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion;    they, they, are your lot;  to them you have poured out a drink offering,    you have brought a grain offering.    Shall I relent for these things?  On a high and lofty mountain    you have set your bed,    and there you went up to offer sacrifice.  Behind the door and the doorpost    you have set up your memorial;  for, deserting me, you have uncovered your bed,    you have gone up to it,    you have made it wide;  and you have made a covenant for yourself with them,    you have loved their bed,    you have looked on nakedness.2  You journeyed to the king with oil    and multiplied your perfumes;  you sent your envoys far off,    and sent down even to Sheol.  You were wearied with the length of your way,    but you did not say, “It is hopeless”;  you found new life for your strength,    and so you were not faint.3

  Whom did you dread and fear,    so that you lied,  and did not remember me,    did not lay it to heart?  Have I not held my peace, even for a long time,    and you do not fear me?  I will declare your righteousness and your deeds,    but they will not profit you.  When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!    The wind will carry them all off,    a breath will take them away.  But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land    and shall inherit my holy mountain.
Comfort for the Contrite

  And it shall be said,  “Build up, build up, prepare the way,    remove every obstruction from my people's way.”  For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:  “I dwell in the high and holy place,    and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,  to revive the spirit of the lowly,    and to revive the heart of the contrite.  For I will not contend forever,    nor will I always be angry;  for the spirit would grow faint before me,    and the breath of life that I made.  Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry,    I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,    but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.  I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;    I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners,    creating the fruit of the lips.  Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the LORD,    “and I will heal him.  But the wicked are like the tossing sea;    for it cannot be quiet,    and its waters toss up mire and dirt.  There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
True and False Fasting

58   “Cry aloud; do not hold back;    lift up your voice like a trumpet;  declare to my people their transgression,    to the house of Jacob their sins.  Yet they seek me daily    and delight to know my ways,  as if they were a nation that did righteousness    and did not forsake the judgment of their God;  they ask of me righteous judgments;    they delight to draw near to God.  ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?    Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’  Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,4    and oppress all your workers.  Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight    and to hit with a wicked fist.  Fasting like yours this day    will not make your voice to be heard on high.  Is such the fast that I choose,    a day for a person to humble himself?  Is it to bow down his head like a reed,    and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?  Will you call this a fast,    and a day acceptable to the LORD?

  “Is not this the fast that I choose:    to loose the bonds of wickedness,    to undo the straps of the yoke,  to let the oppressed5 go free,    and to break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry    and bring the homeless poor into your house;  when you see the naked, to cover him,    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?  Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,    and your healing shall spring up speedily;  your righteousness shall go before you;    the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.  Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;    you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’  If you take away the yoke from your midst,    the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,  if you pour yourself out for the hungry    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,  then shall your light rise in the darkness    and your gloom be as the noonday.  And the LORD will guide you continually    and satisfy your desire in scorched places    and make your bones strong;  and you shall be like a watered garden,    like a spring of water,    whose waters do not fail.  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;  you shall be called the repairer of the breach,    the restorer of streets to dwell in.

  “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,    from doing your pleasure6 on my holy day,  and call the Sabbath a delight    and the holy day of the LORD honorable;  if you honor it, not going your own ways,    or seeking your own pleasure,7 or talking idly;8  then you shall take delight in the LORD,    and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;9  I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Footnotes
[1] 57:5 Or among the terebinths

[2] 57:8 Or on a monument (see 56:5); Hebrew on a hand

[3] 57:10 Hebrew and so you were not sick

[4] 58:3 Or pursue your own business

[5] 58:6 Or bruised

[6] 58:13 Or business

[7] 58:13 Or pursuing your own business

[8] 58:13 Hebrew or speaking a word

[9] 58:14 Or of the land


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: 1 Thessalonians 3 1 Thessalonians 3
     

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          1 Thessalonians 3
3 Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker1 in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.
Timothy's Encouraging Report
But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you—for this reason, brothers,2 in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?
Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Footnotes
[1] 3:2 Some manuscripts servant

[2] 3:7 Or brothers and sisters


(ESV)

Source: October 15: Isaiah 56–58; 1 Thessalonians 3
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Devotions & Studies / October 14: Isaiah 53–55; 1 Thessalonians 2
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 15, 2017, 06:17:03 AM »
October 14: Isaiah 53–55; 1 Thessalonians 2

Morning: Isaiah 53–55
       
     
       
          Evening: 1 Thessalonians 2
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Isaiah 53–55 Isaiah 53–55
     

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          Isaiah 53-55

53   Who has believed what he has heard from us?1    And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?  For he grew up before him like a young plant,    and like a root out of dry ground;  he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,    and no beauty that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected2 by men,    a man of sorrows3 and acquainted with4 grief;5  and as one from whom men hide their faces6    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

  Surely he has borne our griefs    and carried our sorrows;  yet we esteemed him stricken,    smitten by God, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions;    he was crushed for our iniquities;  upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,    and with his wounds we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray;    we have turned—every one—to his own way;  and the LORD has laid on him    the iniquity of us all.

  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,    yet he opened not his mouth;  like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,    so he opened not his mouth.  By oppression and judgment he was taken away;    and as for his generation, who considered  that he was cut off out of the land of the living,    stricken for the transgression of my people?  And they made his grave with the wicked    and with a rich man in his death,  although he had done no violence,    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

  Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;    he has put him to grief;7  when his soul makes8 an offering for guilt,    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;  the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see9 and be satisfied;  by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,    make many to be accounted righteous,    and he shall bear their iniquities.  Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,10    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,11  because he poured out his soul to death    and was numbered with the transgressors;  yet he bore the sin of many,    and makes intercession for the transgressors.
The Eternal Covenant of Peace

54   “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;    break forth into singing and cry aloud,    you who have not been in labor!  For the children of the desolate one will be more    than the children of her who is married,” says the LORD.  “Enlarge the place of your tent,    and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;  do not hold back; lengthen your cords    and strengthen your stakes.  For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,    and your offspring will possess the nations    and will people the desolate cities.

