Monday, June 27, 2011

"The Mouth of the Lord"

18“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Thought your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. 19 If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 1:18-20 NASB)

What an amazing passage; here preserved are the prophet Isaiah’s words to Judah before the exile and destruction of Jerusalem. History records the later collapse of the kingdom and capture and exile under Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon; but during the time Isaiah wrote this, that event was still in the future. But of course through the writings of Isaiah, found to be nearly 90% unchanged in the analysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls; a continuity of writing nearly unchanged for over 2600 years and in your Bible on the table. So we know that Isaiah’s words were true words of prophesy, for they came to pass. History records that most of the people of Israel and Judah (the divided Kingdom of Israel) were killed, starved, or carried away into exile.

I want you to now focus on these words at the end of verse 20 “…Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” What does that mean to you? Isaiah was a true prophet, so therefore he spoke/wrote what he was told by the Spirit of God. The people whom he served relied upon him to tell them what God’s will for them was. I am sure there were men and women who did listen and do what Isaiah told them to do, but it seems that many did not.

“…Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Again I ask, what does that mean to you? Isaiah wrote these words; they are from the first chapter, and most all scholars are in agreement that this early portion of Isaiah is clearly his work. So you can feel confident that these words are true, accurate, and dependable.

“…Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

If this is the word from God’s mouth, given to Isaiah, and proven a true prophecy; what do you do with the Bible on your table? If this writing is historically accurate predictions…and is accurately transmitted to your Bible when compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls…What are you going to do with that information?

I want to read more. I want to study more. I want to tell more people that this book, the Holy Bible, is TRUE.

And I want to know more about what “…The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

How about you?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What Do You Pray For Me?

And the former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers, because they were prevented by death from continuing, but He on the other hand, because He abides forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.  (Heb. 7:23-25)

When all my friends neglect to pray,
busily caring for spouses, children, and family;

Lord, what do you pray for me?

When my thoughts paint me into a corner of gloom,
And all I want is a phone call or note;

Lord, what do you pray for me?

As I am overlooked, alone, and supposed
seriously self-sufficient;

Lord, what do you pray for me?

As I look back over a life of abuse, corruption, and subjugation—
and I do not want to go on;

Lord, what do you pray for me?

There was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it, and constructed large siegeworks against it. But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man. So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded. (Ecc. 9: 14-16)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Quote from "Bonhoeffer"

I have been reading Eric Metaxas’ book “Bonhoeffer” and I am riveted. As you read it, I guarantee it will cause you to re-examine your walk with God. I highly recommend this book.

This week I would like to share a striking quote but first let me set the stage (so to speak); this is later in the book and Germany had just over-run France.

Eric Metaxas writes of Bonhoeffer:

In his book Ethics, which he worked on during this time, Bonhoeffer wrote about the way people worship success. The topic fascinated him. He referred to it in his letter from Barcelona many years earlier, in which he observed the fickleness of the crowds at bullfights, how they roared for the toreador one moment and for the bull the next. It was success they wanted, success more than anything. In Ethics, he wrote:

In a world where success is the measure and justification of all things the figure of Him who was sentenced and crucified remains a stranger and is at best the object of pity. The world will allow itself to be subdued only by success. It is not ideas or opinions which decide, but deeds. Success alone justifies wrongs done…With a frankness and off-handedness which no other earthly power could permit itself, history appeals in its own cause to the dictum that the end justifies the means…the figure of the Crucified invalidate all though which takes success for its standard.
God was interested not in success, but in obedience. If one obeyed God and was willing to suffer defeat and whatever else came one’s way, God would show a kind of success that the world couldn’t imagine. But this was narrow path, and few would take it. (p.363)

Eric Metaxas (2011) Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy; A Righteous Gentile vs. The Third Reich. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book review: Dave Sterrett's book "Why Trust Jesus?"

Dave Sterrett (2010)Why Trust Jesus?: An Honest Look at Doubts, Plans,Hurts, Desires, Fears, Questions, and Pleasures. Chicago. Moody Publisers.

Being the great book lover that I am, and being on a rather tight budget, I was told of a great way to get your hands on new books; to offer to post a review on your blog and a review on the sites of some of the “usual suspects” on line. So now the “disclaimer”…by accepting this book from Moody does not mean I am forced to write a favorable review…OK; OK…now move on!

You might recognize Dave Sterrett’s name along with Josh McDowell where they teamed up to write the book “ O” God: A dialogue on truth and Oprah’s Spirituality (2009, World Net Daily) which McDowell and Sterrett address in a readable way some of the popular misconceptions among Christians and non-Christians alike on the difference between spirituality, and the true Christian walk…because we are not all ‘climbing the same mountain’!

But with that plug, (you’re welcome Dave & Josh…*chuckle*) back to the topic.

“Why Trust Jesus?” is a wonderful, popular level book that gently and lovingly addresses many of the sad “Why?” questions asked by people suffering from old or new hurts…from losing a loved one, to being not answered kindly by a pastor, to those “un-answered” prayers…addressed to all those looking for an honest, thoughtful answer.

With a heart to share God’s truth, Dave lays out the biblical and just plain common-sense answers that may not fully satisfy; but I believe will draw the reader in to find out more. With so many guru’s, spiritualists, and pastors turned cheer-leader, this book gives some answers, not gimmicks.

It is time that a popular level book addresses the tough “why” questions…yes there is pain, but there is an answer to help you to keep going in this fallen world; and that is Jesus. It doesn’t mean your whole world will get easier, send you riches, health, or the love of your life; but what it will mean is you will find the Truth. You will find life.

Looking forward to your next book Dave!