KG Sept. 4-10

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September 4, Sunday

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Waiting to Act — The uniqueness of God is stressed in verse 4, that throughout history “…no one has heard … no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.”  God responds to those who wait for Him.  That is a picture of trust: knowing that God is able and willing to help, and that He is waiting in patience for us to wait in trust.  He might be waiting, leaving us in the mess we have brought upon ourselves, until it is painful enough to later remember the serious penalties of sin.  God might also be waiting to maximize the timing of other circumstances, so that even “the nations might tremble” (v. 2) at what He does.  We just need to make sure that God is not waiting on us to be willing to forsake a certain sinful relationship, act, or attitude before He is willing to act on our behalf.  I know of a former missionary to Brazil who suffered for years with elbow pain.  She had two different surgeries to fix the problem, but the pain stubbornly continued.  Then one day during her devotional time, God revealed to her the bitterness she had been holding in her heart for many years toward another person.  She was convicted, admitted her sin to God, asked for His forgiveness, and she was immediately and permanently healed of the pain in her elbow.  Let’s not make God wait because of us!

My Soul in Stillness Waits – YouTube

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September 5, Monday

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Ready, Willing, and Able — This chapter seems to be a mix of promises for this life and the next.  Jerusalem would be restored after Israel’s return from Babylon in the near future, but when God said, “I create new heavens and a new earth” (v. 17), He spoke of the eternal future of all God’s people.  Overall, it speaks of God’s willingness and ability to provide good for those who follow Him.  There were two attributes of God that stood out to me in this passage, one at the beginning and the other at the end.  The first is His initiation: “I said, ‘Here I am, here I am’ … I spread out my hands all the day…” (v. 1-2).  God lovingly makes Himself available to people who don’t know Him.  He also is continually reaching out to us believers, calling us into a closer relationship and a greater understanding of Him.  God initiates relationships.  Jesus said that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44).  The second attribute of God, emphasized at the end of our passage for today, speaks of His anticipation: “Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear” (Isa. 65:24).  God anticipates our needs because of His great love for us and His desire to give us good gifts.  He is waiting for us to ask.  What an amazing advantage that is!  We have a relationship with One who takes the initiative to reach out to us and He then anticipates our every need that we bring to Him.

Only Trust Him – YouTube

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September 6, Tuesday

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Final Worship — The book of Isaiah closes with an emphasis similar to that of the previous chapter.  It includes the comfort of God’s people in the Promised Land (v. 13) and severe judgment against God’s enemies (vv. 14-16).  It looks ahead to the spreading of the gospel following the Incarnation of the Messiah, when “they shall declare my glory among the nations” (v. 19).  And it also looks even further into the future, to “the new heavens and the new earth” (v. 22), when “all flesh shall come to worship before me” (v. 23).  John saw a vision of this still-future scene when he saw “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (Rev. 7:9-10).  That will be the beginning of our worship with literally all the saints of faith.  What a choir!

For All the Saints – YouTube

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September 7, Wednesday

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Finding Good in Trouble — Assyria, with its capital in Nineveh, had conquered the northern kingdom of Israel and was threatening Jerusalem in the south.  Would Jerusalem fall like Samaria?  No, not at this time, because God was in control.  There is an interesting sequence of descriptions of God in this chapter.  First, it says that “the LORD is avenging” (v. 2).  He pays back those who are “his adversaries … his enemies” (v. 2).  As Paul reiterated later, “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 3:23).  That points to the justice of God.  The next verse adds that “The LORD is slow to anger” (Nahum 1:3).  That shows the patience and grace of God.  Although it often looks like the guilty are getting away with their wickedness, God is delaying their punishment.  The Ninevites might realize their error and change their ways as they did at the warning of Jonah about 140 years earlier.  If not, “the LORD will by no means clear the guilty” (v. 3).  God is patient with us as well.  The patience of God postpones His justice.  Thirdly, Nahum adds that “The LORD is good…” (v. 7).  This includes the security of God because the verse continues by saying that God is “a stronghold in the day of trouble, he knows those who take refuge in him.”  Is your “city” sometimes surrounded by evil enemies?  God not only sees the trouble, but He knows and loves us.  He is our security and can protect us in a day of trouble.

God is Our Refuge and Strength – YouTube

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September 8, Thursday

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At That Time — This prophecy seems to be intended for multiple fulfillment applications.  It may partially point ahead to the return of God’s people from the Babylonian exile, but many of the details would have to be taken figuratively.  It may also look forward to the first coming of the Messiah when “The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst” (v. 15).  But it certainly also has the End Times in view, because four times in this passage, it uses the eschatological expression, “at that time” (vv. 9, 19-20), and twice, “on that day” (vv. 11, 16).  When “that day” comes and “The LORD your God is in your midst” (v. 17), a tender characteristic of God will be seen, i.e., we make God happy.  At that time, “he will rejoice over you with gladness … he will exult over you with loud singing.”  God sings!  This goes beyond knowing that we can please God—we thrill Him.  What enthusiastic joy!  He delights in us.  If He rejoices in us, we ought also to rejoice in Him.

Rejoice, the Lord is King – YouTube

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September 9, Friday

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Adequate — Jeremiah had a tragic life, preaching for 40 years to mostly stubborn people who didn’t want to accept his message.  God called him to warn a nation that was sliding toward destruction.  King Josiah made great strides in restoring proper worship of Yahweh, but soon after his death, the slide continued.  In this first chapter, we see the omniscience of God in calling Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you … I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet…” (v. 5).  God also knew us before He made us.  We are uniquely designed to be what God wants us to be.  Jeremiah’s reaction to God’s call (“I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth”—v. 6), also says something about the ones God chooses to accomplish His purposes.  He specializes in using what mankind considers to be inadequate.  Paul wrote that “God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor. 1:27), and then he claimed for himself that “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10).  God can and will use people who think they are too young (or too old) or too lacking in any ability that the world considers to be necessary.  Look how He has used paralyzed Joni Eareckson Tada and also Nick Vujicic, who motivates others even though he has neither arms nor legs!  God’s response to Jeremiah’s hesitation was, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’ … you shall go … you shall speak … I am with you” (Jer. 1:7-8).  We are never inadequate when God is with us.

Before the Sun Burned Bright – YouTube

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September 10, Saturday

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Merciful Master — The ten northern tribes of Israel had been conquered and scattered by their northern enemy, the Assyrians.  About 100 years later, God reached out to them through Jeremiah in a call for repentance: “Return, faithless Israel … acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled…” (vv. 12-13).  And in this plea, God revealed something about Himself: “…for I am merciful” (v. 12).  This is only the second time in the OT this Hebrew word for “merciful” is used about God’s character.  It is the word chasid, which is closely related to the word chesed, the steadfast love of God we have read about many times.  A merciful God reaches out to the lost with His steadfast love.  He still does that today, rescuing those bound for hell, if they acknowledge their guilt and turn to Him.  God’s call to rebellious Israel shows that He is not only merciful, but He is also master: “Return, O faithless children … for I am your master” (v. 14).  The Hebrew word for “master” here is also very interesting.  It is the word bā-al, the verb form of the noun ba-al, the name of the god Baal, to whom the Israelites had bowed.  But the word translated “master” here can also be translated “husband.”  God’s call to Israel was not only to be their “master” in the sense of ruling over them, but also to be their “husband” in a loving relationship.  He would be their loving “master.”  Do you think of God more in a ruling sense than in a relationship sense?  He is both.

God is Love, His Mercy Brightens – YouTube

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This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

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