  “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;    be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;  for you will forget the shame of your youth,    and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.  For your Maker is your husband,    the LORD of hosts is his name;  and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,    the God of the whole earth he is called.  For the LORD has called you    like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,  like a wife of youth when she is cast off,    says your God.  For a brief moment I deserted you,    but with great compassion I will gather you.  In overflowing anger for a moment    I hid my face from you,  but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”    says the LORD, your Redeemer.

  “This is like the days of Noah12 to me:    as I swore that the waters of Noah    should no more go over the earth,  so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,    and will not rebuke you.  For the mountains may depart    and the hills be removed,  but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”    says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

  “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted,    behold, I will set your stones in antimony,    and lay your foundations with sapphires.13  I will make your pinnacles of agate,14    your gates of carbuncles,15    and all your wall of precious stones.  All your children shall be taught by the LORD,    and great shall be the peace of your children.  In righteousness you shall be established;    you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;    and from terror, for it shall not come near you.  If anyone stirs up strife,    it is not from me;  whoever stirs up strife with you    shall fall because of you.  Behold, I have created the smith    who blows the fire of coals    and produces a weapon for its purpose.  I have also created the ravager to destroy;    no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,    and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD    and their vindication16 from me, declares the LORD.”
The Compassion of the Lord

55   “Come, everyone who thirsts,    come to the waters;  and he who has no money,    come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk    without money and without price.  Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?  Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,    and delight yourselves in rich food.  Incline your ear, and come to me;    hear, that your soul may live;  and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,    my steadfast, sure love for David.  Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,    a leader and commander for the peoples.  Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,    and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,  because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,    for he has glorified you.

  “Seek the LORD while he may be found;    call upon him while he is near;  let the wicked forsake his way,    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;  let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts,    neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth,    so are my ways higher than your ways    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

  “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven    and do not return there but water the earth,  making it bring forth and sprout,    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,  so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;    it shall not return to me empty,  but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

  “For you shall go out in joy    and be led forth in peace;  the mountains and the hills before you    shall break forth into singing,    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;    instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;  and it shall make a name for the LORD,    an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

Footnotes
[1] 53:1 Or Who has believed what we have heard?

[2] 53:3 Or forsaken

[3] 53:3 Or pains; also verse 4

[4] 53:3 Or and knowing

[5] 53:3 Or sickness; also verse 4

[6] 53:3 Or as one who hides his face from us

[7] 53:10 Or he has made him sick

[8] 53:10 Or when you make his soul

[9] 53:11 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll he shall see light

[10] 53:12 Or with the great

[11] 53:12 Or with the numerous

[12] 54:9 Some manuscripts For this is as the waters of Noah

[13] 54:11 Or lapis lazuli

[14] 54:12 Or jasper, or ruby

[15] 54:12 Or crystal

[16] 54:17 Or righteousness


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: 1 Thessalonians 2 1 Thessalonians 2
     

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          1 Thessalonians 2
Paul's Ministry to the Thessalonians
2 For you yourselves know, brothers,1 that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery,2 as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle3 among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
And we also thank God constantly4 for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men5 but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,6 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!7
Paul's Longing to See Them Again
But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.

Footnotes
[1] 2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 9, 14, 17

[2] 2:5 Or with a flattering speech

[3] 2:7 Some manuscripts infants

[4] 2:13 Or without ceasing

[5] 2:13 The Greek word anthropoi can refer to both men and women

[6] 2:14 The Greek word Ioudaioi can refer to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, who opposed the Christian faith in that time

[7] 2:16 Or completely, or forever


(ESV)

Source: October 14: Isaiah 53–55; 1 Thessalonians 2
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Devotions & Studies / October 13: Isaiah 50–52; 1 Thessalonians 1
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 14, 2017, 06:01:50 AM »
October 13: Isaiah 50–52; 1 Thessalonians 1

Morning: Isaiah 50–52
       
     
       
          Evening: 1 Thessalonians 1
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Isaiah 50–52 Isaiah 50–52
     

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          Isaiah 50-52
Israel's Sin and the Servant's Obedience

50   Thus says the LORD:  “Where is your mother's certificate of divorce,    with which I sent her away?  Or which of my creditors is it    to whom I have sold you?  Behold, for your iniquities you were sold,    and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.  Why, when I came, was there no man;    why, when I called, was there no one to answer?  Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?    Or have I no power to deliver?  Behold, by my rebuke I dry up the sea,    I make the rivers a desert;  their fish stink for lack of water    and die of thirst.  I clothe the heavens with blackness    and make sackcloth their covering.”

  The Lord GOD has given me    the tongue of those who are taught,  that I may know how to sustain with a word    him who is weary.  Morning by morning he awakens;    he awakens my ear    to hear as those who are taught.  The Lord GOD has opened my ear,    and I was not rebellious;    I turned not backward.  I gave my back to those who strike,    and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;  I hid not my face    from disgrace and spitting.

  But the Lord GOD helps me;    therefore I have not been disgraced;  therefore I have set my face like a flint,    and I know that I shall not be put to shame.    He who vindicates me is near.  Who will contend with me?    Let us stand up together.  Who is my adversary?    Let him come near to me.  Behold, the Lord GOD helps me;    who will declare me guilty?  Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;    the moth will eat them up.

  Who among you fears the LORD    and obeys the voice of his servant?  Let him who walks in darkness    and has no light  trust in the name of the LORD    and rely on his God.  Behold, all you who kindle a fire,    who equip yourselves with burning torches!  Walk by the light of your fire,    and by the torches that you have kindled!  This you have from my hand:    you shall lie down in torment.
The Lord's Comfort for Zion

51   “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,    you who seek the LORD:  look to the rock from which you were hewn,    and to the quarry from which you were dug.  Look to Abraham your father    and to Sarah who bore you;  for he was but one when I called him,    that I might bless him and multiply him.  For the LORD comforts Zion;    he comforts all her waste places  and makes her wilderness like Eden,    her desert like the garden of the LORD;  joy and gladness will be found in her,    thanksgiving and the voice of song.

