Memorize a Scripture a Month: September 2017

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2
King James Version (KJV)

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Old Testament In a Year: September 19 – Isaiah 23, 24, 25

Isaiah 23, 24, 25
Focus Verse: He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. – Isaiah 25:8

This is a passage of Scripture that never fails to give me hope – hope for humanity and hope for the future.

Our world is broken beyond repair and full of hurting people. The curse of sin eats away at dreams, faith, love, and life. Everything is deteriorating, withering, and languishing. Everyone is mourning, suffering, and sighing in some way. Nothing is how it should be. Nothing is how God originally created it to be.

But no matter how dark things around us may seem, we must always fix our eyes on the Light of the world. No matter how hopeless global affairs may appear, we must remember that we have a living hope.

Christ.

Even in the worst of conditions, He is doing wonderful things.

And one day, His perfect plans which were formed in the beginning of time will be brought to pass. He will swallow up death – not just for a time, but forever. He will wipe away tears – not just from some faces, but from all. He will take away our shame – not from a part of the earth, but from all the earth.

Christ has already spoken, already promised. Consider it done.

Old Testament In a Year: September 18 – Isaiah 20, 21, 22

Isaiah 20, 21, 22
Focus Verse: And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. – Isaiah 22:22

In Revelation 3:7, this symbolism is applied to Jesus the Christ.

“…the one who has the key of David. What He opens, no one can close; and what He closes, no one can open.”

The Christian church and the kingdom of Heaven rests on Christ’s shoulder. He alone decides who can come in and who will be kept out; who the door will be opened for and who it will be shut against. Once He opens it for someone, no one can shut it. Once He shuts it against someone, none can open it.

Christ has absolute power over His church and absolute power over the kingdom of Heaven. By opening and shutting the doors of His church, He lets in and keeps out whom He sees fit – namely, those who believe in Him and His Father and those who don’t. And it is the same with His kingdom.

Old Testament In a Year: September 17 – Isaiah 17, 18, 19

Isaiah 17, 18, 19
Focus Verse: For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge; therefore, though you plant pleasant plants and sow the vine-branch of a stranger. – Isaiah 17:10

God is our only source of salvation and He is our true defense and the Rock of our refuge. If we forget Him, we forget everything that is important…everything that is worth remembering.

If we put our trust in something or someone else and forsake the only One who deserves our trust, in the end, the other people and things will also be forsaken.

It does not matter what else we do, if we forget God, nothing we do matters.

Old Testament In a Year: September 16 – Isaiah 14, 15, 16

Isaiah 14, 15, 16
Focus Verse: For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back? – Isaiah 14:27

Whatever God sets out to do, whether we think it is good or bad, He will do. Ultimately, all that God does is good. We only thing of certain situations as bad because we do not understand them or do not understand why God would allow them.

But once God determines to do something, He will do it.

Nothing can stop His purposes. Nothing can hinder His plans. No one can turn back His hand. And this includes the purposes that He has for our lives. When God wants to do something with us and through us, nothing and no one will keep God from doing so, not even our own mistakes and faults.

Old Testament In a Year: September 15 – Isaiah 11, 12, 13

Isaiah 11, 12, 13
Focus Verse: You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. – Isaiah 12:1

In the day that God comes and makes all that is wrong right, and Christ establishes His kingdom on earth, and everything and everyone is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, then all believers will give thanks to the Lord. For He would have made us one, united in Him.

But even now, with the world in a state of chaos and with so many people unaware of God, we can still give thanks to the Lord. We can still sing a psalm of praise.

Though our sins cause God to be angry and though our faults and mistakes are displeasing to Him, He purposefully turns His anger away from us. Instead of madness, we experience His mercy. Instead of receiving anger, we receive assurance. Instead of guilt, we are given gladness. Instead of displeasure, we are shown divine love.

God does not treat us how we deserve to be treated. And that is a great cause for thanks.

Old Testament In a Year: September 14 – Isaiah 9, 10

Isaiah 9, 10
Focus Verse: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

A child was born to us. A son was given to us…and is with us still.

This prophecy by Isaiah was fulfilled in part, and it will be fulfilled completely at the second coming of Jesus the Christ.

Christ is our Wonderful Counselor because His character is wonderful. His Word, His creation, His promises, and His ways leave us full of wonder. Oftentimes, when we describe something as wonderful today we mean that it is good or beautiful or awesome; but when we describe God as wonderful, we are saying that He is beyond our comprehension and understanding. Because His ways are higher than our ways and because He is omniscient, we can go to Him for counsel about any matter. No problem or question leaves Him baffled. He is our Wonderful Counselor.

Christ is our Mighty God because He is God. He and His Father are one and the same. And He is mighty…through the world that He created, through the miracles that He worked, through the salvation that He gave…Christ is our Mighty God. Conquering, delivering, supporting, loving, helping, protecting, redeeming, judging, strengthening…Christ is a Mighty God who is always on the move for His own.

Christ is our Everlasting Father because He is one with His Father. Together, they have been in existence before time began and will be in existence forevermore. He has no ending, but is from everlasting to everlasting. Because of this, we can depend on Him fully and trust in Him completely. Family members may die, friends may leave, and the world will one day end…but Christ will never leave or forsake us. He is the Giver of everlasting life and whoever receives His free gift has Him for an Everlasting Father.

Christ is our Prince of Peace because He is the source of all true peace. Through the shedding of His blood on the cross, He authored peace between God and sinners. By providing one Gospel for all people, He authored peace between Jews and Gentiles. And today, He gives peace to all who choose to follow Him. He is our Prince of Peace.

Old Testament In a Year: September 13 – Isaiah 7, 8

Isaiah 7, 8
Focus Verse: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:14

Despite our lack of trust in God, our refusal to ask of God, and our unbelief in “testing” God, He gave a sign anyway.

And the virgin did conceive. She did bear a son. His name was called Immanuel.

And Immanuel is with us today.

Thank God that He is a God who keeps His word, does not forget His promises, and fulfills signs and wonders. This Word that was spoken so many long years ago by the prophet Isaiah was made flesh. Now, it does not matter what trouble we are in or how great the problems we face, we know that we are never alone. We have a living hope. We serve a Savior who without question refuses evil and chooses good.

Old Testament In a Year: September 12 – 2 Chronicles 31, 32

2 Chronicles 31, 32
Focus Verse: With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. – 2 Chronicles 32:8

Ephesians 6 tells us that we do not fight against flesh and blood. And just as we do not fight against flesh and blood, neither do we fight with flesh and blood. As believers, we have God to help us and fight our battles – whether they are spiritual, financial, or physical.

This is why we can be confident regardless of what or who we’re faced with.

I am with you, God says. Therefore, be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid of hardship or trouble. Do not be dismayed when you receive a negative doctor’s report or fail to be promoted at your job. Because I am with you, not without you; because I am for you, not against you, you will experience victory in every battle. With this assurance, be encouraged and take confidence.