Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 29, 2012 … A Witness of Numbers

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 211 

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Isaiah, Chapter 54-58 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Isaiah 54: 6-8 : [NIV] … 6 The Lord will call you [Israel] back as if you were a [childless] wife deserted and distressed in spirit — a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God. 7 "For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you," says the Lord, your Redeemer.
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 55: 6-8 : [NIV] … 6 Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon. 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord.
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 56: 6-8 : [NIV] … 6 And foreigners [i.e., Gentiles] who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to Him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be His servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to My covenant — 7 these I will bring to My holy mountain and give them joy in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." 8 The Sovereign Lord declares — he who gathers the exiles of Israel: "I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered."  
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 57: 6-8 : [NIV] … 6 The idols among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion; indeed, they are your lot. Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings and offered grain offerings. In view of all this, should I relent? 7 You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill; there you went up to offer your sacrifices. 8 Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked with lust on their naked bodies. 
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 58: 6-8 : [NIV] … 6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 

My Journal for Today: Ever since I became a Christian, almost 30 years ago, God has used a type of Spirit-led numerology to speak to me. For example, God used the number “13” strongly to bring me to Himself back in 1983, using Philippians 4: 13 on April 13th (i.e., 4/13) on that exact date to speak to my heart, inviting me to find the spiritual strength I so desperately needed in a relationship with Jesus. And even before that He made me sensitive to the number “13” because my wife and I had our first date on 4/13/60 … AND … we were married on the 13th of a month in 1965 … AND … our 1st daughter was born on the 13th of a month … AND … my doctorate was awarded on the 13th of a month … AND … I opened my first clinical as a new doctor on the 13th of a month. And there were others before that Spirit-engineered day on 4/13/83 where God led me to see I needed Him for my salvation.

Well, today God did an interesting thing. Every morning, I pray that God would make clear from His word something from my daily – pre-assigned chronological Bible read – that will edify me or help me to edify someone else; and today, a pattern of highlighted scriptures exploded out at me which told me a story of redemption and hope and encouragement.

Note above that in the five chapters of Isaiah which I was led to read/study today, the highlighted passages which God emboldened for my attention were in Verses 6-8 of each of Chapters 54-58. And in studying these chapters/passages, a strong theme emerged.

And that theme is one of “whosoever would come to the Lord in faith will be saved!” Please take the time to at least read through the highlighted passages which are extracted by – I believe – God’s Spirit highlighting them for me; and see what message you get from them, collectively and individually.

The context here is Isaiah, led by the Spirit of the Lord, crying out to all who would hear, listen, and receive the Lord’s message that ANYONE who calls on the Name of the Lord, by witnessing of His all-inclusive love by their worship of devotion and obedience and faith, will be included in His glorious redemption. And aren’t you grateful that our Lord, who was not about to renege on His promises of redemption for Israel; has also included His covenant promise of salvation to any/all who would come to Him in the faith of obedient worship and righteous living.

That message just jumps off of the pages in this curious witness of passage numbers in verses 6-8 of the five chapters I was led to read and to study today. I hope you are as encouraged and uplifted from this curious study today as was I.

My Prayer Today: … You bless me so powerfully from Your word, Lord! Amen

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