  “Give attention to me, my people,    and give ear to me, my nation;  for a law1 will go out from me,    and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.  My righteousness draws near,    my salvation has gone out,    and my arms will judge the peoples;  the coastlands hope for me,    and for my arm they wait.  Lift up your eyes to the heavens,    and look at the earth beneath;  for the heavens vanish like smoke,    the earth will wear out like a garment,    and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;2  but my salvation will be forever,    and my righteousness will never be dismayed.

  “Listen to me, you who know righteousness,    the people in whose heart is my law;  fear not the reproach of man,    nor be dismayed at their revilings.  For the moth will eat them up like a garment,    and the worm will eat them like wool,  but my righteousness will be forever,    and my salvation to all generations.”

  Awake, awake, put on strength,    O arm of the LORD;  awake, as in days of old,    the generations of long ago.  Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,    who pierced the dragon?  Was it not you who dried up the sea,    the waters of the great deep,  who made the depths of the sea a way    for the redeemed to pass over?  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return    and come to Zion with singing;  everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;    they shall obtain gladness and joy,    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

  “I, I am he who comforts you;    who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,    of the son of man who is made like grass,  and have forgotten the LORD, your Maker,    who stretched out the heavens    and laid the foundations of the earth,  and you fear continually all the day    because of the wrath of the oppressor,  when he sets himself to destroy?    And where is the wrath of the oppressor?  He who is bowed down shall speedily be released;    he shall not die and go down to the pit,    neither shall his bread be lacking.  I am the LORD your God,    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—    the LORD of hosts is his name.  And I have put my words in your mouth    and covered you in the shadow of my hand,  establishing3 the heavens    and laying the foundations of the earth,    and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”

  Wake yourself, wake yourself,    stand up, O Jerusalem,  you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD    the cup of his wrath,  who have drunk to the dregs    the bowl, the cup of staggering.  There is none to guide her    among all the sons she has borne;  there is none to take her by the hand    among all the sons she has brought up.  These two things have happened to you—    who will console you?—  devastation and destruction, famine and sword;    who will comfort you?4  Your sons have fainted;    they lie at the head of every street    like an antelope in a net;  they are full of the wrath of the LORD,    the rebuke of your God.

  Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted,    who are drunk, but not with wine:  Thus says your Lord, the LORD,    your God who pleads the cause of his people:  “Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;  the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more;  and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,    who have said to you,    ‘Bow down, that we may pass over’;  and you have made your back like the ground    and like the street for them to pass over.”
The Lord's Coming Salvation

52   Awake, awake,    put on your strength, O Zion;  put on your beautiful garments,    O Jerusalem, the holy city;  for there shall no more come into you    the uncircumcised and the unclean.  Shake yourself from the dust and arise;    be seated, O Jerusalem;  loose the bonds from your neck,    O captive daughter of Zion.
For thus says the LORD: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” For thus says the Lord GOD: “My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing.5 Now therefore what have I here,” declares the LORD, “seeing that my people are taken away for nothing? Their rulers wail,” declares the LORD, “and continually all the day my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here I am.”

  How beautiful upon the mountains    are the feet of him who brings good news,  who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,    who publishes salvation,    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”  The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;    together they sing for joy;  for eye to eye they see    the return of the LORD to Zion.  Break forth together into singing,    you waste places of Jerusalem,  for the LORD has comforted his people;    he has redeemed Jerusalem.  The LORD has bared his holy arm    before the eyes of all the nations,  and all the ends of the earth shall see    the salvation of our God.

  Depart, depart, go out from there;    touch no unclean thing;  go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves,    you who bear the vessels of the LORD.  For you shall not go out in haste,    and you shall not go in flight,  for the LORD will go before you,    and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
He Was Pierced for Our Transgressions

  Behold, my servant shall act wisely;6    he shall be high and lifted up,    and shall be exalted.  As many were astonished at you—    his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,    and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—  so shall he sprinkle7 many nations.    Kings shall shut their mouths because of him,  for that which has not been told them they see,    and that which they have not heard they understand.

Footnotes
[1] 51:4 Or for teaching; also verse 7

[2] 51:6 Or will die like gnats

[3] 51:16 Or planting

[4] 51:19 Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Masoretic Text how shall I comfort you

[5] 52:4 Or the Assyrian has oppressed them of late

[6] 52:13 Or shall prosper

[7] 52:15 Or startle


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: 1 Thessalonians 1 1 Thessalonians 1
     

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          1 Thessalonians 1
Greeting
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.
The Thessalonians' Faith and Example
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly1 mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers2 loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Footnotes
[1] 1:2 Or without ceasing

[2] 1:4 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters


(ESV)

Source: October 13: Isaiah 50–52; 1 Thessalonians 1
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Devotions & Studies / October 12: Isaiah 48–49; Colossians 4
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 13, 2017, 06:05:49 AM »
October 12: Isaiah 48–49; Colossians 4

Morning: Isaiah 48–49
       
     
       
          Evening: Colossians 4
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Isaiah 48–49 Isaiah 48–49
     

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          Isaiah 48-49
Israel Refined for God's Glory

48   Hear this, O house of Jacob,    who are called by the name of Israel,    and who came from the waters of Judah,  who swear by the name of the LORD    and confess the God of Israel,    but not in truth or right.  For they call themselves after the holy city,    and stay themselves on the God of Israel;    the LORD of hosts is his name.

  “The former things I declared of old;    they went out from my mouth, and I announced them;    then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.  Because I know that you are obstinate,    and your neck is an iron sinew    and your forehead brass,  I declared them to you from of old,    before they came to pass I announced them to you,  lest you should say, ‘My idol did them,    my carved image and my metal image commanded them.’

