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Archive for the ‘prophecy’ Category

Unless the LORD of hosts Had left us a few survivors, We would be like Sodom, We would be like Gomorrah. – Isaiah 1:9

God rebukes us for good reason.

Rebellion.

Disobedience.

Idolatry.

We could go on for a while, you know.

The point is not that we are rebuked or the reasons for our rebuke.  The point is that we can respond to the rebuke rightly.

Reminder

Our rebuke should remind us that God is a righteous judge.  We are reminded that our purpose here on earth is to please God.  His rebuke reminds us to get our lives in line with His purpose for us.

Reflection

Usually, rebuke from God is based on His supreme authority.  Such rebuke should help us reflect on who God is and how He is to us.

Relationship

Focus on your relationship with God.  God redeemed us for us to have a relationship with Him.  Above all else, we need to maintain that relationship with God through constant communication and continual communion with God.

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Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those  who  are  wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! – Isaiah 5:20-21, NKJV

Some folks see preaching as a means to an end.  In fact, they rarely see visions full of prophecy.  These are the ones who seek to profit from the unlearned and naive within local flocks.

No, you may not detect their underlying motives because they offer sweet serenades rather than sermons.  You may not discern their diabolical schemes or plots to pilfer and plunder, for many have mastered the art of discourses of deception and trickery of the tongue.  They can rattle off verses of the Holy Scriptures to justify nearly any ploy.  Yet, their is uncovered beyond the naked eye.  God sees and knows all.

So what are we to do as defenders of the gospel and truth in His name?

We are to forge ahead despite their lies and treachery.  We are to profess and preach truth, never approaching this life in blind faith.  We are to continue as ambassadors of Christ and extend His love with our ministry of reconciliation. 

Jesus called out the religious leaders of His time.  The prophets spoke out against the ones who went against God’s Word and violated their covenant with Him.  Was Malachi talking to the common man about robbing God? Or, by reading it in context, do you discover that God is speaking to a different audience? Look at it and see for yourself.

Just know that Jesus warned us about such voices of violation.  Paul shared about such wolves among the flock.  Jude said such men had come into our midst.

There are men and women who speak with authority but not of God.  They preach for profit.  They seek your savings as much as your service.  They desire your abundance as much as they want you to worship God with your whole heart. 

Know that they exist.  Know that you have been warned.

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Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. – Ezekiel 37:4

God can call us to prophesy, to speak, to call out, to tear down, or to simply say something.  He can even call us to call out to dry bones.

Yet, the Lord can also just pose a question like He did with Ezekiel in the previous verse.

Can these dry bones live?

If we believe, then our belief should be so solid that we answer God with assured confidence.  We can stand tall and speak boldly.  We should at least know that the Lord knows and let our confidence be in Him.

There are communities full of dry bones.  Classrooms are filled with dry bones.  Coffee houses are occupied by dry bones.  Prison cells hold dry bones captive.  Office cubicles host dry bones from nine to five.  Even church pews have dry bones dressed to impressed Sunday after Sunday.

We have to speak up and speak out.  We are called upon to speak so that those dry bones can have life.

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Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. – Jonah 3:10

God can have a change of heart.

Just ask Jonah.  He found out all too well how God could swiftly shift from fury and anger to mercy and forgiveness.  He learned a real life lesson on how much God rewards repentance.

God had it in for Nineveh.  He was set on destroying the city and its people, but he sent a man of God to deliver His Word and reached their hearts.

If God can have a change of heart for repentant people, can you?

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Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. – Jonah 3:10

God can have a change of heart.

Just ask Jonah.  He found out all too well how God could swiftly shift from fury and anger to mercy and forgiveness.  He learned a real life lesson on how much God rewards repentance.

God had it in for Nineveh.  He was set on destroying the city and its people, but he sent a man of God to deliver His Word and reached their hearts.

If God can have a change of heart for repentant people, can you?

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Don’t put your trust in mere humans.
They are as frail as breath. What good are they?
– Isaiah 2:22 (NLT)

God questions man’s trust in man rather God Almighty.  He shares man’s futility and questions why anyone would seek to put his or her trust in another person, especially when God is seeking you out.  He wanted to rectify His relationship with His chosen people.

God had already called Israel out for its rebellion and idolatry.  He was sickened by their sacrifices.  He was not impressed by their rituals.  Nothing could overshadow their sins against God.

We need to see where our real help comes from in this life.  We can see people.  They are visible, but we need to answer whether or not such people are truly vital to your existence.

God is our true help.  He is in heaven, but He desires to be near to us.  He wants a deep relationship with us.  He is our true heavenly help.  His desire is for us to be better and that means better off with Him.

Don’t rely upon man.  Go to God.  God will send those who can help your way based upon His Holy Spirit’s urging.  It starts with you and God.

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The angel then assured her that she had found favour with God, and would become the mother of a son whose name she should call Jesus, the Son of the Highest, one in a nature and perfection with the Lord God. – Matthew Henry’s Commentary (Luke 1:26-38)

Jesus Christ is the personification of perfection.

Jesus was Promised: He was the child of promise. (2 Samuel 7:16; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

Jesus was Presented: He was presented in the Jewish custom. (Luke 2:21-23, 39)

Jesus was Persecuted: He was the Lamb of God as John the Baptist called Him (John 1:29).  He was slain for our sins, our transgressions and our iniquities according to Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 53).

Yet, without His perfection, He could have never stood in our stead and taken on our sin upon the cross.  He was, as Peter stated, a lamb without spot or blemish.  He epitomizes perfection.  He embodies perfection.  He exemplifies perfection.  He is perfect, and we are challenged to become perfect like Him.

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. – Colossians 1:28 (NIV)
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: – Ephesians 4:13 (KJV)

 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death – Philippians 3:10 (NIV)
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. – Hebrews 5:14 (NIV)

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