  “You have heard; now see all this;    and will you not declare it?  From this time forth I announce to you new things,    hidden things that you have not known.  They are created now, not long ago;    before today you have never heard of them,    lest you should say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’  You have never heard, you have never known,    from of old your ear has not been opened.  For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously,    and that from before birth you were called a rebel.

  “For my name's sake I defer my anger;    for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,    that I may not cut you off.  Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;    I have tried1 you in the furnace of affliction.  For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,    for how should my name2 be profaned?    My glory I will not give to another.
The Lord's Call to Israel

  “Listen to me, O Jacob,    and Israel, whom I called!  I am he; I am the first,    and I am the last.  My hand laid the foundation of the earth,    and my right hand spread out the heavens;  when I call to them,    they stand forth together.

  “Assemble, all of you, and listen!    Who among them has declared these things?  The LORD loves him;    he shall perform his purpose on Babylon,    and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans.  I, even I, have spoken and called him;    I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.  Draw near to me, hear this:    from the beginning I have not spoken in secret,    from the time it came to be I have been there.”  And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit.

  Thus says the LORD,    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:  “I am the LORD your God,    who teaches you to profit,    who leads you in the way you should go.  Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!    Then your peace would have been like a river,    and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;  your offspring would have been like the sand,    and your descendants like its grains;  their name would never be cut off    or destroyed from before me.”

  Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea,    declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it,  send it out to the end of the earth;    say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob!”  They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;    he made water flow for them from the rock;    he split the rock and the water gushed out.

  “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”
The Servant of the Lord

49   Listen to me, O coastlands,    and give attention, you peoples from afar.  The LORD called me from the womb,    from the body of my mother he named my name.  He made my mouth like a sharp sword;    in the shadow of his hand he hid me;  he made me a polished arrow;    in his quiver he hid me away.  And he said to me, “You are my servant,    Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”3  But I said, “I have labored in vain;    I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;  yet surely my right is with the LORD,    and my recompense with my God.”

  And now the LORD says,    he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,  to bring Jacob back to him;    and that Israel might be gathered to him—  for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,    and my God has become my strength—  he says:  “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant    to raise up the tribes of Jacob    and to bring back the preserved of Israel;  I will make you as a light for the nations,    that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

  Thus says the LORD,    the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,  to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,    the servant of rulers:  “Kings shall see and arise;    princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;  because of the LORD, who is faithful,    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
The Restoration of Israel

  Thus says the LORD:  “In a time of favor I have answered you;    in a day of salvation I have helped you;  I will keep you and give you    as a covenant to the people,  to establish the land,    to apportion the desolate heritages,  saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’    to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’  They shall feed along the ways;    on all bare heights shall be their pasture;  they shall not hunger or thirst,    neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,  for he who has pity on them will lead them,    and by springs of water will guide them.  And I will make all my mountains a road,    and my highways shall be raised up.  Behold, these shall come from afar,    and behold, these from the north and from the west,4    and these from the land of Syene.”5

  Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;    break forth, O mountains, into singing!  For the LORD has comforted his people    and will have compassion on his afflicted.

  But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;    my Lord has forgotten me.”

  “Can a woman forget her nursing child,    that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?  Even these may forget,    yet I will not forget you.  Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;    your walls are continually before me.  Your builders make haste;6    your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.  Lift up your eyes around and see;    they all gather, they come to you.  As I live, declares the LORD,    you shall put them all on as an ornament;    you shall bind them on as a bride does.

  “Surely your waste and your desolate places    and your devastated land—  surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,    and those who swallowed you up will be far away.  The children of your bereavement    will yet say in your ears:  ‘The place is too narrow for me;    make room for me to dwell in.’  Then you will say in your heart:    ‘Who has borne me these?  I was bereaved and barren,    exiled and put away,    but who has brought up these?  Behold, I was left alone;    from where have these come?’”

  Thus says the Lord GOD:  “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,    and raise my signal to the peoples;  and they shall bring your sons in their arms,7    and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.  Kings shall be your foster fathers,    and their queens your nursing mothers.  With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,    and lick the dust of your feet.  Then you will know that I am the LORD;    those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”

  Can the prey be taken from the mighty,    or the captives of a tyrant8 be rescued?  For thus says the LORD:  “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,    and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,  for I will contend with those who contend with you,    and I will save your children.  I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,    and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.  Then all flesh shall know    that I am the LORD your Savior,    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Footnotes
[1] 48:10 Or I have chosen

[2] 48:11 Hebrew lacks my name

[3] 49:3 Or I will display my beauty

[4] 49:12 Hebrew from the sea

[5] 49:12 Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Sinim

[6] 49:17 Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Your children make haste

[7] 49:22 Hebrew in their bosom

[8] 49:24 Dead Sea Scroll, Syriac, Vulgate (see also verse 25); Masoretic Text of a righteous man


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: Colossians 4 Colossians 4
     

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          Colossians 4
4 Masters, treat your bondservants1 justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
Further Instructions
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Final Greetings
Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant2 in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. Give my greetings to the brothers3 at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

Footnotes
[1] 4:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for servant in verse 12

[2] 4:7 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word sundoulos, see Preface

[3] 4:15 Or brothers and sisters


(ESV)

Source: October 12: Isaiah 48–49; Colossians 4
7
Devotions & Studies / October 11: Isaiah 45–47; Colossians 3
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 12, 2017, 06:14:55 AM »
October 11: Isaiah 45–47; Colossians 3

Morning: Isaiah 45–47
       
     
       
          Evening: Colossians 3
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Isaiah 45–47 Isaiah 45–47
     

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          Isaiah 45-47
Cyrus, God's Instrument

45   Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus,    whose right hand I have grasped,  to subdue nations before him    and to loose the belts of kings,  to open doors before him    that gates may not be closed:  “I will go before you    and level the exalted places,1  I will break in pieces the doors of bronze    and cut through the bars of iron,  I will give you the treasures of darkness    and the hoards in secret places,  that you may know that it is I, the LORD,    the God of Israel, who call you by your name.  For the sake of my servant Jacob,    and Israel my chosen,  I call you by your name,    I name you, though you do not know me.  I am the LORD, and there is no other,    besides me there is no God;    I equip you, though you do not know me,  that people may know, from the rising of the sun    and from the west, that there is none besides me;    I am the LORD, and there is no other.  I form light and create darkness;    I make well-being and create calamity;    I am the LORD, who does all these things.

  “Shower, O heavens, from above,    and let the clouds rain down righteousness;  let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;    let the earth cause them both to sprout;    I the LORD have created it.

  “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,    a pot among earthen pots!  Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’    or ‘Your work has no handles’?  Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’    or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”

  Thus says the LORD,    the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:  “Ask me of things to come;    will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?2  I made the earth    and created man on it;  it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,    and I commanded all their host.  I have stirred him up in righteousness,    and I will make all his ways level;  he shall build my city    and set my exiles free,  not for price or reward,”    says the LORD of hosts.
The Lord, the Only Savior

  Thus says the LORD:  “The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,    and the Sabeans, men of stature,  shall come over to you and be yours;    they shall follow you;    they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.  They will plead with you, saying:    ‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other,    no god besides him.’”

  Truly, you are a God who hides himself,    O God of Israel, the Savior.  All of them are put to shame and confounded;    the makers of idols go in confusion together.  But Israel is saved by the LORD    with everlasting salvation;  you shall not be put to shame or confounded    to all eternity.

  For thus says the LORD,  who created the heavens    (he is God!),  who formed the earth and made it    (he established it;  he did not create it empty,    he formed it to be inhabited!):  “I am the LORD, and there is no other.  I did not speak in secret,    in a land of darkness;  I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,    ‘Seek me in vain.’3  I the LORD speak the truth;    I declare what is right.

  “Assemble yourselves and come;    draw near together,    you survivors of the nations!  They have no knowledge    who carry about their wooden idols,  and keep on praying to a god    that cannot save.  Declare and present your case;    let them take counsel together!  Who told this long ago?    Who declared it of old?  Was it not I, the LORD?    And there is no other god besides me,  a righteous God and a Savior;    there is none besides me.

  “Turn to me and be saved,    all the ends of the earth!    For I am God, and there is no other.  By myself I have sworn;    from my mouth has gone out in righteousness    a word that shall not return:  ‘To me every knee shall bow,    every tongue shall swear allegiance.’4

  “Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me,    are righteousness and strength;  to him shall come and be ashamed    all who were incensed against him.  In the LORD all the offspring of Israel    shall be justified and shall glory.”
The Idols of Babylon and the One True God

46   Bel bows down; Nebo stoops;    their idols are on beasts and livestock;  these things you carry are borne    as burdens on weary beasts.  They stoop; they bow down together;    they cannot save the burden,    but themselves go into captivity.

  “Listen to me, O house of Jacob,    all the remnant of the house of Israel,  who have been borne by me from before your birth,    carried from the womb;  even to your old age I am he,    and to gray hairs I will carry you.  I have made, and I will bear;    I will carry and will save.

  “To whom will you liken me and make me equal,    and compare me, that we may be alike?  Those who lavish gold from the purse,    and weigh out silver in the scales,  hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;    then they fall down and worship!  They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,    they set it in its place, and it stands there;    it cannot move from its place.  If one cries to it, it does not answer    or save him from his trouble.

  “Remember this and stand firm,    recall it to mind, you transgressors,    remember the former things of old;  for I am God, and there is no other;    I am God, and there is none like me,  declaring the end from the beginning    and from ancient times things not yet done,  saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,    and I will accomplish all my purpose,’  calling a bird of prey from the east,    the man of my counsel from a far country.  I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;    I have purposed, and I will do it.

  “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,    you who are far from righteousness:  I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,    and my salvation will not delay;  I will put salvation in Zion,    for Israel my glory.”
The Humiliation of Babylon

47   Come down and sit in the dust,    O virgin daughter of Babylon;  sit on the ground without a throne,    O daughter of the Chaldeans!  For you shall no more be called    tender and delicate.  Take the millstones and grind flour,    put off your veil,  strip off your robe, uncover your legs,    pass through the rivers.  Your nakedness shall be uncovered,    and your disgrace shall be seen.  I will take vengeance,    and I will spare no one.  Our Redeemer—the LORD of hosts is his name—    is the Holy One of Israel.

  Sit in silence, and go into darkness,    O daughter of the Chaldeans;  for you shall no more be called    the mistress of kingdoms.  I was angry with my people;    I profaned my heritage;  I gave them into your hand;    you showed them no mercy;  on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy.  You said, “I shall be mistress forever,”    so that you did not lay these things to heart    or remember their end.

  Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures,    who sit securely,  who say in your heart,    “I am, and there is no one besides me;  I shall not sit as a widow    or know the loss of children”:  These two things shall come to you    in a moment, in one day;  the loss of children and widowhood    shall come upon you in full measure,  in spite of your many sorceries    and the great power of your enchantments.

  You felt secure in your wickedness;    you said, “No one sees me”;  your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray,  and you said in your heart,    “I am, and there is no one besides me.”  But evil shall come upon you,    which you will not know how to charm away;  disaster shall fall upon you,    for which you will not be able to atone;  and ruin shall come upon you suddenly,    of which you know nothing.

  Stand fast in your enchantments    and your many sorceries,    with which you have labored from your youth;  perhaps you may be able to succeed;    perhaps you may inspire terror.  You are wearied with your many counsels;    let them stand forth and save you,  those who divide the heavens,    who gaze at the stars,  who at the new moons make known    what shall come upon you.

  Behold, they are like stubble;    the fire consumes them;  they cannot deliver themselves    from the power of the flame.  No coal for warming oneself is this,    no fire to sit before!  Such to you are those with whom you have labored,    who have done business with you from your youth;  they wander about, each in his own direction;    there is no one to save you.

Footnotes
[1] 45:2 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint level the mountains

[2] 45:11 A slight emendation yields will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands?

[3] 45:19 Hebrew in emptiness

[4] 45:23 Septuagint every tongue shall confess to God


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: Colossians 3 Colossians 3
     

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          Colossians 3
Put On the New Self
3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your1 life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:2 sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.3 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self4 with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,5 free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Rules for Christian Households
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters,6 not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Footnotes
[1] 3:4 Some manuscripts our

[2] 3:5 Greek therefore your members that are on the earth

[3] 3:6 Some manuscripts add upon the sons of disobedience

[4] 3:9 Greek man; also as supplied in verse 10

[5] 3:11 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for Bondservants in verse 22

[6] 3:22 Or your masters according to the flesh


(ESV)

Source: October 11: Isaiah 45–47; Colossians 3
8
Devotions & Studies / October 10: Isaiah 43–44; Colossians 2
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 11, 2017, 06:04:55 AM »
October 10: Isaiah 43–44; Colossians 2

Morning: Isaiah 43–44
       
     
       
          Evening: Colossians 2
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Isaiah 43–44 Isaiah 43–44
     

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          Isaiah 43-44
Israel's Only Savior

43   But now thus says the LORD,  he who created you, O Jacob,    he who formed you, O Israel:  “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;    I have called you by name, you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;  when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,    and the flame shall not consume you.  For I am the LORD your God,    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.  I give Egypt as your ransom,    Cush and Seba in exchange for you.  Because you are precious in my eyes,    and honored, and I love you,  I give men in return for you,    peoples in exchange for your life.  Fear not, for I am with you;    I will bring your offspring from the east,    and from the west I will gather you.  I will say to the north, Give up,    and to the south, Do not withhold;  bring my sons from afar    and my daughters from the end of the earth,  everyone who is called by my name,    whom I created for my glory,    whom I formed and made.”

  Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes,    who are deaf, yet have ears!  All the nations gather together,    and the peoples assemble.  Who among them can declare this,    and show us the former things?  Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right,    and let them hear and say, It is true.  “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,    “and my servant whom I have chosen,  that you may know and believe me    and understand that I am he.  Before me no god was formed,    nor shall there be any after me.  I, I am the LORD,    and besides me there is no savior.  I declared and saved and proclaimed,    when there was no strange god among you;    and you are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and I am God.  Also henceforth I am he;    there is none who can deliver from my hand;    I work, and who can turn it back?”

  Thus says the LORD,    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:  “For your sake I send to Babylon    and bring them all down as fugitives,    even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.  I am the LORD, your Holy One,    the Creator of Israel, your King.”

  Thus says the LORD,    who makes a way in the sea,    a path in the mighty waters,  who brings forth chariot and horse,    army and warrior;  they lie down, they cannot rise,    they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:  “Remember not the former things,    nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing;    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness    and rivers in the desert.  The wild beasts will honor me,    the jackals and the ostriches,  for I give water in the wilderness,    rivers in the desert,  to give drink to my chosen people,    the people whom I formed for myself  that they might declare my praise.

  “Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob;    but you have been weary of me, O Israel!  You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings,    or honored me with your sacrifices.  I have not burdened you with offerings,    or wearied you with frankincense.  You have not bought me sweet cane with money,    or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.  But you have burdened me with your sins;    you have wearied me with your iniquities.

  “I, I am he    who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,    and I will not remember your sins.  Put me in remembrance; let us argue together;    set forth your case, that you may be proved right.  Your first father sinned,    and your mediators transgressed against me.  Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary,    and deliver Jacob to utter destruction    and Israel to reviling.
Israel the Lord's Chosen

44   “But now hear, O Jacob my servant,    Israel whom I have chosen!  Thus says the LORD who made you,    who formed you from the womb and will help you:  Fear not, O Jacob my servant,    Jeshurun whom I have chosen.  For I will pour water on the thirsty land,    and streams on the dry ground;  I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,    and my blessing on your descendants.  They shall spring up among the grass    like willows by flowing streams.  This one will say, ‘I am the LORD's,’    another will call on the name of Jacob,  and another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD's,’    and name himself by the name of Israel.”
Besides Me There Is No God

  Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel    and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:  “I am the first and I am the last;    besides me there is no god.  Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.1    Let him declare and set it before me,  since I appointed an ancient people.    Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.  Fear not, nor be afraid;    have I not told you from of old and declared it?    And you are my witnesses!  Is there a God besides me?    There is no Rock; I know not any.”
The Folly of Idolatry
All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil.2 He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
The Lord Redeems Israel

  Remember these things, O Jacob,    and Israel, for you are my servant;  I formed you; you are my servant;    O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.  I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud    and your sins like mist;  return to me, for I have redeemed you.

  Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it;    shout, O depths of the earth;  break forth into singing, O mountains,    O forest, and every tree in it!  For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,    and will be glorified3 in Israel.

  Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,    who formed you from the womb:  “I am the LORD, who made all things,    who alone stretched out the heavens,    who spread out the earth by myself,  who frustrates the signs of liars    and makes fools of diviners,  who turns wise men back    and makes their knowledge foolish,  who confirms the word of his servant    and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,  who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’    and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built,    and I will raise up their ruins’;  who says to the deep, ‘Be dry;    I will dry up your rivers’;  who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,    and he shall fulfill all my purpose’;  saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’    and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”

Footnotes
[1] 44:7 Or Who like me can proclaim it?

[2] 44:13 Hebrew stylus

[3] 44:23 Or will display his beauty


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: Colossians 2 Colossians 2
     

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          Colossians 2
2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
Alive in Christ
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits1 of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities2 and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.3
Let No One Disqualify You
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,4 puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Footnotes
[1] 2:8 Or elementary principles; also verse 20

[2] 2:15 Probably demonic rulers and authorities

[3] 2:15 Or in it (that is, the cross)

[4] 2:18 Or about the things he has seen


(ESV)

Source: October 10: Isaiah 43–44; Colossians 2
9
Devotions & Studies / October 9: Isaiah 41–42; Colossians 1
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 10, 2017, 06:04:48 AM »
October 9: Isaiah 41–42; Colossians 1

Morning: Isaiah 41–42
       
     
       
          Evening: Colossians 1
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Isaiah 41–42 Isaiah 41–42
     

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          Isaiah 41-42
Fear Not, for I Am with You

41   Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;    let the peoples renew their strength;  let them approach, then let them speak;    let us together draw near for judgment.

  Who stirred up one from the east    whom victory meets at every step?1  He gives up nations before him,    so that he tramples kings underfoot;  he makes them like dust with his sword,    like driven stubble with his bow.  He pursues them and passes on safely,    by paths his feet have not trod.  Who has performed and done this,    calling the generations from the beginning?  I, the LORD, the first,    and with the last; I am he.

  The coastlands have seen and are afraid;    the ends of the earth tremble;    they have drawn near and come.  Everyone helps his neighbor    and says to his brother, “Be strong!”  The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith,    and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil,  saying of the soldering, “It is good”;    and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved.

  But you, Israel, my servant,    Jacob, whom I have chosen,    the offspring of Abraham, my friend;  you whom I took from the ends of the earth,    and called from its farthest corners,  saying to you, “You are my servant,    I have chosen you and not cast you off”;  fear not, for I am with you;    be not dismayed, for I am your God;  I will strengthen you, I will help you,    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  Behold, all who are incensed against you    shall be put to shame and confounded;  those who strive against you    shall be as nothing and shall perish.  You shall seek those who contend with you,    but you shall not find them;  those who war against you    shall be as nothing at all.  For I, the LORD your God,    hold your right hand;  it is I who say to you, “Fear not,    I am the one who helps you.”

  Fear not, you worm Jacob,    you men of Israel!  I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD;    your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.  Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,    new, sharp, and having teeth;  you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,    and you shall make the hills like chaff;  you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,    and the tempest shall scatter them.  And you shall rejoice in the LORD;    in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

  When the poor and needy seek water,    and there is none,    and their tongue is parched with thirst,  I the LORD will answer them;    I the God of Israel will not forsake them.  I will open rivers on the bare heights,    and fountains in the midst of the valleys.  I will make the wilderness a pool of water,    and the dry land springs of water.  I will put in the wilderness the cedar,    the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.  I will set in the desert the cypress,    the plane and the pine together,  that they may see and know,    may consider and understand together,  that the hand of the LORD has done this,    the Holy One of Israel has created it.
The Futility of Idols

  Set forth your case, says the LORD;    bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.  Let them bring them, and tell us    what is to happen.  Tell us the former things, what they are,    that we may consider them,  that we may know their outcome;    or declare to us the things to come.  Tell us what is to come hereafter,    that we may know that you are gods;  do good, or do harm,    that we may be dismayed and terrified.2  Behold, you are nothing,    and your work is less than nothing;    an abomination is he who chooses you.

  I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,    from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name;  he shall trample on rulers as on mortar,    as the potter treads clay.  Who declared it from the beginning, that we might know,    and beforehand, that we might say, “He is right”?  There was none who declared it, none who proclaimed,    none who heard your words.  I was the first to say3 to Zion, “Behold, here they are!”    and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good news.  But when I look, there is no one;    among these there is no counselor    who, when I ask, gives an answer.  Behold, they are all a delusion;    their works are nothing;    their metal images are empty wind.
The Lord's Chosen Servant

42   Behold my servant, whom I uphold,    my chosen, in whom my soul delights;  I have put my Spirit upon him;    he will bring forth justice to the nations.  He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,    or make it heard in the street;  a bruised reed he will not break,    and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;    he will faithfully bring forth justice.  He will not grow faint or be discouraged4    till he has established justice in the earth;    and the coastlands wait for his law.

  Thus says God, the LORD,    who created the heavens and stretched them out,    who spread out the earth and what comes from it,  who gives breath to the people on it    and spirit to those who walk in it:  “I am the LORD; I have called you5 in righteousness;    I will take you by the hand and keep you;  I will give you as a covenant for the people,    a light for the nations,    to open the eyes that are blind,  to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,    from the prison those who sit in darkness.  I am the LORD; that is my name;    my glory I give to no other,    nor my praise to carved idols.  Behold, the former things have come to pass,    and new things I now declare;  before they spring forth    I tell you of them.”
Sing to the Lord a New Song

  Sing to the LORD a new song,    his praise from the end of the earth,  you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,    the coastlands and their inhabitants.  Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,    the villages that Kedar inhabits;  let the habitants of Sela sing for joy,    let them shout from the top of the mountains.  Let them give glory to the LORD,    and declare his praise in the coastlands.  The LORD goes out like a mighty man,    like a man of war he stirs up his zeal;  he cries out, he shouts aloud,    he shows himself mighty against his foes.

  For a long time I have held my peace;    I have kept still and restrained myself;  now I will cry out like a woman in labor;    I will gasp and pant.  I will lay waste mountains and hills,    and dry up all their vegetation;  I will turn the rivers into islands,6    and dry up the pools.  And I will lead the blind    in a way that they do not know,  in paths that they have not known    I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light,    the rough places into level ground.  These are the things I do,    and I do not forsake them.  They are turned back and utterly put to shame,    who trust in carved idols,  who say to metal images,    “You are our gods.”
Israel's Failure to Hear and See

  Hear, you deaf,    and look, you blind, that you may see!  Who is blind but my servant,    or deaf as my messenger whom I send?  Who is blind as my dedicated one,7    or blind as the servant of the LORD?  He sees many things, but does not observe them;    his ears are open, but he does not hear.  The LORD was pleased, for his righteousness' sake,    to magnify his law and make it glorious.  But this is a people plundered and looted;    they are all of them trapped in holes    and hidden in prisons;  they have become plunder with none to rescue,    spoil with none to say, “Restore!”  Who among you will give ear to this,    will attend and listen for the time to come?  Who gave up Jacob to the looter,    and Israel to the plunderers?  Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned,    in whose ways they would not walk,    and whose law they would not obey?  So he poured on him the heat of his anger    and the might of battle;  it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand;    it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart.

Footnotes
[1] 41:2 Or whom righteousness calls to follow?

[2] 41:23 Or that we may both be dismayed and see

[3] 41:27 Or Formerly I said

[4] 42:4 Or bruised

[5] 42:6 The Hebrew for you is singular; four times in this verse

[6] 42:15 Or into coastlands

[7] 42:19 Or as the one at peace with me


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: Colossians 1 Colossians 1
     

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          Colossians 1
Greeting
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the saints and faithful brothers1 in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.2 He is a faithful minister of Christ on your3 behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks4 to the Father, who has qualified you5 to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Preeminence of Christ
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by6 him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation7 under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Paul's Ministry to the Church
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

Footnotes
[1] 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters

[2] 1:7 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word sundoulos, see Preface

[3] 1:7 Some manuscripts our

[4] 1:12 Or patience, with joy giving thanks

[5] 1:12 Some manuscripts us

[6] 1:16 That is, by means of; or in

[7] 1:23 Or to every creature


(ESV)

Source: October 9: Isaiah 41–42; Colossians 1
10
Devotions & Studies / October 8: Isaiah 39–40; Philippians 4
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 09, 2017, 06:05:40 AM »
October 8: Isaiah 39–40; Philippians 4

Morning: Isaiah 39–40
       
     
       
          Evening: Philippians 4
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Isaiah 39–40 Isaiah 39–40
     

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          Isaiah 39-40
Envoys from Babylon
39 At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” Hezekiah said, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the LORD. And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.”
Comfort for God's People

40   Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,    and cry to her  that her warfare1 is ended,    that her iniquity is pardoned,  that she has received from the LORD's hand    double for all her sins.

  A voice cries:2  “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be lifted up,    and every mountain and hill be made low;  the uneven ground shall become level,    and the rough places a plain.  And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,    and all flesh shall see it together,    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
The Word of God Stands Forever

  A voice says, “Cry!”    And I said,3 “What shall I cry?”  All flesh is grass,    and all its beauty4 is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, the flower fades    when the breath of the LORD blows on it;    surely the people are grass.  The grass withers, the flower fades,    but the word of our God will stand forever.
The Greatness of God

  Go on up to a high mountain,    O Zion, herald of good news;5  lift up your voice with strength,    O Jerusalem, herald of good news;6    lift it up, fear not;  say to the cities of Judah,    “Behold your God!”  Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,    and his arm rules for him;  behold, his reward is with him,    and his recompense before him.  He will tend his flock like a shepherd;    he will gather the lambs in his arms;  he will carry them in his bosom,    and gently lead those that are with young.

  Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand    and marked off the heavens with a span,  enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure    and weighed the mountains in scales    and the hills in a balance?  Who has measured7 the Spirit of the LORD,    or what man shows him his counsel?  Whom did he consult,    and who made him understand?  Who taught him the path of justice,    and taught him knowledge,    and showed him the way of understanding?  Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,    and are accounted as the dust on the scales;    behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.  Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,    nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.  All the nations are as nothing before him,    they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

  To whom then will you liken God,    or what likeness compare with him?  An idol! A craftsman casts it,    and a goldsmith overlays it with gold    and casts for it silver chains.  He who is too impoverished for an offering    chooses wood8 that will not rot;  he seeks out a skillful craftsman    to set up an idol that will not move.

  Do you not know? Do you not hear?    Has it not been told you from the beginning?    Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?  It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;  who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,    and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;  who brings princes to nothing,    and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

  Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,    scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,  when he blows on them, and they wither,    and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

  To whom then will you compare me,    that I should be like him? says the Holy One.  Lift up your eyes on high and see:    who created these?  He who brings out their host by number,    calling them all by name;  by the greatness of his might    and because he is strong in power,    not one is missing.

  Why do you say, O Jacob,    and speak, O Israel,  “My way is hidden from the LORD,    and my right is disregarded by my God”?  Have you not known? Have you not heard?  The LORD is the everlasting God,    the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary;    his understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the faint,    and to him who has no might he increases strength.  Even youths shall faint and be weary,    and young men shall fall exhausted;  but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;  they shall run and not be weary;    they shall walk and not faint.

Footnotes
[1] 40:2 Or hardship

[2] 40:3 Or A voice of one crying

[3] 40:6 Revocalization based on Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Vulgate; Masoretic Text And someone says

[4] 40:6 Or all its constancy

[5] 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Zion

[6] 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem

[7] 40:13 Or has directed

[8] 40:20 Or He chooses valuable wood


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: Philippians 4 Philippians 4
     

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          Philippians 4
4 Therefore, my brothers,1 whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer
I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion,2 help these women, who have labored3 side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness4 be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned5 and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
God's Provision
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Yet it was kind of you to share6 my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.7 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Final Greetings
Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Footnotes
[1] 4:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 8, 21

[2] 4:3 Or loyal Syzygus; Greek true yokefellow

[3] 4:3 Or strived (see 1:27)

[4] 4:5 Or gentleness

[5] 4:9 Or these things— 9which things you have also learned

[6] 4:14 Or have fellowship in

[7] 4:17 Or I seek the profit that accrues to your account


(ESV)

Source: October 8: Isaiah 39–40; Philippians 4
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